Tag Archives | Immanuel Kant

Aesthetics, Immanuel Kant & Imagination

Irving Guyer

Does an artist perceive or invent his creation? How does imagination relate to freedom, beauty and nature?
Paul Guyer talks to four by three about the relationship between aesthetics and morality in the work of Immanuel Kant, Hegel’s rejection thereof and Schopenhauer’s positive conception of the aesthetic experience.


four by three: A substantial part of your work as a philosopher has been in the field of aesthetics. What motivated you to start working on this discipline of philosophy?

Paul Guyer: In hindsight, three things.  First, I started taking classes with Stanley Cavell as a freshman at Harvard (his large humanities class, some of the material from which turned up forty years later in his last book, Cities of Words). Cavell did not teach any conventional aesthetics in that course, or at any time during my undergraduate and graduate years at Harvard, but his title was ‘Professor of Aesthetics and General Theory of Value,’ and that may have both piqued my interest and licensed the subject of aesthetics for me.… Read the rest

Continue Reading

Dungeons & Dragons & Philosophers

Pic: Existential Comics (C)

Pic: Existential Comics (C)

Courtesy of Existential comics (“A philosophy comic about the inevitable anguish of living a brief life in an absurd world. Also jokes.”) comes a tale of Dungeons & Dragons & Philosophers.

What happens when Simone de Beauvoir, Jean-Paul Sartre, Immanuel Kant, Michel Foucalt, and Jacques Derrida sit down for a game of D&D?  Well, lines like these:

“The orc-paladin relationship is nothing more than an oppressive power structure, which can be traced back to the medieval relationship between the priesthood and the lepers.”

Here’s one frame. Click here to read the full comic.

Read the rest

Continue Reading

Of Immanuel Kant and Sexbots

Dollfriend  (CC)

Dollfriend (CC)

posits the question, are sexbots more like animals or more like stones? Via Talking Philosophy

The Fox sci-fi buddy cop show Almost Human episode on sexbots inspired me to revisit the ethics of sexbots. While the advanced, human-like models of the show are still things of fiction, there is already considerable research and development devoted to creating sexbots. As such, it seems well worth considering the ethical issues involving sexbots real and fictional.

At this time, sexbots are clearly mere objects—while often made to look like humans, they do not have the qualities that would make them even person-like. As such, ethical concerns involving these sexbots would not involve concerns about wrongs done to such objects—presumably they cannot be wronged. One potentially interesting way to approach the matter of sexbots is to make use of Kant’s discussion of ethics and animals.

In his ethical theory Kant makes it quite clear that animals are means rather than ends.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Eat The Academy

On Preventing the Ceremonies of Dumb People in Hollywood From Being a Burden on Their Parent Companies or Country, and for Making Them Beneficial to the Public

Kill screen from the Cartoon Network video game Orphan Feast

Kill screen from the Cartoon Network video game Orphan Feast

“I am giving an account of what…ought…to be.”
William Daniel Defoe, A Friendly Proposal for Foundlings and Bastard Children Moll Flanders

Much like the birth of Christ, historians of film rarely agree on when it happened: the birth of cinema, that is. Perhaps even more controversial, however, is the question of paternity. Who’s your daddy, indeed?

Francophiles will forever laud Méliès, Teutons will zealously campaign for Murnau, the Russians <3 Eisenstein and proud Americans some of D.W. Griffith’s first, err, exploits. And yet, no matter the geographic genesis of film, one fact about its origin remains clear across the national board: it was, in fact, a silent birth. #Scientology.

If radio had delivered the psychologically bewildering disembodied voice (i.e.… Read the rest

Continue Reading