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Profile: Chris W. Surprenant (University of New Orleans)
  1. Chris W. Surprenant (2014). Kant and the Cultivation of Virtue. Routledge.
    In this book, Chris W. Surprenant puts forward an original position concerning Kant’s practical philosophy and the intersection between his moral and political philosophy. Although Kant provides a detailed account of the nature of morality, the nature of human virtue, and how right manifests itself in civil society, he does not explain fully how individuals are able to become virtuous. This book aims to resolve this problem by showing how an individual is able to cultivate virtue, the aim of Kant’s (...)
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  2. Chris W. Surprenant (2013). Physical Education as a Prerequisite for the Possibility of Human Virtue. Educational Philosophy and Theory:1-9.
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  3. Chris W. Surprenant (2012). Politics and Practical Wisdom: Rethinking Aristotle's Account of Phronesis. Topoi 31 (2):221-227.
    This paper examines the nature of Aristotelian phronesis , how it is attained, and who is able to attain it inside the polis . I argue that, for Aristotle, attaining phronesis does not require an individual to perfect his practical wisdom to the point where he never makes a mistake, but rather it is attained by certain individuals who are unable to make a mistake of this kind due to their education, habituation, and position in society.
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  4. Chris W. Surprenant (2012). The Agony of Power. By Jean Baudrillard. The European Legacy 17 (6):854-855.
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  5. Klas Roth & Chris W. Surprenant (eds.) (2011). Kant and Education: Interpretations and Commentary. Routledge.
    Immanuel Kant’s moral philosophy, political philosophy, and philosophy of judgement have been and continue to be widely discussed among many scholars. The impact of his thinking is beyond doubt and his ideas continue to inspire and encourage an on-going dialogue among many people in our world today. Given the historical and philosophical significance of Kant’s moral, political, and aesthetic theory, and the connection he draws between these theories and the appropriate function and methodology of education, it is surprising that relatively (...)
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  6. Chris W. Surprenant (2010). Kant's Contribution to Moral Education: The Relevance of Catechistics. Journal of Moral Education 39 (2):165-174.
    Kant’s deontological ethics, along with Aristotle’s virtue ethics and Mill’s utilitarian ethics, is often identified as one of the three primary moral options between which individuals can choose. Given the importance of Kant’s moral philosophy, it is surprising and disappointing how little has been written on his important contributions to moral education. Kant argues for a catechistic approach to moral education. By memorizing a series of moral questions and answers, an individual learns the basic principles of morality in the same (...)
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  7. Chris W. Surprenant (2010). Liberty, Autonomy, and Kant's Civil Society. History of Philosophy Quarterly 27 (1).
    Morality, as Immanuel Kant understands it, depends on the capacity of a person to be the agent and owner of his own actions, not merely a conduit for social and psychological forces and influences over which he has little or no control. As a result, Kant’s moral philosophy focuses primarily on the topic of individual freedom and the necessary preconditions of the possibility of that freedom. In the Groundwork and second Critique, Kant’s discussion of the connection between morality and freedom (...)
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  8. Chris W. Surprenant (2010). Minority Oppression and Justified Revolution. Journal of Social Philosophy 41 (4):442-453.
    This paper operates from the assumption that revolution is a legitimate tool for members of oppressed minority groups to secure their rights. I argue that this type of robust right of revolution cannot be derived from Locke’s justification of revolution in the Second Treatise. For Locke, revolution is justified when the government uses its power in a manner contrary to the principles on which the state was established. Whether or not an action is contrary to these principles is determined by (...)
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  9. Chris W. Surprenant (2008). Kant's Postulate of the Immortality of the Soul. International Philosophical Quarterly 48 (1):85-98.
    In the Critique of Practical Reason, Kant grounds his postulate for the immortality of the soul on the presupposed practical necessity of the will’s endless progress toward complete conformity with the moral law. Given the important role that this postulate plays in Kant’s ethical and political philosophy, it is hard to understand why it has received relatively little attention. It is even more surprising considering the attention given to his other postulates of practical reason: the existence of God and freedom. (...)
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  10. Chris W. Surprenant (2007). Cultivating Virtue: Moral Progress and the Kantian State. Kantian Review 12 (1):90-112.
    One apparent paradox in Kant's moral and political philosophy is that his perfectionist moral teachings appear to be linked to his anti-perfectionist political theory. Specifically, he writes that the perfection of moral character can take place only for an individual who is inside of civil society, a condition where no laws may legitimately be implemented expressly for the purpose of trying to make individuals moral. Kant believes that living in civil society is a necessary condition for an individual to refine (...)
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  11. Chris W. Surprenant (2005). A Reconciliation of Kant's Views on Revolution. Interpretation 32 (2):151-169.
    Kant's views on revolution are notoriously paradoxical: on the one hand he appears to condemn all instances of revolution, but on the other he expresses enthusiasm for the French Revolution and other revolutionary acts. I argue that we can reconcile Kant’s views on revolution by examining instances when an individual is under a moral obligation to revolt. First, I show how Kant reconciles his position on the French Revolution with his position on revolution in general. His answer, however, raises additional (...)
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