"Kant Under the Bodhi Tree? Anti-Individualism in Kantian Ethics"
Karl Schafer (University of Texas at Austin)

March 8, 2024, 4:00pm - 6:00pm
Department of Philosophy, UCLA

Room 314
UCLA Royce Hall, 10745 Dickson Ct
Los Angeles 90095
United States

This will be an accessible event, including organized related activities

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Join UCLA Philosophy on March 8, 2024 for a colloquium with Karl Schafer, UT Austin. The talk will take place in Royce 314 (and via Zoom) from 4:00PM – 6:00PM with a reception to follow.

Title: "Kant Under the Bodhi Tree? Anti-Individualism in Kantian Ethics"

Abstract: A common complaint about Kantian ethics today is that it cannot do full justice to the social or intersubjective dimensions of human life – that, unlike Fichte, Hegel, or Marx, Kant remains trapped within a fundamentally individualistic perspective on practical or moral questions. In this talk, I will argue that such critiques of Kant rest on a natural, but fundamental mischaracterization of where the most serious problems for Kant lie in this region. Far from being too individualistic, I will argue that the real worry about Kantian moral theory is in fact that it may not be individualistic enough. As we will see, this has potentially profound implications for how we understand Kant’s legacy in practical philosophy. Indeed, if this is right, from a certain perspective, it might be Kant who is the most ethically radical of these philosophers. 

Karl Schafer is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Texas at Austin. Previously he was Professor of Philosophy at University of California, Irvine and Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Pittsburgh. He works primarily in the history of modern philosophy (esp. Hume and Kant), ethics, and epistemology.

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