MENSCH, J. Kant’s Organicism: Epigenesis and the Development of Critical Philosophy. Chicago and London: The University of Chicago Press, 2013.
ResumoIn this remarkable book of theoretical audacity and analytical detail, J. Mensch locates Kant at the heart of modern organicism and investigates the analogy between reason and life, arguing that one can understand reason as life, that is, as a self-organizing and selfdevelopmental process. Moreover, the original hypothesis at stake here compellingly states that, from the standpoint of Kant’s organicism, reason grasps itself by identifying with an organic being, a self-generative whole, a system perfectly unified and articulated from within.It hence follows that, contrarily to what might be suggested by its title, this book does not concern Kant’s biology but rather Kant’s construal of the logos of life, and the ways in which such logos of life becomes for transcendental philosophy the very logos of reason1. In a word, this research shows how Critical Philosophy belongs to the realm of “organic logic”, how thecritical elucidation of reason presents reason as an organic developmental process, and thereby constitutes a special case of the epigenetic dynamic of life. Unlike common practice in Kantian scholarship, the analogy of life and reason can be elucidated without fully subordinating the first to the third Critique.
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