published on January 13, 2017
Kant’s Highest Good
The “Beck-Silber Controversy” in the Spanish-Speaking World
In the 1960s Lewis White Beck criticized Kant’s highest good as a moral concept. In 1963 John Silber responded. Thus, the “Beck-Silber controversy.” This paper explores such controversy in the Spanish literature. It begins identifying four criticisms: the problems of heteronomy, derivation, impossibility, and irrelevance. It then identifies a new problem rescued from the Spanish literature: dualism. After categorizing, following Matthew Caswell, the Spanish defenses into revisionists, secularizers, and maximalists, this paper assesses these defenses. The paper also translates sections of such literature into English and leaves us closer to a complete defense of the highest good by salvaging what it can of the Spanish literature’s unique points.