Natural History and the Formation of the Human Being: Kant on Active Forces

Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 58:67-76 (2016)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

In his 1785-review of the Ideen zur Philosophie der Geschichte der Menschheit, Kant objects to Herder's conception of nature as being imbued with active forces. This attack is usually evaluated against the background of Kant's critical project and his epistemological concern to caution against the “metaphysical excess” of attributing immanent properties to matter. In this paper I explore a slightly different reading by investigating Kant's pre-critical account of creation and generation. The aim of this is to show that Kant's struggle with the forces of matter has a long history and revolves around one central problem: that of how to distinguish between the non-purposive forces of nature and the intentional powers of the mind. Given this history, the epistemic stricture that Kant's critical project imposes on him no longer appears to be the primary reason for his attack on Herder. It merely aggravates a problem that Kant has been battling with since his earliest writings.

Links

PhilArchive



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 94,659

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Kant’s Dynamic Constructions.Kenneth R. Westphal - 1995 - Journal of Philosophical Research 20:381-429.
Kant’s Conception of Theodicy and his Argument from Metaphysical Evil against it.Amit Kravitz - 2020 - Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie 102 (3):453-476.
Forces and causes in Kant’s early pre-Critical writings.Eric Watkins - 2003 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 34 (1):5-27.
Organisms and Metaphysics: Kant’s First Herder Review.Rachel Zuckert - 2014 - In Eric Watkins & Ina Goy (eds.), Kant's Theory of Biology. Boston: De Gruyter. pp. 61-78.
Kant on the history of nature: The ambiguous heritage of the critical philosophy for natural history.Phillip R. Sloan - 2006 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 37 (4):627-648.

Analytics

Added to PP
2017-11-20

Downloads
20 (#777,357)

6 months
7 (#624,553)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Anik Waldow
University of Sydney

Citations of this work

No citations found.

Add more citations

References found in this work

No references found.

Add more references