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Title: The obscurities of the enlightened : reflections on Kantian blind spots.
Author: Morgan, Diane Lesley.
ISNI:       0000 0001 0877 6039
Awarding Body: University of Sussex
Current Institution: University of Sussex
Date of Award: 1993
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This thesis focusses on dark elements of obscurity within the philosophy of Immanuel Kant, which cannot be dispelled by the light of Auflclarung. Indeed the blind-spots exainined are structurally necessary to the philosophical system and as a result cannot be removed. I suggest that for Kant, as for all metaphysical thinkers, it is the systematic need for origins and foundations which creates the unsettling effects working against absolute revelation. This search for foundational security is traditionally ,expressed through the analogy with architecture. Indeed the architectural more-than metaphor is called upon to provide metaphysics with the down-toearth, grounding principles it so desperat~ly needs. My thesis examines at length the idea of the architectonic- which leads inevitably'into a wider discussion of the image of architecture as a discipline. The first chapter addresses the question of the founder and sovereign ofa political system. Here I examine Kant's analysis of the monarch, who is supposed to keep the nation together through hislher own person. Kant apparently abhors the act of regicide, believing that it provokes the suicide of the state. However, I highlight a mysterious doubling of the sover~igu body in the Kantian system, overlooked by Kant himself; which points to the possibility that, as the st~te can never be successfully founded or incorporated, the mortal body of the king is in fact dispensable (precisely because the "immortal body" of the King is indispensable). The second chapter deals with the project offounding the ethical community in Kantian philosophy. This is an ideal project to be founded- indeed it points to the inextricable link between society's aspirations and architecture. Through an analysis of the 'concept' of "affinities" (Verwandtschaften), which form. the basis of the relations between members of the community, I discuss the form of construction that would be needed to give form to the ethical ideal The realisation of this project ~ thwarted by the nature of the "affinities" themselves. These emerge as prior to the distinction between the mechanical (that which can be constructed, initiated) and the organic (which is mysterious, secretive, not to be mastered or engineered). The "Verwandtschaften" defy the act offoundation and force are-appraisal of the place and nature. of architecture, which is grossly underestimated by Kant. The third chapter examines human nature in the light of Kant's concept of "radical evil", This is important as human nature is the basis for the political and ethical projections addressed in the previous two chapters. ·We examine how Kant struggles with his recognition of the 'Insecure, unsafe and unworthy basis on which he has tried to build. . The fourth and concluding chapter suggests ways of accounting for the inability to build a completely illuminated, philosophical system. It discusses the theme of revelation in and around Kant with help from his one-time friend, Hamann.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Philosophy