The Purposive Development of Human Capacities

Karl Ameriks

in Kant's Elliptical Path

Published in print October 2012 | ISBN: 9780199693689
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191745584 | DOI:
The Purposive Development of Human Capacities

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This chapter begins the section of the book focusing on Kant's discussions of a final purpose for existence. Kant compares the main hypothesis of his essay on the Idea of history with Kepler's plotting of the elliptical pattern of planets. He argues that the cosmopolitan political aim of a world of just institutions can be brought about according to a pattern of eccentric historical developments, whereby the expansion of the antagonistic aspects of human nature lead to a need for just institutions. His deeper belief, however, is that our complete development has to involve satisfaction of the ‘self-esteem’ of our pure moral vocation. Ultimately, Kant holds that this vocation implies the need for powers that go beyond nature, and hence an affirmation of religion.

Keywords: final purpose; history; ellipse; cosmopolitanism; justice; self-esteem; Kepler

Chapter.  9835 words. 

Subjects: History of Western Philosophy

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