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ON PHILOSOPHER IMMANUEL
KANT ‘EXCITING AND PROFOUND’
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
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
“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.
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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