Bringing Biology Back In: The Unresolved Issue of “Epigenesis” in Kant

John H. Zammito


Epigenesis has become a far more exciting issue in Kant studies recently, especially with the publication of Jennifer Mensch’s Kant’ Organicism. In my commentary, I propose to clarify my own position on epigenesis relative to that of Mensch by once again considering the discourse of epigenesis in the wider eighteenth century. In order to situate more precisely what Kant made of it in his own thought, I distinguish the metaphysical use Kant made of epigenesis from his rejection of its aptness as a theory for life science. In that light, I raise questions about the scope and authority of philosophy vis à vis natural science.

Palabras clave

Jennifer Mensch; Immanuel Kant; Epigenesis; Preformation; Origins of Pure Reason

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ISSN: 2386-7655


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