Advertisement

Somatology: Notes on a Residual Science in Kant and the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries

  • Francesco Valerio Tommasi
Chapter

Abstract

In a very few places in his writing, Kant mentions “somatology.” As a lexical creation of Protestant Scholasticism, “somatology” is meant to be a science dealing with bodies. But this definition entails an ambiguity: A body can be every physical and material object, and in this sense somatology stays very close to physics. But somatology can also refer specifically to animal and human bodies: In that sense, somatology is the counterpart of psychology, and both constitute anthropology. This ambiguity is constitutive of the modern comprehension of the body, both in the Cartesian as in the scholastic approach. Kant’s references to somatology are therefore paradigmatic of a wider question concerning a philosophical science of the human body. The question regarding this science is for itself an unsolved problem of Kantian and modern anthropology.

Keywords

Somatology Body Kant Anthropology Dualism 

Bibliography

  1. Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie. 1897. Wetzel, Thomas, 42, 259–260.Google Scholar
  2. Bentham, Jeremy. 1817. Essay on Nomenclature and Classification. In Chresthomathia, pt. II, London: Payne and Foss.Google Scholar
  3. Goclenius, Rudolph. 1613. Lexicon Philosophicum. Frankfurt: Becker.Google Scholar
  4. Harnack, Adolf von (ed.). 1900. Geschichte der Königlich Preussischen Akademie der Wissenschaften zu Berlin; Bd. 1/1–2: Darstellung. Bd 2: Urkunden und Actenstücke zur Geschichte der Königlich Preussischen Akademie der Wissenschaften; Bd. 3: Gesamtregister über die in den Schriften der Akademie erschienenen wissenschaftlichen Abhandlugen und Festereden. Berlin: Königlich Preußischen Akademie der Wissenschaften.Google Scholar
  5. Leibniz, Gottfried Wilhelm von. 2006 [1679–87?]. Philosophische Schriften, Bd. IV. Berlin: Akademie Verlag.Google Scholar
  6. Leijenhorst, Cornelis Hendrik, and Cees Leijenhorst. 2002. The Mechanisation of Aristotle. The Late Aristotelian Setting of Thomas Hobbes’ Natural Philosophy. Leiden, Boston, and Köln: Brill.Google Scholar
  7. Meissner, Heinrich Adam. 1737. Philosophisches Lexicon Aus Chr. Wolffs sämtl. Dtsch. Schr. Bayreuth and Hof: Verlag Johann Gottlieb Bierling.Google Scholar
  8. Porter, Noah. 18691, 18874. The Human Intellect: With an Introduction Upon Psychology and the Soul. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Francesco Valerio Tommasi
    • 1
  1. 1.Sapienza Università di RomaRomeItaly

Personalised recommendations