The D’Arcy Lectures 2014

"Good will is not enough: is there a gap in Kant’s ethics?"

By Professor George Sans SJ, Gregorian University, Rome, 2nd and 4th June 2014

The Martin D’Arcy Memorial Lectures are an annual series established by Campion Hall in 1976 to be delivered, usually by a fellow Jesuit, in honour of the celebrated Master of the Hall from 1933-45.

This year's D'Arcy Lecturer was Father Georg Sans, a German Jesuit and Professor of the History of Modern Philosophy at the Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome. He gained his doctorate at Humboldt University, Berlin, and has taught also in Munich and as guest professor in Georgetown University, Washington, D.C. His main interests in teaching and writing are classical German philosophy, metaphysical and epistemological problems and theories of truth.

Professor Sans explored the implications of Kant's claim that in ethical terms only the human will is unreservedly good. He considered to what extent Kant must have understood 'willing' as including the successful fulfilment of the will's resolutions. Moreover, since actions can be known to fail, good will has to be complemented by natural belief in the moral order of the world.

Professor Sans will combine his lectures in a presentation he plans to deliver at a conference on Kant to be held in Vienna next year.