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Philosophy General

Kant and the Naturalistic Turn of 18th Century Philosophy

by (author) Catherine Wilson

Oxford University Press
Initial publish date
Jun 2022
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Jun 2022
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Kant's philosophy is usually treated according to 'internalist' textual methodology rather than contextually according to 'externalist' methodology. Kant and the Naturalistic Turn of 18th Century Philosophy presents transcendental idealism, the metaphysics of morals, and other Kantian innovations in philosophy as a reaction to 18th century developments in the life and human sciences. It interprets Kant's metaphysics as motivated by, on one hand, anxiety over the moral dangers he perceived in the empiricism of Buffon, Hume, Smith, and certain German materialists; and, on the other, his theological scepticism. Topics treated include cosmology and the fate of the earth, the mechanical philosophy and the problems of life, mind, and matter, historical pessimism, warfare and class consciousness, and the role of women in 18th century society. This book sheds new light on all major aspects of Kant's philosophy and opens avenues for further research.

About the author

Contributor Notes

Catherine Wilson earned her degrees at Yale, Oxford, and Princeton. She was Professor of Philosophy at the Universities of Oregon, Alberta, and British Columbia, specializing in the history and philosophy of science and empirical approaches to moral theory, including studies of the history of atomism and mechanism and evolutionary theory. She was appointed Regius Professor of Moral Philosophy at the University of Aberdeen in 2009 and later taught at the University of York. Since 2014 she has been a Visiting Professor and Adjunct Professor at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. Her most recent academic book was Epicureanism at the Origins of Modernity (Oxford, 2008). She is curently based in Berlin.

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