Kant on Chance and Explanation

  • Berna KilincEmail author
Conference paper
Part of the The Philosophy of Science in a European Perspective book series (PSEP, volume 2)


On several occasions, Kant posed a dichotomy or trichotomy concerning the possible ways to explain the existence of a thing, within or outside of a proper science. For instance, writing in connection with artifacts and organisms in the Critique of Judgment, he pondered:

Now if one asks why a thing exists, the answer is either that its existence and its generation have no relation at all to a cause acting according to intentions, and in that case one always understands its origin to be in the mechanism of nature; or there is some intentional ground of its existence (as a contingent natural being).


Pure Reason Male Birth Teleological Explanation Mere Chance Black Pebble 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Philosophy DepartmentBogazici UniversityIstanbulTurkey

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