Essay On Cosmopolitanism

Words: 1863
Pages: 8

Achieving Perfection within the Horizon of Cosmopolitanism

by Priyasha Kushwaha (2012CH10106)

“Universal history”, as a Kantian concept, arises from the fusion of philosophy with history. This treatise explores Kant’s essay, “Idea for a Universal History from a Cosmopolitan Point of View”. Analysis of this essay leads to a hope that history, when studied in its entirety, reveals Nature’s intentions for man; and all human actions confirm to Nature’s intention of achieving perfection within the horizon of cosmopolitanism.

Asserting universal meaning to the entirety of human history, instead of being limited to one historical phenomenon is known as “universal history”. Historical events, when studied in isolation, seem meaningless. However, the interpretation of history using philosophy suggests that Nature has a purpose for man, which is to create an environment where the natural predispositions of man are fully developed. Kant has introduced this aim at an individual level, and then applied it to the whole world, thereby building the concept of cosmopolitanism and giving rise to universal history.

Unravelling Natural Teleology using Universal History
Nature has a purpose in everything it does. Even random human actions seem to work according to what Nature intends for them.
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As Kant proposes in his Fifth Thesis, this social state can thrive only when freedom of individual is consistent with that of society. This freedom of will would lead to antagonism and mutual opposition, which would determine the exact limitations to the freedom, so that individual freedom does not oppose social freedom. This perfectly just civic constitution would therefore combine the utmost possible freedom along with mutually accepted rigorous boundaries of this freedom. However, according to Kant’s Sixth