David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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In Eric Watkins (ed.), Kant and the Sciences. Oxford University Press (2001)
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|
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Alix Cohen (2008). Kant on Anthropology and Alienology: The Opacity of Human Motivation and its Anthropological Implications. Kantian Review 13 (2):85-106.
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.
Katharina T. Kraus (2013). Quantifying Inner Experience?—Kant's Mathematical Principles in the Context of Empirical Psychology. European Journal of Philosophy 23 (3):n/a-n/a.
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