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North American
Kant Society

North American
Kant Society

Markus Herz Award 2016: Aaron Wells

16 Dec 2016 4:55 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

NAKS is very pleased to announce that Aaron Wells (Notre Dame) is the winner of the 2016 Markus Herz Prize. Wells won the prize for his paper “Mechanical Inexplicability and Extensive Magnitudes in Kant’s Critique of Judgment.”

Aaron Wells is completing a PhD in philosophy at the University of Notre Dame. His dissertation is about explanation in Kant’s theoretical philosophy, and the explanatory role of representations of reason. His other research interests include early modern philosophy, German Idealism, and the philosophy of science. 

Abstract for Mechanical Inexplicability and Extensive Magnitudes in Kant’s Critique of Judgment:”

Kant's conception of mechanistic inexplicability is commonly interpreted in terms of parts and wholes, yet the justification for Kant’s claims remains elusive. In this paper, I argue that the principle of the axioms of intuition plays a crucial role in justifying Kantian mechanistic inexplicabiluty; this puts part-whole interpretations on a firmer footing. I then show how such interpretations can help explain Kant’s difficult claims that the subordination of mechanism to teleology, and appeals to the supersensible as a unifying ground of nature, help resolve the antinomy of teleological judgment. More broadly, this interpretation clarifies Kant’s conception of the explanatory relationship between metaphysics, physics, and the life sciences.


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