n Acta Germanica : German Studies in Africa - Von der Moral zur Kultur : Kant und Herder : teil 2 : allgemeine beitrage

Volume 37, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0065-1273



On the one hand, Kant's transcendental moral philosophy cannot entirely escape a presupposed notion of moral sentiments. On the other hand, his emphasis on individual freedom remains a sine-qua-non for any notion of ethical universalizability and the political programme that follows from it. Herder's alternative amounts to a humanistic programme of culture studies. He explores a common humanity in the diverse evidence that a myriad of cultures have provided. In a reversal of Kant's ethical imperative, Herder zeros in on the particularity of a culture (rather than the individual human being) as an end in itself. The paper sets up the possibility of bridging Kant's individual ethics and constitutional politics with Herder's empathetic and anti-colonial culture studies.

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