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The Social Authority of Reason
Kant's Critique, Radical Evil, and the Destiny of Humankind
The Social Authority of Reason
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Philip J. Rossi, SJ - Author
SUNY Series in Philosophy
Price: $60.00 
Hardcover - 218 pages
Release Date: March 2005
ISBN10: 0-7914-6429-6
ISBN13: 978-0-7914-6429-8

Quantity:  
Price: $31.95 
Paperback - 218 pages
Release Date: January 2006
ISBN10: 0-7914-6430-X
ISBN13: 978-0-7914-6430-4

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Summary

Explores the social ramifications of Kant's concept of radical evil.

In The Social Authority of Reason, Philip J. Rossi, SJ argues that the current cultural milieu of globalization is strikingly reflective of the human condition appraised by Kant, in which mutual social interaction for human good is hamstrung by our contentious "unsociable sociability." He situates the paradoxical nature of contemporary society—its opportunities for deepening the bonds of our common human mutuality along with its potential for enlarging the fissures that arise from our human differences—in the context of Kant's notion of radical evil. As a corrective, Rossi proposes that we draw upon the social character of Kant's critique of reason, which offers a communal trajectory for human moral effort and action. This trajectory still has power to open the path to what Kant called "the highest political good"—lasting peace among nations.

“Rossi’s book offers us an interesting and novel attempt to work out the larger social/cultural implications of Kant’s critical project … [It] is ambitious and timely. It represents a new understanding of Kant that seeks to break new ground.” — Review of Metaphysics

“…valuable and helpful rereading of Kant…” — Theological Studies

"The social ramifications of Kant's concept of radical evil have not been sufficiently explored. Rossi's thesis that reason is inherently social and that its authority cannot be fully exercised without confronting and combating the social and cultural manifestations of evil is sound and significant. Demonstrating what is necessary to successfully overcome the social and cultural obstacles to the establishment of ethical communities is important from both a theoretical and a practical point of view. From a theoretical perspective, demonstrating how to fully exercise the authority of reason is important to the internal consistency and coherence of Kant's critical system and its extension to political philosophy, ethics, and philosophy of history. The social authority of reason is also important as a theoretical critique of the claims of postmodernism that reason has no authority at all. From a practical perspective, this thesis is important in combating political cynicism and reviving a belief in the possibility of moral and political progress." — Sharon Anderson-Gold, author of Unnecessary Evil: History and Moral Progress in the Philosophy of Immanuel Kant

"The author avoids the extreme individualism that is common in interpretations of Kant's ethics. As he puts it, Kant's goal is not a kingdom of one, but a kingdom of ends. Rossi emphasizes the role of mankind as a major moral actor for Kant, and gives strong reasons for doing that. This is an important corrective." — Sidney Axinn, coeditor of Autonomy and Community: Readings in Contemporary Kantian Social Philosophy

Philip J. Rossi, SJ is Professor of Theology at Marquette University and the coeditor (with Michael J. Wreen) of Kant's Philosophy of Religion Reconsidered.


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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments

List of Abbreviations and English Translations

1. The Moral and Social Trajectories of Kant's Critical Project

2 The Human Place in the Cosmos I: Critique at the Juncture of Nature and Freedom

3. The Human Place in the Cosmos II: Critique as the Social Self-Governance of Reason

4. The Social Consequences of "Radical Evil"

5. The Social Authority of Reason: The Ethical Commonwealth and the Project of Perpetual Peace

6. The Social Authority of Reason and the Culture(s) of Post-modernity

7. The Unfinished Task of Critique: Social Respect and the Shaping of a Common World

Notes

Index



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43855/43856(JFB/DG/AV)

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