Kant and Theodicy is essential reading for specialists on Kant's religious views and their development.
In fewer than 150 pages, Huxford lays out an admirably clear and surprisingly comprehensive account of Immanuel Kant’s career-long engagement with the problem of theodicy, defined by Kant in his 1791 essay "On the Failure of All Philosophical Efforts in Theodicy" as “the defense of the highest wisdom of the creator against the charge which reason brings against it for whatever is counter-purposive in the world” (quoted on p. xii)—in other words, the “defending of God’s cause” in the face of evil. Though many Kant readers will be familiar, at least by title, with this essay, Huxford demonstrates in detail that Kant was concerned with theodicy from his very earliest, pre-critical writings (in which his focus is on the theodicies of Leibniz and Pope) and that his interest continued on through the early and late critical periods, coming to fruition in "Failure." Students of Kant will benefit from this synopsis of the course of Kant’s philosophical progress, and readers interested in theodicy will appreciate the many insights afforded by Kant’s work into the taxonomy of evil and the possibility and conditions of a successful theodicy. Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty.