Kant on Freewill, Grace and Forgiveness

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Leslie Stevenson


How do our secular reflections on freewill relate to the theological tradition of human freedom and divine grace? I will pursue this question with reference to Kant, who represents a half-way house between Christianity and the atheism of other Enlightenment thinkers. But are those the only two alternatives? I suggest that Kant’s wrestling with the notion of divine grace can draw us all towards recognition of the ultimate mystery of human motivation and behaviour, and our need for forgiveness and hope.


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Stevenson, Leslie. 2014. “Kant on Freewill, Grace and Forgiveness”. Diametros, no. 39 (March):125-39. https://doi.org/10.13153/diam.39.2014.568.
Special topic – Kant’s Moral Philosophy and Contemporary Practical Ethics
Author Biography

Leslie Stevenson, University of St. Andrews

Leslie Forster StevensonHonorary ReaderSchool of PhilosophicalAnthropological & Film StudiesUniversity of St. AndrewsEdgecliffe, 5 The ScoresSt AndrewsKY16 9ALUnited KingdomE-mail: ls@st-andrews.ac.ukLecturer, then Reader in Logic & Metaphysics, University of St. Andrews 1968-2000, now Honorary Reader (retired)Recent publications: Twelve Theories of Human Nature (with chapters by David Haberman and Peter Wright), Oxford University Press, New York, 6th edition 2012 (1^st ed. 1975)The Many Faces of Science (with Henry Byerly), Westview Press, Boulder CO, 2^nd ed. 2000Inspirations from Kant, Oxford University Press, New York 2011Open to New Light: An introduction to Quaker spirituality in historical and philosophical context, Imprint Academic, Exeter 2012
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