Kant’s Philosophy and the Idea of the Self-Made-Man





Kant’s philosophy, intellectual and moral autonomy, self-defined personality, the Self-made-man idea


Purpose. The authors of this article set the main purpose of understanding the ideological potential of Kant’s philosophical heritage from the viewpoint of its influence on the spread and legitimization of the self-made man idea in the worldview transformations of the modern world. Theoretical basis. Historical, analytical, and hermeneutic methods became fundamental for achieving the goal. The study is based on Kant’s works, as well as on the works of modern researchers of his ideological heritage. Originality. The analysis shows that the idea of the Self-made-man, which originated in the ancient world and gradually spread in the Western culture of the Middle Ages, early Modernism, and especially the Enlightenment, receives significant additional impulses in the context of Kant’s rethinking of the metaphysical foundations in the theory of knowledge and morality. Perhaps, the systematic theoretical substantiation of people’s abilities to use their own mind, their intellectual, and therefore moral autonomy, and freedom of will as the fundamental principles of personal Self-determination and Self-realization became the most important consequence of this rethinking. This, in turn, became the theoretical and moral-legal basis for further legitimization in the modern and postmodern world of the ideal of a person who creates oneself. Conclusions. The importance of Kant’s philosophy in the context of idea generation of the self-made man is hard to overestimate. It is entirely imbued with a leitmotif appeal to the individual to have the courage to use his/her own mind, to be independent and self-sufficient in assessments, choices, and actions, and therefore also responsible for their consequences, in the end, to be primarily an end, not a means. Thanks to this, a person, according to Hegel, finds an unconditionally strong and stable center in oneself. In fact, by strengthening the position of human-centric philosophy, as well as the moral and legal foundations of liberal humanism, Kant’s ideas provided further ideological legitimation in the orientation of an objectively growing individual towards actively placing Self-reliance and Personal responsibility on one’s own destiny as the key principles of the Self-made-man concept.


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How to Cite

Korkh, O. M., & Khmil, V. V. (2024). Kant’s Philosophy and the Idea of the Self-Made-Man. Anthropological Measurements of Philosophical Research, (25), 124–132. https://doi.org/10.15802/ampr.v0i25.307669