•  849
    Contradiction and Kant’s Formula of Universal Law
    Kant-Studien 108 (1): 89-115. 2017.
    Kant’s most prominent formulation of the Categorical Imperative, known as the Formula of Universal Law (FUL), is generally thought to demand that one act only on maxims that one can will as universal laws without this generating a contradiction. Kant's view is standardly summarized as requiring the 'universalizability' of one's maxims and described in terms of the distinction between 'contradictions in conception' and 'contradictions in the will'. Focusing on the underappreciated significance of…Read more
  • Repliek
    Algemeen Nederlands Tijdschrift voor Wijsbegeerte 103 (3). 2011.
  •  835
    Kant's second thoughts on race
    Philosophical Quarterly 57 (229). 2007.
    During the 1780s, as Kant was developing his universalistic moral theory, he published texts in which he defended the superiority of whites over non-whites. Whether commentators see this as evidence of inconsistent universalism or of consistent inegalitarianism, they generally assume that Kant's position on race remained stable during the 1780s and 1790s. Against this standard view, I argue on the basis of his texts that Kant radically changed his mind. I examine his 1780s race theory and his hi…Read more
  •  295
    Kant, History, and the Idea of Moral Development
    History of Philosophy Quarterly 16 (1): 59-80. 1999.
    I examine the consistency of Kant's notion of moral progress as found in his philosophy of history. To many commentators, Kant's very idea of moral development has seemed inconsistent with basic tenets of his critical philosophy. This idea has seemed incompatible with his claims that the moral law is unconditionally and universally valid, that moral agency is noumenal and atemporal, and that all humans are equally free. Against these charges, I argue not only that Kant's notion of moral devel…Read more
  •  43
    The goal of this study is to reconstruct and evaluate the systematic role of Kant's views on history within his ‛critical' philosophy. Kant's philosophy of history has been neglected in the literature, largely due to the widespread though mistaken perception that it is at odds with central assumptions of Kant’s ‘critical’ thought. I discuss Kant's most important texts on history and examine the relationship between Kant's view of history and the central tenets of his Critiques (in particular, K…Read more
  •  24
    A Peculiar Fate: Metaphysics and World-History in Kant
    Review of Metaphysics 47 (4): 808-810. 1994.
    Kant's writings on history have been enjoying increased recognition by Kant scholars, and Peter Fenves's A Peculiar Fate fits this trend. But here the similarity with mainstream Kant studies abruptly ends. This is no ordinary monograph on Kant's philosophy of history: neither in terms of the selection of Kant's writings discussed by its author, nor in terms of its style, nor in terms of its philosophical approach.
  •  215
    Nature or Providence? On the Theoretical and Moral Importance of Kant’s Philosophy of History
    American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly 75 (2): 201-219. 2001.
    Kant’s use of the terms ‘Nature’ and ‘Providence’ in his essays on history has long puzzled commentators. Kant personifies Nature and Providence in a curious way, by speaking of them as “deciding” to give humankind certain predispositions, “wanting” these to be developed, and “knowing” what is best for humans Moreover, he leaves the relationship between the two terms unclear. In this essay, I argue that Kant’s use of ‘Nature’ and ‘Providence’ can be clarified and explained. Moreover, I show …Read more
  •  468
    Kant on the Unity of Theoretical and Practical Reason
    Review of Metaphysics 52 (2): 500-528. 1998.
    In his critical works of the 1780's, Kant claims, seemingly inconsistently, that (1) theoretical and practical reason are one and the same reason, applied differently, (2) that he still needs to show that they are, and (3) that theoretical and practical reason are united. I first argue that current interpretations of Kant's doctrine of the unity of reason are insufficient. But rather than concluding that Kant’s doctrine becomes coherent only in the Critique of Judgment, I show that the three st…Read more
  •  170
    Consistent egoists and situation managers: two problems for situationism
    Philosophical Explorations 18 (3): 344-361. 2015.
    According to philosophical “situationism”, psychological evidence shows that human action is typically best explained by the influence of situational factors and not by “global” and robust character traits of the agent. As a practical implication of their view, situationists recommend that efforts in moral education be shifted from character development to situation management. Much of the discussion has focused on whether global conceptions of virtue and character, and in particular Aristotelia…Read more
  •  874
    Romantic cosmopolitanism: Novalis's “christianity or europe”
    Journal of the History of Philosophy 46 (2). 2008.
    German Romanticism is commonly associated with nationalism rather than cosmopolitanism. Against this standard picture, I argue that the early German romantic author, Novalis (Georg Philipp Friedrich von Hardenberg, 1772–1801) holds a decidedly cosmopolitan view. Novalis’s essay “Christianity or Europe” has been the subject of much dispute and puzzlement ever since he presented it to the Jena romantic circle in the fall of 1799. On the basis of an account of the philosophical background of Novali…Read more
  •  53
    Kant's Moral and Political Cosmopolitanism
    Philosophy Compass 11 (1): 14-23. 2016.
    In this essay, I first outline the contexts in which the idea of cosmopolitanism appears in Kant's moral and political philosophy. I then survey the three main debates regarding his political cosmopolitanism, namely, on the nature of the international federation he advocated, his theory of cosmopolitan right, and his views on colonialism and ‘race’, and I consider the relation between patriotism and cosmopolitanism in Kant's work. I subsequently discuss Kant's moral cosmopolitanism. Kant is wide…Read more
  •  109
    Immanuel Kant’s views on politics, peace, and history have lost none of their relevance since their publication more than two centuries ago. This volume contains a comprehensive collection of Kant’s writings on international relations theory and political philosophy, superbly translated and accompanied by stimulating essays. Pauline Kleingeld provides a lucid introduction to the main themes of the volume, and three essays by distinguished contributors follow: Jeremy Waldron on Kant’s theory of t…Read more
  •  267
    The increasingly common use of inclusive language (e.g., "he or she") in representing past philosophers' views is often inappropriate. Using Immanuel Kant's work as an example, I compare his use of terms such as "human race" and "human being" with his views on women to show that his use of generic terms does not prove that he includes women. I then discuss three different approaches to this issue, found in recent Kant-literature, and show why each of them is insufficient. I conclude that the ten…Read more
  •  914
    There exists a standard view of Kant’s position on global order and this view informs much of current Kantian political theory. This standard view is that Kant advocates a voluntary league of states and rejects the ideal of a federative state of states as dangerous, unrealistic, and conceptually incoherent. This standard interpretation is usually thought to fall victim to three equally standard objections. In this essay, I argue that the standard interpretation is mistaken and that the three sta…Read more
  •  393
    Kantian Patriotism
    Philosophy and Public Affairs 29 (4): 313-341. 2000.
    In this essay, I examine the compatibility of Kantian cosmopolitanism and patriotism. In response to recent literature, I first argue that in order to discuss this issue fruitfully, one should distinguish between three different forms of patriotism and be careful to make clear when patriotism is obligatory, permissible, or prohibited. I then show that Kantians can defend the view that civic patriotism is a duty, but that attempts to also establish nationalist patriotism and trait-based patriot…Read more
  •  370
    Kant's unduly neglected concept of cosmopolitan law suggests a third sphere of public law -- in addition to constitutional law and international law -- in which both states and individuals have rights, and where individuals have these rights as ‛citizens of the earth' rather than as citizens of particular states. I critically examine Kant's view of cosmopolitan law, discussing its addressees, content, justification, and institutionalization. I argue that Kant's conception of ‛world citizenship'…Read more