Evil, virtue, and education in Kant

Paul Formosa*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


For Kant, we cannot understand how to approach moral education without confronting the radical evil of humanity. But if we start out, as Kant thinks we do, from a morally corrupt state, how can we make moral progress? In response, I explore in this paper Kant’s gradualist and revolutionary accounts of moral progress. These differing accounts of progress raise two key questions in the literature: are these accounts compatible and which type of progress comes first? Against other views in the literature, I argue that gradual progress through a change of mores must come first and can gradually lead toward, as its ideal endpoint, a revolution in our disposition (or a change of heart) and the overthrowing of our radical evil. This has important implications for moral pedagogy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1317-1326
Number of pages10
JournalEducational Philosophy and Theory
Issue number13
Early online date19 Jun 2018
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Education
  • Evil
  • Kant
  • Moral Pedagogy
  • Radical Evil
  • Virtue


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