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Abstract

Kant’s final chapter of Anthropology from a Pragmatic Point of View, puts forth certain observations concerning the characteristics of human beings. In order for these observations to have rational validity as a proposed ‘human nature,’ however, Kant admits that it is necessary to compare between humans and another species of rational animal. Thus in an effort not to succumb to a naively anthropocentric thesis of nature, Kant still falls victim to his own anthropocentric privileging of rationality as a strictly human capacity—at least terrestrially speaking. While Kant fails to recognize any other earthly species as a rational animal, he nevertheless speculates as to the possible existence of an extraterrestrial species of rational animal, with which we might compare ourselves in order to construct a more rationally objective anthropology. In the conclusion of his final volume, Kant’s alien speculations help lead him to espouse a cosmopolitical order. Our focus here will be to examine the popular television series The X-Files in order to illuminate certain resonances between the show’s use of the alien and Kant’s cosmopolitanism.

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