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Kant's embryological vocabulary: literality, metaphorism and transcreation

Abstract

From an listing and a classification of the embryological lexicon used by Kant in his writings-a lexicon sometimes endowed with new meanings that the philosopher gives it-, the present study aims to analyze the main concepts detected in this context, not only through from an immanent reading of Kant's writings, but also in the light of philosophical and scientific documentary sources prior and contemporary to the philosopher's production. As there is no transplantation of meanings of the terms of that lexicon, from embryology to philosophy, but only of expressions, it is not an embryological vocabulary "in" Kant, but the use that the philosopher makes of it. Kant not only gives a new meaning to certain concepts of the future biology of development, but above all inserts them in a new referential arc. With this, the modalities of use of such vocabulary by the philosopher include their literality, their metaphorical use and a properly transcreative use of them, corresponding to the domain of critical philosophy, in which, for example, "generic preformation" and "disposition" now have a scope not simply greater, but much more complex than what they had in the embryological field.On this route, [1] components linked to analyzes of an anthropological-embryological character [found, in particular, in "Reflexionen" from the 70s and 80s], as well as, particularly, constant elements of the arguments around the teleology of the organized being [especially in the second part of the third Critique], [2] embryological analogies and metaphors-coined, above all, in a speculative context-dispersed throughout most of the Kantian writings [especially in the Reflexionen and Vorlesungsnachschriften], and, not least, [3] ] concepts that, not being situated in a doctrinal scope of a philosophical-embryological nature, nor forming analogies or metaphors of such a nature, constitute a core part of their own argumentative structures, thus witnessing the widespread use, by transcendental philosophy, of a terminology always identified as of biological origin [most especially, in this case, in the Idea for a Universal History with a Cosmopolitan Aim, but also at the KrV, at the Religionsschrift and at the Über Pädagogik]. It will be shown that part of such nomenclature, formally associated with the preformist glossary, does not correspond in the philosopher to the adoption of preformism tout court [or individual pre-formation], but in him it matches his defense of a generic pre-formation, which , by the way, will be confronted with similar positions already held by, among others, Johann Nikolaus Tetens and Johann Georg Sulzer. (AU)

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