News & Publications
Lecture at St. John’s Explores Kant’s Rational Being
FOR RELEASE: February 16, 2010
CONTACT: Patricia Dempsey, 410-626-2539
Joseph Smith, a tutor at St. John’s College, will give a lecture that explores “Kant’s Rational Being as Moral Being.” Smith’s lecture, which is free and open to the public, will be held in the Francis Scott Key Auditorium on Friday, February 26, at 8:15 p.m.
Immanuel Kant was an 18th-century German philosopher. Smith gives this description of the lecture:
“Given the results of Kant's critique of speculative reason, namely, that we know that we do not know and cannot know the answers to the most basic of metaphysical questions (such as, ‘Does the world have a beginning in time?’), the question arises as to what a non-speculatively grounded morality would look like. This lecture will focus on a passage at the beginning of Kant's ‘second Critique’ where he addresses the relation of speculative and practical reason, especially the emergence of practical reason as primary. The primacy of practical reason preserves some of the most basic characteristics of reason, namely its universality and necessity, while opening up the possibility of a morality that is not relative, not relative to historical and social conditions and, shockingly, not even relative to human nature per se.”
Smith joined St. John’s as a tutor in 2001.
This lecture is supported by a challenge grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Hodson Trust. Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this lecture do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities or the Hodson Trust.