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By Marcus O. Durham, PhD, Rosemary Durham

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In the Opus postumum Kant is prepared to pursue the full implications of this argument, however uncomfortable the conclusions may prove to be. The systematic and articulated character of the reciprocal action of attractive and repulsive force is evident from the thought experiments of supposing what would happen if one of the forces were to prevail. Without the tension and even oscillation between them, the result would be stasis: 'in the absence of such a principle of the continual excitation of the world-material, a state of lifeless stasis would come about...

It shows how, even at the end of his life he was willing to throw the organizing principles, the achievements of the critical philosophy into the air. To put everything in question, turn his philosophy on its head and to place reason before intuition and metaphysics both before physics and after cosmology. In the late Kant, everything melts into the caloric, especially the monuments erected to Kant as the parodic philosopher of enlightenment reason. The Opus postumum invites and obliges readers of Kant to remain critical, to remain sceptical of the distinctions and routines of interpretation and argument that while born of critical freedom lapsed into dogmatism, and to begin again, after 200 years, to philosophize with Kant.

For this framework contains nothing else than what is valid for each and every finite rational being. All the same, Kant and his disciple Fichte make of patriarchal ideology a criterion for reason. This does not mean that they are simply conservative. 2 We could argue that even the fact that Kant denies women the right to vote is not sufficient to support the claim that he does not include them in the category of persons,3 for it has been a commonplace ever since the Ancients, that (active) citizenship presupposes social independence.

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