Kant’s Imperative

By |2019-12-29T14:20:10-06:00December 29th, 2019|Categories: Culture, E.B., Ethics, Eva Brann, Immanuel Kant, In Honor of Eva Brann at 90 Series, Philosophy, Reason, Senior Contributors, St. John's College, Virtue|

What makes freedom possible is beyond all knowing, but what makes the moral law possible is freedom itself. The fact that we have a faculty of freedom is the critical ground of the possibility of morality. I have called this lecture “Kant’s Imperative” so that I might begin by pointing up an ever-intriguing circumstance. [...]

Mental Imagery

By |2019-07-29T10:53:04-05:00July 29th, 2019|Categories: E.B., Eva Brann, Imagination, Immanuel Kant, In Honor of Eva Brann at 90 Series, Liberal Learning, Philosophy, Science, Senior Contributors, St. John's College|

As Immanuel Kant says, the imagination is “a hidden art in the depth of the human soul.” It is a faculty which presupposes that somehow or other two worlds of objects are present to us, one of which seems to us to be outside, the other inside ourselves. The imagination is a puzzle not [...]

The Student’s Problem

By |2018-11-21T08:38:37-06:00August 20th, 2018|Categories: E.B., Education, Eva Brann, Great Books, Immanuel Kant, Liberal Arts, Liberal Learning, Philosophy, Plato, St. John's College|

There is a sickness, traditionally called melancholy, which is particularly at home in communities of learning such as ours. Its visible form can be seen in the engraving by Duerer called Melencolia Prima. Amidst the signs and symbols of the liberal arts, especially geometry, sits heavily a winged woman. Her eyes are fixed intently on visions [...]

How to Constitute a World

By |2018-11-21T08:38:41-06:00February 27th, 2018|Categories: Books, E.B., Eva Brann, Featured, Great Books, Immanuel Kant, Philosophy|

Immanuel Kant is the most radical modern, the founder of our ultimate subjectivity. His three Critiques are world-constituting and world-inverting. Before him, the world qualified the mind; now consciousness constitutes the world… (This essay was originally published as the preface to How to Constitute a World by Eva Brann, Paul Dry Books, 2017) Immanuel Kant’s writings [...]

Cosmopolitanism: Citizens Without States?

By |2019-03-19T17:40:07-05:00January 8th, 2018|Categories: American Founding, Books, Civil Society, Culture, Great Books, History, Immanuel Kant, Immigration, Politics, Socrates, Timeless Essays|

What we need is a love for both our country and our humanity, whether it be through religion, reason, or both. Such a position steers clear of the perfectionist aspirations of cosmopolitans and draws back from parochial nationalist sentiments by combining the best elements of American conservatism and liberalism… Today’s offering in our Timeless [...]

What Is Human Dignity?

By |2019-09-17T14:09:48-05:00July 8th, 2017|Categories: American Republic, Immanuel Kant, Peter A. Lawler, Philosophy, Rights|

We display our dignity by imposing our will on nature to create a world where we can live as dignified beings—or not as miserably self-conscious and utterly precarious accidents… As we remember our friend Peter Augustine Lawler (1951–2017), we are proud to publish this selection from his insightful book Modern and American Dignity (Intercollegiate Studies Institute, [...]

Kant’s Philosophical Use of Mathematics: Negative Magnitudes

By |2018-11-21T08:38:49-06:00December 12th, 2016|Categories: E.B., Eva Brann, Existence of God, Immanuel Kant, Mathematics, Philosophy, Senior Contributors, St. John's College|

Kant shows that the one necessary, non-contingent existence is God, a being that is one, simple, unchangeable, eternal, and a spirit. There is, then, necessarily a God, a being comprehending not all, but all the highest positive reality… I hope that this consideration of a peculiar little work of great interest will appeal to [...]

Kant’s Imperative

By |2019-04-22T11:57:16-05:00February 29th, 2016|Categories: E.B., Eva Brann, Great Books, Immanuel Kant, Morality, Reason, St. John's College, Virtue|

I have called this lecture “Kant’s Imperative” so that I might begin by pointing up an ever-intriguing circumstance. Kant claims that the Categorical Imperative, which is the Moral Law, is implicitly known to every fully formed human being. And yet its formulation is absolutely original with him. Thus, to study that hard philosophical gem, [...]

The Cologne Riots & the Loss of a Moral Language

By |2016-01-28T12:21:28-06:00January 21st, 2016|Categories: Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Europe, Immanuel Kant, Immigration, Winston Churchill, World War II|

On December 31, 2015, a mob of young Arab and North African men, perhaps as many as 1,000, assaulted, groped, harassed, and in some cases even raped European women in Cologne, Germany. It took almost a week for police to corroborate social media reports of the crime wave, and even longer for authorities to [...]

A Critique of Kant’s Non-Critical Afterlife

By |2018-11-21T08:39:05-06:00November 3rd, 2015|Categories: Books, E.B., Eva Brann, Great Books, Immanuel Kant, Philosophy, St. John's College|

“Better late than never” is the motto of this review. The work known as Kant’s Opus Postumum occupied him during the last fifteen years of his working life, from 1786 to 1801. (He died at 80 in 1804.) The first English translation, which underlies this review, was published in 1993. The first German printing [...]

Kant on History and Culture as a Means to Ethical Evolution

By |2014-08-14T16:26:31-05:00September 17th, 2013|Categories: Immanuel Kant, Lee Cheek, Philosophy|

The “Conjectural Beginning of Human History”[1] is Kant’s attempt to recast the creation story of Genesis. The procreative act of Yahweh is cooperative in the sense heaven and earth are combined, as well as the essence of the Divine and humankind. According to Genesis 2:4, creation is the work of generations (toldoth); however, Kant’s creation [...]