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Kant's System of Nature and FreedomSelected Essays$
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Paul Guyer

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780199273461

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199273461.001.0001

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Organisms and the Unity of Science

Organisms and the Unity of Science

(p.86) 5 Organisms and the Unity of Science
Kant's System of Nature and Freedom

Paul Guyer (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

There is tension between Kant's hopes for the unity of science and his argument in a number of works that the life is incompatible with the principle of inertia, thus that organisms cannot be integrated into physics. This chapter argues that Kant was trying to resolve this tension in his incomplete Opus postumum by extending his transcendental idealist solution to the problem of human freedom, according to which human actions are causally determined as phenomena although free as noumena, to organisms, which would thus be conceived of from two points of view: as both causally determined, as required by the principle of inertia, but also purposive, which is purportedly incompatible with that principle.

Keywords:   inertia, organisms, human freedom, human actions

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