Anthropology from a Pragmatic Point of View / Edition 1

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In the fall semester of 1772/73 at the Albertus University of Königsberg, Immanuel Kant, metaphysician and professor of logic and metaphysics, began lectures on anthropology, which he continued until 1776, shortly before his retirement from public life. His lecture notes and papers were first published in 1798, eight years after the publication of the Critique of Judgment, the third of his famous Critiques. The present edition of the Anthropology is a translation of the text found in volume 7 of Kants gesammelte Schriften, edited by Oswald Külpe.

Kant describes the Anthropology as a systematic doctrine of the knowledge of humankind. (He does not yet distinguish between the academic discipline of anthropology as we understand it today and the philosophical.) Kant’s lectures stressed the "pragmatic" approach to the subject because he intended to establish pragmatic anthropology as a regular academic discipline. He differentiates the physiological knowledge of the human race—the investigation of "what Nature makes of man"—from the pragmatic—"what man as a free being makes of himself, what he can make of himself, and what he ought to make of himself." Kant believed that anthropology teaches the knowledge of humankind and makes us familiar with what is pragmatic, not speculative, in relation to humanity. He shows us as world citizens within the context of the cosmos.

Summarizing the cloth edition of the Anthropology, Library Journal concludes: "Kant’s allusions to such issues as sensation, imagination, judgment, (aesthetic) taste, emotion, passion, moral character, and the character of the human species in regard to the ideal of a cosmopolitan society make this work an important resource for English readers who seek to grasp the connections among Kant’s metaphysics of nature, metaphysics of morals, and political theory. The notes of the editor and translator, which incorporate material from Ernst Cassirer’s edition and from Kant’s marginalia in the original manuscript, shed considerable light on the text."

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"There are many insights into Kant’s own character and his philosophical orientation. . . . There are a helpful introduction, extensive notes both on the content and on details of translation, and an index. The book is comparable to Kant’s Lectures on Ethics (1780). . . . though briefer and more lively and accessible. It is a good introduction to Kant’s philosophy and a valuable supplement to Kant collections at all levels."—Choice
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780809320608
  • Publisher: Southern Illinois University Press
  • Publication date: 9/1/1996
  • Edition description: 1st Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 1,262,918
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Victor L. Dowdell was an instructor in classics at Nashotah House, Wisconsin, and a dean and professor of Greek at St. Michael’s Seminary, Puerto Rico.

Hans H. Rudnick is a professor of English at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale.

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Table of Contents

Introduction 3
Pt. 1 Anthropological Didactic
On Being Conscious of One's Self 9
On Egoism 10
On Being Arbitrarily Conscious of One's Ideas 14
On Self-Observation 15
On the Ideas We Have without Being Aware of Them 18
On Distinctness and Indistinctness in Relation to the Consciousness of One's Ideas 21
On Sensibility in Contrast to Understanding 24
Apology for Sensibility 28
On the Potentiality of the Cognitive Faculty 32
On the Artificial Games Played with Sensory Perceptions 35
On the Admissible Moral Perception 37
On the Five Senses 40
On the Inner Sense 49
On the Causes of Increasing or Decreasing Sensory Perceptions According to Degree 50
On the Decreasing, Weakening, and Entire Loss of the Faculty of the Senses 54
On the Sensory Productive Faculty with All Its Branches 64
Of the Faculty of Visualizing the Past and the Future by means of the Imagination 73
On Involuntary Invention in a Sound Mental State, that is, on Dreams 81
On the Faculty of Designation (facultas signatrix) 83
On the Faculty of Cognition as Far as It Is Based on Understanding 90
Anthropological Comparison of the Three Higher Cognitive Faculties with Each Other 91
On the Soul's Weaknesses and Illnesses with Respect to Its Cognitive Faculty 97
On the Talents of the Cognitive Faculty 118
On the Specific Differences between the Comparative and the Argumentative Intelligence 119
On Sensuous Pleasure 130
On Emotion in Contrast to Passion 156
On the Emotions in Particular 158
On Passions 172
On the Highest Physical Good 184
On the Highest Ethicophysical Good 185
Pt. 2 Anthropological Characterization
A The Character of the Person 195
B The Character of the Sexes 216
C The Character of Nations 225
D On the Character of Races 236
E On the Character of the Species 237
Notes 255
Index 291
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