Plantinga Fellow Lecture
Each year, our Plantinga Fellow delivers a lecture as part of the Notre Dame Philosophy Department's Colloquium series.
The 17th Annual Alvin Plantinga Fellow Lecture was held at Notre Dame on September 28, 2018. Patrick Kain, Associate Professor of Philosophy at Purdue University, presented the lecture entitled "Divinity, Humanity, and the Ground of Morality."
ABSTRACT: Immanuel Kant’s Groundwork for the Metaphysics of Morals (1785) inspires and puzzles many attentive readers. One puzzle is that, in the midst of an analysis of a categorical imperative, Kant repeatedly alludes to the idea of a “divine” or “holy will,” not subject to imperatives. Other puzzles surround Kant's claim that the moral law must have a “ground” and that “humanity" is that ground. In response to some of these puzzles, I will sketch Kant's model of divine rational agency and argue that this model offers important clues about how humanity is supposed to ground the moral law. The upshot is a richer understanding of Kantian moral philosophy, and of how it can be grounded in human dignity and remain open to careful theological reflection.