PHIL 106 -- Kant
Fall 2012

Professor:    Clinton Tolley
   office:   HSS 8018
   hours:   tbd
   email:   ctolley [at]

Teaching Assistant:   {to be determined}
   office:   ---
   hours:   ---
   phone:  ---
   email:   ---


Time:        Tuesday / Thursday, 2:00-3:20pm
Location:  Warren Lecture Hall [WLH] 2115 [map]

Required textbooks

{available at the Price Center Bookstore}

Immanuel Kant, Prolegomena to any future metaphysics
   Hatfield, ed., tr. rev. ed. (Cambridge UP, 2004)

Immanuel Kant, Groundwork of the metaphysics of morals
   Timmermann, Gregor, ed., trs. (Cambridge UP, 2012)

Immanuel Kant, Critique of the Power of Judgment
   Guyer, Matthews, eds., trs. (Cambridge UP, 2001)

Course description

An attempt to survey the whole of Kant's 'Critical' philosophy, by looking at his answers to three of the most fundamental questions in philosophy:

  1. What can I know?
  2. What ought I to do?
  3. What can I hope for?

We'll address the first by examining the theoretical foundations of his system, as they are put forward in his 1783 Prolegomena (with additional reference to important selections from his 1781/87 Critique of Pure Reason).  We'll then take up the account of practical (ethical/political) philosophy that emerges in his 1785 Groundwork for the Metaphysics of Morals.  Finally, we'll look to Kant's 1790 Critique of the Power of Judgment to try to determine how Kant views the relationship between our capacities for theoretical and practical knowledge, and, in particular, why Kant thinks that our sense that there is beauty and purpose in the universe is something that gives us a reason for believing that there is more to our world than what we can ever know about it.

The overarching goal of the course will be to discover and evaluate Kant's answer to what he views as the ultimate question of philosophy: What is a human being?

Prerequisite: Philosophy 32, 33, 104, 105, 110, 111, 112 or consent of instructor.  (Please feel free to email me for permission if you'd like to take the course
and have taken other philosophy courses, or courses in which you've studied Kant, but you haven't taken any of these particular courses.)

: May be repeated for credit with change in content and approval of the instructor.

Course requirements

mid-term exam (1500 words); due Thurs, 5th week, 5pm.
final paper (2000 words); due Thurs, exam week, 7pm
attendance and participation

Schedule of readings

{tentative; a more detailed schedule will be found on TED.}

selections from Critique of Pure Reason
Prolegomena to any future metaphysics
Groundwork of the metaphysics of morals
selections from Critique of the Power of Judgment

Reference links

* Kant's Werke

Most of the official 'Akademie' edition of the original German (and, at times, Latin) versions of Kant's texts ('Kants gesammelte Schriften') has been made available in searchable html-format by the University of Bonn. [link]

These volumes of the Akademie edition can also be downloaded in pdf-format from the Bibliothè
que nationale de France. (I've made a list here.)

An excellent resource for historical information about Kant's life and works is Kant in the Classroom, maintained by Steve Naragon (Manchester College).

* Secondary literature

Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy entries (requires sign-in)

Kant (an overview of his life and thought)
Kantian ethics
Idea of autonomy in ethics
Idea of universalism in ethics
German idealism

Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy entries

Kant's philosophical development
Kant's theory of mind and self-consciousness
Kant's philosophy of science
Kant's critique of metaphysics
Kant's moral philosophy
Kant's social and political philosophy
Kant's philosophy of religion

Course URL

last updated: August 20, 2012