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Temporality and Politics in Kant (2009-2010)

Field of study: Philosophy

The aim of this study is to bring together – in a somewhat panoramic, but plausible manner – two of the main interests of Kantianism, as it emerged in recent exegesis: temporality and politics. In spite of the differences between and within the two fields of interpretive study, we consider that the topics central to them can be reduced to a small number of issues that are intimately related, thus offering a coherent line of critical interpretation, as follows. Temporality is a recurrent hallmark of the Kantian tradition, needing no special inquiry as to its legitimacy; however, a short overview of its contents seems necessary. The passage towards politics unavoidably
involves practical temporality, different from the temporality understood within the metaphysics of the subject as presented in the first Critique. The idea of life, being the link between theoretical and practical philosophy, between the rational and the acting subject, presents itself as the first focal point of the discussion. Whereas the main interest of Kantian politics, on the other hand, seems to be its cosmopolitan purpose, this being clear from the outset as a consequence of universalism, its pragmatic side, however, namely, Kantian
anthropology, remains an ambiguous issue all along the interpretive tradition. Here, Michel Foucault’s seminal work is called for, as a fruitful intersection of political and existential interests. Last, we give a hermeneutical account of the historical language-play in Towards Perpetual Peace, in order to exemplify Kant’s political authorship as a pragmatic activity – as an example of the very intersection of philosophical theory and political practice qua discursive performativity

Keywords: Immanuel Kant, temporality, politics

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