Eric Watkins

Affiliation: 

Univ. of California, San Diego

What is, for Kant, a Law of Nature?

The concept of a law of nature plays a number of highly visible roles in Kant’s theoretical philosophy. Yet we can fully appreciate these roles only if we have an accurate understanding of what his conception of a law of nature is. Investigating the broader historical and philosophical tradition out of which Kant’s conception of a law of nature emerged provides crucial insights. For this tradition contains two uses of the term “law” that, when taken together, present a challenge to the very idea of a law of nature that one can see Kant responding to in a novel way.