David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 39 (4):495-505 (2008)
One of Kant’s central tenets concerning the human sciences is the claim that one need not, and should not, use a physiological vocabulary if one studies human cognitions, feelings, desires, and actions from the point of view of his “pragmatic” anthropology. The claim is well-known, but the arguments Kant advances for it have not been closely discussed. I argue against misguided interpretations of the claim, and I present his actual reasons in favor of it. Contemporary critics of a “physiological anthropology” reject physiological explanations of mental states as more or less epistemologically dubious. Kant does not favor such ignorance claims – and this is for the good, since none of these claims was sufficiently justified at that time. Instead, he develops an original irrelevance thesis concerning the empirical knowledge of the physiological basis of the mind. His arguments for this claim derive from his original and up to now little understood criticism of a certain conception of pragmatic history, related to his anthropological insights concerning our ability to create new rules of action, the social dynamics of human action, and the relative inconstancy of human nature. The irrelevance thesis also changes his views of the goal and methodology of anthropology. Kant thereby argues for a distinctive approach in quest for a general “science of man”.
|Keywords||Anthropology Psychology Psychophysiological explanation Action explanation Pragmatic history Human nature|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
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
David Hartley (1749/1971). Observations on Man, His Frame, His Duty, and His Expectations. New York,Garland Pub..
David Hume (1975). Enquiries Concerning Human Understanding and Concerning the Principles of Morals. OUP Oxford.
Brian Jacobs (2003). Kantian Character and the Problem of a Science of Humanity. In Brian Jacobs & Patrick Kain (eds.), Essays on Kant's Anthropology. Cambridge University Press. 105--134.
Immanuel Kant (1900). Kritik der Reinen Vernunft. Georg Reimer.
Citations of this work BETA
Katharina T. Kraus (2011). Kant and the 'Soft Sciences'. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 42 (4):618-624.
Similar books and articles
Axel Honneth (1988). Social Action and Human Nature. Cambridge University Press.
Alix Cohen (2009). Kant and the Human Sciences: Biology, Anthropology and History. Palgrave Macmillan.
Patrick R. Frierson (2003). Freedom and Anthropology in Kant's Moral Philosophy. Cambridge University Press.
Immanuel Kant (2007). Anthropology, History, and Education. Cambridge University Press.
Patrick R. Frierson (2006). Character and Evil in Kant's Moral Anthropology. Journal of the History of Philosophy 44 (4):623-634.
Immanuel Kant (2007). Anthropology From a Pragmatic Point of View (1798). In , Anthropology, History, and Education. Cambridge University Press.
Immanuel Kant (2006). Anthropology From a Pragmatic Point of View. Cambridge University Press.
Holly L. Wilson (2006). Kant's Pragmatic Anthropology: Its Origin, Meaning, and Critical Significance. State University of New York Press.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads21 ( #81,188 of 1,101,116 )
Recent downloads (6 months)4 ( #81,278 of 1,101,116 )
How can I increase my downloads?