University of Cambridge > Talks.cam > Departmental Seminars in History and Philosophy of Science > 'Lucretian pessimism' or, what was Kant's critical philosophy critical of?

'Lucretian pessimism' or, what was Kant's critical philosophy critical of?

Add to your list(s) Download to your calendar using vCal

If you have a question about this talk, please contact Karin Ekholm.

Kant’s ‘critical turn’ is often said to reflect his discovery of a third way between Lockean empiricism and Leibniz-Wolffian rationalism. Yet settling the debate over the role of experience vs. the a priori in the style of 1703 does not seem to have been at the top of Kant’s philosophical agenda. The talk presents an interpretation of the critical turn as Kant’s secular solution to ‘Lucretian pessimism’ – the existential angst of an 18th-century student of physical geography and anthropology disturbed by conjectures regarding the kinship of human and ape, the absence of a proper foundation for morals, and the apparent futility of the individual human life from the perspective of the student of nature.

This talk is part of the Departmental Seminars in History and Philosophy of Science series.

Tell a friend about this talk:

This talk is included in these lists:

Note that ex-directory lists are not shown.

 

© 2006-2020 Talks.cam, University of Cambridge. Contact Us | Help and Documentation | Privacy and Publicity