How Biological Is Human History? Kant’s Use of Biological Concepts and Its Implications for History as Moral Anthropology

Vanhaute, Liesbet
Whereas in Idea for a Universal History Kant without much hesitation resorts to biological concepts to understand history, this fundamentally changes in Critique of the Power of Judgment. In this work, history and biology are separated; they are understood as two different forms of teleological judgments. The teleological concepts that make history intelligible are divorced from their biological origins and introduced in an explicitly non-biological way of thinking. I argue that because of this shift, after the Critique of the Power of Judgment Kant’s theory of history cannot any longer function as an independent confirmation of the possibility of human morality.