Anthropology from a Pragmatic Point of View
In the fall semester of 1772/73 at the Albertus University of Königsberg, Immanuel Kant, metaphysician and professor of logic and metaphysics, began lectures on anthropology, which he continued until 1776, shortly before his retirement from public life. His lecture notes and papers were first published in 1798, eight years after the publication of the Critique of Judgment, the third of his famous Critiques. The present edition of the Anthropology is a translation of the text found in volume 7 of Kants gesammelte Schriften, edited by Oswald Külpe.
Kant describes the Anthropology as a systematic doctrine of the knowledge of humankind. (He does not yet distinguish between the academic discipline of anthropology as we understand it today and the philosophical.) Kant’s lectures stressed the "pragmatic" approach to the subject because he intended to establish pragmatic anthropology as a regular academic discipline. He differentiates the physiological knowledge of the human race—the investigation of "what Nature makes of man"—from the pragmatic—"what man as a free being makes of himself, what he can make of himself, and what he ought to make of himself." Kant believed that anthropology teaches the knowledge of humankind and makes us familiar with what is pragmatic, not speculative, in relation to humanity. He shows us as world citizens within the context of the cosmos.
Summarizing the cloth edition of the Anthropology, Library Journal concludes: "Kant’s allusions to such issues as sensation, imagination, judgment, (aesthetic) taste, emotion, passion, moral character, and the character of the human species in regard to the ideal of a cosmopolitan society make this work an important resource for English readers who seek to grasp the connections among Kant’s metaphysics of nature, metaphysics of morals, and political theory. The notes of the editor and translator, which incorporate material from Ernst Cassirer’s edition and from Kant’s marginalia in the original manuscript, shed considerable light on the text."
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be anything enjoyable. - - Tobacco (whether smoked or snuffed) is at first linked with a disagreeable sensation . But just because nature immediately removes this pain (by secreting a mucus from the palate or nose), tobacco (especially when smoked) becomes a kind of company, by entertaining and constantly reawakening sensations and even thoughts; even if in this case they are only fleeting. - Finally, even if no positive pain stimulates us to activity, if necessary a negative one, boredom , will
is a river, brought about by the steepness of the ground, that digs itself deeper and deeper and makes itself constant.] 1 50 On the faculty ofdesire outer physician of the soul, one who nevertheless knows how to prescribe remedies that are for the most part not radical, but almost always merely palliative. 4 Where a great deal of affect is present, there is generally little passion; as with the French, who as a result of their vivacity are fickle in comparison with the Italians and Spaniards
on an equal footing with them. The habit here produces candor, which is equally far removed from shyness and insulting audacity. We sympathize with another person's shame in so far as it is painful to him, but we do not sympathize with his anger if he tells us with the affect of anger what provoked his anger; for while he is in such a state, the one who listens to his story (of an insult suffered) is himself not safe. 24 Surprise (confusion at finding oneself in an unexpected situation) at first
share that justice allots him is certainly no passion, but only a determining ground of free choice through pure practical reason. But the excitability of this desire through mere self-love, that is, just for one's own advantage, not for the purpose oflegislation for everyone, is the sensible impulse of hatred, hatred not of injustice, but rather against him who is unjust to us. Since this inclination (to pursue and destroy) is based on an idea, although admittedly the idea is applied selfishly,