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Forum Philosophicum

Volume 18, Issue 1, Spring 2013

Edgar Valdez
Pages 19-35

Kant, Augustine, and Room for Faith

In this paper I argue for a notion of conversion in Kant’s critical philosophy by drawing a connection between the conversions to be found in Kant and the intellectual, moral, and religious conversions of Augustine. I liken Augustine’s Platonic metaphysics of God to Kant’s antinomy of Pure Reason as an intellectual conversion. I link Augustine’s moral conversion with Kant’s metamaxim to commit to a use of reason that is free from the influence of inclination. I connect Augustine’s religious conversion with Kant’s recognition of God as the postulated condition for the highest good. There are advantages to understanding the conversions in Kant for understanding how his critical philosophy views faith more generally. The conversions in Kant point to the practical necessity of faith as Kant understands it. Such an interpretation also unifies Kant’s contribution to the conversation on the relationship between faith and reason. For Kant faith, much like knowledge, is a form of holding true and as such is reasonable.