Rationality as

Pragmatic Worldly Prudence:

Kant’s Anthropology

and the Modern Social Sciences

DFG Project, May 2021 – April 2024

Goethe University Frankfurt, Institute of Philosophy

Chair of Modern Philosophy (Prof. Dr. Marcus Willaschek)

Theoretical - Practical - Pragmatic:

Kant’s Applications of Reason in Interplay

International Workshop, Goethe University Frankfurt

July 18 (Thursday) – July 19 (Friday) 2024

Organisation: Davide Dalla Rosa, Alexey Salikov, Alexey Zhavoronkov

Online, via Zoom

Kant’s notion of reason has many facets, ranging from its uses in explicating and systematising scientific cognitions to defining the boundaries and (both epistemic and practical) ends of specific sciences (cf. Sturm 2020). Still, as is well known, Kant advocates the idea of the unity of reason, which presupposes that different terms in relation to reason are only different ways of applying reason and, in reality, denote the same reason but are used in different spheres (KrV A 645 / B 673). The three main spheres of application of reason, which cover all spheres of human rationality, are the ones of theoretical (scientific cognition, understanding the world through research and logical analysis), practical (morality, what is proper in relation to others), and pragmatic use of reason (social interactions, what is practically achievable in the empirical world). However, while his arguments in favour of this unity have been studied in detail, much less attention has been paid to the forms and limitations in the concrete application of this idea, namely to the interaction between theoretical, practical and pragmatic use of reason in various dimensions of Kant’s thought – from his epistemology, ethics and aesthetics to political philosophy, philosophy of law and anthropology.

The interplay between theoretical, practical and pragmatic does not just raise interpretive questions related to Kant’s account of reason broadly meant but also involves the cognitive implications of using said faculty. It relates to Kant’s account of reasoning, i.e. the theory of judging and inferential reasoning, whose forms are established by general logic. Some interpretive questions that arise in this respect regard the cognitive exercise of the higher cognitive faculties in both the theoretical and the practical domain, for instance, regarding the cognitive nature of practical judgments with respect to their relationship to theoretical judgments (cf. Dunn forthcoming). A separate problem is how the pragmatic use of reason relates to practical and theoretical reason, how they are connected and interact with each other. Answers to these questions could provide a more wholesome picture of human rationality from a Kantian perspective.

The workshop aims to fill these gaps, as it will cover several key areas of Kant’s thought while, at the same time, providing examples of the relevance of Kant’s idea of the unity of reason for contemporary debates in philosophy and social sciences.

July 18, Thursday

11.00 – Davide Dalla Rosa, Alexey Salikov, Alexey Zhavoronkov: Greetings and Introduction

11:15 – Martin Sticker (University of Bristol): Kant on uses and abuses of empirical practical reason

12:15 – Ralf Bader (Université de Fribourg): From general practical philosophy to the metaphysics of morals

13:15 – Lunch Break

14:30 – Thomas Sturm (ICREA & UAB Barcelona): Taming Kantian Reason

15:30 – Sofie Møller (Universität zu Köln): Kant on Epistemic Authority and Autonomy

16:30 – Break

17:00 – Damiano Canale (Università Bocconi Milano), Davide Dalla Rosa (Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main): Predicate Negation in Judicial Review: A Kantian Account

July 19, Friday

10:00 – Nuria Sanchez Madrid (Universidad Complutense de Madrid): How Much Domination Underpins Kant’s Pragmatic Social Interaction? Kant’s Pragmatic Rationality and Social Philosophy

11:00 – Alexey Salikov, Alexey Zhavoronkov (Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main): The interplay of pragmatic and moral rationality in Kant’s anthropology

12:00 – Break

12:30 – Roberta Pasquare (independent scholar): Kant on How to Make Public Use of Reason: Epistemic Requirements and Anthropological Conditions

13:30 – Lunch Break

15:00 – Achim Brosch (Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main): Types of economic rationality in Kant’s practical philosophy and anthropology

16:00 – Olga Lenczewska (University of North Carolina, Wilmington): Kant on Moral Education and Origins of Humanity

17:00 – Final Discussion


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© Alexey Salikov, Thomas Sturm, Alexey Zhavoronkov 2022-2024