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Freedom and Religion in Kant and his Immediate Successors
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 (ISBN-13: 9780511108976 | ISBN-10: 0511108974)

The theologians of the late German Enlightenment saw in Kant's Critique of Pure Reason a new rational defence of their Christian faith. In fact, Kant's critical theory of meaning and moral law totally subverted the spirit of that faith. This challenging new study examines the contribution made by the Critique of Pure Reason to this change of meaning. George di Giovanni stresses the revolutionary character of Kant's critical thought but also reveals how this thought was being held hostage to unwarranted metaphysical assumptions that caused much confusion and rendered the First Critique vulnerable to being reabsorbed into modes of thought typical of Enlightenment popular philosophy. Amongst the striking features of this book are nuanced interpretations of Jacobi and Reinhold, a lucid exposition of Fichte's early thought, and a rare, detailed account of Enlightenment popular philosophy.

• Kant is a very strong feature of the Philosophy list • Nuanced discussion of figures which have been almost entirely ignored in the Anglo-Saxon world • di Giovanni is a well-respected Kant scholar


1. Introduction: the vocation of humankind, 1774; 2. The taming of Kant: popular philosophy; 3. The intractable Kant: Schultz, Jacobi, Reinhold; 4. Of human freedom and necessity; 5. Kant's moral system; 6. The difference that Fichte made; 7. The parting of the ways; 8. The vocation of humankind revisited, 1800.


Review of the hardback: 'Most of the figures discussed by di Giovanni have been almost entirely ignored - and not only by Anglophones - and most of their works are now almost entirely unobtainable. For this reason alone, di Giovanni's discussion of their work is very valuable. But not only for this reason … His treatment of these philosophers is almost always philosophically incisive, penetrating to the heart of a doctrine and revealing its underlying point and abiding relevance.' Frederick Beiser, author of The Fate of Reason

Review of the hardback: '… a magnificent addition to Cambridge's powerful list in German philosophy …' Paul Guyer

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