Kant's 'practical philosophy' comprehends a diverse group of his writings on ethics, politics, law, religion, and the philosophy of history and culture. Kristi E. Sweet demonstrates the unity and interdependence of these writings by showing how they take as their animating principle the human desire for what Kant calls the unconditioned - understood in the context of his practical thought as human freedom. She traces the relationship between this desire for freedom and the multiple forms of finitude that confront human beings in different aspects of practical life, and stresses the interdependence of the pursuit of individual moral goodness and the formation of community through the state, religion, culture and history. This study of Kant's approach to practical life discovers that doing our duty, itself the realization of our individual freedom, requires that we set for ourselves and pursue a whole constellation of social, political and other communal ends.
Kristi E. Sweet is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Texas A&M University. In addition to research on Kant's practical philosophy, she has also published on Kant's aesthetics; her articles have appeared in journals including the Kantian Review, Epoche: A Journal for the History of Philosophy and Idealistic Studies.
Introduction; 1. Freedom of the self as such: the good will, duty, and moral feeling; 2. Freedom of the self over time: virtue; 3. Freedom of the self and the moral world: the highest good; 4. Enacting the moral world: founding and promoting a civil condition; 5. Enacting the moral world: joining the ethical community; 6. Human finitude undone: culture and history; Conclusion: practical reason's 'peculiar fate'.