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Chapter 5 - The anthropology of cognition and its pragmatic implications

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 November 2014

Alix Cohen
Affiliation:
University of Edinburgh
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Summary

This chapter shows that there is a crucial anthropological dimension to Immanuel Kant's account of cognition that has been unacknowledged until now. Kant's anthropology of cognition develops along two complementary lines. On the one hand, it studies nature's purposes for the human species, the natural dimension of human cognition. On the other hand, it uses this knowledge to realise the cognitive vocation, the pragmatic dimension of human cognition. This pragmatic dimension consists in spelling out the natural subjective conditions that help or hinder the cognition, thereby enabling one to become more cognitively efficacious. To illustrate this claim, the chapter examines the case of human temperaments. It discusses the idea that Kant's anthropology of cognition has a pragmatic dimension turns out to be problematic. The chapter shows that Kant makes room for a form of control that is sufficient to account for the possibility of a pragmatic anthropology of cognition.
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Kant's Lectures on Anthropology
A Critical Guide
, pp. 76 - 93
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2014

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