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Emotions in Kant’s Metaphysics: The Interests, Needs and Desires of Reason

Type of publication Peer-reviewed
Publikationsform Contribution to book (peer-reviewed)
Author Cohen Alix,
Project Imagination, Emotion and Value
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Contribution to book (peer-reviewed)

Book Kant on Emotions and Value (forthcoming)
Editor , n/a
Publisher Palgrave Macmillan, London
Page(s) n/a - n/a
ISBN n/a
Title of proceedings Kant on Emotions and Value (forthcoming)


In a number of passages, Kant talks of reason having feelings (e.g., ‘reason’s feeling of its own need’, ‘a felt need of reason gefühltes Bedürfnis der Vernunft’ (WOT, 10, 12 8:136, 139)). And yet the following two principles are taken to be at the basis of the Kantian system: (1) Emotions, and feelings generally, are of one kind. (2) There is an unbridgeable gap between the realm of reason and that of feeling. On this basis, how are we to understand Kant’s claims about reason having feelings? I will suggest that the passages on reason’s feelings entail that we need to rethink the distinction between reason and feeling so as to allow for the possibility of rational feelings.