Nature, interthing intersubjectivity, and the environment: A comparative analysis of Kant and daoism
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy 8 (1):61-78 (2009)
The Kantian philosophy, for many, largely represents the Modern West’s anthropocentric dominance of nature in its instrumental-rationalist orientation. Recently, some scholars have argued that Kant’s aesthetics offers significant resources for environmental ethics, while others believe that Kant’s flawed dualistic views in the second Critique severely undermine any environmental promise that aesthetic judgments may hold in Kant’s third Critique . This article first examines the meanings of nature in Kant’s three Critique s. It concludes that Kant’s aesthetic view toward sensible nature is indeed inconsistent. The article, however, also suggests that the “I” as “transcendental apperception” discussed in the paralogisms of the first Critique holds some promise of “interthing intersubjective” thinking. The second half of the article demonstrates that Daoism with a dialectic concern similar to Kant’s has something insightful to offer in its idea of interthingness based on a phenomenal account of nature. The article investigates important Daoist ideas of interthing analogical experience, qi , spiritual exercise, and wuwei in its dialect relation to zizan . By bringing Daoism and Kant into dialogue, the author hopes to bring forth a synthetic approach that is better suited to today’s environmental concerns.
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References found in this work BETA
Wing-tsit Chan (1963). A Source Book in Chinese Philosophy. Princeton, N.J.,Princeton University Press.
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Immanuel Kant (1909/2004). Critique of Practical Reason. Dover Publications.
Karen J. Warren (1987). Feminism and Ecology: Making Connections. Environmental Ethics 9 (1):3-20.
Malcolm Budd (1998). Delight in the Natural World: Kant on the Aesthetic Appreciation of Nature Part III: The Sublime in Nature. British Journal of Aesthetics 38 (3):233-250.
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