The Consolation of History. Kant on Cosmopolitanism

Jeremy Gauger


The article explores tensions in Kant’s philosophy of history between a rationalist universality (expressed in his notion of cosmopolitanism) and one’s situation within contingent, empirical history. In particular, it critiques Kant for instrumentalizing individual human lives within a providential universal history, in spite of his intention to open up the possibility of an ends-oriented moral agency. This is done through examining the anthropological assumptions that underwrite his philosophy of history and that synthesize it with his critical thought, with the suggestion that some version of this anthropology has become a pervasive feature of how the west universally conceives human being in relation to practical and political life.

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ISSN: 2281-3209                DOI Prefix: 10.7408

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