The nomothetics of pure reason : a juridical account of Immanuel Kant’s 'Critique of pure reason'
Title: The nomothetics of pure reason : a juridical account of Immanuel Kant’s 'Critique of pure reason'
Author: MØLLER, Sofie Christine
Citation: Florence : European University Institute, 2017
Series/Number: EUI PhD theses; Department of Law
This thesis demonstrates that to understand Immanuel Kant’s account of reason, we must interpret reason’s legislation as embedded in the intricate collection of juridical metaphors that are repeated in the entire body of the Critique of Pure Reason. These metaphors teach us that Kant understands reason as operating analogously to a legal system. Kant repeatedly describes both reason and its critique using legal vocabulary; he likens the critique to a tribunal, the transcendental deduction to a legal deduction and the situation among metaphysicians of his day to a state of nature. Of these juridical metaphors, only the quid juris metaphor, which introduces the transcendental deduction, has been discussed extensively in Kant scholarship, starting with Dieter Henrich’s study of the similarities between the transcendental deduction and legal deductions. The remaining metaphors have either been neglected or studied jointly with the political metaphors. This thesis shows that the juridical metaphors are central to understanding Kant’s account of reason’s legislation and its ability to make valid judgments. Through an analysis of the juridical metaphors in their entirety, it is demonstrated that Kant conceives of reason as having the structure of a legal system in a natural right framework. Against this background, the method of critical philosophy becomes the nomothetics of pure reason. The parallel is substantiated by investigating the metaphorical presentation of five aspects of Kant’s account of reason: reason’s legislation, the notion of a deduction, the critical tribunal, reason’s authority (Befugnis) and its systematicity. It is argued that Kant’s aim in the first Critique is to make cognizers become similar to authorized judges within such a system by proving the legitimacy of the laws and the conditions under which valid judgments can be pronounced. These elements consolidate the conclusion that reason’s systematicity is legal systematicity.
LC Subject Heading: Law -- Philosophy; Natural law; Law and ethics
Defence date: 3 November 2017; Examining Board: Prof. Dennis Patterson, EUI (Supervisor), Prof. Nehal Bhuta, EUI, Prof. Paul Guyer, Brown University (external co-supervisor), Prof. Marcus Willaschek, Goethe University Frankfurt
Type of Access: embargoedAccess