Thus far, our research project has been progressing fairly close to the projection rate. I have completed reading both prefaces and Part I & II of Immanuel Kant’s Religion Within the Boundaries of Mere Reason, and I am currently working on reading Part III. The prefaces primarily establish that although religion is not necessary for morality, religion is a method of reconciling ethical behavior with a rewarding consequence (happiness in proportion to our deservedness). Part I concerns the demonstration of the natural radical evil within the human being, with a fair amount of attention given to resolving the discord between Kant’s conception of morality only being legitimate through free choice and the human being’s natural propensity to evil. In Part II, Kant analyzes the personification of the good principle, its objective reality, and the extent to which a human being could follow such an ideal as an example, if at all. Additionally, I have read the corresponding sections of Dr. Miller’s reading guide for the text, and provided appropriate feedback.
In anticipation of next semester’s objectives, I will soon begin reviewing this text for evidence in order to further develop our hypothesis. Specifically, I will be searching for examples that may potentially substantiate the claim that Kant’s Religion is an esoteric text that utilizes subtle textual strategies in order to conceal his intended message from religious censors in eighteenth-century Prussia. In addition, we will begin analyzing Kant’s unique interpretation of the Parable of the Unjust Steward. Our intention is to determine whether or not there is any precedent for said interpretation in the Christian exegetical tradition.
In conclusion, I have learned quite a lot concerning Kant’s philosophical arguments made in Religion Within the Boundaries of Mere Reason this semester, and I look forward to our continued work.