Travelling without changing places:
some remarks on Kant’s preface to the Anthropology from a Pragmatic Point of View
Palavras-chave:Anthropology, A Priori, Apodemic art, Cosmopolitanism, Criticism, Geography, Rousseau, Travel Theory
Our assumption is that the remarks made by Kant about the “utility” of travel in the preface of the Anthropology from a Pragmatic Point of View fall within the context of modern travel theories, which find their point of completion at the end of the Eighteenth century. According to common sense, travelling abroad has indeed become the privileged means of any anthropological project; nevertheless, Kant regards this practice useless for his own work: this paradox is here taken literally and analyzed. Showing that travels cannot be considered as a necessary “experience” for a pragmatic anthropology, Kant devises a paradoxical “a priori” travelling method. Hence, we both challenge the standard internalist interpretation, arguing in particular that this preface has to be enlightened by the reading of Rousseau’s travel theory, and aim at showing that the historically situated question of travels gives a key to understand Kant’s critical system.
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