The Source of Kant's Mature Moral Theory

Bernard Wanda1

a1 Carleton University

Some thirty years ago Klaus Reich claimed that Kant's abandonment of feeling as the source of our moral appraisals was due to his reading of Plato and the Stoics, and more interestingly that it led him to the fundamental concept of his mature moral theory, the autonomy of the will. Despite the obvious importance of the latter claim, it seems to have gone either unnoticed or unchallenged, at least in the English philosophical literature. This is particularly surprising since, apart from holding any view as to the legitimacy of singling out the source of Kant's mature moral theory, more obvious influences than those of Plato and the Stoics seem to have played such a role : the variant of Lutheran Christianity, Pietism, Rousseau, and the cultural context of the Enlightenment.

(Online publication June 1970)