Books/Catherine Malabou/The Kantian Catastophe

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‘The Kantian Catastophe? Conversations on Finitude and the Limits of Philosophy’ by Anthony Morgan


Immanuel Kant, the most influential philosopher of the modern age, transformed our entire conception of philosophy. His radical reframing of philosophical questions placed the finitude of the human subject at the centre of philosophical enquiry and, at the same time, left reality in itself forever inaccessible. His impact was to restrict metaphysical pretensions and even to induce real despair. Famously the poet Heinrich von Kleist committed suicide in part due to the profound rupture induced by Kant’s ‘Copernican revolution’; and, more recently, the French philosopher Quentin Meillassoux has referred to it as ‘the Kantian catastrophe’.

This collection of lively and accessible interviews with fifteen top Kantian and post-Kantian philosophers offers a balanced and wide-ranging survey that takes us into the very heart of contemporary debates relating to our Kantian inheritance. It questions the ever-evolving legacy of this giant of modern thought, a legacy that exposes the Janus-faced character of philosophy as it finds itself both obsessed with establishing limits and, at the same time, inexorably drawn to transgress them.

Contributors: Lucy Allais, A.W. Moore, Stella Sandford, Stephen Mulhall, Joseph Schear, Beatrice Han-Pile, Tom Sparrow, Marie-Eve Morin, Bruno Bosteels, Adrian Johnston, Simon O’Sullivan, John O Maoilearca, Catherine Malabou, Graham Harman, Ray Brassier