The Philosophy of Kant and Rawls

6 October 2017

Leading academics discuss two of the world’s most eminent philosophers and their continuing influence at a special two-day symposium.

Organised jointly by experts in Philosophy and Political Theory at the University, the new papers delivered at this public event will contribute to a special edition of the journal Kantian Review, whose editor Howard Williams is a Distinguished Honorary Professor at Cardiff.

German philosopher Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) is widely considered the most influential thinker of the Enlightenment era. His works, especially those on epistemology, aesthetics and ethics (including political philosophy).  His greatest masterpiece is the Critique of Pure Reason, and besides establishing himself as one of the foremost Western philosophers of all time, Kant also made an important contribution to modern science. He has had a profound influence on later philosophers and leading contemporary figures such as Baroness Onora O’Neill, who will be speaking at the event.

Widely regarded as the most important political philosopher of the 20th century, American John Rawls (1921 – 2002) took great inspiration from Kant, amongst other philosophical influences. He is acknowledged for his defence of egalitarian liberalism in A Theory of Justice (1971), in which he defends a conception of “justice as fairness.” His work is widely interpreted as providing a philosophical foundation for egalitarian liberalism as imperfectly manifested in modern day market-oriented social democracies. He was particularly concerned with the stability of societies over time, and the need to provide adequate rights and resources to all individuals within contemporary liberal states.

In addition to Baroness O’Neill, the other leading lights who will be delivering talks include Paul Guyer, Jonathan Nelson Professor at Brown University, Peter Niesen of the University of Hamburg and visiting scholar at Harvard, and Katrin Flikschuh, Professor in the Government Departement at the LSE and author of Kant and Modern Political Philosophy.

The Philosophy of Kant and Rawls takes place at the University’s Glamorgan Buildings on 13/14 October.

Opening speaker Professor Paul Guyer also kicks off the latest series of Cardiff University Philosophy Seminar Series on 12 October, during his visit.

For further details, and to request a place at the symposium, contact Senior Philosophy Lecturer Huw Williams.