Kant and the development of the human and cultural sciences

Starting with Kant’s doubts about psychology as a natural science capable of explaining human behavior, several alternative attempts to conceive of human life, culture and history are examined. Kant proposes an anthropology that will be a commonly useful human science rather than a universally valid natural science. This anthropology relates to philosophy as a mode of world-cognition. Special attention is given to how Kant’s theory of right can help define our appropriate place in a communal world. The different ways in which Wilhelm Dilthey and Hermann Cohen respond to Kant’s idea of legitimate appropriation are also considered. The various tasks that descriptive elucidation, explanation, reflective understanding, characterization and interpretation can perform for the human and cultural sciences are examined throughout the essay.Keywords: Appropriation; Hermann Cohen; Culture; Wilhelm Dilthey; Human sciences; Immanuel
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DOI 10.1016/j.shpsa.2008.09.003
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Immanuel Kant (2007). Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals. In Elizabeth Schmidt Radcliffe, Richard McCarty, Fritz Allhoff & Anand Vaidya (eds.), Late Modern Philosophy: Essential Readings with Commentary. Blackwell Pub. Ltd.
I. Kant (1984). Critique of Pure Reason. Philosophy 59 (230):555-557.

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