Tagged: Kant

Early Modern Philosophy (16th – 18th Century Europe)

The early modern period was a very innovative period in Western philosophy. New theories of mind and matter, new conceptions of God, new political philosophies and theories of civic society were proposed. The period approximately spanned from the late 1400s to the end of the 18th century (roughly 1500-1800). It is the time period where philosophers like Descartes, Locke, Hume, Spinoza, Leibniz, and Kant, published books that would shape our modern understanding of philosophy. DEFINING THE BEGINNING AND END OF THE PERIOD The roots of early modern philosophy can be traced back as far as the 1200s — to the...

Michel Foucault: “What is Enlightenment?”

What is Enlightenment? This is a question that modern philosophy has not been capable of answering, but that it has never managed to get rid of, either. And one that has been repeated in various forms for two centuries now. From Hegel through Nietzsche or Max Weber to Horkheimer or Habermas, hardly any philosophy has failed to confront this same question, directly or indirectly. What, then, is this event that is called the Aufklärung?

Immanuel Kant: Groundwork for the Metaphysics of Morals (1785)

The Groundwork for the Metaphysics of Morals (1785) by Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) is a cornerstone of moral philosophy. It was published in 1785, after the Critique of Pure Reason (1781) and just before the Critique of Practical Reason (1788). It is essentially a short introduction to the argument presented in the second Critique.  Kant argues that morality is based neither on the principle of utility, nor on a law of nature, but on human reason. According to Kant, reason tells us what we ought to do, and only when we follow our own reason are we truly free.  The text suggests several general...

Deleuze on Kant

Gilles Deleuze wrote in a Letter to Michele Cressole” My book on Kant is different, I like it very much, I wrote it as a book on an enemy, in it I was trying to show how he works, what his mechanisms are…’ The following transcript of a lecture on Kant was given by Deleuze on 14/03/1978 in Vincennes. The title of the seminar was” Synthesis and Time.” The text can be found at Webdeleuze.com Introduction “We are returning to Kant. May this be an occasion for you to skim, read or re-read The Critique of Pure Reason. There is...

Immanuel Kant – Biography

Immanuel Kant (1724–1804) is the thinker with whom modern philosophy begins. It is his philosophical project to synthesize rationalism and empiricism by searching for a deeper basis for the connection between mind and reality. The outcome is “transcendental philosophy.” Kant’s thinking is analytical, and it is often juxtaposed to Hegel’s synthetic dialectical method. He still exerts enormous influence in the fields of metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, political philosophy. Kant explicates his system in three so-called “Critiques”: the Critique of Pure Reason (1781, 1787), the Critique of Practical Reason (1788), and the Critique of the Power of Judgment (1790).  Kant is an...

Beantwortung der Frage: Was ist Aufklärung?

This famous article by Kant gives a short definition of the Enlightenment philosophy. Published 1784. (Berlinische Monatsschrift. Dezember-Heft 1784. S. 481-494) AUFKLÄRUNG ist der Ausgang des Menschen aus seiner selbstverschuldeten Unmündigkeit. Unmündigkeit ist das Unvermögen, sich seines Verstandes ohne Leitung eines anderen zu bedienen.Selbstverschuldet ist diese Unmündigkeit, wenn die Ursache derselben nicht am Mangel des Verstandes, sondern der Entschließung und des Mutes liegt, sich seiner ohne Leitung eines andern zu bedienen. Sapere aude! Habe Mut, dich deines eigenen Verstandes zu bedienen! ist also der Wahlspruch der Aufklärung. Faulheit und Feigheit sind die Ursachen, warum ein so großer Teil der Menschen, nachdem sie die Natur längst von fremder...

Immanuel Kant: What is Enlightenment? (1784)

Kant’s famous text about Enlightenment is below. You can also find the German original on this site. “Enlightenment is man’s emergence from his self-imposed immaturity. Immaturity is the inability to use one’s understanding without guidance from another. This immaturity is self-imposed when its cause lies not in lack of understanding, but in lack of resolve and courage to use it without guidance from another. Sapere Aude! [dare to know] “Have courage to use your own understanding!”–that is the motto of enlightenment. Laziness and cowardice are the reasons why so great a proportion of men, long after nature has released them from...