This game doesn't have immanuel.
February 11, 2014 10:48 AM   Subscribe

Did Immanuel Kant ever say anything about chess? What about other board games?

Google gives me nothing.
posted by matkline to Religion & Philosophy (7 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I have read a lot of Kant, for better or worse, and I do not recall ever coming across anything about chess or any other game.

You know, Kant didn't comment much on anything that seemed like a 'pass time,' except to say, like in the case of music, that he thought it was dumb.

Kant, who didn't travel more than 40 miles from his house in his lifetime and famously avoided most social interaction, probably wasn't the most well-versed in things like board games, I would guess, or if he was, didn't care enough to comment on them.
posted by Lutoslawski at 10:57 AM on February 11, 2014

I just searched my ebook of 'Critique of Pure Reason' for "chess": 0 results.
posted by thelonius at 11:03 AM on February 11, 2014

Kant on cards:
It is really extraordinary how reasonable men can sit by the hour and shuffle cards. It is not, it seems, so easy for men to leave off being children. For how is this a better game than the children's game of ball? It is true that grown men do not care to ride hobby-horses, but they ride other hobbies.
posted by Knappster at 11:09 AM on February 11, 2014 [1 favorite]

Kant may not have said anything about chess, but if you search Kant and Chess in Google books you'll find that philosophers writing about Kant frequently reach for chess as a model to discuss aspects of his arguments.
posted by yoink at 11:12 AM on February 11, 2014

He comments on chess and other games in a footnote here.
posted by Knappster at 11:13 AM on February 11, 2014 [2 favorites]

Check out the footnote commentary on page 166 (or do a quick search on the word "chess") of The educational theory of Immanuel Kant. It starts like this, and goes on further:

"Kant remarks on the meaning of play as follows in the Anthropology, etc. (Hartenstein, vii. p. 596): "The plays of the boy (ball, wrestling, running races, playing soldier ; further, those of the man (chess, cards, where in the case of the former the mere superiority of the understanding, in the latter the net gain is the one object in mind); finally, those of the citizen, who tries his luck in public, with faro and dice, -- are all spurred on unconscionably by wiser nature to daring feats, to try their strength in conflict with others, really in order that the vital force may be preserved from exhaustion and kept active."
posted by SpacemanStix at 11:14 AM on February 11, 2014

Or, you know, what Knappster says.
posted by SpacemanStix at 11:14 AM on February 11, 2014

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