Thursday, 22 April 2010

Kant's Birthday!

Today is the 286th anniversary of the birthday of Immanuel Kant! It is, as always, worth commemorating this day since, if nothing else, Kant enabled philosophy to secure an institutional recognition that had, prior to his day, been lacking given the subordination of philosophy previously to theology. The Conflict of the Faculties records his argument against the assumption that there is a ground for this subordination of philosophy to theology in either the nature of the university or in terms of what is best for state power. It also records, in its own way, some of the reasons for Kant's publishing record with regard to Religion with the Limits of Reason Alone, the work that had brought him into conflict with the political authorities of the day. At a time when professors are assaulted  by students from fundamentalist religious groups in Pakistan we should not forget the legacy of Kant's struggle against just such pressures.

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