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 SRU Philosophy Professor's New Book on Philosophyer Immanuel Kant 'Exciting and Profound' 



February 9, 2006

Contact: Gordon Ovenshine 724-738-4854;

SRU PHILOSOPHY PROFESSOR’S NEW BOOK                                                                      


SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. – Slippery Rock University philosophy Professor Bernard Freydberg’s fourth book  “Imagination in Kant’s Critique of Practical Reason” breaks new ground by challenging the widespread interpretation of the German philosopher’s ideas on morality and actions. The 152-page book is available at the SGA Bookstore and from

Freydberg, SRU professor since 1977 and an expert on Kant, interprets Immanuel Kant’s 1788 “Critique of Practical Reason.”  Most critics understand Kant’s ethics as a call for achieving morality through rigid self-denial. Freydberg argues imagination and creativity in one’s life rather than reason-based self-denial, is the heart of Kantian ethics.

Kant, one of the most influential philosophers in the history of Western thinking, has had a profound impact on almost every philosophical movement that followed him. A large part of his work addresses the question, “What can we know?”

Freydberg, who has spent much of his academic career studying Kant and published a previous book on the philosopher, will use the new book for independent study with SRU students. Graduate students at Boston College and Indiana University at Bloomington also are using it, he said.

A reviewer for publisher Indiana University Press, in addition to calling the book “exciting and profound,” wrote, “(Freydberg’s) main argument, that Kantial moral reflection offers an imaginative transformation of the self, is both convincing and an important work of scholarship.”

“My book is the first to present a systematic argument for the major presence of imagination in Kant's moral thought, and the way imagination addresses those elements belonging to our entire humanity, presenting a challenging version of a full and well-lived life,” Freydberg said.

           He studied and continues to study the “Critique of Practical Reason” because it continues to be a cornerstone for contemporary discussions of moral issues.

At SRU, Freydberg teaches German and Greek philosophy, history of philosophy and aesthetics. His other books include “Imagination and Depth in Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason,” “The Play of the Platonic Dialogues” and “Provocative Form in Plato, Kant, Nietzsche (and Others).”

The Olympic Center for Philosophy and Culture in Greece presented Freydberg its commendation for excellence in 2001, lauding his contributions to Greek philosophy and culture. Freydberg also received SRU’s Charles A. Zuzak Award as the top professor in the College of Humanities, Fine and Performing Arts in 2003 and 2004.

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