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Continental Philosophy Group Talk (Caitlin Hamblin-Yule, Toronto)
Thursday December 3, 2020, 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm
The Continental Philosophy Group will feature Caitlin Hamblin-Yule, a graduate student at the University of Toronto. Caitlin is particularly interested in issues surrounding social cognition, especially questions concerning the socio-cognitive capacities of non-human animals and pre-verbal infants. Her approach this area by making use of the tools of phenomenology, in particular, those offered by Heidegger and Merleau-Ponty.
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Exhibiting the Concept <Person>
My purpose in this talk is to provide a Kantian account of how the concept <person> is exhibited, or used, in experience. Understanding how this concept of reason (Idea) is applied to experience is crucial for Kant’s moral philosophy. It is only as persons that humans are designated moral agents; and actions can only be morally evaluated if they are performed by persons. Kant however never (explicitly) provided an account of how the concept <person> could be applied to concrete cases.
My solution to this issue will proceed in two parts: In part one, I will argue that the kingdom of nature serves as a Type (Typus)—that is, a formal analogue – of the kingdom of ends. Once transformed into this form, the law can be applied to (or used in) (anwenden) experience to distinguish persons from non-persons. In part two, I will address a problem with my argument in Part 1: all organisms display autonomy and community, and thus seem to be members of the kingdom of ends. Here I will argue that the correct application of the kingdom of ends requires distinguishing species under the genus <organism> by means of representing the species’s vocation, or life-trajectory (Bestimmung). I end by arguing that only humans are represented as having a life-trajectory which involves imposing a law on all of nature, and as such are the only organisms, on Kant’s view, capable of being determined to be persons.
About the Continental Philosophy Group
One of five departmental research interest groups, the Continental Philosophy Group works in the traditions of textual interpretation of human consciousness, phenomenology, and post-structuralist critical theory, among other related traditions of thought.SHARE