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HomeΦιλοσοφια: International Journal of Philosophyvol. 23 no. 1 (2022)

THE ENLIGHTENMENT ON STAGE: A CELEBRATION OF TWO CRITIQUES

ANTON HEINRICH RENNESLAND

 

Abstract:

I re-question the Enlightenment by bringing together Immanuel Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason and Peter Sloterdijk’s Critique of Cynical Reason. The year 2021 celebrates the 240th and 40th anniversary of the respective Critiques, and it is opportune to read the common thread that binds them—the Enlightenment. This essay has three parts: I first read the Critique of Pure Reason in light of Kant’s Enlightenment essay to underscore reason’s ill-fate as found in the public sphere; I then introduce Sloterdijk’s Critique of Cynical Reason along with his general philosophy, highlighting the cynical state he characterizes reason’s public presence with. In the conclusion, I draw affinities between the two Critiques to form a certain dialogue in the presentation of both philosophers to understand the concept on stage: the Enlightenment.