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This chapter deals with Immanuel Kant's remarks on touch and vision into the context of his pragmatic anthropology, by considering his views of the scope, aims, and methods of that fledgling discipline. Kant supports his discussion with appeals to observation and experience that form a kind of everyday phenomenology of sensory experience. The chapter considers Kant's notion of the relation between the pragmatic and the theoretical, including his remarks that a pragmatic anthropology does not present theoretical or scholastic knowledge but focuses on worldly knowledge. Kant derived the framework for his discussion of the five external senses from his lectures on metaphysics, especially those on empirical psychology. In both empirical psychology and anthropology he categorizes the senses into those that are comparatively objective and those that are comparatively subjective: the objective senses provide more cognition, and provide occasion for reflection, but the subjective senses have more sensation than reflection.
The antiquarian controversy about the intention of Jean-Jacques Rousseau conceals a political controversy about the nature of democracy. The contemporary critics of Rousseau's praise of ignorance were quite understandably under the impression that he had denied all value to science or philosophy and that he had suggested the abolition of all learning. In accordance with the general character of the Discours Rousseau maintains the thesis that the scientific or philosophic truth (the truth about the whole) is simply inaccessible rather than that it is inaccessible to the people. According to Rousseau, civil society is essentially a particular, or more precisely a closed, society. To say that science and society are incompatible is one thing; to say that science and virtue are incompatible is another thing. The second thesis could be reduced to the first, if virtue were essentially political or social.
Kant's Observations of 1764 and Remarks of 1764–5 (a set of fragments written in the margins of his copy of the Observations) document a crucial turning point in his life and thought. Both reveal the growing importance for him of ethics, anthropology and politics, but with an important difference. The Observations attempts to observe human nature directly. The Remarks, by contrast, reveals a revolution in Kant's thinking, largely inspired by Rousseau, who 'turned him around' by disclosing to Kant the idea of a 'state of freedom' (modelled on the state of nature) as a touchstone for his thinking. This and related thoughts anticipate such famous later doctrines as the categorical imperative. This collection of essays by leading Kant scholars illuminates the many and varied topics within these two rich works, including the emerging relations between theory and practice, ethics and anthropology, men and women, philosophy, history and the 'rights of man'.