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Yearbook for Eastern and Western Philosophy

Ed. by Feger, Hans / Dikun, Xie / Ge, Wang

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7 Kant on the Public Sphere and Some Reflections on Hannah Arendt and the Contemporary Intercultural Discussion

Andrea Marlen Esser
Published Online: 2016-07-27 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/yewph-2016-0009


Kant’s famous motto of enlightenment, “Sapere aude!”, is inseparably entwined with the demand for the “public use of reason”. There is no doubt that this also embraces the notion of a free and unrestricted exchange of ideas and indicates the potential beginning of a process in which “subjects” of the state and passive citizens are capable of developing into citizens of the world, and in which nation states are capable of developing into a kind of world community. This conception of the public sphere also receives further concrete articulation in Kant’s Critique of Judgement, as Hannah Arendt already clearly recognized. In particular, the doctrine of reflective judgement, which is developed in that work, also allows us to derive several critical insights from Kant’s conception of enlightenment and the public sphere which are highly relevant to the contemporary intercultural discussion regarding the issue of the “Public Sphere”.

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Published Online: 2016-07-27

Published in Print: 2016-07-25

Citation Information: Yearbook for Eastern and Western Philosophy, Volume 2016, Issue 1, Pages 69–83, ISSN (Online) 2196-5897, ISSN (Print) 2196-5889, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/yewph-2016-0009.

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