Journal of the History of Philosophy 47 (3):pp. 474-475 (2009)
We are told in the introduction to this volume that what holds together such an apparently diverse collection of essays under a single rubric is the theme of "human nature." And this is fair enough: themes ranging from Kant's reflections on physiology, to his investigation of the vexed notion of what it is that constitutes a race, to his reflections on philosophy of history, to his lectures on pedagogy all fit reasonably enough under the rubric of "human nature." All point us, that is, toward a clearer understanding of how Kant would have answered the question, "What is a human being?" Yet this straight-laced, somewhat mundane description of this volume's contents belies the quirky, unexpected, and downright strange reflections that can be found therein. Perhaps those familiar with Kant's famous dinner parties would have expected him to say that "[b]odily motions prescribed by a doctor who is not a philosopher weaken the invalid's body, unless they are seasoned with some social amusement and affect the body favorably" . But who would have expected Kant to recommend that "[i]n
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