Open-access publications:

▸ "Kant on the experience of passivity." World Journal of Social Science Research 2, no. 2 (December 2015): 200-226


This article reconstructs Kant's thought on early human development and its effect throughout one's life in his empirical, anthropological work. To do so, I examine Kant's treatment of three aspects of the early human development chronologically. Kant's argument concerns processes that one goes through before becoming an adult, which take place beyond one's control, which form the basis for one's adult self, and which affect one throughout one's life. One's experience of these three aspects can be called the experience of passivity. First, while an infant, one is subject to the drive and inability to coordinate and control one's bodily motion, to the drive to communicate, and to the activity of imitation. Second, one is compelled to begin reasoning rather than actively beginning the exercise of reason. The initial activity of reason suddenly has already taken place in one beyond one's control in such a way that one cannot choose whether to begin to exercise the faculty of reason in the first place. Third, one is affected by otherness in the formation and development of one's self. Kant's thought thus reconstructed proves to be consistent with what recent empirical research demonstrates. The present analysis ends with questions and implications for social science research.

Keywords: the early human developmental process; reason; the self; memory

▸ "To experience differently: on one strand of Kant's anthropology." Massimo Canevacci (ed.) Polyphonic Anthropology (InTech, 2012), pp. 57-80.

Non open-access publications

▸ "On the division between reason and unreason in Kant." Human Studies: A Journal for Philosophy and the Social Sciences 32, no. 2 (June 2009): 201-223


This article examines Kant’s discussion of the division between reason and unreason in his Anthropology from a Pragmatic Point of View. On the one hand, Kant says that there is a normative, clear, and definite division between reason and unreason. On the other hand, Kant offers three arguments showing that we cannot draw such a division. First, we cannot explain the normative grounds for the division. Second, both reason and unreason are present in everyone to varying degrees in different ways. Third, Kant invalidates the division as such by characterizing what should be more incomprehensible than an extreme case of unreason as also being a rational way of life.

Keywords: Kant; reason; rule-following; unreason

▸ "Three aspects of the self-opacity of the empirical subject in Kant." Philosophy & Social Criticism 35, no. 3 (March 2009): 315-337


This article attempts to reconstruct Kant's view on the self-opacity of the empirical subject by exploring three aspects of his work: the unconscious, moral incentives and moral genealogy, and rule-following practice. `Self-opacity' means that one is unable to give an account of one's everyday activity, of why in one's everyday life one thinks and acts in the way one does. Kant's view thus recast gives us a sobering insight into our ordinary way of life. The insight is that we are confronted with such self-opacity concerning that area of our activity to which the aforesaid three things apply. That is, a large part of our everyday activity is at bottom opaque to ourselves. This reading of Kant has two implications. First, it enriches our interpretation of Kant. Second, the aforesaid sobering insight is potentially an encouraging message because it may help us cultivate our self-understanding for our everyday life.

Keywords: Immanuel Kant; moral genealogy; reason; rule-following practice; self-opacity; the unconscious

▸ "On tensions in Kant’s account of reason in politics." Textual Practice 20, no. 4 (December 2006): 679-702


This essay examines tensions in Kant's attempt to vindicate reason's authority in politics through critique. Such an attempt amounts to a vindication of a democratic state. But in this attempt Kant is confronted with an impasse that reason negates itself from within by its own principle. Reason as a coherent-and-normative-account-giving activity cannot give such an account of itself. Similarly, the grounding of the democratic state is self-undermining. If this impasse does not surface, this is because reason rests secretly on something external to itself. In particular, it must rest on something that prevents reason's self-destruction, without which reason cannot start its own operation, but which reason cannot justify in its own right. This is something that lives at the foundations of the democratic state but which cannot be justified by it. Kant reminds us that we live with these tensions.

Keywords: Kant; reason; critique; democratic state; original contract; diabolical evil; abyss

▸ "On an East Asian community, or Kant's cosmopolitan right reconsidered." Nam-kook Kim (ed.) Globalization and Regional Integration in Europe and Asia (Aldershot, UK: Ashgate, 2009), pp. 123-142.