IV Kant Multilateral Colloquium

Kant and the metaphors of reason

August 11 – 14, 2013
Tiradentes, Minas Gerais, Brazil 

This colloquium gives continuity to an initiative taken by Brazilian, Portuguese and Italian philosophers to promote exchanges between Kantian scholars from different countries. The first edition, titled Kant and philosophical tradition – Kant Today, took place in Verona and Padua, in January 2008. The second colloquium, held in Lisbon in September 2009, was centered on the question “What is Man? – Was ist der Mensch?”. The third meeting was held in Mainz, in October 2011, with the theme Kant and antinomical thinking.


The IV Kant Multilateral Colloquium will be held at the Cultural Campus of Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais (UFMG) in Tiradentes, Minas Gerais, Brazil, on August 11-14, 2013. Paper proposals dealing with any aspect of Kant’s philosophy — theoretical, practical, aesthetical or anthropological — are welcome. Special attention will be given to papers related to the theme of this meeting, Kant and the metaphors of reason, which is also, by the way, the title of a book by Prof. Leonel Ribeiro dos Santos and, thereby, a tribute to him.


Kants philosophical language, suspended between innovation and tradition, is surprisingly rich in the use of metaphors to express its conceptual innovations as well as its criticism of traditional views. Kant, however, never developed a theory of metaphor and has even warned against the use of “audacious metaphors”. Thus, although one must recognize his efforts to “purify” his philosophical writing from merely metaphorical explanations and build his arguments on strictly conceptual grounds, Kant does not hesitate to use metaphors in order to make possible an easier and more intuitive understanding of many important aspects of his thought in the most diverse spheres – theoretical, practical, aesthetical or anthropological. Several metaphors can easily be enumerated: the characterization of the critiques as a “court or tribunal of reason”, the comparison of his new method of thinking in metaphysics to the Copernican revolution in astronomy, the description of metaphysical speculation as an “endless ocean” where no terra firma can be discovered, the comparison of the fruitless attempts of pure reason in metaphysics to the efforts of “the light dove” to fly higher in the absence of air, the use of analogies in the formulation of the categorical imperative, e.g. the comparison of moral law both to a law of nature and to the law of a “kingdom of ends”, the explanation of aesthetic reflective judgment as based on a “play of the imagination and the understanding”, as well as several other architectural, geographical, physiological, musical, and zoological metaphors. In a more generic sense, one could say that thinking about the use of metaphors in Kant, involves us in the still current and important task of thinking about the limits of language and discursive thought, about the creativity of language and the role of imagination in philosophy.

The official languages of the colloquium are Portuguese, Spanish, Italian, English, French and German. Talks can be given in any of these official languages, but a version translated into one of these languages (different from that of the talk) should be provided for power point projection. The length of each talk is approximately 30 minutes, followed by 15 minutes for discussion.

Sponsored by 
Graduate Program in Philosophy – Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais

Supported from 
Fundação Rodrigo Mello Franco de Andrade
Department of Philosophy – Universidade Federal de São João del Rei
Sociedade Kant Brasileira

Os comentários estão desativados.