How Not to Investigate the Human Mind: Kant on the Impossibility of Empirical Psychology

In Eric Watkins (ed.), Kant and the Sciences. Oxford University Press (2001)
Abstract
This essay reconsiders Kant's denial of scientific status to the discipline of empirical psychology, which have often been viewed as quite problematic. In the preface to the Metaphysical Foundations of Natural Science, Kant denies that psychology can be natural science proper. I argue that Kant's impossibility claim is (1) based on a very specific conception of science that he did not put forward elsewhere, and that is restricted to *natural* sciences in any case. Also, (2) Kant's critical remarks are directed merely against a particular conception of psychology, namely one going back to Baumgarten and adopted by many psychologists in the eighteenth century, according to which introspection is the sole means of gathering empirical evidence about the mind. Although this particular conception of psychology precludes it from being natural science proper, it is possible that other conceptions of psychology could allow it to be scientific. Also, for Kant the study of the mind should not be introspection-based. He himself developed a "pragmatic anthropology", which he viewed as a significant factor in our knowledge of the world.
Keywords Kant  Empirical Psychology  Mathematical Science  Introspection  Tetens, Johann Nicolas
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
 
Download options
PhilPapers Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 11,817
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Citations of this work BETA
Thomas Sturm (2008). Why Did Kant Reject Physiological Explanations in His Anthropology? Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 39 (4):495-505.
Similar books and articles
Analytics

Monthly downloads

Added to index

2011-10-25

Total downloads

30 ( #61,261 of 1,099,909 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

4 ( #90,276 of 1,099,909 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature


Discussion
Start a new thread
Order:
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.