Happy Belated Birthday Immanuel Kant

Yesterday was Kant’s birthday. I noticed, but didn’t mention it. I had nothing in particular to say, really.

Today is a different day. I have something to say.

I’m no Kant specialist, but over the years Kant has grown on me. When I was young and new to philosophy, I can admit I absolutely detested him. I was in favor of virtue ethics and saw, along with some others in that time period and earlier, Kantian ethics as antithetical to virtue ethics. (Setting aside pluralism about ethics, in which one or more theory can be correct and/or applied.)

These days, however, I’m settling down. I can appreciate Kant in all his glory. I can also appreciate the slogan Act according to the maxim you could will to be a universal law.

I see Kant as a super-important philosopher these days. In the past, I entertained him to, as I liked to say, “Keep me honest.” (Whether that actually kept me honest is a different story.) Today, however, even though I can’t say I know everything about Kant and I have only distilled him into a slogan here, I appreciate his, well, greatness. Particularly in ethics. (Don’t know tons about his other works, tbh.)

So, Happy Birthday, Immanuel Kant. These days, I appreciate you.


Author: Jennifer Lawson

Philosopher. That is all.

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