Spinoza Lecture: Two unlikely bedfellows: Kant and Freud on Morality

08June2017 20:15 - 22:00


Béatrice Longuenesse holds the Spinoza Chair of the Department of Philosophy of the Faculty of Humanities in the second term of the academic year 2016-2017 and will be delivering the accompanying two Spinoza Lectures on 'The first person in Cognition and Morality'.

Longuenesse's second Spinoza Lecture is entitled ‘Two unlikely bedfellows: Kant and Freud on Morality'

It is hard to think of two conceptions of morality further apart than those of Kant and Freud.  Kant took our moral attitudes to be the highest expression of our capacity to guide our actions by reason. Freud took our moral attitudes to originate in our deepest, earliest emotional bond, the bond we have as helpless infants to the adult figures we experience as nurturing, protecting, or threatening. Nevertheless, both took morality to be deeply connected to our capacity to think and act, as we would say, “in the first person.” In exploring those two seemingly opposed conceptions of morality, the lecture will explore how emotions and reason converge, or as the case may be, diverge in determining our moral attitudes and our capacity to take responsibility for our thoughts and actions.

On Thursday 11 May, Béatrice Longuenesse held the first Spinoza Lecture entitled Perplexing 'I'

Béatrice Longuenesse

Béatrice Longuenesse

About Béatrice Longuenesse

Béatrice Longuenesse is Silver Professor of Philosophy at New York University and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She studied philosophy at the Ecole Normale Supérieure (Paris, France), the University of Paris-Sorbonne and, as a visiting student, Princeton University. She taught at Paris-Sorbonne, the Ecole Normale Supérieure, the University of Besançon and the University of Clermont-Ferrand before joining the philosophy department at Princeton University in 1993. She left Princeton for NYU in 2004. Her earlier books include Kant and the Capacity to Judge (1998), a revised and expanded version of Kant et le Pouvoir de Juger (1993); Kant on the Human Standpoint (2005); Hegel’s Critique of Metaphysics (2007), a revised and expanded version of Hegel et la Critique de la Métaphysique (1981). She is the co-editor, with Daniel Garber, of Kant and the Early Moderns (2008); and the editor of Le Moi/the Self/le Soi, a special issue of the Revue de Métaphysique et de Morale (2010). Her most recent book is I, Me, Mine. Back to Kant, and Back Again (2017).

The Spinoza Lectures

The Spinoza Lectures are given by high-profile thinkers of our time. They are intended for a wide audience that would like to keep abreast of current developments in philosophy.

Practical information

  • Date and time: Thursday9 June 2017, at 20:15. The Aula is open at 19:30.
  • Entrance: admission is free (no reservation required).
  • Language: The lectures will be given in English. 

For more information, send an email to secr.wijs-fgw@uva.nl



Published by  Faculty of Humanities