Modern Philosophy Seminar II: Hammam Aldouri

Rosenwald-Wolf Gallery

Introduction to Modern Philosophy
Seminar II: Kant's Concept of Critique

What is critique? What does being 'critical' mean? What is the structure of criticism?  

These are the principle questions that will mobilize the trajectory of the next seminar in the 'Introduction to Modern Philosophy' program. The seminar will be, accordingly, composed of a close reading and systematic exposition of the concept of critique as it is announced in the two prefaces (Preface to Edition A and B) to Kant's Critique of Pure Reason.

The notion of critique is ubiquitous in the context of the Arts and Humanities. One could say that Kant's influence and longevity in the historical development of thought in the age of modernity is both unrivaled and irrevocable. The force of this influence however is something of a double-edged sword: on the one hand, critique is the internal activity of a certain way of engaging with objects of thought (politics, ethics, art, economy, history, etc.) in a manner that reveals their nature and limits; on the other hand, it is precisely this internalization of critique as 'simply the way we think about' objects, disciplines and themes, that has rendered the very concept and conception of critique indiscernible and imperceptible.  

One could refer to this 'naturalization' of critique as the irony of its effect: by becoming the central modus operandus of modern thought, it loses its edge in so far as it turns into a kind of deflated post-critical habit. By returning to the principle conception of critique in Kant's work, we will attempt to negotiate this peculiar impasse of the historical development of critique from radical intervention to flat, habituated mechanism.      

No prior knowledge of Kant or philosophy is required (please note that we will be discussing the first two prefaces of the Critique of Pure Reason so reading of these short texts is advisable but not necessary).  

All are welcome.       

For any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Hammam Aldouri at           

Anderson Hall
333 S Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103
United States

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