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  • Print publication year: 2020
  • Online publication date: February 2020

Chapter 6 - Moral Conscience as the Practical Inner Tribunal


This chapter compares the portrayal of the critique as an inner tribunal to the traditional image of moral conscience as an inner tribunal. The main argument is that moral conscience is a model of the way in which a reflexive investigation can be both internal and objective. In support of this argument, Møller considers Kant’s claim made in the 1790s that an erring conscience is an absurdity. She argues that this claim should be understood in light of Kant’s account of moral conscience as a second-order capacity, which is not merely judicial but also legislative and executive. This analysis shows that Kant’s mature account of moral conscience is not a departure from but rather a development of the inner tribunal image. The parallel between the two inner tribunals shows that an internal investigation can reach a valid outcome if this outcome depends on the valid use of impersonal cognitive faculties.

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