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'Ich kenne Kant...'? - So called legal and business 'ethics' referring to Kant et al. - An 'intercultural', philosophical and historical analysis of 'slogans' in the field of - so called - legal and business 'ethics' focussing on Kant


2 „Cultural“ studies, „ethics“, and KANT!?


2.1 Introduction with BERNHARD, KEHLMANN, LEVINAS et al?


Who does not know the (even though that philosophers are often deemed to be mainly „theoretists“, nonetheless mainly positively[6] associated [and presented[7]]?) name of „(Immanuel) KANT“[8], often adressed as „einer der größten deutschen Denker“[9] [sic!]?[10] Who has not heard of (or read[11]) the name of „HEGEL“[12] (, probably also in combination[13] with the (sometimes called „Vordenker einer idealistischen Philosophie“[14]) FICHTE[15] and/or – probably - SCHELLING[16])?[17] Who has never heard e.g. of NEWTON[18], of ROUSSEAU[19], or VOLTAIRE[20]? Who has not heard about the – so called ([time] period of the) – „Deutscher[21] Idealismus[22] (, a context in which KANT („der große Philosoph des dt Idealismus“[23]) is also mentioned)[24]? Who does not associate KANT[25] with „the“ – so called ([time] period[26] of the) – (German[27]) „Aufklärung[28] (the  - so called – „Age of Enlightenment[29]), (furthermore) the roots of the history of ideas of human rights („geistesgeschichtliche Wurzeln der Menschenrechte“[30]) or probably with the Austrian writer Thomas BERNHARD[31]?[32]


But are these – de facto, („bei lebensnaher Betrachtung“/according to „realistic reflection“) - all (almost) „saints“ [sic!], (almost) „holy“, de facto (quite) „undisputable“ (!) people, lacking[33] of (harsh) faults, (heavy) mistakes,[34] of (strongly) negative[35], aspects to be criticised (, also during their time)? Was (and is) the so called „Enzyklopädie“[36] (de facto, in a [certain] way?) „infallible“? Or - to say it clearly – are they „just“ treated (!) as „saints“ or „allmost saints“?[37] As people almost beyond from „another planet“, without[38] reach to our questions, especially critical („kritische“[39]), fact-bound („sachliche“[40]) questions? And: do „we“ also „know“ „if“ there are any[41] „dark aspects“, any „sads“ concerning their lives, their writings, their „thoughts“?[42] May KANT be mentioned as an „undisputable (!?) example“ of a „philosopher“, able to serve as a (role) model for others? And: Able to serve as a (role) model for other philosophers? And: able to serve as a (role) model for other human beings, to be precise (!): for  all (!) human beings, regardless of what „skin“ they have/had/will have ? Is KANT really „trustworthy“[43]? Should we not ask more questions[44] with respect to KANT (or e.g. HEGEL)[45]? Is KANT – undisputably (?) – the „Copernicus [sic!] of philosophy“[46]?


Furthermore, from a Jewish[47] perspective, furthermore from a Jewish-Christian[48] perspective, one could ask: are these aspects of KANT and others not also worth to be mentioned? Dr. Markus HIMMELBAUER[49], for instance, pointed out:


„Die Annäherung zwischen beiden Gemeinschaften in den letzten vier Jahrzehnten steht im Schatten einer Jahrhunderte langen Vorgeschichte.“[50]


Dr. Markus HIMMELBAUER also uses the word „Schatten“ (shadow), and this is also a word we shall draw our attention to. Or, as a tax consultant in an important Austrian tax management company put it: not only are the glads (in the sense of „glad aspects“ [of our company]) of interest to us but also the sads (in the sense of „sad aspects“).


This aspect could also be presented with the picture (concept) of a balance, the thought of a balance sheet:


On the left hand, for instance, we present the glads, on the right hand, for instance, we present the sads (of a company e.g.) Dr. Markus HIMMELBAUER[51] – with reference to the „Jahrhunderte langen Vorgeschichte“[52] then points out:


„In ihr melden sich eine schwere Last und ein befangenes Langzeitgedächtnis. Dieses Gedächtnis bewahrt ungezählte Erinnerungen erlittener Schmach, Verfolgung und Ermordung und eines missglückten Verhältnisses. Es hält Gegenmodelle zu einem offenen Gespräch bereit. Tatsächlich sind es oft dies aus einem negativ bestimmten Gedächtnis aufbrechenden Empfindungen, die das jüdisch-christliche Verhältnis heute mitbestimmen. Die aktuellen Belastungen in diesem Verhältnis belegen dies.“[53]


One philosopher, Prof Dr Branko KLUN from Laibach (Slovenia) also spoke in Vienna about the Jewish thinker LEVINAS and his philosophy. E.g. GRABNER-HAIDER/WEINKE 2004: 185 state (also) about LEVINAS:


„[…] Biographisch hat seine von der Ethik [sic!] bestimmte Philosophie ihr Fundament in der Shoa, durch die seine jüdische Familie und er selbst Unmenschliches ertragen mussten.“[54]


LEVINAS will also be – in a certain, critical manner – be our guide on others, the way „others“ are presented. LEVINAS could probably also be regarded as a practical thinker. Insofar, it it is also worth to mention him here in this context.


2.2 Frank STERN, „PINK“, „Advanced Chemistry“?


Prof Dr Frank STERN[55], an important, but – unfortunately - not all too often mentioned professor of history and so called „cultural studies“[56], also interested in film[57] making, is a man who also spoke about the importance of videos, artificial products, or music, in the historical field(s) of research. STERN[58] once also spoke about (and presented) a video of the pop artist „PINK“ at University (title: „Dear Mr President“).


When it comes to the musical implications with respect to KANT, it is worth to be mentioned that the (quite famous) hiphop band „Advanced Chemistry“ also performed a song, in which there was to be found a line of words as follows:


„[…]Ich hasse Hesse, bräuchte Brecht, und kenne [sic!] Kant […]“


The question may be posed – with respect to texts probably unknown to many people (even some (?) philosophers !?) – inhowfar the men of the hiphop boy group did (and do?) in fact know what KANT (also) stood (and stands) for; let alone the question what „Ich kenne Kant [sic!]“ should actually, seriously (!) should mean:


When does one (really!) „know“ a person?


Did even KANT „know“ (arg „kennen“) himself? [sic!]


Thus, these questions could also lead us to another one:


inhowfar did not only Immanuel KANT but also we read texts critical? Or is it – probably far too often? – not the sound [sic!] of words we regard (!) as being „good“, „correct“, „smart“? [sic!]


2.3 Prof Dr Frank STERN, KANT, and Orhan Küçükyılmaz?


Orhan Küçükyılmaz[59] wrote a text as follows (also about Immanuel KANT):


„Ich kenne Kant


doch kannte Kant Clark Kent


und wenn er ihn kennt


kennt er ihn als Clark


oder als Superman


doch dann


Kennt Superman aka Clark Kent Kant




kennt er ihn als Kent


ja wenn ihr dann


Kent kennt




Kant kanntet


ist die Kante




das was Kent kannte


oder konnte Clark Kent Kant


nicht kennen


weil er eine Comicfigur ist???


und wer kennt mich Kant oder Kent???


oder keiner


und wie hieß eigentlich


Kant mit Vornamen


Kennt ihr den???