Kantian Courage: Advancing the Enlightenment in Contemporary by Nicholas Tampio

By Nicholas Tampio

How could innovative political theorists improve the Enlightenment after Darwin shifted the dialog approximately human nature within the nineteenth century, the Holocaust displayed barbarity on the historic heart of the Enlightenment, and Sept. 11 confirmed the necessity to alter the beliefs and methods of the Enlightenment? Kantian braveness considers how numerous figures in modern political theory--including John Rawls, Gilles Deleuze, and Tariq Ramadan--do simply this as they proceed Immanuel Kant's legacy.

Rather than suggest particular Kantian principles, the e-book contends that political progressives should still embrace Kantian courage--a severe and inventive disposition to invent new political theories to handle the issues of the age. It illuminates Kant's legacy in modern highbrow debates; constructs a discussion between Anglo-American, Continental, and Islamic political theorists; and exhibits how progressives may possibly forge alliances throughout political and non secular variations through inventing ideas similar to the overlapping consensus, the rhizome, and the gap of testimony. The ebook will curiosity scholars of the Enlightenment, modern political theorists and philosophers, and a normal viewers fascinated by the way forward for the connection among Islam and the West.

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Additional info for Kantian Courage: Advancing the Enlightenment in Contemporary Political Theory (Just Ideas: Transformative Ideals of Justice in Ethical and Political Thought)

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Interestingly, both Rawls and Deleuze pursue this project by drawing upon David Hume, one of Kant’s great rivals in the eighteenthcentury Enlightenment. The next task for contemporary Kantians is to engage common sense. Here, Rawls and Deleuze part company in how they take up Kant’s legacy. Rawls thinks that philosophy should clarify and defend healthy democratic common sense, whereas Deleuze thinks that philosophy qua philosophy challenges conventional ways of thinking, acting, and feeling. Rawls, in other words, largely participates in the Pythagoras story that holds that people already know on a fundamental level what they ought to do, while Deleuze largely agrees with Nietzsche that philosophy must constantly criticize common sense from an untimely perspective.

Nor does Kant think that violent revolution will accomplish a substantive transformation in mentalities. Only gradual transformation, facilitated by the exchange of ideas in the public sphere, will bring about the proper conditions for individual and collective autonomy. Yet Kant insists that enlightenment can only transpire if individuals exercise the courage to challenge entrenched dogmatic ways of thinking.  Courage entails battling intellectual complacency, but it also demands that one propose new ideas and arguments.

Rawls and Deleuze also think that democratic citizens are often pulled between reasonable political behavior and a desire to chart a new life course. indb 25 7/12/12 12:13:11 PM 26 Introduction person is more accommodating to democratic social norms than Deleuze’s; Deleuze’s conceptual persona is less keen to subject her desires to the collective will. The next stage of constructivism is to lay out a plane, or a mental landscape, on which the conception of the person thinks, moves, and decides.

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