In your opinion, which of Kant’s ideas have universal and enduring value? Part. II

Other views on the immortality of the Kant’s ideas:

Christine Korsgaard: Many of Kant’s ideas have an enduring value. I suppose I would place two at the top of the list.
The first is the idea embodied in Kant’s Formula of Humanity, the idea that every human being is to be treated as an end in himself or herself. This way of expressing the categorical imperative sets a high ideal for human relationships and interaction, and yet at the same time resonates with people’s actual moral experience. It captures something very important about the kind of treatment we hope for from one another. Of course the Formula of Humanity rules out certain obvious ways of treating others badly: treating another as a mere means, or running roughshod over her interests and concerns. But it also rules out treating others “well” in the wrong way – treating another with paternalism and disrespect, treating her like a child or a pet who cannot be expected to know what is best. Kant’s ethics commands not only that we avoid taking our interests to be more important than the interests of others, but also that we avoid assuming that our judgment is better than the judgment of others. It commands that we share decisions as equals. I think that Kant’s is the only ethical theory that commands that human beings treat one another as adults who share both the right and the responsibility of determining the fate of humanity and through humanity of the world.
The other is the basic idea of the Copernican Revolution itself. I take that basic idea to be that the laws of reason are our laws, human laws. The laws of reason are laws that we impose upon nature rather than laws that we find already realized there. This idea is associated with a kind of metaphysical modesty – we cannot just assume that nature will meet the standards that seem intelligible to us – and at the same time with an assumption of responsibility: it is up to us to make sense both of the world and of our relations with each other; it is up to us, to human beings, to make the world a rational place. Although Kant himself attached a doctrine of faith to these ideas, I take the basic idea to capture an essentially secular vision of the human plight, and one to which most of humanity has yet to face up.
These two ideas come together in one of my favorite remarks from the Critique of Pure Reason:
“Reason has no dictatorial authority; its verdict is always simply the agreement of free citizens, of whom each one must be permitted to express…his objections or even his veto.” (A738-9/B766-7).
That remark embodies a radically modern, frightening, inspiring, vision of where human beings stand in the world and to each other.

Beatrice Longuenesse: I am not sure what you mean by ideas having “universal value.” I suppose you mean something like this: ideas have “universal value” if they do not merely reflect the state of science, morality and culture at a particular time (in this case, Kant’s time), but would at any time and in any social/cultural context help human beings come to terms with their own condition, indeed help answer the question Kant set for himself as the central question of philosophy: “What is a human being?”
I think having defined the task of philosophy as the task of answering this question and conducting one’s life in accordance with the answer one will have given to this question, is itself of universal value. Also of universal value is the core point common to all three Critiques: understanding human beings (i.e. understanding their capacity for knowledge, for morality, for aesthetic creation and pleasure, for purposeful activity) is understanding the conflicted ways (rational *and* irrational) in which they relate to themselves in thinking and saying ‘I’.

Robert Louden: I believe that many of the core ideas of Kant’s ethics have universal and enduring value. If I were to pick just one, I would choose the second formula of the categorical imperative: “So act that you use humanity, whether in your own person or in the person of any other, always at the same time as an end, never merely as a means” (Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals, Academy Edition 4: 429).

Robert Makkreel: I think that Immanuel Kant’s importance as a philosopher lies in his efforts to explicate the conditions for making justified claims about the world as well as for judging what is valuable and worth striving for. His strategy is to locate those formal conditions that are most likely to gain us normative agreement. By placing form before content, Kant hopes to sidestep psychological prejudices rooted in content and regress to those transcendental conditions that are presupposed by all inquiry. The inevitable price we must pay in striving for cognitive agreement is to limit the scope of our claims. The idea of basic limits is central to Kant’s conception of the world as lawbound. To experience nature as governed by causal laws and to see ourselves as moral beings freely submitting to rational laws is to acknowledge dual limitations on ourselves–from without and from within. External limits reduce our power, but the setting of inner limits can actually lead us to strengthen the highest side of ourselves.
For me the most significant contribution that Kant made to philosophy is to supplement his original determinant mode of judging the world with a reflective mode that introduces the idea of lawfulness without law–a felt order that is exemplary. This is especially important for applying philosophical critique to the arts and to the human sciences. Since determinant judgment proceeds from a given universal to particulars, it clearly involves a subordinating mode of thought. Reflective judgment, however, proceeds from particulars and can be said to be a coordinating mode of thought. Determinant judgment appeals to universals to either describe the nature of particular objects or explain their behavior by subsuming them under the laws of the understanding. Reflective judgment, by contrast, is an expansive mode of thought that appeals not just to the understanding, but to reason as a framework for interpreting particulars. Being comparative, reflective judgment is less concerned with finding the universals to which particulars can be subsumed than in locating commonalities that particulars may share.

Arthur Melnick: Kant’s most enduring contribution was to make the study of the human mind a method for investigating the nature of the world. Whatever else, for Kant, the world that concerns us must conform to the conditions of our thinking and understanding. This makes possible a metaphysics that is independent of the method of empirical science and is grounded, rather, in the philosophical study of thought and cognition (transcendental logic). In one way or another a great deal of philosophy since Kant has looked at the world in this «for-us» way as something that is relative to our mind or our language or our phenomenological experience or our social institutions or our cultural norms.

Susan Neiman: Kant is the only thinker in the history of western philosophy to clearly distinguish between the claims of reason and the claims of reality, and to give equal weight to each. I take the beginning of the “Transcendental Dialectic” of the Critique of Pure Reason to be the most important part of his work: having given us a detailed analysis of what it means for an object to be real, he turns to discuss what it means for ideals to be real. They are neither fantasies, nor wishes, nor Vorländer’s well-meant but fatal als ob; but entities with their own sort of force and power, whose reality cannot be the same as that of objects of experience. For their task is to question the necessarily limited experience with which we are confronted, and to challenge reality to meet the claims of the ideal – be it a just society in the practical realm, or a complete and transparent science in the theoretical realm. Kant’s metaphysics has thereby a crucial political function. One the one hand, it provides reason with the basis to change the world to meet its own standards. This is crucial in order to answer conservatives like Hume, for whom reason is impotent to decide any of the questions which determine our lives. It is, on the contrary, custom and tradition which insure our conviction that the sun will rise tomorrow, as well as our preference for preserving worlds to itching fingers. Having undercut the legitimacy of reason in the realms we already experience, it is no surprise that Hume, and disciples like Burke, should be chary of its use in uncharted waters. If custom and tradition have preserved us thus far, it is wiser to follow them than the allegedly untried demands of reason. By strengthening the claims of reason Kant’s metaphysics, by contrast, provides the groundwork for radical social change. At the same time, his emphasis on the demands of experience should undercut those utopian thinkers who wish to proceed without much attention to it – with the disastrous consequences the 20th century has seen. Thus even more than his moral philosophy Kant’s metaphysics provide the foundation for a stance towards the world that is mature without being resigned, hopeful without being naive.

Thomas Nenon: I think there are many, but to name just a few ideas that have been particularly important and will continue to be important, not just in academic philosophy: Kant’s insight in the role that structures of human thinking are constitutive for all objects of human cognition, his emphasis on the irreducibility of the moral to the expedient or advantageous, and the introduction of a notion of regulative ideals as an integral part of scientific as well as political thought.

And in your point of view? which of Kant’s ideas have  universal and enduring value?


2 commenti su “In your opinion, which of Kant’s ideas have universal and enduring value? Part. II

  1. Good night. I'm brazilian and need acess to texts of you. Please, what's necessary for me to take originals kant's texts in pdf?

  2. Hi Adilson!!

    By this link all original Kant's texts are available to you:

    Enjoy it!!



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