The Unity of Kant’s Psychology and Metaphysics
Speaker: Prof. Chong-Fuk Lau
Date: 29 March 2019 (Fri)
Venue: G24, Arts and Humanities Hub, Fung King Hey Building, CUHK
This talk will present a conceptual framework developed to unify two dimensions of Kant’s theoretical philosophy widely considered to be incompatible. Kant attempted to lay a new foundation for human knowledge in his Critique of Pure Reason with a critical examination of our faculty of cognition. However, in pursuing this strategy of revolutionizing metaphysics by investigating our cognitive faculties, Kant has often been accused of psychologism. In response, a dominant camp of Kant scholars has advocated separating Kant’s metaphysics from his cognitive psychology, and focusing on his analytical arguments concerning the conditions of knowledge. However, another camp of Kant scholars has pointed to Kant’s reflections on cognitive psychology as being the more valuable for contemporary philosophy and cognitive science, at the cost of abandoning the core of Kant’s metaphysics. Although these two camps locate Kant’s major contribution in different areas, both see a strong tension between Kant’s psychology and metaphysics. It will be shown that not only have the two major interpretations failed to do justice to Kant’s strategy, but that it is entirely possible to resolve the tension that they see as existing between the two dimensions of Kant’s philosophy.