Chapter

Kant’s Ambivalent Cosmopolitanism<sup>1</sup>

Karl Ameriks

in Kant's Elliptical Path

Published in print October 2012 | ISBN: 9780199693689
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191745584 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199693689.003.0007
Kant’s Ambivalent Cosmopolitanism1

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This chapter begins the section of the book that focuses primarily on the practical rather than theoretical branch of Critical philosophy. It stresses, however, that there are analogies between Kant's rejections of thoroughgoing humanism at both the theoretical and practical levels. At the theoretical level, Kant's metaphysics requires leaving open a space for non-mundane items, such as God and finite free agency, which transcend the cosmos on Kant's traditional definition. At the practical level, Kant's doctrine of pure will, or pure practical reason, distinguishes his position from the humanistic constructivism of many contemporary interpreters of Kant's notion of moral law. To illustrate the hermeneutical and systematic shortcomings of a typical merely humanistic approach, a critical account is given of a recent discussion of ‘Willing the Law’ by Velleman.

Keywords: cosmopolitanism; cosmos; humanism; pure will; moral law; Velleman

Chapter.  9224 words. 

Subjects: History of Western Philosophy

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