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Philosophy - Philosophical Traditions | Kant on Proper Science - Biology in the Critical Philosophy and the Opus postumum

Kant on Proper Science

Biology in the Critical Philosophy and the Opus postumum

Series: Studies in German Idealism, Vol. 15

van den Berg, Hein

2014, XII, 283 p. 1 illus.

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  • New and innovative analysis of the relation between Kant’s conception of proper science and his philosophy of biology
  • Complete overview of Kant’s philosophy of biology and reception of 18th century biological theories in the "Opus postumum"
  • Thorough analysis of Kant’s conception of biological science in relation to Christian Wolff’s philosophy of science

This book provides a novel treatment of Immanuel Kant’s views on proper natural science and biology. The status of biology in Kant’s system of science is often taken to be problematic. By analyzing Kant’s philosophy of biology in relation to his conception of proper science, the present book determines Kant’s views on the scientific status of biology. Combining a broad ideengeschichtlich approach with a detailed historical reconstruction of philosophical and scientific texts, the book establishes important interconnections between Kant’s philosophy of science, his views on biology, and his reception of late 18th century biological theories. It discusses Kant’s views on science and biology as articulated in his published writings and in the Opus postumum. The book shows that although biology is a non-mathematical science and the relation between biology and other natural sciences is not specified, Kant did allow for the possibility of providing scientific explanations in biology and assigned biology a specific domain of investigation.           

Content Level » Research

Keywords » 18th century biological theories - Biological Science - Christian Wolff - Grounding - Kant - Mechanical explanation - Opus postumum - Scientific explanation - Vital Forces - proper science

Related subjects » History of Science - Philosophical Traditions - Philosophy

Table of contents 

Acknowledgments.- Note on citation and translation.- 1. Introduction: Kant on Science and Biology.- 2. Kant’s Conception of Proper Science.- 3. Mechanical Explanation and Grounding.- 4. Kant on Teleology.- 5. Kant on the Domain and Method of Biology.- 6. Kant on the Systematicity of Physics and the Opus postumum.- 7. Vital Forces and Organisms in the Opus postumum.- 8. Materialism, Hylozoism, and Natural History in the Opus postumum.- 9. Concluding Remarks.

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