In this book, Chris W. Surprenant puts forward an original position concerning Kant’s practical philosophy and the intersection between his moral and political philosophy. Although Kant provides a detailed account of the nature of morality, the nature of human virtue, and how right manifests itself in civil society, he does not explain fully how individuals are able to become virtuous. This book aims to resolve this problem by showing how an individual is able to cultivate virtue, the aim of Kant’s practical philosophy. Through an examination of Kant’s accounts of autonomy, the state, and religion, and their effects on the cultivation of virtue, Surprenant develops a Kantian framework for moral education, and ultimately raises the question of whether or not Kantian virtue is possible in practice.
‘In Anglo-American scholarship, Kant’s educational theory is only beginning to receive the attention it deserves. Surprenant’s book goes a long way to satisfying this lack. In particular, his understanding of the role and scope of education derived from Kant’s historical context and political writings offers us a unique and impressive standpoint from which to see Kant’s importance to educational theory. Highly recommended reading.’ —James Scott Johnston, Memorial University of Newfoundland, Canada
1. The Project of Kant’s Practical Philosophy 2. Freedom and Civil Society 3. Autonomy, Coercion, and the Moral Law 4. Moral Education and the Cultivation of Virtue 5. Making Moral Decisions