a1 St Hugh's College, Oxford
Some of the most interesting questions about Kant, and more particularly about his moral philosophy, arise when he is placed alongside the giants of antiquity. Where does he come together with Plato? Where with Aristotle? Where does he diverge from each?
He comes together with Plato in a shared conception of Ideas. When he first outlines how he is using the term ‘Idea’ in the Critique of Pure Reason, he insists that he is using it in none other than its original Platonic sense; and he explains away certain discrepancies with the comment:
It is by no means unusual… to find that we understand [an author] better than he has understood himself. As he has not sufficiently determined his concept, he has sometimes spoken… in opposition to his own intention.