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Karl Ameriks argues for a middle path between two extreme but common objections to the Groundwork’s account of moral self-legislation as autonomy. The first of these argues that to speak of the moral law as rooted in self-legislation is to be too ambitious, overly subjective, and to ignore the essentially receptive character of reason. According to this objection, the focus on self-legislation suggests a failure on Kant’s part to recognize reason as a capacity that appreciates reasons to act given to the subject by what is essentially outside of it. The contrasting second objection stems from a worry about what can appear to be an overly close connection drawn between morality and freedom as autonomy. In his chapter, Ameriks steers a middle course between the Scylla of subjectivity and the Charybdis of lawlike freedom, arguing that the transition from section II to section III in the Groundwork can be read as providing an account of autonomy defensible against both of these objections.
This updated edition offers a comprehensive, penetrating, and informative guide to what is regarded as the classical period of German philosophy. Kant, Fichte, Hegel, and Schelling are all discussed in detail, along with contemporaries such as Hölderlin, Novalis, and Schopenhauer, whose influence was considerable but whose work is less well known in the English-speaking world. Leading scholars trace and explore the unifying themes of German Idealism and discuss its relationship to Romanticism, the Enlightenment, and the culture of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Europe. This second edition offers an updated bibliography and includes three entirely new chapters, which address aesthetic reflection and human nature, the chemical revolution after Kant, and organism and system in German Idealism. The result is an illuminating overview of a rich and complex philosophical movement, and will appeal to a wide range of interested readers in philosophy, literature, theology, German studies, and the history of ideas.
Once early Enlightenment writers and their predecessors, such as Bacon, Hobbes, and Spinoza, had exposed many religious notions as mere superstitions, at least four different types of critique came to be widely adopted. The three Critiques, however, all investigate basic human abilities and the strictly a priori laws that underlie them. Immanuel Kant's basic philosophical and religious idea is also speaking against a fourth Critique, namely, the idea that religion is obliged to morality. One could assume that the Religion simply extends Kant's pure philosophical theology. He takes a closer look at one specific religion, thereby adding a new element to the debate, with respect both to its contents and to its methodology. The content deals with the four building blocks of Christianity: original sin, Christ, judgment day, and the Church. Even a superficial reading of Kant's text on religion reveals eight particularities.
The first study of its kind, The Impact of Idealism assesses the impact of classical German philosophy on science, religion and culture. This volume explores German Idealism's impact on philosophy and scientific thought. Fourteen essays, by leading authorities in their respective fields, each focus on the legacy of a particular idea that emerged around 1800, when the underlying concepts of modern philosophy were being formed, challenged and criticised, leaving a legacy that extends to all physical areas and all topics in the philosophical world. From British Idealism to phenomenology, existentialism, pragmatism and French postmodernism, the story of German Idealism's impact on philosophy is here interwoven with man's scientific journey of self-discovery in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries – from Darwin to Nietzsche to Freud and beyond. Spanning the analytical and Continental divide, this first volume examines Idealism's impact on contemporary philosophical discussions.