Kant and the Historical Turn

Kant and the Historical Turn : Philosophy as Critical Interpretation

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Immanuel Kant's work changed the course of modern philosophy; in these essays Karl Ameriks examines how. He compares the philosophical system set out in Kant's Critiques with the work of the major philosophers before and after him (Descartes, Berkeley, Hume, Reid, Jacobi, Reinhold, the early German Romantics, Hegel, Feuerbach, and Marx). A systematic introduction argues that complexities in the interpretation of Kant's system led to a new emphasis on history,
subjectivity, and aesthetics. This emphasis defined a distinctive interpretive style of philosophizing that has become especially influential and fruitful once again in our own time.
The individual essays provide case studies in support of the thesis that late 18th-century reactions to Kant initiated an 'historical turn', after which historical and systematic considerations became joined in a way that fundamentally distinguishes philosophy from science and art, without falling back into mere historicism. In this way it is shown that philosophy's 'historical turn' is both similar to and unlike the turn to history undertaken by most other disciplines in this era.
Part One argues that close attention to the historical context of Kant's philosophy is crucial to avoiding frequent misunderstandings that have arisen in comparing Kant with other major modern philosophers. Part Two contends that it was mainly the writing of Kant's first major interpreter that led to special philosophical emphasis on history in other major post-Kantian thinkers. Part Three argues that Hegel's system and its influence on post-Hegelians were determined largely by variations on
Reinhold's historical turn. Part Four engages with major contemporary philosophers who have combined a study of particular themes in Kant and German Idealism with an appreciation for phenomena closely associated with the general notion of an historical turn in philosophy.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 344 pages
  • 155 x 234 x 17mm | 528g
  • Clarendon Press
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0199205345
  • 9780199205349
  • 2,023,610

Table of contents

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Review Text

...each of these essays is rich in insight, historical and critical...This is a book of great insight and careful scholarship. Christopher Jay, The Heythrop Journal
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Review quote

...each of these essays is rich in insight, historical and critical...This is a book of great insight and careful scholarship. * Christopher Jay, The Heythrop Journal * Ameriks offers a wealth of useful material related to Kant...Ameriks offers detailed insights into current German schloarship to the English speaking world, * Christian Helmut Wenzel MIND * what precisely is or should be the relation between philosophy and its history? This is the central question that Karl Ameriks poses in his marvelously rich new book, Kant and the Historical Turn, and the answer to it serves as the guiding thread that links the work's thirteen essays. For Ameriks, the question of the role of the past in the contemporary practice of philosophy is no idle matter; rather, he suggests that it stands as the central problem that
philosophy as a whole must answer. Part of what makes Kant and the Historical Turn so interesting, then, is that the solution it proposes calls for a thoroughgoing reconception of what the practice of philosophy ought to involve. . . . one of the hopes that arises from reading Ameriks' enormously
rewarding new book is that this call to endorse the historical turn will be heard far beyond those already working in the history of philosophy. * Peter Thielke, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews *
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About Karl Ameriks

Karl Ameriks received his B.A. from Yale in 1969, his Ph.D from Yale in 1973. Since then he has taught at the University of Notre Dame, where he is McMahon-Hank Professor of Philosophy. In addition to three books on Kant, he has co-translated works by Kant and Husserl, and edited volumes concerning German philosophy and its contemporary interpretation.
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