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Chapter 9 - Kant as “vitalist”: the “principium of life” inAnthropologie Friedländer

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 November 2014

Alix Cohen
Affiliation:
University of Edinburgh
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Summary

Anthropologie Friedländer captures Immanuel Kant at a high-water mark in his confidence in pragmatic anthropology as a means of discovering and promoting the twofold determination of man. Pragmatic anthropology helps to counter that spiritual life-threat with a history of the human race that makes reason's true end, which is practical and moral rather than speculative, newly self-transparent. It is neither theoretical nor empirical knowledge but instead specifically directed toward what is useful to human beings. Gaining such universal knowledge is no easy matter, and may require a world history or history of humanity, that has yet to be written. With such world history in mind, Kant turns, from empirical psychology to anthropology as such, which he describes as knowledge of the rules governing the phenomena of human beings, with a view to making use of them. Both body and Gemüth are animated by the principium of life or nature simply.
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Kant's Lectures on Anthropology
A Critical Guide
, pp. 151 - 171
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2014

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