Evil and the Possibility of the Conversion into Good According to Kant, radical evil is the deep inherent blemish of our species that does not spare even the best of people. Despite judging the extirpation of such evil as an impossibility, Kant holds out the possibility of converting evil into good by means of human forces. But how can this be given the radical evil of human nature? I articulate various problems that arise from Kantâ€™s conception of conversion while exploring certain resources in his thinking in order to clarify and resolve this difficulty. The difficulty nears an aporia when Kant asks: how can a bad tree bear good fruit? Two arguments will be presented as answers. The first maintains that free will is not definitely committed to any maxim generally accepted. The second points out the possibility of compromise between free will and a good ground maxim as the way to build up a coherent system of maxims. This would be clearly impossible if a bad ground maxim were chosen. While undecisive, the second argument is relevant because it leads to the overcoming of a certain incoherence in Kant's thought. In this way, I argue that the thesis of an existing intrinsic deficiency of the radical evil enjoys the status of a "quasi foundation" of human behavior. According to Kant, radical evil is the deep inherent blemish of our species that will not spare even the best of men. In spite of judging it impossible the extirpation of such evil, the German master deems it possible the conversion into good by means of human forces themselves. The purpose of our present work is to raise the following question: How can this conversion be possible, given the radical evil of human nature? To our mind, this problem brings a difficu... ...tte University Press, 1995, vol. II, part 2. Kant, I. Werkausgabe, herausgegeben von Wilhelm Weischedel, vierte Auflage, Frankfurt am Main, Suhrkamp Taschenbuch Verlag, 1982, BÃ¤nder VII, VIII _____. "FundamentaÃ§Ã£o da MetafÃsica dos Costumes", Os Pensadores, trad. Paulo Quintela, S. Paulo, Abril Cultural, 1980 _____. CrÃtica da RazÃ£o PrÃ¡tica, trad. Artur MorÃ£o, Lisboa, EdiÃ§Ãµes 70, 1994 _____. MÃ©taphysique des Moeurs, trad. A Philonenko, Paris, J. Vrin, 1995 _____. La Religion dans les Limites de la Simple Raison, trad. J.Gibelin, Paris, Vrin, 1983 Murgueza, J.; Aramayo, R. orgs. Kant despuÃ©s de Kant: en el Bicentenario de la Critica de la Razon PrÃ¡ctica; Madrid, Tecnos, 1989 Quillien, J. & Kirscher, G. Cahiers Ã‰ric Weil III: InterprÃ©tations de Kant, Lille, Presses Universitaires de Lille, 1992 Weil, E. ProblÃ¨mes kantiens, Paris, J. Vrin, 1982.
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