Few thinkers in the history of Western civilization have had as broad and lasting an impact as Immanuel Kant (1724-1804). This "Sage of Konigsberg" spent his entire life within the confines of East Prussia, but his thoughts traveled freely across Europe and, in time, to America, where their effects are still apparent. An untold number of analyses and commentaries have established Kant as a preeminent epistemologist, philosopher of science, moral philosopher, aesthetician, and metaphysician. He is even recognized as a natural historian and cosmologist: the author of the so-called Kant-Laplace hypothesis regarding the origin of the universe. He is less often credited as a "psychologist," "anthropologist," or "philosopher of mind," to use terms whose currency postdated his time.1 Nonetheless, the thesis of this essay is that Immanuel Kant laid the foundation for later developments in the broad field of inquiry that had already been labeled "psychology."
Copyright © 1982 Praeger. This chapter first appeared in The Problematic Science: Psychology in Nineteenth-Century Thought.
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Leary, David E. "Immanuel Kant and the Development of Modern Psychology." In The Problematic Science: Psychology in Nineteenth-Century Thought, edited by William Ray Woodward and Mitchell G. Ash, 17-42. New York, NY: Praeger, 1982.