My secondary supervisor, being a Hegelian of a generally cheery disposition, is always complaining of the ‘gloominess’ of Kantianism, whether its excessive epistemic modesty or dour take on humanity. Coming across passages like the following — charming as it is — it’s hard to disagree:
However virtuous a man may be, there are tendencies to evil in him, and he must constantly contend against them. He must guard against the moral self-conceit of thinking himself morally good, and having a favourable opinion of himself; that is a dream-like condition, very hard to cure.
Kant, Moralphilosophie Collins, VE 27:464
Indeed, heaven forfend having a favourable opinion of oneself! Any further suggestions of suitably gloomy Kant quotes would be appreciated…