SHS Web Conf.
Volume 161, 202312th Kant-Readings International Conference “Kant and the Ethics of Enlightenment: Historical Roots and Contemporary Relevance”
|Number of page(s)||9|
|Section||Kant and the History of Enlightenment Ethics|
|Published online||08 March 2023|
Between duty and contingency. On some figures of the humanistic tradition in Kant
Dipartimento di Scienze del Patrimonio Culturale, University of Salerno (UNISA), Via iovanniPaolo II, 84034 Fisciano (SA), Italy
* Corresponding author: email@example.com
One must distinguish between the Enlightenment concept and the humanistic concept of humanity. The former indicates a universal deontological ideal; the latter a selective set of personal and social virtues. Kant is a champion of Enlightenment but inherits various aspects of the humanistic tradition that began at the end of the fourteenth century. This tradition, which largely coincides with the so-called Hofliteratur, eclectically combines elements of ancient and Christian ethics and adds a strong pedagogical, aesthetic and socio-political trait to outline a secular morality of self-government. After briefly presenting the Enlightenment “humanist family”, the article examines some figures of the humanistic tradition present in Kantian ethics: the Weltbürger, self-improvement and humanitas. Through them I show the substantial role of education, taste and social interplay. They converge in the sphere of pragmatic anthropology, the moment morals become involved in the dramatic theatre of the world with its dialectic and rhetoric of appearance. Here the ethics of the imperative intersect with ethics as prudence and the art of living. Rational freedom intersects with the contingency of reality and the inscrutability of the psyche. Morality becomes more impure, but also richer and more suited to take up the challenge of being human.
Key words: Kant / humanitas / contingency / ambiguity / prudence / art of living / self-government / humanity
© The Authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2023
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Current usage metrics show cumulative count of Article Views (full-text article views including HTML views, PDF and ePub downloads, according to the available data) and Abstracts Views on Vision4Press platform.
Data correspond to usage on the plateform after 2015. The current usage metrics is available 48-96 hours after online publication and is updated daily on week days.
Initial download of the metrics may take a while.