Date of Award

4-2003

Degree Name

Master of Arts

Department

Philosophy

First Advisor

Dr. Michael Pritchard

Second Advisor

Dr. Joseph Ellin

Third Advisor

Dr. Quentin Smith

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Campus Only

Abstract

The paper presents John Hare's notion that Kant accepted a view of autonomy that includes submission to the divine will of God. This view is contrasted with more traditional secular interpretations which are represented by Allen Wood's communitarian view and J.B. Schneewind's constitutive approach. The discussion argues that Hare's theist claim that his interpretation of the connection between autonomy and religion in Kant is qualitatively better than the so-called secular views of Kant is not supported. Hare's criticisms of Wood and Schneewind do not bear up under critical evaluation. I conclude that rather than supporting a theist approach such as Hare's, the most plausible view of Kant on these issues appears to be a middle ground between Wood and Schneewind. Kant himself may have even suggested such a view toward the end of his career.

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