Abstract: (1) Immanuel Kant's philosophical understanding of 'culture' is examined as a decisive background for his pedagogical thinking. Kant understands culture, not as a break with nature, but as the development of man's specific nature. The driving force behind this is human a-social sociality. With this motor cultural institutions are being developed, and in particular the politically organised communities ruled by law. (2) However, inequality and domination are among the effects of the development. Nevertheless, Kant accepts these effects as costs, which necessarily must be paid by the project whose aim is the development of humanity as a species. On the other hand, culture may develop the individual towards harmony between inclinations and morality. Morality is constitutive for the notion of human beings as ends in themselves. Thus, Kant's thoughts on culture allow for a reflection on man as the end to which nature as a whole might be seen as a mean. In addition, they provide a conscious direction of human efforts to cultivate and create an enlightened society. (3) In this context, the Kantian 'paradox' concerning formation can be read in a twofold way. Does it consider 'sufficient' or just 'necessary' conditions for pedagogical intervention? If it is about necessary conditions, it may express a transcendental, regulative idea. In contrast, if the conditions are thought sufficient, the paradox makes the aims and means of pedagogy dependent on empirical circumstances in the actual situation. Thus, the tension can be related to Kant's conception of culture and to his understanding of Enlightenment.
Kant and Education: Interpretations and Commentary, 2011, p. 94-106
Nature; Culture; Pedagogical philosophy; Pedagogical Paradox; Pædagogisk filosofi