February 23: Critique of Practical Reason

Morality against happiness?

Science tells us that craving pleasure lawfully destroys happiness.[1] The Buddha and Greek philosophers like Plato see the pursuit of happiness as the basis for moral law.

Kant’s Critique of Practical Reason is about the relationship of moral law and happiness.

For Kant, law and happiness and are not merely distinct but opposed to one another. The Second Critique focuses on the power of will to effect change in the world; to think the limited content of our activity as unconditionally necessary is to understand practical reason.

Join us for discussion of Kant’s Second Critique on Friday, February 23 at 4pm in Hagerty Hall 159. The text of the preface, introducion, and analytic (first part) can be found here.  of the dialectic (second part) here.

[1] The Hacking of the American Mind: The Science Behind the Corporate Takeover of Our Bodies and Brains, by Robert H. Lustig (2017)

Working Group meetings resume in January 2018

Tomorrow’s meeting of the Working Group is cancelled. We shall resume meeting in January at 4pm on Fridays by finishing up the Critique of Practical Reason and discussing the Critique of Judgment before moving on to Hegel’s Logic.

Happy holidays and a happy 2018 to everybody.

November 14: The Critique of Practical Reason

November 14 at 4pm in Hagerty 159 we shall continue discussion of the Preface, Introduction, and Analytic of the Critique of Practical Reason, and then move on to its Transcendental Dialectic. For readings and more information go here and here

If you would like to hear Sebastian Rödl’s lectures on the Second Critique, email brown.2583@osu.edu

For those who missed the introductory discussion, here are some key points and terms relevant to the Second Critique:

The second Critique (KpV) is about the relationship between law and happiness.

Practical reason is a power, reason as will, determining ground of will–reason as species or form of power of desire

Desire is a representation through which its subject is the cause of the reality of the object of this very representation–practical reason thus is a form of a power of desire. The object of desire is the changeable.

The thought of the causality of desire holds together distance from what is to be and satisfaction—two poles of a change—it brings what is in line with what is to be; pleasure is the holding together of these two moments (pleasure is defined in the the Critique of Judgment as consciousness of the causality of a state to maintain itself within itself); such causality contains the unity of distance and satisfaction—maintenance of pleasure through change requires work/labor.

Insofar as practical reason is a power of desire and thus is conscious of itself as cause of being of that which it desires it is pleasure; Insofar as we consider it as a power it is happiness

In KrV third antinomy Kant says that as long as you don’t seek to think through cosmological ideas you will find no meaning in the distinction between appearances and reality