project . 2021 - 2024 . On going


Kant, a Cosmopolitan in Königsberg: an Idea for a Local History with a Cosmopolitan Aim
Open Access mandate for Publications and Research data
European Commission
Funder: European CommissionProject code: 101022186 Call for proposal: H2020-MSCA-IF-2020
Funded under: H2020 | MSCA-IF-GF Overall Budget: 246,669 EURFunder Contribution: 246,669 EUR
Status: On going
05 Nov 2021 (Started) 04 Nov 2024 (Ending)

Kant, a Cosmopolitan in Königsberg: Idea for a local history with a Cosmopolitan Aim Abstract: This project provides a historical contextualist analysis of the relationship between Immanuel Kant’s theory of cosmopolitan law and his lectures on Physical Geography. The reformulation of Kant’s theory of cosmopolitan law into our present context has perhaps proved to be one of the most influential normative frameworks for analysing and evaluating the state of our globalized society. However, recent critics have suggested that the global order, proposed by Kant, does not simply rest on universal values but is rather historically rooted in a European centre with an imperialistic agenda. This criticism largely hinges on a reintroduction of Kant’s lectures on Physical Geography and Pragmatic Anthropology as the proper historical context for understanding Kant’s cosmopolitan right. The question, however, is how to understand this context. The objective of this project is to situate Kant’s lectures within the academic culture of his University in Königsberg. I propose to see the lectures as an active engagement with the inclusion of Königsberg into world society, and hence as a way of problematizing the process of globalization. This means that the lectures should not, as critics have suggested, be interpreted as the basis of Kant’s cosmopolitan law but rather the other way around: his theory of cosmopolitan law should be seen as critical answers given to questions identified and raised in the lectures. Despite the growing interest in these lectures there is still no comprehensive historical study of Kant’s lectures on geography and its role in his political philosophy. The ultimate aim of this project is to deliver such a study.

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