Kant’s way of developing anthropology differs from that characteristic of the scientific spirit of the 18th century. Besides omitting the natural determination of humans he composes anthropology as a doctrine with practical intentions. He defines pragmatic anthropology as a reflected self-formation, whose objective is not a theory of a human being (“school anthropology” in Kant’s terminology), but rather a set of practical instructions for approaching oneself as well as the others. Thus, drawing to some extent on Michel Foucault, Kant’s anthropology can be understood as a modern conception of the art of living. Kant’s Anthropology from a pragmatic point of view is not just a purposeless summary of his numerous lectures on anthropology; it is rather a sort of vade-mecum or a prescriptive writing focused on purposeful practice.
Cosmopolitan, Kant, Philosophy of history, Pragmatic anthropology, Problematizations of life