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Philosophische Zeitschrift der Kant-Gesellschaft

Ed. by Baum, Manfred / Dörflinger, Bernd / Klemme, Heiner F.

CiteScore 2017: 0.31

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2017: 0.262
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2017: 0.596

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Volume 105, Issue 4


What is, for Kant, a Law of Nature?

Eric Watkins
Published Online: 2014-12-01 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/kant-2014-0022


In this paper I explore Kant’s understanding of a law of nature. I begin by reviewing Kant’s explicit statements about what a law is in general before describing an important challenge to the very idea of a law of nature that emerges from the conjunction of the natural law tradition and laws of nature in the early modern period. I then articulate how Kant can respond to that challenge by noting how he can draw on a univocal concept of law involving necessity and legislation in articulating his accounts of laws of nature and the moral law. In this way, we not only come to a better appreciation of Kant’s views on the laws of nature, but also see more clearly some significant structural similarities between his theoretical and practical philosophies as a whole.

: Law of nature; moral law; natural law; necessity; legislation

About the article

Published Online: 2014-12-01

Published in Print: 2014-12-01

Citation Information: Kant-Studien, Volume 105, Issue 4, Pages 471–490, ISSN (Online) 1613-1134, ISSN (Print) 0022-8877, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/kant-2014-0022.

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