The stage on which our ingenious play is performed: Kant's epistemology of Weltkenntnis

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© 2018 Elsevier Ltd This paper focuses on Kant's account of physical geography and his theory of the Earth. In spelling out the epistemological foundations of Kant's physical geography, the paper examines 1) their connection to the mode of holding-to-be-true, mathematical construction and empirical certainty and 2) their implications for Kant's view of cosmopolitan right. Moreover, by showing the role played by the mathematical model of the Earth for the foundations of Kant's Doctrine of Right, the exact relationship between the latter and physical geography is highlighted. Finally, this paper shows how, in Kant's view, the progress of physical geography can be assured if and only if the free circulation of human beings is established and regulated by law. Therefore, examining the mutual relationship between the theory of Earth and the foundations of right opens new perspectives on the relationship between epistemology and practical philosophy within Kant's system.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)58-66
JournalStudies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2018


  • Doctrine of right
  • Earth sciences
  • Epistemology
  • Kant
  • Physical geography


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