Volume 17, Issue 4, October 2000
Kant's Philosophy of Religion
John E. Hare
Kant on Recognizing Our Duties As God’s Commands
Kant both says that we should recognize our duties as God’s commands, and objects to the theological version of heteronomy, ‘which derives morality from a divine and supremely perfect will’. In this paper I discuss how these two views fit together, and in the process I develop a notion of autonomous submission to divine moral authority. I oppose the ‘constitutive’ view of autonomy proposed by J. B. Schneewind and Christine Korsgaard. I locate Kant’s objection to theological heteronomy against the background of Crusius’s divine command theory, and I compare Kant’s views about divine authority and human political authority.