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Kant's Organicism: Epigenesis and the Development of Critical Philosophy Hardcover – June 1, 2013

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 258 pages
  • Publisher: University Of Chicago Press (June 1, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 022602198X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0226021980
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,299,015 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


“A striking and radical rereading of the first Critique through the concept of ‘epigenesis.’ . . . Mensch’s reading is bold and innovative; it deserves to be debated at length by Kant scholars.” 
(Radical Philosophy)

“Jennifer Mensch’s account of how Kant came to understand the thinking of the naturalists over the course of the eighteenth century and relate it to his own quest for a transcendental ground of reason in self-generation is very well wrought. She has made sense of a number of elements that I knew separately but had not seen in this compelling conspectus.”
(John H. Zammito, Rice University)

“Mensch’s attempt to interpret Kant’s transcendental philosophy in relation to eighteenth-century life sciences is original and exciting. … Mensch convincingly shows that questions concerning the origin of cognitions strongly informed Kant’s philosophy. This result is important, since many philosophers, often operating in the wake of Peter F. Strawson’s analytic Kant interpretation, have ignored these types of questions when studying Kant. In short: Mensch’s book is a good example of the fruitful integration of Kant studies with history of science.”
(International Studies in the Philosophy of Science)

“In recent years a host of editions, translations, monographs, and articles have introduced Anglo-American readers to a Kant different from the anti-metaphysical epistemologist and rigorous ethicist of earlier scholarship. Kant has emerged as a pragmatic anthropologist, a physical geographer, and a natural historian. Jennifer Mensch’s book seeks to unify the two pictures of Kant by tracking the formative background of the Critique of Pure Reason in Kant’s own original account of the biological development of individuals and species. Her provocative epigenesist reading challenges the distinction between matters of fact (quid facti) and grounds of validity (quid iuris) in Kant’s account of a priori knowledge.”
(Günter Zöller, University of Munich and University of Bologna)

About the Author

Jennifer Mensch teaches philosophy and the history of science and medicine at the University of Western Sydney.

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By BDF on August 5, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Kant's Organicism: Epigenesis and the Development of Critical Philosophy will delight and challenge Kant readers of all orientations. Mensch thoughtfully details the history of Kant’s philosophical development through his long-term interest in and engagement with the natural science of his time, then concludes with a remarkable chapter in which the Architectonic is impressively interpreted as organic. This is a book that is at once original in conception, rigorous in its scholarly execution, and exciting to read.
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