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Kant's Idea for a Universal History with a Cosmopolitan Aim (Cambridge Critical Guides) Hardcover – May 29, 2009

ISBN-13: 978-0521874632 ISBN-10: 0521874637 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Series: Cambridge Critical Guides
  • Hardcover: 270 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press; 1 edition (May 29, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521874637
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521874632
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,168,020 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"... Idea presents us with a historical account of both the history and the continued prospects for the development of a truly moral society... explores the conditions for the possibility of morality becoming something we actually live by rather than merely being capable of..."
--Stefan Bird-Pollan, Harvard University, Concurring Opinons

Book Description

Lively current debates about narratives of historical progress, the conditions for international justice, and the implications of globalization have prompted a renewed interest in Kant's Idea for a Universal History with a Cosmopolitan Aim. The essays in this volume discuss the questions that are at the core of Kant's investigations.

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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful By John C. Landon on May 2, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This fascinatiing book of discussions of Kant's famous essay on history is a timely, and deep, but flawed or incomplete, series of reflections on Kantian 'historicism', or 'meta-historicism', and the philosophy of history. Written in the wake of Kant's first great critique this essay seems to wish to extend the breakthroughs of transcendental idealism to the study of history. If the attempt is incomplete, it is because the data for the study of history is incomplete, by Kant's own standard. Kant seems to go off on a tangent explanation involving the idea of 'asocial sociability'. Indeed, Kant, and this aspect of his essay is not discussed in the book of commentary, called for a future student of world history to reopen the enquiry and to complete the task Kant projected, and the answer the question he set. Kant's sense that the answer to his challenge, as set forth in the first paragraph of his essay, a paragraph that seems to anticipate Karl Popper's critique of historicism so-called and Isaiah Berlin's discussion of historical inevitability, can only be answered in the future is confirmed by the way in which modern historical research and archaeology have uncovered unwittingly the answer to Kant's query. The discovery of the Axial Age, which shows clearly a hidden dynamic to historical evolution, was several generations in Kant's future, eerily confirming his sense that the study of history would answer his question at some future time.
The question of the Axial Age gives us a hint that something is behind the random flow of history, because it shows an uncaused interval of synchronous emergentism, and with this hint we can move to complete the analysis Kant opened up, and in the process find the way to see historical evolution in terms of the framework of transcendental idealism.
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