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Kantian ethics

An approach to moral questions deriving from the teachings and writing of the German philosopher Immanuel Kant (1724–1804). It is characterized by an emphasis on the rational endeavour of ...

Foucault, Michel

Foucault, Michel (1926–1984)   Reference library

Encyclopedia of the Enlightenment

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2005
Subject:
History, modern history (1700 to 1945)
Length:
2,426 words

...Precisely because Foucault founded his philosophy on an idea of freedom, he was a remarkably consistent Kantian—in some respects, more consistent than Kant himself. “Only in the inherently unknowable [realm of freedom] could there be a Kantian Foundations for a Metaphysics of Ethics ,” Hacking has justly remarked. “‘Unknowable’ is meant literally…. It means that there is nothing to be said about freedom, except that within its space we construct our ethics and our lives. Those who criticize Foucault for not giving us a place to stand might start their critique...

Hippel, Theodor Gottlieb von

Hippel, Theodor Gottlieb von (1741–1796)   Reference library

Encyclopedia of the Enlightenment

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2005
Subject:
History, modern history (1700 to 1945)
Length:
700 words

...and poverty relief, and he contributed his expertise to the commission that drafted Prussia's new legal code, the Allgemeines Landrecht ( 1794 ). In all his endeavors, Hippel was animated by a freethinking but practical form of early liberalism. Equally influenced by Kantian ethics, religious obligation, and legal-administrative sophistication, Hippel believed that the main task of Enlightenment thinkers like himself was to reform government according to principles of natural law. These principles would guarantee the indeterminate development of civil...

Cassirer, Ernst

Cassirer, Ernst (1874–1945)   Reference library

Encyclopedia of the Enlightenment

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2005
Subject:
History, modern history (1700 to 1945)
Length:
2,760 words

...remains his most widely read and debated work. Life and Thought until 1932 Cassirer was born in the German city of Breslau (now Wrocław, Poland) to a Jewish family. At the University of Marburg, he worked closely with Hermann Cohen ( 1842–1918 ), a leading neo-Kantian philosopher. The neo-Kantians believed that Immanuel Kant ( 1724–1804 ) had decisively transformed philosophy by destroying metaphysics and grounding philosophy in epistemology. That is, philosophy should focus not on the essence of things but on the conceptual structures that the mind...

Happiness

Happiness   Reference library

Encyclopedia of the Enlightenment

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2005
Subject:
History, modern history (1700 to 1945)
Length:
2,024 words

...Nussbaum, Martha C. The Therapy of Desire: Theory and Practice in Hellenistic Ethics . Princeton, N.J., 1994. A readable and very engaging guide to ancient eudaimonism. Pope, Alexander . Poetry and Prose . Edited by Aubrey Williams . Boston, 1969. Potkay, Adam . The Passion for Happiness: Samuel Johnson and David Hume . Ithaca, N.Y., 2000. Situates key aspects of eighteenth-century moral philosophy in relation to Cicero's presentation of Hellenistic ethics. Røstvig, Maren-Sofie . The Happy Man: Studies in the Metamorphoses of a Classical Ideal, ...

Moral Philosophy

Moral Philosophy   Reference library

Encyclopedia of the Enlightenment

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2005
Subject:
History, modern history (1700 to 1945)
Length:
6,840 words

...it is better to discuss the various versions of the moral philosophy of the Enlightenment in their national and linguistic contexts rather than trying to superimpose categories on them—such as rationalism, intuitionism, sentimentalism, utilitarianism, naturalism, virtue, and Kantian ethics—that must be largely anachronistic. This article will concentrate on Great Britain, France, and Germany, the three most important centers of Enlightenment thought, beginning with an overview of the immediate prehistory of moral philosophy and concluding with a short...

Haskalah

Haskalah   Reference library

Encyclopedia of the Enlightenment

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2005
Subject:
History, modern history (1700 to 1945)
Length:
2,295 words

...Akten-Stuecke, die Reform der Juedischen Kolonien in den Preussischen Staaten betreffend , 1793 ). In a tract on the practice of early burial, Marcus Herz ( 1747–1803 ), a physician and popularizer of Kantian philosophy, pitted the claims of medicine against religion ( Ueber die fruehe Beerdigung der Juden , 1788 ). Saul Ascher ( 1767–1822 ) used Kantian categories to advocate a “positive reformation” that would turn Judaism into a religion of reason ( Leviathan, oder ueber Religion in Ruecksicht des Judenthums , 1792 ). Solomon Maimon ( 1753–1800 )...

Pufendorf, Samuel

Pufendorf, Samuel (1632–1694)   Reference library

Encyclopedia of the Enlightenment

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2005
Subject:
History, modern history (1700 to 1945)
Length:
2,264 words

...in German idealism. (This is particularly ironic in view of Pufendorf's own role in originating the history of moral philosophy as a genre.) There are at least two versions of this tale, and of Pufendorf's significance. J.B. Schneewind sees him as a pivotal figure on the way to Kantian autonomy, to which he indirectly contributed; this story follows Pufendorf's ideas through the British and French, as well as the German contexts. Another, mainly German account, detailed by Ian Hunter , regards him as the casualty of a revivified Christian metaphysics...

Staël, Germaine Necker de

Staël, Germaine Necker de (1766–1817)   Reference library

Encyclopedia of the Enlightenment

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2005
Subject:
History, modern history (1700 to 1945)
Length:
2,078 words

...enemies became active. She became more and more cosmopolitan in her friendships and ideas. Around 1801 , she began studying German philosophy; her years of exile would bring her into contact with Italian, German, and English thinkers and writers. She substituted Kantian transcendental ethics for the enlightened self-interest of the eighteenth century; faced with the tragedies of life, enlightened self-interest seemed insufficient. In 1803 , Bonaparte exiled her from Paris, an exile that lasted ten years, and in December, with Constant, she left for...

Netherlands

Netherlands   Reference library

Encyclopedia of the Enlightenment

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2005
Subject:
History, modern history (1700 to 1945)
Length:
5,809 words

...German philosopher Immanuel Kant, who had launched a “Copernican revolution” that was largely ignored by Dutch philosophers. Although it has been shown that by the early nineteenth century, Kinker had managed to rally quite a number of radical Freemasons behind his calls for a Kantian Aufklärung , Dutch philosophers became seriously interested in German Idealism only during the latter half of the nineteenth century. One should bear in mind, however, that until now research into the Dutch eighteenth century has been dominated by literary and cultural...

Reason

Reason   Reference library

Encyclopedia of the Enlightenment

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2005
Subject:
History, modern history (1700 to 1945)
Length:
4,763 words

...not be used to infer a first cause or a creator of the universe. Its use is limited to the world of the senses, the natural world. In practical metaphysics, or the metaphysics of morals, Kant argued that reason can establish a moral law as the basis of a systematic ethics. He thus denied that ethics can or need be limited to considerations of mere pleasure, pain, and natural appetite. Rather, he argued that human beings are able to act from purely rational principles, independent of sensual inclination. Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel ( 1770–1831 ) criticized...

Epistemology

Epistemology   Reference library

Encyclopedia of the Enlightenment

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2005
Subject:
History, modern history (1700 to 1945)
Length:
8,809 words

...moral epistemology. This division was regularized, first by the German scientist Hermann Helmholtz and then by neo-Kantians such as Heinrich Rickert , into a distinction between the Geisteswissenschaften —literally “sciences of spirit,” but originally translated as “moral sciences” and now as “human sciences”—and the Naturwissenschaften , or natural sciences. Epistemology became a recognized subdiscipline of philosophy, alongside ethics and logic and distinct from the new experimental psychology. It replaced metaphysics as the main branch of...

Reformation Studies

Reformation Studies   Reference library

The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Reformation

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2005
Subject:
History, modern history (1700 to 1945), Religion
Length:
10,576 words

...was taking place, however, among liberal Protestants who worked on the borderlands of theology and undertook a thorough reexamination of the Reformation heritage in the light of major shifts in philosophical thought. Orthodox theology was effectively challenged by both Kantian and idealist philosophy, and Protestant thinkers were faced with the choice of adapting to current philosophy or striking out in new directions. Among those who took the second option, Friedrich Schleiermacher ( 1768–1834 ) looked to religious experience as a new basis for...

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