Kantian Journal

2015 Issue №4(54)

A Relation to the Politikal Revolution as a Touchstone for Practical Philosophy


This paper presents a critical review of an article by the eminent Russian Kantianist Prof A. N. Kruglov published under the title “Immaturity and the objective of a true reform in ways of thinking” in Kantovsky Sbornik (issues 3—4, 2014). The critical analysis focuses on the practical conclusion, in which Prof Kruglov expresses his negative attitude to the French Revolution and shows ambiguous disapproval of Kant’s positive attitude to it. This ambiguity can discredit modern practical philosophy, which has to present to the society clear and stable statements that can be understood by most readers. Otherwise, practical conclusions can be arbitrarily interpreted by politicians, ideologists, and general public as scientific recommendations and guidelines for decision-making. Moreover, Prof Kruglov ignores Kant’s important thought about socio-political revolutions being the fault of rulers incapable of implementing necessary reforms. Therefore, the violence and cruelty of revolutions are nothing but the nature's vengeance for social injustice. Prof Kruglov juxtaposes Kant’s notions of political revolution and ‘true reform in ways of thinking’ neglecting the fact that, without a ‘falling off of personal despotism and of avaricious or tyrannical oppression’, it is impossible to achieve a ‘true reform in ways of thinking’ and that cruel political revolutions can liberate the society from such oppression. The paper explains Kant’s positive attitude to the French revolution as a ‘historical sign’ of the possibility of moral and legal improvement of humanity through striving for moral goals. Political revolutions are considered as the initial (‘negative’) stage of enlightenment consisting in the liberation from coercion and ‘assistance’ from guardians. This s

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