FROM EPISTEMOLOGY TO ETHICS: Theoretical and Practical Reason in Kant and Douglass
Author: Golden, Timothy J.
Source: Journal of Religious Ethics, Volume 40, Number 4, 1 December 2012 , pp. 603-628(26)
Abstract:<title type="main">ABSTRACT</title> The aim of this essay is to provide a philosophical discussion of Frederick Douglass's thought in relation to Christianity. I expand upon the work of Bill E. Lawson and Frank M. Kirkland-who both argue that there are Kantian features present in Douglass as it relates to his conception of the individual-by arguing that there are similarities between Douglass and Kant not only concerning the relationship between morality and Christianity, but also concerning the nature of the soul. Specifically, I try to show that the moral weakness of slaveholding Christianity that Douglass attacked is found in the ecclesial formation of the slaveholding Christian church; it is a formation that begins with epistemology, but ignores ethics. I conclude, in part, that both Douglass and Kant reject a Cartesian psychological dualism in favor of a conception of the soul that is more attentive to one's moral development.
Document Type: Research article
Publication date: 2012-12-01