Book review of Kant on Practical Life: From Duty to History by Kristi E. Sweet [Book Review]

Journal of the History of Philosophy 52 (2):381-382 (2014)
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Abstract

In Kant on Practical Life: From Duty to History, Kristi E. Sweet accepts Allen Wood’s challenge to present in a single book the entire arc of Kant’s practical philosophy, including both its a priori and empirical aspects, literally from duty to history. Others have successfully undertaken a similar task, notably Robert Louden in Kant’s Impure Ethics, but Sweet succeeds in fulfilling three further distinctive aims: settling persistent but outdated contentions that Kant’s ‘deontological’ and ‘teleological’ commitments are inconsistent by tracing duty through to the ends it entails, especially the communal ends “in which reason finds its satisfaction” (10); addressing the problem of human finitude by explicating and resolving the dialectic between reason and nature in its various moments; and leaving virtually no philosophical stone unturned along the way, from the fact of reason to international disarmament.

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Susan V. H. Castro
Wichita State University

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