Questioning the Soul. On C. W. Dyck's "Kant and Rational Psychology"

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Among the most recent examples of works dealing with the history of Kant’s sources, the work by C. Dyck deserves a special place both for his ambitious goal and the breadth of the historical analysis that accompanies this goal. he author’s basic assumption is that, “In contrast to the narrowly rationalistic approach to the soul which would proceed completely independently of experience, the rational psychology pioneered by the theorists of the German tradition relies essentially upon empirical psychology”. Indeed, according to Wolf, when our investigation comes to the soul it “is to be considered rationalistic only in a much broader sense in that [… it] is not limited to what can be directly known through experience” (p. 9). his lets the author formulate his main tenet, namely that in diferent senses both Kant’s pre-Critical (1770s) and Critical (Paralogisms) dealings with rational psychology can only be understood through abandoning a traditional interpretative scheme aiming at identifying the target of the Paralogisms only with the Cartesian-Leibnizian position. he author maintains indeed that actually Kant does not mainly victimize the rational psychologists for taking the soul as given in a merely intelligible form instead of through a sensible intuition. Rather, since Kant’s main polemical target is represented by the German (basically, Wolian) tradition immediately before him, his main concern is to detect the mistakes within the pretended empirical intuition through which the soul is supposed to be given within this tradition. Such a position was at least partially embraced by Kant himself in the middle 1770s.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)233-246
Numero di pagine14
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2015


  • Kant, Descartes, Leibniz, Wolff, Baumgarten, Rational Psychology, Empirical Psychology, Anthropology.


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