Kantian Journal

2023 Vol. 42. №2

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Why Study Kant? Framing the Problem



In its 2018 publication, Come On! the Club of Rome advocates the need for a New Enlightenment. It associates Kant with an Old Enlightenment that favours (i) individualism, (ii) rationalism and in general (iii) a lack of balance between different elements such as reason and feelings. In this discussion note, I argue — based on Kant’s theoretical as well as practical philosophies — that the charges are not properly levelled at Kant. (i) In finding truth as well as what is morally right, Kant advocates abstracting from private ends and testing one’s views against the views of others. (ii) Kant also points out the limits of what we can know rationally; (iii) and in theoretical as well as practical cognition, he emphasises that we need both: reason and sensibility.