XI KANT KONGRESS, XI Congresso Kantiano Internazionale

On Kantianism as a New Form of Cultural Clericalism

George di Giovanni

Edificio: Palazzo dei Congressi
Sala: sala Newton
Data: 24 maggio 2010 - 17:00
Ultima modifica: 13 aprile 2010


This paper was occasioned by the recent discovery of an early thesis of John Rawls that gives evidence to Rawls’ early religious commitments. This discovery might be taken to support Ian Hunter’s claim (Rival Enlightenments, 2001) that Rawls’ theory of justice is still an instance of Kant’s other-worldly, ascetic view of morality. In this paper I agree with Hunter’s criticism of Kant’s moral theory. I also suggest that contemporary attempts at staying its internal contradictions are disingenuous. But I also argue that Hunter fails to give an adequate philosophical account of ‘reason’ and ‘culture’. The opposition that he sets up between the culture of the ‘jurists’ and that of the ‘academics’ is, therefore, conceptually opaque. Also opaque, therefore, would be any connection between this last culture, to which Kant allegedly belonged, and Rawls’ theory of justice.