Pre-Critical Kant on the Anthropological Basis of the Enlightenment Project




Kant, Enlightenment, anthropology, reason, ethics, passions, metaphysics, religion


Purpose. The authors aim to reveal the peculiarity of comprehension of the human phenomenon in the process of referring to the text of "Observations on the Feeling of the Beautiful and Sublime" by the early Immanuel Kant, which is based on the critical rethinking of the Enlightenment position. A prerequisite for its substantial solution is addressing the problem of the place of the "Observations" in the evolution of Kant’s anthropological views. Theoretical basis. Our view of Kant’s legacy is based upon the conceptual positions of phenomenology, existentialism and hermeneutics. Originality. We have proved that the anthropological interest was inherent in Kant already in the pre-critical stage of his work, as shown by the still underestimated treatise "Observation". The paper give arguments that this text highlights the main topics that will later be the subject of a detailed study of both Kant himself and philosophical anthropology of the 20th century. It is revealed that Kant overcomes the Enlightenment temptation to absolutize the power of human reason and emphasizes its limitations. The specified step is a necessary condition for him to comprehend the important role of the sensual-passionate component of human nature and to recognize the importance of the metaphysical nature of man. Conclusions. For us today, the pre-critical Kant appears as the developer of anthropological teaching, first presented in the treatise "Observations". Already at this stage, Kant demonstrates a holistic vision of human nature. In the process of creative evolution of the thinker, this treatise should be qualified as a kind of sketch of the future concentrated development of human nature, elaborated in the pages of "Anthropology" in 1798. The author gives a key place to the metaphysics of human nature, a vivid illustration of which is, in particular, the last paragraph of "Observations" dedicated to freedom. The conducted analysis provides sufficient grounds for qualifying this text as an outline of the anthropological basis of his doctrine of pure reason, the doctrine of metaphysics as the metaphysics of man, which, in turn, gives us the key to understanding "Anthropology" as his final text.


Geier, M. (2007). Kants Welt: Eine Biographie (L. Kharchenko, Trans.). Kyiv: Yunivers. (in Ukrainian)

Kant, I. (1964). Nablyudeniya nad chuvstvom prekrasnogo i vozvyshennogo. In Sochineniya (Vol. 2, pp. 125-224). Moscow: Mysl. (in Russian)

Kant, I. (2004a). Kritik der praktischen Vernunft (I. Burkovskyi, Trans.). Kyiv: Yunivers. (in Ukrainian)

Kant, I. (2004b). Reflexionen Kants zur Kritik der reinen Vernunft (I. Burkovskyi, Trans.). Kyiv: Yunivers. (in Ukrainian)

Kant, I. (2022). Krytyka syly sudzhennia (V. Terletskyi, Trans.). Kyiv: Tempora. (in Ukrainian)

Malivskyi, A. M. (2016). The demand for a new concept of anthropology in the early modern age: the doctrine of Hume. Anthropological Measurements of Philosophical Research, (10), 121-130. DOI: (in English)

Malivskyi, A. M. (2019). Unknown Descartes: Anthropological Dimension of Rene Descartes’ Philosophical Searching. Dnipro: Herda. DOI: (in Ukrainian)




How to Cite

Malivskyi, A. M., & Yakymchuk, O. I. (2022). Pre-Critical Kant on the Anthropological Basis of the Enlightenment Project. Anthropological Measurements of Philosophical Research, (22), 141–149.