Monday, March 17, 2008

Dear Philosophers: What Do You Like/Dislike About Kant?

There are several Kantians (pro, contra) among my readers. This is an open letter to them.

Dear Philosopher Friends,

I have only read the Critique of Pure Reason and the Critique of Aesthetic Judgment, and that was back in college. I am not a philosopher, and do not generally read much philosophy (unless it's legal philosophy, at least), and so I don't feel too ashamed about this. One can only read so much in a lifetime, especially with the demands of school and how school is making you read Gerald Rosenberg's The Hollow Hope: Can Courts Affect Social Change? for like the second or third time. Not to mention all my novels and research on organizations and the mobilization of rights. So, I fully admit my ignorance with respect to philosophy.

Thus, I wish to publicly follow up the comments by Paul Gowder and Matt Lister, who seem to disagree on Kant. What should I, your beloved Belle, know about Kant that I don't know from my very limited reading (see above)? Should I be reading more Kant? Which works? What are the merits and deficiencies of Kantian philosophy? What do you like/dislike about Kant? Of what use/purpose/meaning is Kantian philosophy to you and your scholarly work and personal life?

In my next post, I will ask the three philosophers who read my blog (Paul, Matt, and Ben) to do the same for Wittgenstein, and give me recommendations and tips for futher reading. Larry Solum tried to explain Wittgenstein to me, bless his heart. But let's take me a step further.

This will be good for you. I can of course read the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy entries, and I do. But you, my dear philosopher friends, can really give me a much bigger picture, and one that shows what the philosophy means to you, and how you make it relevant to your life and work.




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