Edward Abbey and Kant

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Submitted By jam396
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Kant doubted the work of past philosophers, presenting his limits of human reason in his book, The Critique of Pure Reason. He describes the confines of feeling and thinking something. Humans are held back by both space and time. Our own minds hold us back from being able to experience things completely. To think Kant assumed that there were 12 pure rational concepts split into four fields: quantity, quality, relation and modality. He believed that human reasoning connected those thoughts to everything. When Abbey refers to seeing certain aspects of the desert landscape in an Anti-Kantian manner, he wants the boundaries of human reason to be broken so that humans can experience the greatness of the landscape without having to be held back by the restrictions of human reason.
In the First Morning, Abbey begins to describe his “most beautiful place on Earth” (Abbey, Desert Solitaire A Season in the Wilderness , 1971) the first two pages of the initial chapters focuses upon the description of the desert landscape. His perspective on the desert prevents readers from coming to their own conclusions, again showing the limitations of human reason.
Kant also believed that certain actions like murder, theft and lying should be strongly prohibited. In The Critique of Pure Reason, Kant says “He who is cruel to animals becomes hard also in his dealings with men. We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals”. Abbey however in chapter, Abbey willingly kills the innocent rabbit and has no problem with it. This goes to show how anti-kantian Abbey’s ways are and puts emphasis on Abbey as a person.
Contrary to many critiques of author’s goal Abbey made his intention in writing Desert Solitaire quite clear in his Introduction. He says: "Do not jump into your automobile next June and rush out ... to see some of that which I have attempted to evoke ...Most of what I…...

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