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Challenge Of The Idealist Revolution In The Enlightenment: Religion In The Philosophy Of Immanuel Kant

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Chapter Summary

Signs of subversion of the Enlightenment as established by Descartes, Hobbes, Spinoza, Leibnitz, and Wolff, and signs of the idealist revolution that took place in the German Enlightenment, were already in formation when Mendelssohn wrote his two last philosophical works, Jerusalem and Morning Lessons. Kant's book on religion was in fact the fourth and final part of his method. This chapter examines it within the general framework of the "method," on the basis of the revolutionary epistemology that was presented in the Critique of Pure Reason, and similarly on the basis of the theory of ethics, law and politics, and esthetics. It also addresses the three universal questions that Kant presented as the fundamental questions to whose solution philosophical speculation is directed: What can we know? What ought we to do? For what may we hope? These three questions are addressed to human life on earth.

Keywords: German Enlightenment; idealist revolution; Jerusalem; Kant; Mendelssohn; Morning Lessons; religion; revolutionary epistemology



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