Â Â Â In 1773, Kant cancelled a course in theoretical physics Â– due to lack of enrollment Â– and taught Â“AnthropologyÂ” in its place.Â From that time, Kant taught Anthropology every winter semester until he retired in 1796.Â The anthropology course was one of two courses in Â“WeltkenntnisÂ” that Kant taught every year.Â The other, physical geography, was taught in the Summer semester.Â When he retired, Kant compiled the notes from his anthropology lecture course into Anthropologie in pragmatischer Hinsicht, (...) the last publication before his death in 1804.Â The book was meant both as a Â“HandbuchÂ” (7:122) and as a popular work, that could Â“von jedermann selbst von der Dame bey der Toilette gelesen wardenÂ” (25: 856-7, cf. 25: 1213).Â 2000 copies of this work were published in its first printing, more that any of KantÂ’s previous works (cf. Brandt 1999), and the book was reviewed at least 11 times within two years of its publication, including a now famous review by Friedrich Schleiermacher (initially published in the Athaeneaum, reprinted in VÃ¶rlander 1980). (shrink)
This book offers a detailed explanation and analysis of KantÂ’s empirical psychology and applies that analysis to thinking through several particular issues in KantÂ’s philosophy more generally.Â Kant is one of the most important and widely discussed philosophers today and Oxford has a long tradition of publishing excellent monographs on Kant's philosophy (including, for example, recent books such as Robert HannaÂ’s Kant, Science, and Human Nature and Robert LoudenÂ’s Kant's Impure Ethics).
As J. Baird Callicott has argued, Adam Smith’s moral theory is a philosophical ancestor of recent work in environmental ethics. However, Smith’s “all important emotion of sympathy” (Callicott 2001: 209) seems incapable of extension to entities that lack emotions with which one can sympathize. Drawing on the distinctive account of sympathy developed in Smith’s Theory of Moral Sentiments , as well as his account of anthropomorphizing nature in “History of Astronomy and Physics,” I show that sympathy with non-sentient nature is (...) possible within a Smithian ethics. This provides the possibility of extending sympathy, and thereby benevolence and justice, to nature. (shrink)
Angaben zur Person Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778) was born in the Calvinist city-state of Geneva on June 28, 1712. The epoch-making moment” in Rousseau’s life came in 1749, when he fell across the question of the Academy of Dijon which gave rise to my first writing” OC I, 1135). The question was “Whether the restoration of the Sciences and Arts has contributed to the purification of morals.” Rousseau’s answer to that question – a decisive No – was his Discourse on the (...) Origin of the Arts and Sciences , which won the prize for that year and set off firestorms in Europe with a ringing moral indictment of the Enlightenment. In succeeding years, Rousseau published several works, most notably his second Discourse (on inequality, 1755), his novel Julie (1760), his treatise on education Emile, 1762), the Social Contract (1762), and a series of more minor works (including important letters on theatre and on providence). (shrink)
Kant’s theory of freedom is famously described as a “compatibilism of compatibilism and incompatibilism” (Wood 1984: 74). On the one hand, Kant claims that human freedom is not a mere epiphenomenon of causally determined mental states, and, on the other hand, he seeks to reconcile this strong conception of freedom with thoroughgoing natural determinism of empirically observable actions of human agents. Equally famously, this theory of freedom has been given (at least) two different interpretations among contemporary Kantians. According to the (...) first, “two-world” interpretation, human beings are free insofar as they exist in a noumenal world of thing-in-themselves and determined insofar as they exist in a phenomenal world of mere appearances. According to the second, “two-standpoint” (or two perspective) interpretation, human beings are free insofar as they are thought of from a practical or deliberator’s standpoint, and determined insofar as they are thought of from a scientific or observer’s standpoint.1 Here the two standpoints are not primarily distinguished by different beliefs, but by different tasks: the theoretical standpoint seeks to explain natural occurrences in terms of causal laws, while the practical standpoint is the standpoint from which human beings act in the world.2 But these different tasks have implications for belief. In particular, the practical standpoint requires thinking of agents as free, while the theoretical requires thinking of deeds as casually determined. The two standpoint interpretation has, in recent years, dominated Kantian discussions of Kant’s theory of freedom, and it is at least implicit.. (shrink)
This article offers an explanation and analysis of Kant’s philosophy of religion. It starts with Kant’s criticisms of the ontological, cosmological, and physico-teleological arguments for the existence of God from the ’Critique of Pure Reason’. It then explains Kant’s moral arguments in the ’Critique of Practical Reason’ for the existence and nature of God and for humans’ personal immorality. Finally, it lays out the argument for the necessity of grace from Kant’s ’Religion within the Boundaries of Mere Reason’.
Adam Smith is not an environmentalist, but he articulated an ethical theory that is increasingly recognized as a fruitful source of environmental ethics. In the context of this theory, Smith illustrates in a particularly valuable way the role that anthropocentric, utilitarian metastandards can play in defending nonanthropocentric, nonutilitarian ethical standpoints. There are four roles that an anthropocentricmetastandard can play in defending an ecocentric ethical standpoint such as Aldo Leopold’s land ethic. First, this metastandard helps reconcile ecocentrism with theodicy, either of (...) the religious sort—showing that God is good—or of the evolutionary sort—showing that ecocentrism is consistent with human ethical dispositions as evolved through a process of natural selection. Second, using anthropocentrism as a metastandard helps reconcile our moral interest in human welfare with a thoroughly ecocentric standpoint. Third, defending ecocentrism by appeal to an anthropocentric metastandard provides a way of swaying die-hard anthropocentrists to adopt a more ecocentric perspective without showing disrespect to nature in the process. Finally, the systematic quasi-ecological connection between ecocentrism as an ethical standard and anthropocentrism as a metastandard has a beauty of its own that can provide additional motive to adhere to ecocentric ethical norms. (shrink)
For Kant, cosmopolitan ethical community is a necessary response to humans’ radical evil. To be cosmopolitan, this community must not depend on particular historical religions. But Kant’s defense of ethical community uses Christian concepts such as providence and divine mercy. This paper explores two ways—one more liberal and the other more religious—to relate the theological commitments underlying ethical cosmopolitanism with the non-dogmatic nature of Kantian religion.
As J. Baird Callicott has argued, Adam Smith's moral theory is a philosophical ancestor of recent work in environmental ethics. However, Smith's "all important emotion of sympathy" (Callicott, 2001, p. 209) seems incapable of extension to entities that lack emotions with which one can sympathize. Drawing on the distinctive account of sympathy developed in Smith's Theory of Moral Sentiments, as well as his account of anthropomorphizing nature in "History of Astronomy and Physics," I show that sympathy with non-sentient nature is (...) possible within a Smithian ethics. This provides the possibility of extending sympathy, and thereby benevolence and justice, to nature. (shrink)
in the Metaphysics of Morals, Kant explains that moral anthropology studies the “subjective conditions in human nature that help or hinder [people] in fulfilling the laws of a metaphysics of morals” and insists that such anthropology “cannot be dispensed with” (6:217).1 But it is often difficult to find clear evidence of this sort of anthropology in Kant’s own works. in this paper, i discuss Kant’s account of character as an example of Kantian moral anthropology.
In the first Critique, Kant says, “[A]ll the actions of a human being are determined in accord with the order of nature,” adding that “if we could investigate all the appearances . . . there would be no human action we could not predict with certainty.” Most Kantian treatments of human action discuss action from a practical perspective, according to which human beings are transcendentally free, and thus do not sufficiently lay out this Kant’s empirical, causal description of human action. (...) Drawing on Kant’s lectures in empirical psychology and his anthropological writings, this paper offers a clear and detailed elucidation of Kant’s empirical account of human action. After explaining the connection between cognitions, feelings, desires, and actions, I show how the lower faculty of desire is governed by various instincts, inclinations, and propensities, and how the higher faculty of desire is governed by (empirical) character. I also discuss how character and inclinations arise from natural human propensities combined with other empirical causes. By looking at both Kant’s faculty psychology and his account of predispositions, I lay out an overall Kantian framework for explaining any kind of human action. (shrink)
This book is the first comprehensive account of Kant's theory of freedom and his moral anthropology. The point of departure is the apparent conflict between three claims to which Kant is committed: that human beings are transcendentally free, that moral anthropology studies the empirical influences on human beings, and that more anthropology is morally relevant. Frierson shows why this conflict is only apparent. He draws on Kant's transcendental idealism and his theory of the will and describes how empirical influences can (...) affect the empirical expression of one's will in a way that is morally significant but still consistent with Kant's concept of freedom. As the first work on Kant to integrate his anthropology with his philosophy as a whole, this book will be an unusually important source of study for all Kant scholars and advanced students of Kant. (shrink)