Kant on Freewill, Grace and Forgiveness

Leslie Stevenson

About author

Leslie Forster Stevenson
Honorary Reader
School of Philosophical
Anthropological & Film Studies
University of St. Andrews
Edgecliffe, 5 The Scores
St Andrews
KY16 9AL
United Kingdom
E-mail: ls@st-andrews.ac.uk

Lecturer, then Reader in Logic & Metaphysics, University of St. Andrews 1968-2000, now Honorary Reader (retired)

Recent publications:

Twelve Theories of Human Nature (with chapters by David Haberman and Peter Wright), Oxford University Press, New York, 6th edition 2012 (1^st ed. 1975)

The Many Faces of Science (with Henry Byerly), Westview Press, Boulder CO, 2^nd ed. 2000

Inspirations from Kant, Oxford University Press, New York 2011

Open to New Light: An introduction to Quaker spirituality in historical and philosophical context, Imprint Academic, Exeter 2012


How do our secular reflections on freewill relate to the theological tradition of human freedom and divine grace? I will pursue this question with reference to Kant, who represents a half-way house between Christianity and the atheism of other Enlightenment thinkers. But are those the only two alternatives? I suggest that Kant’s wrestling with the notion of divine grace can draw us all towards recognition of the ultimate mystery of human motivation and behaviour, and our need for forgiveness and hope.

Full Text:



  1. St. Augustine, On Free Choice of the Will, trans. T. Williams, Hackett Publishing Company, Indianapolis 1993.
  2. D.M. Baillie, God was in Christ, Faber and Faber, London 1956.
  3. Erasmus-Luther Discourse on Free Will, trans. E.F.Winter, Frederick Ungar Publishing Company, New York 1961.
  4. J. Hare, The Moral Gap: Kantian Ethics, Human Limits, and God’s Assistance, Oxford University Press, Oxford 1996.
  5. T.P. Jackson, Arminian edification: Kierkegaard on grace and freewill, [in:] A. Hannay, Gordon D. Marino (eds.), The Cambridge Companion to Kierkegaard, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 1998, pp. 235–256.
  6. I. Kant, Religion and Rational Theology, trans. A.W. Wood, G. Di Giovanni, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 1996.
  7. I. Kant, Practical Philosophy, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 1996.
  8. G. Michalson, Fallen Freedom: Kant on radical evil and moral regeneration, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 1990.
  9. L. Stevenson, Knowledge, Belief or Faith, and Opinion, “Kantian Review” (7) 2003.
  10. L. Stevenson, Inspirations from Kant, Oxford University Press, New York 2011.
  11. E. Stump, Augustine on free will, [in:] E. Stump, N. Kretzmann (eds.), The Cambridge Companion to Augustine, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 2001, pp. 124–147.
  12. M.J. Suggs et al. (ed.), Oxford Study Bible: Revised English Bible with the Apocrypha, Oxford University Press, Oxford 1992.



Article links:

Default URL: http://www.diametros.iphils.uj.edu.pl/index.php/diametros/article/view/568
English abstract URL: http://www.diametros.iphils.uj.edu.pl/index.php/diametros/article/view/568/en


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