12.1 清华科史哲讲座第6讲

主讲人:Ina Goy(德国图宾根大学)

主题:Kant’s Views on Preformation and Epigenesis(康德论生物学中的预成论与渐成论)

时间:2017年12月1日(周五)下午4:30-6:30

地点:清华科学史系系厅(蒙民伟科技大楼212)

摘要:

I would like to answer the question if and how Immanuel Kant’s accounts of reproduction and heredity relate to one of the most important debates of the early modern life sciences: the preformation-epigenesis controversy. I will argue that Kant’s account combines strengths of both, preformationist and epigenetic explanatory models of reproduction and heredity, and at the same time tries to avoid some of their flaws and weaknesses. I will present my argument in two main steps. In part 1 of the paper, I will distinguish early modern models of reproduction and heredity into preformationist (1.1) and epigenetic (1.2) models, a distinction, which I will further divide into ovist preformationist (1.1.1) and animalculist preformationist (1.1.2) models, and mechanical epigenetic (1.2.1) and vitalistic epigenetic (1.2.2) models. I will present the most widely shared systematic characteristics of these models, and will illustrate each of them with historical examples. With the historical background at hand, I will introduce the scholarly debate about Kant’s relationship to his predecessors in part 2 of the paper. I will argue (2.1) that no-one considers Kant a radical defender of preformation, though some scholars consider him a radical defender of epigenesis (Reill 2005, 246; Huneman 2006, 651-4, 2007, 12). The majority of scholars hold that Kant’s position combines preformationist and epigenetic elements (Zammito 2003, 80; 2006; 2007, 51, 56-66; Grene/Depew 2004, 95; Steigerwald 2006, 716; Roth 2008, 284). And a few scholars explicitly deny an influence of the preformation-epigenesis debate on the development Kant’s account (Fisher 2014). I will claim that the state of the debate is unreliable in two regards. First, it lacks a comprehensive analysis of preformationist and epigenetic early modern models of reproduction and heredity. The preformation-epigenesis debate lasted one and a half centuries and contained a variety of complex accounts. If one wants to characterize Kant as either preformationist or epigenetic, or both, or neither-nor, one needs to be clear which set of features are addressed as ‘preformationist’ or ‘epigenetic’. I have conducted such a comprehensive analysis in Goy (2017), and provide a summary of it here in part 1 of the paper. Second, the scholarly debate needs more detailed analyses of different periods of Kant’s thoughts, in order to capture the changing systematic approximations and tensions between Kant and his predecessors. In part 2 of the paper, I will provide such a detailed analysis. I will, first consider preformationist elements in Kant’s three writings on races (2.2.1), followed by the same investigation in Kant’s third Critique (2.2.2). Then I will identify epigenetic elements in Kant’s writings on races (2.3.1), followed by the same inquiry related to his third Critique (2.3.2). The results of my investigation will support the previously unsubstantiated intuitions of the

majority of scholars who claim that Kant’s position borrows from both, preformationist and epigenetic accounts, but it does so on the basis of a transparent set of systematic criteria und sufficient historical distinction and sensitivity. My investigation also delivers textual evidence for a rejection of scholars who completely deny the influence of the preformation-epigenesis debate on Kant, and supplies means for the denial of both, a radical preformationist and a radical epigenetic interpretation of Kant’s account of reproduction and heredity.

演讲者简介:

PD Dr. phil. habil. Ina Goy

Habilitation (venia legendi), University of Tu?bingen, 8 July 2015

PhD (summa cum laude), University of Tu?bingen, 2 March 2006, directors: Otfried Hoffe, Anton F. Koch Magistra Artium (excellent), University of Tu?bingen, 15 April 2002, director: Otfried Hoffe

AOS Aristotle, Immanuel Kant, ancient philosophy, modern philosophy

AOC philosophy of nature, especially the history and philosophy of biology, metaphysics, epistemology, philosophy of religion, metaethics, moralpsychology, environmental ethics