Review of Metaphysics 42 (2):376-378 (1988)

Michael L. Morgan
Indiana University
Against the background of the current interest in hermeneutics and interpretation theory, the title of Booth's book might lead one to expect a post-Nietzschean reading of Kant's philosophy of history and politics. But the actual source of the book's title is Marx's final thesis on Feuerbach. Booth gives us a sceptical, realistic Kant who faces the shortcomings of reason and the challenges of the natural world not by trying to change the world but rather by seeking interpretations of it that enable man to cope with nature and orient his life amid the trials and difficulties that beset him. Booth's Kant is not so Hegelian as to seek a kind of transcendence that accepts the world only to encompass it in an act of self-conscious reflection; nor is he so Marxist as to settle optimistically for nothing less than changing the world. Rather he is more Stoic or Spinozist; he recognizes various interpretive standpoints that serve different human purposes and advocates an orientation for human experience that is rooted in human freedom, rationality, and courageous resolve.
Keywords Catholic Tradition  Contemporary Philosophy  General Interest
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ISBN(s) 0034-6632
DOI revmetaph1988422101
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