This article turns to early modern and Enlightenment advocates of tolerance in order to discover and lay bare the line of argument that informed their commitment to free speech. This line of argument will subsequently be used to assess the shift from free speech to the contemporary ideal of free self-expression. In order to take this assessment one step further, this article will finally turn to Immanuel Kant’s famous defense of the public use of reason. In the wake of Katerina (...) Deligiorgi’s readings of Kant, it will show that the idea of free speech requires a specific disposition on behalf of speakers and writers that is in danger of being neglected in the contemporary prevailing conception of free speech as freedom of self-expression. (shrink)
Verhack's book De mens en zijn onrust. Over het raadsel van de beweging seeks to develop a metaphysics after the 'end of metaphysics'. Such a metaphysics not only has to take into account Nietzsche's and Heidegger's radical critiques of metaphysics. It also has to avoid the soteriological strategies of traditional metaphysics by searching for a transcendent meaning, to which our finite and resdess human existence is pointing from the inside. Yet in which direction does our human existence transcend itself? By (...) comparing Verhack's answer to this question with Thomas Aquinas' discussion of the desiderium naturale Dei, it is argued that Verhack's post-metaphysical metaphysics is based on a spiritualistic outlook on life. From this line of argument it is shown that this metaphysics threatens to perpetrate the verysame soteriological strategies it tried to avoid, and to pass over the meaning and bearing of 'the end of metaphysics'. (shrink)
Amsterdam University Press is a leading publisher of academic books, journals and textbooks in the Humanities and Social Sciences. Our aim is to make current research available to scholars, students, innovators, and the general public. AUP stands for scholarly excellence, global presence, and engagement with the international academic community.
Pas de deux with a theological legacy. Jürgen Habermas on David Hume and Immanuel Kant In his latest opus magnum, Jürgen Habermas reconsiders the history of philosophy from a peculiar perspective: the true and unique nature of philosophy is shown to have been given shape in philosophy’s dispute with Christian theology. This article reviews Habermas’ chapter on the Enlightenment, in which Habermas casts David Hume and Immanuel Kant dancing their own pas de deux with that theological legacy. After having sketched (...) the historical scripts in which Hume and Kant are involved by Habermas, I will critically assess the author’s claim that while Hume ends up refusing the dance and (hence) betraying (enlightened) philosophy’s nature, Kant accepts and transforms the heritage, yet ends up failing to give his pas de deux a genuine modern and enlightened twist. (shrink)
In Part One of Immanuel Kant’s Religion within the Boundaries of Mere Reason, the so-called thesis of innate evil notoriously plays a central role. Yet in the General Remark closing that part, Kant minimizes the weight of that thesis. In his view, it is of no use in moral dogmatics, and also in moral discipline its meaning is of a limited nature. Consequently, the thesis of innate evil is both relegated to a short footnote in the Introduction and completely passed (...) over in silence in the Doctrine of the methods of ethics in Kant’s Metaphysical Principles of the Doctrine of Virtue. This article investigates Kant’s assessment of the use of the thesis of innate evil in moral philosophy. It explores Kant’s semantics of the thesis in order to find out why the thesis makes no difference in moral philosophy, and tries to demonstrate why it is silenced furthermore in the methods of ethics. (shrink)
Recalling some recent publications on the influence of the Stoics on the development of Kant’s thought, this article intends to contribute to the knowledge of Kant’s appreciation of ancient authors by revealing the carefully hidden and hitherto unnoticed presence of Seneca behind one of Kant’s most peculiar pre-critical writings: Gedanken bei dem frühzeitigen Ableben des Hernn Johann Friedrich von Funk . Kant not only appears to model this Trostschreiben on Seneca’s famous consolationes; it is also shown that he is constantly (...) alluding to various philosophical writings of Seneca such as De vita beata, De brevitate vitae, De tranquilitate animi, ad Polybium de consolatione, and especially ad Marciam de consolatione. In conclusion it is suggested that the results of this analysis not only reaffirm Kant’s profound acquaintance with Seneca and shed more light on the Kantian style in his popular writings, but can also have some importance for Kant’s biography. (shrink)