Anthropology from a Logical Point of View: The Role of Inner Sense from Jungius to Kant

  • Matteo Favaretti CamposampieroEmail author


The concept of inner sense plays a prominent role in Kant’s attempts to define the character and scope of anthropology. Moreover, Kant denounces the terminological confusion between inner sense and apperception as a source of paralogisms. Who were his targets? In recent years, scholars have pointed to the existence of a German tradition on inner sense (perhaps independent of Locke) as a plausible source for Kant’s elaboration. However, some specific aspects of the German treatment of inner sense have been so far completely overlooked. This paper focuses on Jungius, Leibniz, Wolff, and Lambert, to show that they all referred to inner sense or inner experience as a privileged source of knowledge, immune to error and free from the ontological limits of the external senses. In this tradition, inner sense was ascribed with the epistemological function of providing a foundation not only for psychology but also for logic and metaphysics. Such a radical empowerment of the role of inner sense, which culminated in Lambert’s work, is the most plausible target of Kant’s criticism. Relegating the contribution of inner sense to the fields of anthropology and empirical psychology was part of Kant’s effort to purify logic and metaphysics from any reference to inner experience or sensation.


Philosophia Rationalis Sive Logica Psychologia Empirica Nouveaux Essais Perceptual Apperception Logica Docens 
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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Università Ca’ Foscari VeneziaVeniceItaly

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