[lit-ideas] Kant and the politics of debt relief

  • From: Phil Enns <phil.enns@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Sat, 21 Feb 2015 09:41:30 +0600

Here
<http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/monkey-cage/wp/2015/02/20/greeces-foreign-minister-is-talking-kant-not-cant/>
is
a link to an article that, using references to the Groundwork of the
Metaphysics of Morals and Perpetual Peace, gives a possible explanation of
why the Greek finance minister recently mentioned Kant.

I am currently teaching an upper level undergraduate seminar course, and we
just finished reading selections from the first critique. As one would
expect, students struggled with both the language and the ideas, but as we
were half way through, they wanted to know why any of this mattered. I told
them to be patient and wait. Sure enough, when we started to talk about
ideas of reason, how Kant's big three of self, world and God function as
schemata for organizing, not experience, but ideas, a number of the
students had 'a-ha' moments. Since several of the students are Econ majors,
this article has inspired me to also discuss the idea of economy as another
way of helping students understand Kant's argument.


Slowly thawing on the steppe,

Phil Enns

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