Erik Graff's Reviews > Kant's Moral Religion

Kant's Moral Religion by Allen W. Wood
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Nov 28, 13

bookshelves: philosophy
Recommended to Erik by: no one
Recommended for: Kant fans
Read in January, 1979 — I own a copy, read count: 1

It dawned on me in college that Immanuel Kant was someone I had to understand because his thinking lay behind that of so many others, including that of C.G. Jung, whose Collected Works I intended to complete. My choice of a graduate program hinged in part upon the prospective schools' capacities as regards the study of Jung, Kant and continental philosophy in general.
The four subsequent years in seminary saw me finish Jung, read Kant's major works and begin the process of mastering the history of Western philosophy. It culminated in a substantial, definative thesis about Kant's influence on Jung. I thought I was set, professionally speaking, expecting to go ahead with a further degree, institute training and an eventual private practice dealing with value issues in New York City.
Romantic love with a hometown woman changed all of that. I dropped everything, moving back to Chicago to be with the beloved, thinking I'd work out a plan there to do what I'd set out to do in NYC.
It didn't work out that way. She left the state with another guy. Illinois certification requirements were different than those of New York State, making my degree professionally almost worthless. I ended up for two years as a childcare worker for adolescent boys misdiagnosed as psychotic.
During that period I kept up my studies, moving ahead into Hegel and other German successors to Kant, supplementing those by reading some of Kant's less prominent works and many commentaries about his work and his era, the Enlightenment. This was one of those subsidiary works, my greatest philosophical concerns being ethical.
Getting nowhere with my work and noting that the university closest to home also happened to have the largest philosophy faculty in the USA, I enrolled at Loyola University Chicago, intending, I thought, to wrap up a Ph.D. in short order. It didn't work out that way, but I did manage to produce a substantial paper overviewing Kant's ethical positions, a paper which basically represented my constructive appropriation of his thought, a plausible reconstruction which justified me beginning to call myself a neo-Kantian (Kant with qualifications). Again, this particular book was helpful in terms of its own positive spin and its treatment of Kant's fundamentally ethical religious beliefs.
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