Talk on Logical and Moral Aliens Within Us by Dr. G. Anthony Bruno (London), Monday 06/24/2019, 4 – 6 p.m.

“Logical and Moral Aliens Within Us: Kant on Theoretical and Practical Self-Conceit”


Recent scholarship on Kant’s logic suggests that he rules out the
possibility of a general logical alien, i.e., a thinker whose laws of
thinking actually violate ours. Such an alien is third-personal: she is
radically unlike us. Whereas such an alien is a Fregean idea, there is
reason to think that, given Kant’s introduction of transcendental logic,
he grants–indeed, presupposes–the possibility of a transcendental
logical alien, i.e., a knower whose laws of experience apparently
violate ours. Such an alien is first-personal: she is radically like us.
This is because she is, as we naturally are, alienated from her kind of
experience. I develop this idea in order both to supplement recent Kant
scholarship and to illuminate an analogy between Kant’s concepts of
theoretical self-conceit, i.e., dogmatism, and practical self-conceit,
i.e., evil. Just as a dogmatist is alienated from her (our) experiential
laws, an evil agent is alienated from her (our) moral law. In both
cases, self-alienation results from self-conceit and requires
self-knowledge in the form of a critique of speculative or practical
reason. Grasping this analogy involves shifting from the question of
whether logical laws constitute our thinking to the question of whether
grasping our experiential and moral laws constitutes our reason.

Time: 4 – 6 p.m.

All interested persons are cordially invited!

Date: 24/06/2019
Location: Conference room IZPH
Poppelsdorfer Allee 28, 53115 Bonn
2nd floor (elevator)