Here are the key terms in this (long) treatment of Palmquist:
- Gesinnung: “‘conviction’ refers to ‘the first subjective basis for the adoption of maxims’; that is, it is the deepest layer of a moral agent’s decision-making process, determining what kind of maxims we will adopt when making free choices.” (43A)
- Propensity: “if I have a propensity to S, then I have an inborn tendency to desire S, even before I have ever experienced it. At t0 (i.e., a point in time before I first experience S) I need not even be aware that at t1 (i.e., the moment I try S for the first time) I will like S, in order for the propensity to be fully operative at t1″ (52A)
- Propensity to evil: “the primary use of “propensity” in Section II is transcendental, referring … to “the subjective basis for the possibility of” human evil. As such, it refers to the original functioning of our free volition–the Willkür, as Kant calls it–that makes it possible for a person to disobey the moral law.” (53A)
- Heart: “First, the propensity lies at the foundation of human volition, where it determines whether our volition has the ‘capacity’ or heart to be good. Second, a good propensity would cause a person’s heart to be good, thus naturally inclining our volition to obey the moral law by making such obedience possible (though not inevitable), while an evil propensity would cause a person’s heart to be evil, thereby incapacitating our ability to obey the moral law and naturally inclining us to disobey it (though good deeds are still possible, since the good predisposition still retains an influence). Kant has already stated his intention to prove that our propensity’s nature as inborn causes all human beings to prefer choosing evil, though he has hinted that there may be some exceptions (R 25). He will go on to argue in the Second and Third Pieces that genuine religion empowers us to oppose this evil propensity, enabling us to choose good once again. This new term, “heart”, therefore gives Kant a way of referring not to the original status of our propensity, as evil (a claim he is about to prove), but to the status of one’s propensity at any subsequent point in life (as either good or evil).” (53B)
Palmquist cites a work that I’ll want to check out:
- Baxley, Anne M., “Autocracy and Autonomy”, Kant-Studien 94.1 (2003): 1-23.
iB: 1781/1787, not 1787/1787
ivB: “normally less than” should be “normally fewer than”
viB-viiA: perhaps not just referring to the example, but actually giving the example, would make this clearer.
4A: “the purpose of both [the Critique of the Power of Judgment and Religion within the Boundaries of Bare Reason] is to show how reason leads us to synthesize the conflicting realms of theory (the first standpoint) and practice (the second).” And “If we read Religion as part of … Kant’s effort to show how real human beings in their daily struggle to live a meaningful life can overcome (or bridge) the gap between nature and freedom, then suddenly many of the apparently new and surprising themes he discusses (such as the problem created by the universality of human evil, and our apparent need for divine assistance to empower us to overcome that problem) suddenly seem not only fitting but plausible.”
4A-B: “when a rational moral system comes face to face with the temptations to evil that arise as a result of our participation in the phenomenal world, we are constrained to go beyond both knowledge (including assumed theological knowledge) and morality, to religion, as an experienced reality.”
4B: According to Palmquist, the “main thesis” of Religion is “that religion is an antidote to our virtually inevitable moral failure.”
7B,fn20: Palmquist reads Willkür not as a capacity in itself, but as the implementation of a capacity, namely the Wille: “Willkür is the implementation of a power (just as a wish is); only the Wille is an abstract (metaphysical) power as such.”
9B: the number “33” referring to footnote 33 appears twice instead of once. This may be intentional, though.
10A: Palmquist helpfully explains something that always confused me. Kant writes that “although morality does not on its own behalf need a presentation of a purpose which would have to precede the determination of the will, yet it may well have a necessary reference to such a purpose, namely not as a reference to the basis, but as a reference to the necessary consequences, of the maxims that are taken in accordance with them.” I’ve always wondered why, if, from the perspective of morality, you should not pay attention to the consequences of your action, that you should nonetheless pay attention to the consequences of morality. Palmquist writes the following:
Our making of moral choices inevitably has some result, some “effect”; even though we would be wrong to make that result the basis (or motivation) for our decision-making, it must matter in some way, because morality is not compatible with just any outcome of our morally good actions. Their results must be consistent with morality’s ultimate purpose … Although caring about the result of our actions is an improper way to identify what we should do, it is nevertheless a key factor enabling a rational being to decide whether acting morally makes sense in the long run. The question that defines this new way of looking at the morality-religion relation is: What ultimate purpose must morality have, in order for good conduct to be a worthwhile human pursuit? (10A-B)
11B: Palmquist supports his interpretation of Religion as being written from the judicial, rather than the practical, perspective: “although the philosophical basis for morality does not arise out of religion, morality does give rise to a philosophical basis for religion, in such a way that religion completes what morality alone leaves undetermined. Indeed, this relationship serves a synthetic role in his philosophical system: like the various themes discussed in the third Critique, religion forms a bridge between freedom and nature.”
12A: footnote 57 should read “…then we would all choose the same arrangement that actually pertains in this world…”
This thought experiment … reveals that the necessity Kant ascribes to religion in this passage is practical … not theoretical … Those who respect the moral law are bound to recognize that a world wherein virtue is rewarded with happiness is the best possible world. Thus, if God were to give up the right to select what world is created and pass that right to us, any given moral agent would inevitably also want such a world to be created … even though this means they themselves might be less happy than they now are, due to their own moral shortcomings. … [Kant’s] illustration here sets the stage for one of his key assumptions: that religion fulfills a practical “need” for morality by enabling us to view our attempts to fulfill our duties as a partnership (bold-facing mine.)
13A: here’s a bit that goes against DiCenso’s reading: “although the power of religion is mediated to us in the form of an idea, this idea must be of a “moral legislator, outside of mankind”. Kant is not talking, therefore, about a mere idea, that we fool ourselves into postulating, for the sake of morality. Rather, he is referring to our mental conviction (or belief) that a real God must exist, to empower the believe to do good.”
13B: “The question Kant poses here [But how is such a proposition [i.e., “There is a God, hence there is a highest good in the world”] possible a priori?] is very similar to the one that served as a central focus of his three Critiques: How synthetica a priori propositions are possible. This shows that Religion is properly identified as one of Kant’s systematic writings and suggests that his basic argument (that religion is an expansion of morality) can be regarded as transcendental. Kant’s main point is that CPrR‘s moral argument for God’s existence … requires us to postulate not only a possible God, but an actual God. The former on its own would be “bare” … but as we shall see, this is not good enough for Kant. A religion that adopted only the analytic idea that “God’s existence is possible” would be too weak to have any real impact on us as human beings (beings with inclinations that compete with our rational duty).”
15A: possible mistake: Palmquist quotes Kant as writing, “(perhaps also of all other world beings’)” instead of “(perhaps also of all other worldly beings’)”.
15B: “No matter how rational we may be, all human beings do, in fact, care about the consequences of our actions. This, in a nutshell, is why nobody succeeds in obeying the moral law all the time.”
15B: “Even though the moral law on its own has no analytic relation to this [purpose, i.e., “Make the highest good that is possible in the world your final purpose!”] or any other final purpose, Kant here argues that, because we human beings seek something to love, the law “expands”, allowing itself to be determined in part by a final purpose that has a synthetic a priori (i.e., transcendental) status. When this empirical fact of human nature confronts the moral law, our bare (rational) respect is transformed into the meta-moral need to do whatever we can to identify a purpose for morality (i.e., the highest good), and to make that purpose a reality in the human world.”
16A-B: “This explains why morality inevitably manifests itself in religious forms: because humans are not only rational but also sensuous beings, we need to love and be loved; our own experience of “the effects of morality”, however, tells us that “human capacity is not sufficient to bring about” the conditions for the highest good. Moral action itself therefore makes practical sense to us only if we assume the existence of an ultimate, caring being whose loving partnership guarantees that people’s happiness will eventually harmonize “with the worthiness to be happy”. … Kant’s conclusion is not that God must exist, but that the ultimate purpose of assuming that God exists is to enable human morality to bear religious fruit.”
26A-B: “while [Kant] affirms that his two experiments may prove rational religion to be “independent and sufficient for religion proper”, he resoundingly denies that his book’s project could suffice for “the theoretical standpoint”–a point I take to include the very important pragmatic consideration of how people learn to be moral (cf. R 3). For this, as we shall see, the outer circle (historical religion) is essential. Kant’s project, therefore, cannot possibly result in rational religion supplanting all historical religion, though as we shall see, it might prove that historical religion is essential to rational religion in some respect–namely, by filling in aspects of the theoretical standpoint that are beyond the scope of rational religion. Kant’s point here (with one eye on the censor) is that his project leaves this outer (historical) portion of the “sphere of faith”, as such, untouched.”
26B-27A: “Kant here predicts two possible outcomes for his twofold … experiment. Complete success will be obtained if he can show that the rational and historical systems of religion “coincide with” each other, so that following one entails automatically following the other. If this turns out not to be the case, then the external portion of the wider circle (i.e., historical religion) will at best be seen as a potential “means” to lead people to true religion, even though the two are not united in any ultimate sense.”
27A: footnote 147 appears twice in the text.
28A: “What is noteworthy about Kant’s praise of Storr’s book is that Storr was a leading proponent of the “supernaturalist” position that Kant includes in the taxonomy of approaches presented near the beginning of the Fourth Piece. The fact that Kant was openly pleased to find a supernaturalist writing an entire book … consisting of a mostly sympathetic response to his overall philosophy of religion suggests that he would be equally pleased with what is sometimes called the “affirmative” turn in recent Kant scholarship.”
29B: “when Kant calls such religion poetic he does not mean it is meaningless or promotes untruth, any more than poetry itself or history does; rather, he means that any truth found therein has a symbolic, hypothetical status, inasmuch as we human beings are the source of any meaning that resides therein”.
32A: “If a person is aware of performing one or more acts that he or she regards as evil, and if such a judgment is correct, then we can infer that the person must have adopted a maxim, as a rational basis for choosing, that made the action evil.”
32B: “Attempts to determine whether human beings are naturally good or evil are not about nature as opposed to freedom, but about nature as an expression of freedom, or (what amounts to the same thing) freedom as an expression of our nature.” The first, underlined part of this quotation means that, when Kant says that the human being is good or evil by nature, he is not saying that we adopt an evil, noumenal maxim that manifests itself phenomenally.
32B-33A: “The special “Actus” that empowers human persons with the ability to make moral judgments is a free nature that is “the subjective basis” that “precedes any deed that strikes the senses” (i.e., every observable act of human volition). Whether human nature is good or evil, therefore, it must be grounded in the noumenal (i.e., in freedom), otherwise we could not be held responsible when our choices produce real results in the phenomenal world, as they so often do.” (bold-facing mine) So here is one place where Palmquist discusses what the subjective basis of volition is.
35B, n45: “In MM 409 Kant clarifies that his rigorist position does not imply that all maxims have such a moral status [i.e., are either good or are evil?].”
36B, n52: First, at one point “wsy” is written instead of “why”. Second, I don’t think Kant actually defends a privation theory in the Lectures on Religion. Third, I believe Palmquist is correct about Kant’s position in “Negative Magnitudes”. Fourth, I think the reference Palmquist seeks for LPT is 28:1077-79.
36B, n53: there should be a comma after “by contrast”.
38B: footnote 68 appears twice in the quotation from Kant.
41B: it should read “Aspiring to completeness”.
43A: Here is Palmquist’s definition of Gesinnung (which he translates as “conviction”):
Officially, then, “conviction” refers to “the first subjective basis for the adoption of maxims”; that is, it is the deepest layer of a moral agent’s decision-making process, determining what kind of maxims we will adopt when making free choices. The paradox Kant here acknowledges by way of clarification is that, even though the state of a person’s conviction (i.e., whether it is “by nature” a good or evil “characteristic”) can be considered “innate”, in the sense that it has “always been” present (noumenally), it nevertheless must have somehow been “adopted” (phenomenally), otherwise the person would not be responsible for his or her moral choices. Since it was there from the beginning, the person must have “procured” it in some non-temporal manner.
The first sentence … state that we cannot cognize what causes us to adopt our innate moral conviction, but that we must nevertheless explain why it is unknowable, because this (Critical) inquiry alone will prevent us from assuming a never-ending series of maxims grounded in ever deeper causes. Unlike the will (Wille), volition (Willkür) entails temporal acts. Because we are unable to find “any first act” of the latter (any temporal free choice) that causes us to have the innate moral conviction we find in ourselves, we say that our conviction belongs to human volition “by nature”. What this really means, however, is that its ultimate “basis” must lie “in freedom”, the non-temporal “fact” of human nature that Kant calls Wille.
In other words, unless we try to find a rational explanation for why we can’t know our Gesinnung, we will have to assume that it has an explanation, say, in another maxim, and that second maxim will need another explanation, etc. So, we have to find a rational (transcendental?) explanation for why we can’t know the Gesinnung, in order to prevent an infinitely long search for its explanation.
45B: Palmquist writes something quite interesting about footnote 6:26:
From the human perspective … it seems quite possible that a being might be rational (able to formulate universal rules of thought to determine one’s choices) without being moral (making such choices on the basis of an internally given incentive that presents itself as determining our choices “unconditionally” and “absolutely”). This is why Kant refers to freedom and the self-legislation of the moral law as the one fact of practical reason (see e.g., CPrR 31). We know moral self-legislation is possible because we experience it, not because it is analytically implied by the very possibility of thinking rationally.
46B: Palmquist explains why the predisposition to animality is part of the predisposition to good: “we instinctively behave in self-loving ways, and this predisposition is good for mankind. Why? Because … the behavior caused by it, such as the incest taboo … enhances the likelihood of our survival.”
47B: Here’s why the predisposition to humanity is part of the predisposition to good: “Everyone who sees another person who appears to be happy naturally wishes to be at least as happy as this other person. Ideally, this should incline us to behave in a manner that will cause others to regard us as persons worthy of happiness. Provided it goes only this far, the competition that naturally arises between humans is evidence that our original predisposition is good.” 48A-B also pursue this point: “The competitive instinct that arises out of our predisposition’s second aspect has the essentially good purpose of motivating groups of humans banding together to develop distinct cultures. Cultures appear wherever rational beings (those capable of comparing) agree to temper the desire each individual has for superiority with a “reciprocal love” that enables them to work together for a common good.”
48B-49A: Palmquist makes the interesting point that not everyone is fully a person. Everyone has a predisposition to personhood, but just because you have the predisposition to being a person, it doesn’t follow that you’re actually a full person. To be a full person, you have to have a fully good character.
50B-51A: One last bit on the predisposition to good:
Our original predisposition to good is not a “contingent” possibility; it is not one that we could do without and still be human persons; rather, it is necessary for the very possibility of our nature that we desire to remain alive, to compare ourselves with others, and to respect the moral law. This predisposition therefore functions as the first aspect of what Kant (in the three Critiques) would have called the transcendental boundary defining his topic.
52A: Palmquist lets us know what a propensity is: “if I have a propensity to S, then I have an inborn tendency to desire S, even before I have ever experienced it. At t0 (i.e., a point in time before I first experience S) I need not even be aware that at t1 (i.e., the moment I try S for the first time) I will like S, in order for the propensity to be fully operative at t1. By contrast, only after t1 can one say I have the inclination to experience S.”
52B: Palmquist has a nice discussion of the relations among “propensity”, “instinct”, “inclination”, and “passion”:
given an object I desire, S, the propensity operates even before I become aware of my desire for S, as I have not yet experienced S; instinct operates if I feel the desire but cannot state that S will fulfill it; once I have experienced S, inclination operates if I consciously identify S as the object of my desire, but am sometimes able to resist; passion operates if my desire so profoundly overcomes my conscious awareness that I lose control of my free choice, in uninhibited service to S.
53A: “Bearing in mind this psychological account of the propensity as the earliest, pre-conscious stage in the complex development of human desire…”.
53A: “The psychological levels of desire … are empirical; whereas a propensity as it functions in that account can be regarded as innate, the primary use of “propensity” in Section II is transcendental, referring … to “the subjective basis for the possibility of” human evil. As such, it refers to the original functioning of our free volition–the Willkür, as Kant calls it–that makes it possible for a person to disobey the moral law.”
53B: Palmquist gives a definition of “heart”, something that is sorely lacking in the secondary literature:
This definition of “heart” raises two important points. First, the propensity lies at the foundation of human volition, where it determines whether our volition has the “capacity” or heart to be good. Second, a good propensity would cause a person’s heart to be good, thus naturally inclining our volition to obey the moral law by making such obedience possible (though not inevitable), while an evil propensity would cause a person’s heart to be evil, thereby incapacitating our ability to obey the moral law and naturally inclining us to disobey it (though good deeds are still possible, since the good predisposition still retains an influence). Kant has already stated his intention to prove that our propensity’s nature as inborn causes all human beings to prefer choosing evil, though he has hinted that there may be some exceptions (R 25). He will go on to argue in the Second and Third Pieces that genuine religion empowers us to oppose this evil propensity, enabling us to choose good once again. This new term, “heart”, therefore gives Kant a way of referring not to the original status of our propensity, as evil (a claim he is about to prove), but to the status of one’s propensity at any subsequent point in life (as either good or evil).
It seems that Palmquist is saying that genuine religion enables us to turn our propensity to evil into a propensity to good? Is that what it is to have a good heart — to have turned your propensity to evil into one to good?
54A: Here’s a good note about the three degrees:
Although Kant never explicitly mentions the parallelism, frailty refers primarily to the corruption of our animal nature (i.e., to the human heart being weakened by influences from our physical need for self-love), impurity to the corruption of our human nature (i.e., to rational beings’ tendency to mix motives as a direct result of the comparisons we inevitably make), and wickedness to the corruption of our personal nature (i.e., to a state wherein our heart is intentionally directed toward making evil choices).
55A: “the third degree describes someone who is unambiguously an evil person.”
55B: “With wickedness .. we abandon good maxims altogether in favor of evil maxims. An evil maxim “reverses the order of morals in regard to the incentives of a free volition” by consciously placing the moral law after self-interest. A wicked person may still pay lip service to the moral law … but such pretended conformity has no moral worth, because the wicked person would have readily broken the moral law, had self-interest so required it.”
56A: Palmquist starts to discuss Kant’s proof of the universality of the evil propensity: “He aims to demonstrate not that we can find an evil propensity in some (of even most) persons, but that all people must have it, as a feature “erected upon” our common human nature.”
Apparently Svare 2006 is someone who claims that Kant does not change his mind about the inclinations between the Religion and the Groundwork.
58A-B: “The propensity Kant is analyzing here in Section II precedes all acts, not as a so-called “timeless choice” that mysteriously happens “before” an agent starts performing any moral acts in the material world, but as a transcendental condition accompanying each and every act when it happens. … once we recognize that Kant is not proposing two acts (one happening here and now, the other happening in some mysterious realm … ), but two perspectives on all moral conduct, the theory is not only coherent but plausible, and at least has a chance of being rendered compelling. From one perspective, each act arises out of an individual choice we make at a specific point in time during our lives, while from the other perspective, all our acts as a whole arise out of a supreme “choice” that is made not so much consciously, as in deepest [sic] recesses of our heart.”
60A-B: “According to Kant, to call someone “evil” means they sometimes make choices based on maxims that are not consistent with the moral law, and to say this evil is part of one’s “nature” means it belongs equally to the whole human race. This evil nature, however, cannot be part of the concept “human nature”, for in that sense (i.e., according to the human predisposition) … we are good. … The evil propensity’s necessity cannot be analytic … , but must be transcendental (i.e., “subjectively necessary in every human being”). … Moreover, he identifies his standpoint as judicial, not practical … : his concern is to assess how the moral status of real, existing human beings can be judged“.
66A-B, n88: Palmquist claims that we don’t have to think of Kant as changing his mind about the inclinations between the second Critique and the Religion, because Kant writes the second Critique from the practical standpoint (i.e., he’s telling us how we should behave; from this standpoint, removal of the inclinations would make things much easier) whereas Kant writes the Religion from the judicial standpoint (i.e., he’s trying to figure out the circumstances under which to praise and blame people; from this standpoint, the inclinations are not to blame — we are to blame, for misusing our inclinations).
68B: “predisposition” is misspelled.
69A: footnote 98 appears twice in the main body.
69B: “This is Kant’s official (a priori) definition of what makes a choice evil: a person is evil who requires the law of self-love to be satisfied before giving due consideration to the moral law. Kant here claims that every person qualifies as evil in the sense that “even the best” human being “reverses the ethical order of the incentives in taking them up into his maxims.” We all tend to think we should satisfy the demands of self-love first, without realizing that, ironically, the “supreme condition” of fulfilling our natural inclinations (i.e., the only way we can genuinely express self-love in our moral choices) is to obey the moral law as our primary concern.”
70B: Palmquist says what Kant’s proof is trying to show: “Having still not actually presented his promised a priori proof that human nature necessarily has this evil propensity …”.
71A: “the propensity in human nature will have been proved (a priori) to be imputably evil, if we can show that human beings naturally tend to reverse the proper order of incentives when choosing a moral maxim to guide their actions.”
72B: “Saying human nature has an in-built propensity to evil does not imply that all human beings are naturally vicious. Rather, it means everyone naturally adopts “the way of thinking”, or perspective, that treats “compliance with the letter of the law” as being all that is required in order to be virtuous.”
73A: OK, now we’re getting to Palmquist’s proof that the propensity to evil is necessarily part of everyone’s volition (i.e., Willkür): “our guilt initially arises together with our first use of freedom. Although he does not explicitly say so, the only way Kant’s position could be maintained would be if having an evil propensity is a necessary requirement for the possibility of making a free choice. … [Kant] is arguing that the evil propensity is a necessary condition for free choice, inasmuch as free choice arises only in it and through it.”
74A, n134: Palmquist writes “throught” instead of “through”.
75B: “Kant has presented this “radical evil” as holding true at the (transcendental) level of the basic convictions that inform our human nature, even though it need not be true as a description of the empirical character of each and every human person.”
75B, n140: “the “intelligible deed” is not the supreme maxim itself, but the choice of the maxim as supreme (see e.g., R 31)–a choice that lies at the root of the will.”
76A: OK, now we’re getting to the proof that the propensity to evil is universally a necessary part of human volition: “Near the end of Section II is where Kant first introduces the notion of an “intelligible deed”, whereby we (transcendentally) choose our evil propensity (see §II.2, above). If that is the “proof” Kant is referring to here, then his point is simply that the best (philosophical or moral) interpretation of the biblical idea of universal sinfulness is to regard it not as a comment on human experience–atrocious as that often is–but as referring to a transcendental necessity that characterizes our nature. This point was established in Section II. Kant’s comment in Section III, that an a priori proof of evil was still needed, could mean that the overall proof was still in the process of being constructed, so it was not yet complete. While the alternative interpretation (see note II.136) remains possible, the hermeneutic principle of charity bids us to accept the view that preserves greatest integrity for the text: Kant was not merely evading the issue of greatest responsibility for a transcendental philosopher, but was referring to two different proofs–or perhaps, to two aspects of the same complex argument.”
76B-77A: OK, now we’re getting close to Palmquist’s proof:
What, then, is the transcendental proof of the evil propensity that Kant said is required in order to understand what bare reason teaches about the status of human nature being either good or evil? Although Kant obviously did an abysmal job of conveying the structure of the proof he claims to have offered, I believe a simple transcendental proof can be detected by observing the architectonic relationship between the first three sections of the First Piece. All transcendental arguments … follow a basic three-step structure:
- P must be true if we are to have experiences of type M.
- Human beings do have experiences of type M.
- Therefore, P is transcendentally (necessarily) true.
Kant states in the foregoing footnote that his “actual proof” comes in Section II because that section presents the crucial first step in his argument. Section III then presents step 2, first by arguing that human experience is replete with examples of horrendous evil. As we have seen here in §II.4, the second half of Section III explains how even people who appear to be good may be covering up an evil heart, if we understand the concept of evil in a philosophically appropriate manner. If we take this structural parallelism between Sections II-III and the first two steps of a Kantian transcendental argument, together with the previously-mentioned hint that the evil propensity’s transcendental status means that it necessarily appears along with a moral agent’s first free choice … , then we should expect Section IV to draw the conclusion that P (i.e., the propensity to evil) does hold as a transcendental condition for the possibility of type-M (moral) experience.
78A, n4: I don’t know if this is a mistake, but Palmquist writes “conceiv*”.
79B: “Kant’s mode of argument throughout Sections I-IV is not to locate a potential cause and then to prove it has indeed produced real effects in the world. … Rather, he here describes his methodology: starting from the given fact that evil exists … , the philosopher’s task is to discover what conditions must hold true for a person’s volition in order for any such evil to happen.”
80B: “Kant’s argument is that each and every moral choice can be viewed from two perspectives: transcendentally, the choice just is a timeless deed that makes us responsible for the outcome of whatever we end up doing to implement the choice; empirically, the choice takes place in time and space and may be influenced by all manner of exigencies, many of which could be beyond our control and therefore relevant to the question of how accountable we should be. There are not two choices, nor are there two acts, but one choice and one act, both capable of being interpreted from two perspectives.”
81A-B: “Kant’s use of an “if” clause even at this concluding point in his argument clearly indicates that his goal has not been to prove that human nature definitely is corrupted by an evil propensity, but only that, if one wishes to impute evil and its corresponding moral responsibility to any human persons, then we must infer that any given evil deed originates from a corruption of our rational nature–i.e., a non-temporal “choice” that grounds and is implied by each temporal action a person chooses. In other words, if just one of us is guilty of an evil action, then the evil propensity is imputed to us all.” Well, that wouldn’t exactly follow; it would be more like, “if performing an evil action shows that you have an evil propensity, then it shows that anyone who performs an evil action also has an evil propensity.”
82A, n25: I don’t understand this footnote; they translate “Stand” and “Zustand” as “stand”??
82B, as well as many other places: Palmquist keeps on saying that Kant is commonly interpreted as thinking that the choice of the propensity to evil is made in a noumenal world, separate from the phenomenal world, and that this choice occurs “before” we are born. But other than Michalson, who interprets Kant in this way?
89B: there’s an erroneous footnote 55 in the body of the text.
91A: Palmquist defines heart as a person’s “inner moral conviction”.
103A-B: “Whereas our conduct is constantly subject to change–it may be good one moment and bad the next–our conviction (or heart) is the firm and (at least in comparison to conduct) “unchangeable” basis for our conduct. It is so deeply buried in our character that we have no natural (i.e., rational) way of being certain that a genuine transformation has actually taken place.” I think Palmquist is equating “heart”, “disposition”, and “manner of thinking.”
105B, n3: This footnote is incomplete.
107A: “Kant thinks our first awareness of making a moral choice already assumes the presence of evil, an evil propensity we have freely chosen to obey; that is, every person’s first conscious moral choice is evil. In the earliest stage of personal development a child … might make good choices merely because he or she is not aware of any inward potential for transgressing the moral law; yet such “good” acts are of no moral worth, for they are grounded in mere assent to an unopposed (and therefore unconscious) demand. By contrast, once a person has committed an evil act and has thereby awakened consciousness of a moral struggle, an opportunity for genuine virtue (i.e., doing good in the face of an evil alternative) becomes possible.”
114B: “Ordinary human beings suffer because of our dual nature: we feel a deep respect for the moral law, yet we experience a real (and genuine) need to satisfy our inclinations in order to be happy … As a result, we are inevitably inclined to choose to sacrifice the former for the sake of the latter. This just is the evil propensity in a nutshell.”
124B, n1: This helps me to understand some Christian theology as Kant understands it: “Traditionally, “sanctification” refers to the process whereby, following a religious conversion, the believer is gradually transformed into a holy person; “eternal security” refers to a believer’s certainty that, having experienced a conversion, one’s eternal destiny with God is assured (i.e., one can never become “unsaved”); and “justification” refers to God’s decision not to blame the converted person for his or her pre-conversion evil.”
134A: there needs to be a period or colon after “theology”.
149B, n7: should be “Michalson reads”.
151B: I think it should be “principle”, not “principal”.
156A: shouldn’t it be “[rule] over minds”?
158A: “Jesus provides”, not “Jesus provide”.
173B, n61: there should be a closing parentheses after “CJP“. Also, “CJP” should be “CPJ“!
174B, n65: should be “influenced”, not “influence”.
186A, n124: “subculture” not “subcultural”.
188A: there should be a period after “advantage”.
204B: “to believe”, not “to do believe”.
212B: has footnote 103 instead of 143?
235A: you have footnote 66 mentioned in the body of the text when it should be footnote 70.
243A, n14: there’s a missing period after “Stapfer’s position”.
245B, n26: should be “than the text justifies”, not “that the text justifies”.
250A: there’s a missing end parentheses after “fulfilled” and “judgment”.