Kant and his German Contemporaries

Cambridge University Press (forthcoming)
The German thinkers in the period between Leibniz and Kant have frequently been overlooked by historians of philosophy, being less accessible than the figures of the contemporary British and French traditions, and even eclipsed within the German tradition by the thinkers of the subsequent period of “classical German philosophy” inaugurated by Kant and running through to Hegel. Consistent with this general neglect of the 18th century German tradition, Kant scholars, especially in the Anglo-American tradition, have long held these figures to be of little importance in gaining an understanding of Kant’s thought. Such a dismissive attitude towards the figures of the earlier German tradition is, however, unjustified in light of their enduringly important contributions to philosophy and a number of other disciplines besides. Kant and his German Contemporaries will show how a variety of central aspects of Kant’s philosophy can be illuminated through consideration of its 18th century German context. Contributions will focus on topics in Kant’s theoretical and practical philosophy, including the influence of Wolff and Euler on Kant’s transcendental and formal logic; the influence of Tetens and Maimon on Kant’s account of the mind and consciousness; the influence of Lambert and Platner on Kant’s epistemology; the influence of Meier and Mendelssohn on Kant’s critique of metaphysics; the influence of Lambert and Blumenbach on Kant’s theory of science and reception of developments in the life sciences; and the influence of Feder and Garve on Kant’s theory of moral motivation and defense of freedom.
Keywords Kant  epistemology  metaphysics  natural science
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