Kantian Gloom-Watch: The Self-Conceit Edition

My secondary supervisor, being a Hegelian of a generally cheery disposition, is always complaining of the ‘gloominess’ of Kantianism, whether its excessive epistemic modesty or dour take on humanity. Coming across passages like the following — charming as it is — it’s hard to disagree:

However virtuous a man may be, there are tendencies to evil in him, and he must constantly contend against them. He must guard against the moral self-conceit of thinking himself morally good, and having a favourable opinion of himself; that is a dream-like condition, very hard to cure.

Kant, Moralphilosophie Collins, VE 27:464

Indeed, heaven forfend having a favourable opinion of oneself! Any further suggestions of suitably gloomy Kant quotes would be appreciated…


Behold: meretricious zombies!

I have been reading infinite thØught for a good while now and am always happy to spot a new post full of references to German idealist arcana or new research from the front line of transcendental-pig studies. I feel unmistakably interpellated by this post though as being amongst the sickly mass of ‘meretricious zombies’ laying stricken on the edges of analytic philosophy trying to paw some spicy continental goodness into our gaping maws. McDowell, Brandom, Wittgenstein; together with Hegel, phenomenology, Kant, existentialism: guilty as charged. As a defence I can only plea reading Marx, Badiou, Zizek and Deleuze and I feel that may not be enough to save my undead soul. Alas, I am damned!

But all this is but a precursor to welcoming fresh victims to our ever growing army of the undead — erm… I mean some promising new blogs to the ‘post-analytic’-friendly corner of the blogosphere. First of all, there’s SOH-Dan, who has some really excellent posts up on Kant, Hegel and McDowell amongst other things. I must also thank him for being kind enough to mail me some McDowell articles. Then there’s the wonderfully titled spontaneity&receptivity, focusing on McDowell’s Mind and World, especially in relation to his philosophy of mind and language. I particularly recommend this post on McDowell’s account of the self.

Now back to work. Braaaaaaaains!