Kant's Philosophy of Education: Between Relational and Systemic Approaches


Correspondence: Ana Marta González, Departamento de Filosofía, Edificio de Bibliotecas, Universidad de Navarra E-31080 Pamplona, Despacho 2331, Spain.
Email: agonzalez@unav.es


The purpose of this paper is to view Kant's approach to education in the broader context of Kant's philosophy of culture and history as a process whose direction should be reflectively assumed by human freedom, in the light of man's moral vocation. In this context, some characteristic tensions of his enlightened approach to education appear. Thus, while Kant takes the educational process to be a radically moral enterprise all the way through—and hence, placed in a relational context—he also aspires to constitute education as a science, to be improved through experiments, thereby paving the way for a systemic approach to education; in spite of its moral inspiration, his systemic approach not only could enter into conflict with the moral demand of taking each individual subject as an end, but is also marked by an intrinsic paradox, already involved in the ambiguity of the term ‘humanity’, which might mean a) humanity as a moral disposition present in each individual human being or b) humanity as a whole, as the ‘human species’.