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Freedom and the End of Reason
Author: Richard L. Velkley

ISBN: 9780226155173
Format: Paperback
Number Of Pages: 248
Published: 18 February 2014
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 6.0 x 9.0 x 1.4
Richard L. Velkley offers a new interpretation of the central issue of Kant's philosophy and a new evaluation of its position within the history of modern philosophy. He persuasively argues that the whole of Kantianism, not merely the Second Critique, is really a "critique of practical reason" and a response to a problem Kant saw as intrinsic to reason: the teleological problem of reason's goodness. By stressing a Rousseau-inspired notion of reason as a provider of practical ends, Velkley also is able to offer an unusually complete account of Kant's idea of moral culture. Drawing upon Kant's precritical writing of the 1760s, Velkley effectively argues that Rousseau showed Kant that the purely instrumental view of reason as the mere slave of passions--a view advanced by such Enlightenment thinkers as Hobbes, Locke, and Hume--was self-defeating. Their modern conception of reason attempts to emancipate humanity from superhuman powers and authorities, but it paradoxically brings about the deeper enslavement of humanity to its own artifacts and passions. Rousseau's thought provided Kant with certain decisive elements in his account of reason, especially t...

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