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Kant's Ethical Thought (Modern European Philosophy) [Paperback]

By Allen W. Wood (Author)
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Item description for Kant's Ethical Thought (Modern European Philosophy) by Allen W. Wood...

The author of this text argues that Kant's ethical vision is grounded in the idea of the dignity of the rational nature of every human being. Undergoing both natural competitiveness and social antagonism the human species, according to Kant, develops the rational capacity to struggle against its impulses towards a human community in which the ends of all are to harmonize and coincide. The book focuses on the central role played in Kant's ethical theory by the value of rational nature as an end itself. It also aims to show the importance of Kant's systematic theory of human nature and history, and its implications for the structure, formulation, and application of Kant's moral principles.

Citations And Professional Reviews
Kant's Ethical Thought (Modern European Philosophy) by Allen W. Wood has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
  • Library Journal - 04/01/2000

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Cambridge University Press
Pages   464
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.01" Width: 6.04" Height: 0.98"
Weight:   1.39 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   May 31, 2006
Publisher   Cambridge University Press
ISBN  052164836X  
ISBN13  9780521648363  

Availability  50 units.
Availability accurate as of Oct 26, 2016 03:36.
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More About Allen W. Wood

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Allen W. Wood is Ward W. and Priscilla B. Woods Professor at Stanford University. He is the author of seven books, including Hegel's Ethical Thought (1990), Kant's Ethical Thought (1999), Unsettling Obligations (2002) and Karl Marx (second edition, 2004). He is co-editor, with Paul Guyer, of the Critique of Pure Reason (1999).

Allen W. Wood has an academic affiliation as follows - Indiana University Stanford University Stanford University Indiana Uni.

Allen W. Wood has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Arguments of the Philosophers
  2. Cambridge Edition of the Works of Immanuel Kant
  3. Cambridge Edition of the Works of Immanuel Kant in Translation
  4. Cambridge Texts in the History of Political Thought
  5. Modern European Philosophy (Paperback)
  6. Modern Library Classics (Paperback)

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Philosophy > Ethics & Morality
2Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Philosophy > General
3Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Philosophy > History & Surveys
4Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Philosophy > History, 17th & 18th Century

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Reviews - What do customers think about Kant's Ethical Thought (Modern European Philosophy)?

Ethnocentrism is still alive in Kantland  Dec 22, 2003
I read this book as a student who had read nearly everything Kant had written to try to undestand why exactly Kant was such a dogmatic reactionary and an unabashed white supremacist. Wood's book, more than any other Kant book I have read seems little more than Kantian apologetics. Wood is (as Kant was) dismissive rather than engaging to Kant's critiques and in general is arrogant and snobbish. There is little evidence that Wood has considered anything more than a carricature of opposition to Kant's philosophy.

I don't think his emphasis on the 2nd formulation is anything groundbreaking since Kant scholars have been harping on it forever. What I find interesting (and the one reason you should look into the book) is the weight Wood places on Kant's ethnocentric anthropology and history. I think Wood is right to do this, but he seems to be attached to a colonial view of culture as a set of beliefs that get tacked onto a universal rationalism and that some sort of civilizing project is requried to make savages moral (since Enlightenment is spread through teaching, and Europeans have already gone through the Enlightenment process). He never fully advocates this view, but it's certainly hinted at. Moreover, besides a brief brush off in the introduction, Wood mentions nothing of the role that race plays in his anthropology. In a book supposedly about how Kant thought all human beings should be treated equally, Wood reviews works in which Kant gives advice on how to beat African slaves most effectively, but mentions NOTHING about how these passages should be read. This is intellectually dishonest and misleading about the meaning of Kant's philosophy, since that philosophy is compatible (in Kant's mind) with enslaving entire races of people.

This book is a great proof that Kantians are serious in including only "rational" people (read as goal-pursuing, individualistic Cartesian dualists) in the moral community, at the exclusion of really anbody but adult Europeans. It's interesting on a purely historical basis, but Wood's book provides a good reason to read one of the numerous more tenable accounts of ethics that have been produced since Kant's day.

If youre into Kant....  Aug 28, 2000
Well obviously if youre into Kant you have to buy this book. Allen Wood (I took two courses with him last year) is perhaps The Kant Scholar alive today (him and Paul Guyer). Hes a really interesting guy to talk to as well: quite a radical, Marxist I think, and hes got a deep and I mean DEEP commitment to egalitarianism. This said his book which I bought last year was very interesting. Basically Wood tries to paint Kants ethical thought more attractively than most of us have usually seen it as. Some things I liked about the book were that he really proved his point about an overemphasis on the Formula of Universal Law, and his contention that Kant's ethical thought really is deeply rooted in his somewhat pessimistic realistic view of human nature. I think however that Wood often dismisses criticism or alternative viewpoints far too quickly and unconvincingly. This would be I think the main detraction in his work. Also the tone of the book at times is somewhat arrogant. Buy the book though. Very interesting reading, a bit dry at times, but in general a must read for someone interested in Kant.

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