Get access

IMMANUEL KANT'S ACCOUNT OF COGNITIVE EXPERIENCE AND HUMAN RIGHTS EDUCATION

Authors


GREGORY LEWIS BYNUM is Assistant Professor in the Department of Educational Studies, State University of New York at New Paltz, 800 Hawk Drive, New Paltz, NY, 12561; e-mail <bynumg@newpaltz.edu>. His primary areas of scholarship are human rights education and gender and education.

Abstract

In this essay Gregory Bynum seeks to show that Immanuel Kant's thought, which was conceived in an eighteenth-century context of new, and newly widespread, pressures for nationally institutionalized human rights–based regimes (the American and French revolutions being the most prominent examples), can help us think in new and appreciative ways about how to approach human rights education more effectively in our own time. Kant's discussion of moral experience features prominently in Bynum's analysis, which emphasizes the following: Kant's conception of a Categorical Imperative to treat humanity as an end in itself; his conscious avoidance of, and his discussion of the necessity of avoiding, the limitations of empiricist and rationalist extremes of thought; and his discussion of moral experience in interrelated individual, community, and global aspects. Bynum demonstrates the usefulness of Kant's approach by using it as a lens through which to appreciatively examine a Japanese-born university professor's account of her ultimately successful effort to teach American students about U.S.-instigated human rights violations abroad.

Ancillary