A Defense of the Unrestricted Kantian Moral Saint

Citation data:

Vol: 9, Issue: 2

Publication Year:
2017
Usage 321
Downloads 283
Abstract Views 38
Repository URL:
https://scholarworks.wmich.edu/hilltopreview/vol9/iss2/11
Author(s):
Szabo, Richard
Tags:
Ethics and Political Philosophy
article description
In this article I provide a defense for the worthiness of the moral paradigm of unrestricted Kantian Moral Sainthood from criticisms raised by Susan Wolf. She claims that actually achieving the ideal would result in undesirable moral fanatics with underdeveloped nonmoral characters that none of us would want to be like and so we should not aspire to this ideal of Moral Sainthood. My defense’s main thrust appeals to the impossibility of human beings achieving the demands of the ideal in the actual world in order to avoid Wolf’s objections. Because we can never become unrestricted Kantian Moral Saints (i.e. we can never really achieve unrestricted Kantian Moral Sainthood in real life), the negative consequences of what people would be like if they achieved this form of Sainthood should not count against the desirability of this moral paradigm. I then motivate the worthiness of unrestricted Kantian Moral Sainthood by showing that, despite being impossible to achieve, aspiring towards the ideal (but never reach it) produces very desirable results and so unrestricted Kantian Moral Sainthood remains a worthwhile moral ideal (and there is no reason we should not all want to be more like unrestricted Kantian Moral Saints ourselves.