Kant’s Categorical Imperative from the Critique of Pure Reason
The Formula of the Law of Nature: "Act as if the maxim of your action were to become through your will a universal law of nature."
The Formula of the End Itself: "Act in such a way that you always treat humanity, whether in your own person or in the person of any other, never simply as a means, but always at the same time as an end."
Sloterdijk’s Kritik der zynischen Vernunft is a play on Kant
who were the greek cynics? dog philosophers believed that virtue was the only necessity for happiness desires lead ultimately to misery followed this philosophy to the extent of neglecting everything that did not further their perfection of virtue lived like dogs; neglecting society, hygiene, family, money, etc. in order to lead wholly virtuous and happy lives. (Jude Mason)
Who is the cynic today?
urban figure, modern no longer an outsider
only in the city, under the pressure of public and a general love-hate, can the cynic
clearly emerge as the negative profile of the city
Discontent in culture appears as universal, diffuse cynicism.
the modern cynic-- extant as a mass phenomenon since wwI-- is no longer an outsider *Sloterdijk notes that rise of modern cynic corresponds with ascendance of Nietzsche’s thought
Cynic is borderline melancholic-- he can still work!
Cynic has “enlightened false consciousness”
Cynicism is the twilight of false consciousness (1984)
what is false consciousness?
people act contrary to their true interests because they don't know what's good for them.
people voluntarily shop at Wal-Mart and Home Depot.
"Why do so many people patronize large, impersonal retailers who destroy downtowns and sell goods that destroy the human spirit?
Why do consumers and workers willingly permit themselves to be oppressed by capitalism?"
answer: false consciousness (also: bad faith)
“enlightened false consciousness” is cynicism in a crystalline state.
what is ideology? the german ideology
Sloterdijk’s critique of modernity
how does it compare to that of Botho Strauß?
notes innovations of ‘garden of humanity’
BUT: experience mocks optimism (Auschwitz)
There’s a problem with modern ideology critique:
it has lost its ties to the cynics it has gotten mired in the enlightenment pursuit of reason and communication
“The status quo is better served by silence
MIT OpenCourseWare http://ocw.mit.edu
21G.017 Germany and its European Context
Peter Sloterdijk, Critique of Cynical Reason - MIT OpenCourseWare
Peter Sloterdijk, Critique of Cynical Reason
What is enlightenment?
Mündigkeit-- own mouth, own voice; consent
Kant’s Categorical Imperative from t...
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