POLITICS 305
MODERN POLITICAL THEORY
 
[ 1 ] IMMANUEL KANT
(1724-1804) and COSMOPOLITANISM

Sammy Basu
Dept of Politics
Willamette University

Cosmopolitanism

Synonyms

Liberal internationalism, universalism

Human rights

also Democratic globalization, multiculturalism, world citizen, global village

History of Cosmopolitanism:

Greek and Roman Cosmopolitanism

 

Socrates

 

 

 

Diogenes

 

 

 

Chrysippus

 

 

 

Cicero

 

 

St. Augustine

 

 

DOMENICO DI MICHELINO

(b. 1417, Firenze, d. 1491, Firenze)


Dante and the Three Kingdoms (detail)

1465

Oil on canvas

Museo dell'Opera del Duomo, Florence


The artist named himself after his master, a certain Michelino. He had his painterly training  

Dante

 

 

Early Modern and Enlightenment Cosmopolitanism

 

 

Erasmus

 

 

 

Montaigne

 

 

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Grotius

 

Voltaire

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Christoph Martin Wieland

 

Anarcharsis Cloots

 

 

 

Adam Smith

 

Cosmopolitanism in the 19th and 20th Centuries

 

 

IMMANUEL KANT

 

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a student insisted:

 

 

Kant’s works

(1755) General History of Nature and Theory of the Heavens

 

(1781) Critique of Pure Reason – most famous original work

 

at age 60 he turns to politics:

 

(1783) Prolegomena to any Future Metaphysic which shall lay Claim to being a Science

 

(1784) What is Enlightenment

 

(1784) Idea for a Universal History with a Cosmopolitan Purpose

 

(1790) Critique of Judgement – epistemology

 

(1792) Theory and Practice

 

(1793) Religion within the Limits of Reason Alone - got him in trouble with the King

 

(1795) Perpetual Peace

 

(1797) The Metaphysical Elements of Right

 

(1798) The Context of the Faculties

 

- There is no comprehensive treatment of politics offered, rather a series of texts in which principles are advanced and refined, in accordance with his underlying epistemological and metaphysical views

 


Kant’s epistemological method

 

- after reading one particular philosopher, David Hume,

- developed esp in his book, The Critique of Pure Reason,

followed by two further Critiques of practical reason, and judgement

 

Kant took on respectively metaphysics, ethics, and aesthetics with the concern of establishing what and how we know what we claim to know

 

- he turns aside from other available sources of knowledge

         - rationalism - world is not a rational order

         - empiricism - sensory proofs are uncertain

- irrationalism or romanticism - unreasonable and subjective

 

Instead

- he argues that the real physical or noumenal world is unknowable

- everything that we know we know through our senses, which means that what we know is the world of appearances, or the phenomenal world.

- his solution is to turn to mental notions which we know to be necessary, universal, noncontradictory and logically independent of sense experience.

- use a priori concepts or categories of understanding

- K's critical method seeks to establish a system of synthetic a priori principles for the purpose of understanding the external world.

- there are logical categories in our mind through which we organize our perception of the world

 

Having addressed epistemology he then applies this way of thinking to ethics and politics.

 

links

http://www.hkbu.edu.hk/~ppp/Kant_gallery.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Immanuel_Kant

http://www.philosophypages.com/ph/kant.htm

http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/kant-social-political/