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Kravitz, Amit (2016): Absolute Counterpurposiveness? On Kant's First Arguments Against Theodicy. In: Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie, Vol. 98, No. 1: pp. 89-105 [PDF, 552kB]


This essay discusses the first of Kant's anti-theodicean arguments as unfolded in his 1791 On the Miscarriage of All Philosophical Trials in Theodicy. In this argument, Kant coins a neologism, the absolute counterpurposive (=ACP), and vehemently rejects the theodicean claim that denies that there is ACP in the world. As I show, Kant's rejection of the theodicean denial of ACP is not based on epistemological, but on moral grounds: a denial of ACP seems to lead to a denial of the unconditional status of morality. Thus, it is not the denial of ACP as such but rather the consequence of its denial that truly troubles Kant. Upon thoroughly construing Kant's argument, and unveiling two major ambiguities which lurk in his argument, I argue that Kant's anti-theodicean argument is not cogent.

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