Sources of Kant’s Cosmopolitanism: Basedow, Rousseau, and Cosmopolitan Education

Studies in Philosophy and Education 33 (4):369-389 (2013)
  Copy   BIBTEX


The goal of this essay is to analyse the influence of Johann Bernhard Basedow and Rousseau on Kant’s cosmopolitanism and concept of cosmopolitan education. It argues that both Basedow and Kant defined cosmopolitan education as non-denominational moral formation or Bildung, encompassing—in different forms—a thin version of moral religion following the core tenets of Christianity. Kant’s encounter with Basedow and the Philanthropinum in Dessau helps to understand the development of Kant’s concept of cosmopolitanism and educational theory ‘in weltbürgerlicher Absicht’. Rousseau’s role is more complex: he clearly influenced Kant; he is usually considered a precursor of modern nationalism and national education; and recent studies have stressed the cosmopolitan dimension of his educational programme. I claim that the dilemma of education according to Rousseau is that one has to choose between education of homme or education of citoyen, and that there is no way to avoid or go beyond this stark alternative. Kant’s reinterpretation of Rousseau is favourable and creative and has found many followers up to the present, but is misleading, as he ignores the dilemma and imposes his own conception of cosmopolitanism, of cosmopolitan education and of (possible) progress in history on Rousseau while claiming that this was actually Rousseau’s message



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 92,038

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Kant’s theory of cosmopolitanism and hegel’s critique.Robert Fine - 2003 - Philosophy and Social Criticism 29 (6):609-630.
Kant’s Cosmopolitan Patriotism.Pauline Kleingeld - 2003 - Kant Studien 94 (3):299-316.
Cosmopolitanism.Robert Fine - 2007 - New York: Routledge.
Cosmopolitan Justice and Minority Rights: The Case of Minority Nations.Ferran Requejo - 2012 - Ramon Llull Journal of Applied Ethics 3 (3):83.


Added to PP

137 (#135,249)

6 months
29 (#107,538)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Georg Cavallar
University of Vienna

Citations of this work

A Kantian approach to education for moral sensitivity.Paul Formosa - 2022 - Journal of Philosophy of Education 55 (6):1017-1028.
Evil, virtue, and education in Kant.Paul Formosa - 2019 - Educational Philosophy and Theory 51 (13):1325-1334.

Add more citations

References found in this work

Kant's moral religion.Allen W. Wood - 1970 - Ithaca,: Cornell University Press.
Kant's second thoughts on race.Pauline Kleingeld - 2007 - Philosophical Quarterly 57 (229):573–592.

View all 49 references / Add more references