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Kant's Concept of Freedom and the Human Sciences

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 January 2020

Alix A. Cohen*
Affiliation:
University of Leeds, Leeds LS2 9JT, UK

Extract

The aim of this paper is to determine whether Kant's account of freedom fits with his theory of the human sciences. Several Kant scholars have recently acknowledged a tension between Kant's metaphysics and his works on anthropology in particular. Jacobs and Kain write that ‘Kant made his intentions quite clear: he proposed a pragmatic empirical anthropology. The problem is, as commentators have noted, that it is not at all clear how these declared intentions fit with some central claims of his critical philosophy.’ Wood acknowledges the unexpected nature of Kant's anthropological endeavours: ‘The pragmatic approach to anthropology serves to indicate the great distance separating Kantian anthropology from […] what Kant's metaphysical theory of freedom and nature might lead us to expect.’ Louden actually holds that ‘Kant did not satisfactorily address these issues, and in order for [him] to do so it will be necessary to offer conjectures that occasionally go beyond his texts.’

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © The Authors 2009

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