The Space of Reason: Immanuel Kant’s Theory of Normativity


Frederick Burkhardt Residential Fellowships for Recently Tenured Scholars




For residence at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences during academic year 2012-2013


In recent years ‘normativity’ has become a research focus in the humanities and social sciences. One of the major historical positions researchers invoke here is Immanuel Kant’s philosophy. By unfolding a unified theory of normativity governing Kant’s epistemology, ethics, and aesthetics, this project provides a novel contribution to this discussion. Kant replaced divine perfection as the basic norm of cognition and action with an account of judgments as the smallest intelligible units for which we can claim validity. Kant’s key to a humanistic understanding of truth and value is an idea of normativity that can be expressed in principles justifying and rationally constraining judgments about the ‘is’ and ‘ought’ of things, including human attitudes.