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Immanuel Kant and Friedrich Nietzsches Key Ideas and the Extent to Which Their Work has Contributed to the Development of Social Thought - Essay Example

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The idea of this research emerged from the author’s interest and fascination in which extent Immanuel Kant and Friedrich Nietzsche’s work has contributed to the development of social thought to. The researcher aims to pay special attention to the key ideas of these intellectuals…
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Immanuel Kant and Friedrich Nietzsches Key Ideas and the Extent to Which Their Work has Contributed to the Development of Social Thought
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Download file to see previous pages It is evidently clear from the discussion that Immanuel Kant’s thoughts have enriched a wide variety of disciplines within humanities, including theology, political science, and sociology. But Kant’s work does not fit easily into any particular disciplinary paradigm.  Of late, Kant’s thoughts have regained eminence in the study of international politics.  Contemporary proponents of Kant’s relevance to international politics espouse the view that democracy leads to peace. But this position contradicts the philosophic foundations of Kant’s works. Hence there is not the straightforward account of how Kant’s works have influenced subsequent social thought. The infiltration of Kant’s ideas into later scholarship is at places overt and at others subtle. Neither is the influence uniform and unidirectional for contradictions abound. The later generation of scholars studying Kant’s works has rejected the “overly constraining the republicanism, internationalism, and individualistic humanism that obviously inform Kant's political writings.” Perceiving these liberal political concepts to be anachronistic and outdated, scholars have tried to fit Kant to the postmodern understanding of politics. Kant had espoused liberal universalism, but its premises have proven to be limited and contestable. To redress this drawback in Kantian thought, modern philosophers have tried to “cultivate a political skepticism that is ethically attentive and responsive to the Other, whoever or whatever he or she may be.” Moreover, the 18th century Age of Enlightenment had significantly undermined the hold of religious superstition and dogma over people’s lives. That Kant’s life coincided with the upheavals of the Enlightenment can be interpreted as the philosopher’s attempt at reconciling his personal faith with looming currents of doubt created by rationalism. Hence there is a degree of merit to the view that theological presuppositions are present within Kant’s work. A key term here is “theological horizons”, which served as a set of analytic frameworks for Kant’s argument of his theses. Such theological horizons function, “in the first instance, on Kant's own part, inasmuch as the critical philosophy articulates its account of human finitude over against a robust sense of transcendence. For Kant, fundamental to the conceptual space of the human--i.e., to the articulation of an account of what distinctively constitutes our humanity--is the orientation of that space to transcendence as it delimits the contours of our properly human finitude. In affirming human finitude--for which his trope is "the limits of reason"--as marked out by radical difference from transcendence, Kant stands within the theological horizon to which the reflective traditions of Abrahamic monotheism have oriented themselves in affirming "God" as the proper name for the transcendence humanity encounters in radical Otherness.” Kant’s major thrust was not so much against pure reason as against our perception of the ‘real’. Kant found the founding principles of the Enlightenment problematic for they put reason and scientific inquiry as for the sole medium for understanding reality. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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