Date: 7 June 2023
Venue: Institutet för framtidsstudier, Holländargatan 13 in Stockholm, and online
Research seminar with Michael Rosen, professor of political theory, Government Department, Harvard University
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In a letter to his friend, Étienne Falconet, Denis Diderot wrote that “Posterity for the philosophe is the other world of the religious man”. This talk will put that sentence in context as part of a secularizing transition in which orthodox religious hope in a future of personal immortality came to be transferred to history as a project of collective self-realization. As will be explained, both elements work together in the philosophy of Immanuel Kant. Continued and developed by Kant’s German successors, the idea of historical immortality played an important role in political movements of all kinds in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. In bringing this aspect of the history of the future to attention, the aim of the talk is also to contribute to our understanding of the present.
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