Hope Ingrained in Political Action: A Kantian View by Arash Abazari (Humboldt Fellow, Goethe-Universität Frankfurt)
Date: Monday, February 12, 2024
Abstract: Given the hypercomplex nature of human societies, progressive political action aimed at structural transformation of society will always have unintended consequences, sometimes indeed the opposite of what was initially sought. The question then naturally arises: Given the essential unpredictability of its outcomes, how is such political action possible? In search of an answer to this question I turn to Immanuel Kant, and reconstruct his notion of “rational hope” (Vernunftglaube) in the “Critique of Practical Reason” in political terms. After outlining what I take to be a Kantian idea of socialism, I suggest that political action aiming at realizing socialism must always incorporate hope as its immanent moment. Finally, I motivate a Freudian objection to Kant, namely, the idea that socialism is an illusion, and answer it from a Kantian point of view.
About the speaker: Arash Abazari earned his Ph.D. in philosophy from Johns Hopkins University and currently holds the position of Humboldt Fellow at Goethe-Universität Frankfurt. His research predominantly centers on nineteenth-century German philosophers. In 2020, he authored “Hegel’s Ontology of Power,” published by Cambridge University Press. Additionally, he has published articles in journals such as Hegel Studies, European Journal of Philosophy, and Philosophy and Social Criticism.