Books/Immanuel Kant/The Conflict Of The Faculties

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‘The Conflict of the Faculties / Der Streit der Fakultäten’ by Immanuel Kant


This essay, originally written by Immanuel Kant in 1798, and presented in both the original German and in facing page English translation, is the first paperback printing of the edition published by Abaris Books, Inc., in 1979. The book is composed of three parts, written at different times, but all dealing with the conflict between the “lower” faculty of philosophy, which is answerable only to individual reason; and the faculties of theology, law, and medicine, which get “higher” precedence in the world of affairs and whose teachings and practices are of interest to the government. Kant makes clear the close alliance between the theological faculty and the government that sanctions its teachings, but can also resort to force and censorship. Therefore, it is argued, the faculty of philosophy is more vital and precious since it encourages independent thought before action and must be protected from censorship in its inevitable conflict with the theological faculty. The first of the three parts is called “The Conflict of the Philosophy Faculty with the Theology Faculty,” and is essentially a vindication of the right of the philosophical faculty to freedom of expression. The other two parts, examine the conflict of the philosophy faculty with the faculties of medicine and law, the one preserving the physical “temple” and the other regulating its actions. Part 1 has three appendices covering (1) the conflict between the theology and philosophy faculties, (2) the possible duration and practical use of the Bible, and (3) the subject of mysticism in religion. Notes by the translator are included.