Wild chimeras: Enthusiasm and intellectual virtue in Kant

European Journal of Philosophy 28 (2):380-393 (2019)
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Kant typically is not identified with the tradition of virtue epistemology. Although he may not be a virtue epistemologist in a strict sense, I suggest that intellectual virtues and vices play a key role in his epistemology. Specifically, Kant identifies a serious intellectual vice that threatens to undermine reason, namely enthusiasm (Schwärmerei). Enthusiasts become so enamored with their own thinking that they refuse to subject reason to self-critique. The particular danger of enthusiasm is that reason colludes in its own destruction: enthusiasm occurs when self-conceit and reason’s desire to transcend its boundaries mutually reinforce each other. I conclude by sketching an account of Kantian intellectual virtue that is consistent with Kantian moral virtue.

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Krista Thomason
Swarthmore College

Citations of this work

The collegial structure of Kantian public reason.Robert Engelman - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy.
Kant-Bibliographie 2020.Margit Ruffing - 2022 - Kant Studien 113 (4):725-760.

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References found in this work

Critique of Pure Reason.I. Kant - 1787/1998 - Philosophy 59 (230):555-557.
Practical philosophy.Immanuel Kant - 1996 - New York: Cambridge University Press. Edited by Mary J. Gregor.
Kant's Theory of Freedom.Henry E. Allison - 1990 - New York: Cambridge University Press.

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