2004
Volume 111, Issue 4
  • ISSN: 0002-5275
  • E-ISSN: 2352-1244

Abstract

Abstract

The apocalypse entails the idea of a final judgment. Thinking about the apocalypse then invites us to consider the question of mankind’s goodness. With Immanuel Kant, I will argue, that such reflection warrants a deep pessimism. Humankind falters in light of the moral standard. Yet, such pessimism leaves room for a political optimism in which impartiality and reciprocity are key elements. Even if moral goodness is nigh-impossible to achieve, we can and should strive for minimal decency. Also, I will claim that those who have reason to doubt Kant’s rationalist and metaphysical foundations for such a modest political program (because they believe in pluralism), still have reason to endorse a similar political liberalism. We will need confidence in this endeavor to respond to a growing relativism, possibly foreshadowing an Other Apocalypse in which all judgment is judged to be wrong.

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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): Arendt; Berlin; evil; Kant; liberalism
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