Recent Papers On Kant, Ethics, and Foucault

 

Kenneth F. Rogerson
Kant and Empirical Concepts
Although Kant is most well-known for his arguments in support of pure or a priori concepts, he also attempts to give an account of how empirical concepts are acquired. In this paper I want to take a close look at this account. Specifically, I am interested in a recent criticism that Kant’s explanation of empirical concept acquisition is, in some sense, circular. I will consider and criticize a recent attempt to solve this problem. Finally, I will argue for my own solution to the circularity problem relying, oddly enough, on Kant’s commitment to pure or a priori concepts of the understanding as well as the pure forms of the imagination. Briefly, I want to argue that Kant can give a coherent and non-circular account of empirical concept acquisition relying primarily on the a priori conceptual tools developed in the Critique of Pure Reason.
Sofie Møller (forthcoming). Rethinking Kant as a Public Intellectual.European Journal of Political Theory:1474885115611518.

In Kant’s Politics in Context, Reidar Maliks offers a compelling account of Kant’s political philosophy as part of a public debate on rights, citizenship, and revolution in the wake of the French Revolution. Maliks argues that Kant’s political thought was developed as a moderate middle ground between radical and conservative political interpretations of his moral philosophy. The book’s central thesis is that the key to understanding Kant’s legal and political thought lies in the public debate among Kant’s followers and that in this debate we find the political challenges which Kant’s political philosophy is designed to solve. Kant’s Politics in Context raises crucial questions about how to understand political thinkers of the past and is proof that our understanding of the past will remain fragmented if we limit our studies to the great men of the established canon.
Zeynep Direk (2014). Phenomenology and Ethics: From Value Theory to an Ethics of Responsibility.Studia Phaenomenologica 14:371-393.

There seems to be a shift in phenomenology in the 20th century from an ethics based on value theory to an ethics based on responsibility. This essay attempts to show the path marks of this transition. It begins with the historical development that led Husserl to address the question of ethical objectivity in terms of value theory, with a focus on Kant, Hegel, and Nietzsche. It then explains Husserl’s phenomenology of ethics as grounded in value theory, and takes into account Heidegger’s objections to it. Finally, it considers Sartre as a transitional figure between value theory and an ethics of responsibility and attempts to show in what sense, if at all, Levinas’ phenomenology of ethics could be an absolute break with a phenomenological ethics based on values.
Cristian Iftode (2015). The Ethical Meaning of Foucault’s Aesthetics of Existence.Cultura 12 (2):145-162.

In order to grasp the true ethical meaning of Foucault’s aesthetics of existence, I begin by explaining in what sense he was an anti-normativist, arguing that the most important thing about the “final” Foucault is his strong emphasis on the idea of human freedom. I go on with a brief discussion about Foucault’s sources of inspiration and a criticism of Rorty’s kindred plea for “aesthetic life”. I strongly reject the interpretation of Foucault’s aesthetics of existence in terms of narcissistic individualism, arguing, on the contrary, that it has a definite communitarian dimension. I also claim that it is rooted in the Socratic and Stoic understanding of “care of the self,” at the same time allowing new challenging developments fitted for our “post-duty” historical age, by way of analogy with the process of artistic making. I conclude with some short answers to a few questions regarding the status of this aesthetics of living.
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