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Kant and the Problem of Origin

Kant and the Problem of Origin

(p.51) Three Kant and the Problem of Origin
Kant’s Organicism
Jennifer Mensch
University of Chicago Press

This chapter focuses on Kant’s “precritical period,” the period covering his work prior to the publication of the Critique of Pure Reason in 1781. Scholars have focused for the main part on Kant’s great achievements between the years of 1781 and 1790, and it is argued here that the bulk of his academic career lay behind him in the 1780s. Beginning with his first publication on the problem of living forces in 1747, Kant had led the life of a busy academic, of a professor with numerous publications and a heavy teaching load. Studies devoted to recovering something of this wide-ranging period have, however, recently been on the rise, and while Kant’s various commitments to either Newtonianism or metaphysics have been slightly favored in this literature, the broadest view shows him to have spent much of this period as a dedicated “eclectic.”

Keywords:   precritical period, living forces, origin, newtonianism, metaphysics

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