The morals of metaphysics: Kant's 'Groundwork' as intellectual paideia

Hunter, Ian (2002) The morals of metaphysics: Kant's 'Groundwork' as intellectual paideia. Critical Inquiry, 28 4: 908-929. doi:10.1086/341237

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Author Hunter, Ian
Title The morals of metaphysics: Kant's 'Groundwork' as intellectual paideia
Journal name Critical Inquiry   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0093-1896
Publication date 2002
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1086/341237
Open Access Status File (Publisher version)
Volume 28
Issue 4
Start page 908
End page 929
Total pages 22
Editor W. J. T. Mitchell
Place of publication Chicago
Publisher Chicago University Press
Collection year 2002
Language eng
Subject C1
430108 History - European
750902 Understanding the pasts of other societies
Abstract To approach philosophy as a way of working on the self means to begin not with the experience it clarifies and the subject it discovers, but with the acts of self‐transformation it requires and the subjectivity it seeks to fashion. Commenting on the variety of spiritual exercises to be found in the ancient schools, Pierre Hadot remarks that: Some, like Plutarch’s ethismoi, designed to curb curiosity, anger or gossip, were only practices intended to ensure good moral habits. Others, particularly the meditations of the Platonic tradition, demanded a high degree of mental concentration. Some, like the contemplation of nature as practiced in all philosophical schools, turned the soul toward the cosmos, while still others—rare and exceptional—led to a transfiguration of the personality, as in the experiences of Plotinus. We also saw that the emotional tone and notional content of these exercises varied widely from one philosophical school to another: from the mobilization of energy and consent to destiny of the Stoics, to the relaxation and detachment of the Epicureans, to the mental concentration and renunciation of the sensible world among the Platonists.1 While successfully applied to ancient philosophy,2 this approach has not been widely exploited in the history of philosophy more broadly. There is, however, at least one study of medieval metaphysics in these terms,3 and there are some important discussions of early modern Stoicism and Epicureanism.4 And a recent study of Hume shows the fruitfulness of the approach for Enlightenment philosophy.5 It is all the more surprising then that there seems to have been no serious attempt to approach Kant’s moral philosophy in this way.
Keyword Humanities, multidisciplinary
Q-Index Code C1

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Excellence in Research Australia (ERA) - Collection
Centre for the History of European Discourses Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 16 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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Created: Tue, 14 Aug 2007, 18:24:00 EST