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Kant’s Critique of Practical Reason

An updated edition of Otfried Höffe’s revolutionary study of Kant’s philosophy.

Published in English for the first time, Kant’s Critique of Practical Reason is an abridged and updated edition of Otfried Höffe’s groundbreaking work which was originally published in German. In the book, the author systematically introduces one of the most important areas of Kant's philosophy and relates its basic ideas to the debates of today.

The first part introduces the four driving forces that motivated Kant’s practical philosophy: enlightenment, critique, morality, and cosmopolitanism. The second part demonstrates the extent to which Kant revolutionized moral philosophy, and in the third part, the author explains the provocations that lie at the heart of Kant's practical philosophy. The remaining parts deal with political philosophy, the philosophy of history, and Kant's thinking about religion and education.

296 pages | 5 1/2 x 8 1/2

Philosophy: General Philosophy, Philosophy of Society

Philosophy of Science

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Table of Contents


1. Introduction: Four Motivating Forces
1.1 Enlightenment – 1.2 Critique in the Style of a Judicial Trial– 1.3 Morality – 1.4 Cosmopolitanism

Part 1: Kant’s Revolution of Moral Philosophy

2. Ethics as Practical Philosophy
2.1 Primacy of the second Critique – 2.2 Moral Interest – 2.3 Pure Practical Reason – 2.4 A Proof in Seven Steps – 2.5 The Decisive Passage

3. Critique of the Principle of Happiness
3.1 Moralizing in an Ivory Tower? – 3.2 Mere Form – 3.3 Two Ethical Theories of Happiness: Aristotle and Utilitarianism

4. The New Formula: The Categorical Imperative
4.1 Three Tasks – 4.2 The Law of Nature as a Character of Law – 4.3 The Example of the Deposit – 4.4 An Ethics of Maxims

5. The Freedom of the Will and the Fact of Reason
5.1 Looking Back at the Third Antinomy – 5.2 Free Will – 5.3 The Moral Law Prior to Freedom – 5.4 The Fact of Reason – 5.5 Why be Moral: the Feeling of Respect – 5.6 What can Modern Moral Philosophy Learn from Kant?

Part 2: Kant’s Provocations

6. Provocation 1: A Highest Good?
6.1 A Parallel to the First Critique? – 6.2 From Duty to Hope: the Highest Good – 6.3 ReTheologizing and a Rest of Eudaimonism? – 6.4 General (Quasi)Dialectic of Pure Reason – 6.5 The Postulates: God and Immortality

7. Provocation 2: Duty contra Desire? (Schiller)
7.1 Does Morality Require the Contrast with Desire? – 7.2 What is it That Finds Unity in the Beautiful Soul? – 7.3 Kant or Schiller?

8. Provocation 3: A ‘Metaphysics’ of Morals?
8.1 Kant as an Aristotelian – 8.2 Aristotle’s Ethics: Free of Metaphysics, yet Metaphysical – 8.3 Kant’s Ethics: Metaphysical, yet Free of Metaphysics

Part 3: World Politics and World History

9. Kant’s Justice Theory of Peace
9.1 A Plethora of Innovations – 9.2 ‘Royal Peoples’ and a Royal Humanity – 9.3 A Realistic Vision

10. A Cosmopolitan Philosophy of History
10.1 The Framework of Discussion – 10.2 The Texts – 10.3 Against Cyclopic Learnedness – 10.4 The Engine: Antagonism – 10.5 Thinking of Progress: ModestImmodest – 10.6 On the Epistemic Status

11. On the Guarantee of Perpetual Peace
11.1 A QuasiTranscendental Deduction – 11.2 The Solution: „Nature the Great Artist’ – 11.3 Outer and Inner Nature – 11.4 Constitutional, International and Cosmopolitan Right – 11.5 Epistemic Status

Part 4: Religion, Education und the Final End

12. The Rational Limits of Religion
12.1 No Fourth Critique – 12.2 The New Project – 12.3 ‘Bare’ Reason – 12.4 Thematic and Methodical Innovations – 12.5 The Main Topics – 12.6 A Wealth of Interpretations – 12.7 Interim Result

13. Philosophy of Education
13.1. Pedagogical Anthropology – 13.2 Four Goals of Education – 13.3. ‘The Child is supposed to ... Learn to Work’ – 13.4 Result

14. Human Beings as the Final End
14.1 The Provocative Claim – 14.2 Kant’s Argument – 14.3 On the Final End

15. A Look at the More Recent German Debate
15.1 The Textual Basis – 15.2. A Kant Lexicon – 15.3 Commentaries – 15.4 Monographs


Abbreviations and Method of Citation
Index of Names
Index of Subjects

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