A Defence of Kant’s Biological Model for the Human Sciences



In Kant and the Human Sciences, I present an epistemic model of the human sciences according to which Kant’sAntinomy of reflective judgment is the “foremost” “basis of the method of human sciences” (Cohen, 2009, p. 29). In this paper, I set out to defend this model against recent objections. In the first section, I show that Kant’s anthropology is modelled on his philosophy of biology due to the fact that the development of the human species shares a number of peculiar features with thefunctioning of organisms, these features entailing important methodological characteristics. In the second section, I support this claim by addressing a number of issues that have been raised by Robert Louden in his contribution to this volume. Finally, I discuss a difficulty that is entailed by Louden’s interpretation of Kant’s anthropological project. Namely, pragmatic anthropologyis methodologically and metaphysically incompatible with the claim that human beings are causally determined.

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