A New View on the Kantian Concept of the Good Will

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Professor of Philosophy, Tabriz University

2 PhD Candidate of Philosophy, University of Tabriz


In this article a new concept of Kant’s good will is considered, a concept that is the outcome of reflection on his theory of radical evil. According to Kant, all human beings are evil because of the propensity to evil in them. Although human beings are intelligent creatures, but because of their sensible nature, are limited and these limits make them prefer sensuous incentives over the moral law and lead to evil. This way Kant place the birth of evil in the world. But here the question is whether a person can overcome the propensity to evil placed on the willingness. Can one, despite the propensity to evil, achieve moral perfection? Kant believes that human beings can’t overcome evil alone and to achieve that they need the assistance of God. But in order to receive the divine grace, one must get prepared for it. One must create revolution in oneself. This revolution leads to the formation of good will, but the good will that comes from revolution against radical evil and as reaction against it. The formation of such a will is one of Kant’s reasons for the existence of God, because if God did not exist, man could not be the owner of such a will.


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