Philosophy Department

Prof. Robert Louden Publishes New Book

Kant's Human Being picture of book cover

Kant's Human Being
Essays on His Theory of Human Nature
Robert B. Louden


In Kant's Human Being, Robert B. Louden continues and deepens avenues of research first initiated in his highly acclaimed book, Kant's Impure Ethics. Drawing on a wide variety of both published and unpublished works spanning all periods of Kant's extensive writing career, Louden here focuses on Kant's under-appreciated empirical work on human nature, with particular attention to the connections between this body of work and his much-discussed ethical theory. Kant repeatedly claimed that the question, "What is the human being" is philosophy's most fundamental question, one that encompasses all others. Louden analyzes and evaluates Kant's own answer to his question, showing how it differs from other accounts of human nature.
 This collection of twelve essays is divided into three parts. In Part One (Human Virtues), Louden explores the nature and role of virtue in Kant's ethical theory, showing how the conception of human nature behind Kant's virtue theory results in a virtue ethics that is decidedly different from more familiar Aristotelian virtue ethics programs. In Part Two (Ethics and Anthropology), he uncovers the dominant moral message in Kant's anthropological investigations, drawing new connections between Kant's work on human nature and his ethics. Finally, in Part Three (Extensions of Anthropology), Louden explores specific aspects of Kant's theory of human nature developed outside of his anthropology lectures, in his works on religion, geography, education ,and aesthetics, and shows how these writings substantially amplify his account of human beings.

Kant's Human Being offers a detailed and multifaceted investigation of the question that Kant held to be the most important of all, and will be of interest not only to philosophers but also to all who are concerned with the study of human nature.
About the Author(s)

Robert B. Louden is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Southern Maine. His publications include The World We Want, Kant's Impure Ethics, and Morality and Moral Theory. Louden is currently President of the North American Kant Society, his writings focus on core issues and themes in ethical theory, the history of ethics, and Kant.

Philosophy of Law Guest Lecturer

Lady Justice

Professor of Philosophy Robert Loudon welcomes guest lecturer Robert Ruffner, Esq. to speak in his Philosophy of Law (PHI 260) class. All USM students of philosophy and law are welcome to attend this lecture.

Thursday, November 19th at 2:45 in Luther Bonney #502, Portland Campus
Robert J. Ruffner, Esq. will be the Guest Lecturer in Professor Robert Louden’s Philosophy of Law class on November 19th at 2:45 in Luther Bonney #502. Ruffner, a trial attorney specializing in criminal defense, is a 1996 graduate of Washington University School of Law in St. Louis. Mr. Ruffner began practicing in Maine in 1999 as a Domestic Violence prosecutor with the Cumberland County District Attorney's Office. He then joined the litigation firm of Friedman Babcock & Gaythwaite where he practiced insurance and criminal defense. Ruffner formed his own practice in 2001 to focus on Criminal Defense.

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