Vol. 13 No. 2 (2020): Reading Philosophy Through Archives and Manuscripts

Gebäude auf Abbruch? The digital archive of Kant’s Opus postumum

Daniela Helbig
The University of Sydney (Australia)

Published 2020-12-18


  • Immanuel Kant,
  • Opus postumum,
  • Wilhelm Dilthey,
  • digital edition,
  • philosophical archive

How to Cite

Helbig, D. (2020). Gebäude auf Abbruch? The digital archive of Kant’s Opus postumum. Aisthesis. Pratiche, Linguaggi E Saperi dell’estetico, 13(2), 59–77. https://doi.org/10.13128/Aisthesis-11869


Over two hundred years after Immanuel Kant’s death, the first full, critical, and digital edition of his last manuscript is currently being completed by the Berlin-Brandenburgische Akademie der Wissenschaften. This edition stands in institutional continuity with Wilhelm Dilthey’s monumental Akademieausgabe of Kant’s writings that was grounded in Dilthey’s lastingly influential concept of the national, literary-philosophical archive. The new edition showcases Kant’s dynamic writing process as a matter of investigation in its own right. As I argue here, it brings into view the constitutive role of the archive for both texts and interpretative practices. A historical perspective that links the legacy of the Akademieausgabe with the digital edition of the Opus postumum highlights the changing role of the archive in emphasising or de-emphasising the manuscript’s resistance to certain appropriations and stylisations of Kant as a thinker.


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