Kant and the Historical Turn: Philosophy As Critical Interpretation

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Immanuel Kant's work changed the course of modern philosophy; Karl Ameriks examines how. He compares the philosophical system set out in Kant's Critiques with the work of the major philosophers before and after Kant. Individual essays provide case studies in support of Ameriks's thesis that late 18th-century reactions to Kant initiated an "historical turn," after which historical and systematic considerations became joined in a way that fundamentally distinguishes philosophy from science and art.

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Karl Ameriks received his B.A. from Yale in 1969 and his Ph.D. from Yale in 1973. Since then he has taught at the University of Notre Dame, where he is McMahon-Hank Professor of Philosophy. In addition to three books on Kant, he has co-translated works by Kant and Husserl, and edited volumes concerning German philosophy and its contemporary interpretation.

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what precisely is or should be the relation between philosophy and its history? This is the central question that Karl Ameriks poses in his marvelously rich new book, Kant and the Historical Turn, and the answer to it serves as the guiding thread that links the work's thirteen essays. For Ameriks, the question of the role of the past in the contemporary practice of philosophy is no idle matter; rather, he suggests that it stands as the central problem that philosophy as a whole must answer. Part of what makes Kant and the Historical Turn so interesting, then, is that the solution it proposes calls for a thoroughgoing reconception of what the practice of philosophy ought to involve. . . . one of the hopes that arises from reading Ameriks' enormously rewarding new book is that this call to endorse the historical turn will be heard far beyond those already working in the history of philosophy. * Peter Thielke, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews * Ameriks offers a wealth of useful material related to Kant...Ameriks offers detailed insights into current German scholarship to the English speaking world. * Christian Helmut Wenzel MIND * ...each of these essays is rich in insight, historical and critical...This is a book of great insight and careful scholarship. * Christopher Jay, The Heythrop Journal *

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