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Chapter 8 - Empirical desire

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 November 2014

Alix Cohen
Affiliation:
University of Edinburgh
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Summary

Immanuel Kant's focus in his discussion of the faculty of desire is on both the feelings and the desires that pose obstacles to the rational agent, both from the standpoint of prudence and from the standpoint of morality, in the rational task of self-mastery and self-making. The central concept in Kant's account of empirical desire is inclination. When Kant explicitly inquires about the objects of the inclinations, he identifies certain general objects. Throughout Kant's lectures on anthropology, the chief focus of his treatment of the faculty of desire is on feelings and inclinations that pose a threat to rational self-government, whether self-interested or moral. His main division is between affect and passion. Kant divides passions, however, into natural and social. Natural passions, every bit as much as social passions, are directed at other human beings, but they belong to what is innate, and not from culture, or what is acquired.
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Kant's Lectures on Anthropology
A Critical Guide
, pp. 133 - 150
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2014

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  • Empirical desire
  • Edited by Alix Cohen, University of Edinburgh
  • Book: Kant's Lectures on Anthropology
  • Online publication: 05 November 2014
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9781139176170.010
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  • Empirical desire
  • Edited by Alix Cohen, University of Edinburgh
  • Book: Kant's Lectures on Anthropology
  • Online publication: 05 November 2014
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9781139176170.010
Available formats
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Send book to Google Drive

To send content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

  • Empirical desire
  • Edited by Alix Cohen, University of Edinburgh
  • Book: Kant's Lectures on Anthropology
  • Online publication: 05 November 2014
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9781139176170.010
Available formats
×