Kant on the Special Sciences

In Andrew Stephenson & Anil Gomes (eds.), Oxford Handbook of Kant. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press (forthcoming)
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Abstract

While Kant was arguably as deeply engaged with the emerging special sciences of his time as he was with Newtonian physics, there is a deep tension in his treatment of these disciplines. On the one hand, Kant endorses a reductionist approach in natural science. On the other hand, Kant is committed to a variety of anti-reductionist positions in empirical psychology, chemistry, and the emerging biological sciences. This chapter examines the precise form that Kant’s anti-reductionism takes in each of these domains and the corresponding set of questions about the extent to which each of these constitutes a genuine science for Kant.

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Jessica Williams
University of South Florida

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