Chapter

The Art of Interest

Jan Mieszkowski

in Labors of Imagination

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print April 2006 | ISBN: 9780823225873
Published online March 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780823235346 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5422/fso/9780823225873.003.0002
The Art of Interest

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Throughout his oeuvre, Immanuel Kant focuses on the uncertain relations between universal principles and singular events that threaten to confound the elaboration of a comprehensive model of the mind. One of the central concepts in his account of the (dis)equilibrium of the self is interest, a term that appears at crucial moments in the three Critiques, but whose very ubiquity has tended to divert attention from its importance. As many of Kant's interpreters have noted, however, his analyses describe a reason bent on its own demise. What interests reason is its inability to extract itself from the difficulties into which its interests lead it. Reason is interested less in its own self-interest than in the fact that self-interest always carries it beyond its intended goals, which is to say, reason's interests are never just in its own interests.

Keywords: Immanuel Kant; universal principles; reason; singular events; self-interest

Chapter.  14833 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Language

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