Kant the Naturalist

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Journal of Transcendental Philosophy


Kant is widely admired – and sometimes also widely criticized – as the founding father of transcendental philosophy. But in much of my own writing, I have been concerned with a very different Kant: an impure rather than a pure Kant, an a posteriori rather than an a priori Kant, a naturalistic rather than a transcendental Kant. This other Kant has often been overlooked by professional philosophers, and when not overlooked, he is often regarded as shallow and unoriginal. My aim in this paper is to demonstrate not only the existence but also the importance and originality of Kant, the naturalist. Without Kant’s naturalism, we lack what he called the empirically-informed “eye of true philosophy” that gives its possessors a necessary “broadened way of thinking” and provides philosophy with “dignity, i. e., an absolute worth.”