Curatorial Initiatives
Kant's Essay

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In Conversation with Rosi Braidotti

In June 2010 the Perpetual Peace Project filmed philosopher Rosi Braidotti in Paris. She spoke of the predominance of a eurocentric idea of cosmopolitanism in the history of philosophy, and the resistance to Kant's work in French philosophy. These "Anti-Kantian" developments, she argued, have detracted from the actual value of the text. She spoke of her current work in the Netherlands, which engages the philosophical idea of cosmopolitanism within the current political realities of global citizenship, immigration, and trans-national identity. Braidotti argued that the spirit of cosmopolitanism lends itself to what we negatively today think of as a multicultural society, which so many populist parties in Europe and elsewhere are turning against.

Braidotti also underscored the need to remain critical of many of the historical limitations that are present in Kant's essay, such as the implicit belief in Europe as the moral compass for the rest of the world. However, if the simple virtues of decency and hospitality that are also present in the text have become too abstract, she suggests that this is because they are now part of our social and institutional reality and, therefore, can no longer appear to us simply as ideals.

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