Favourite Kant Footnotes, #1

How better to celebrate the bicentenary of the death of Immanuel Kant than with a celebration of his finest footnotes?

Man’s role is thus a highly artificial one. We do not know how it is with the inhabitants of other planets and with their nature, but if we ourselves execute this commission of nature well, we may surely flatter ourselves that we occupy no mean status among our neighbours in the cosmos. Perhaps their position is such that each individual can fulfil his destiny completely within his own lifetime. With us it is otherwise; only the species as a whole can hope for this.

That’s the classic space-aliens footnote to the essay “On the Idea for a Universal History with a Cosmopolitan Purpose”.

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