I recently asked a series of questions about ET, and this is one of them :)

Intuitively, it seems to me that ET is supposed to contradict Kant's (or more generally, the German Idealism's) Metaphysics (historically I've learned that's how it was, a heated debate between the both, with Darwin attacking Hegel's theories and Schelling defending).

But after learning more of the different opinions on ET, I thought it would be good to ask and see what people say about the subject.

The more specific subjects are

a) Kant's moral law

b) Hegel's History of Spirit.

[tell me if you think this should be separated into two questions.]


For clarification, when I sat Kant's Metaphysics I mean both the thing-in-itself and the way our consciousness came to be, and the moral law.

  • 1
    Three comments: First, you should make it more clear what exactly you understand under/want to hear about Kant's metaphysics. There is some work on how the third critique is compatible with evolution theory or even presaging it or not. Morals is a whole different story here. Second, left Hegelian interpretations probably are much more ok with the idea of evolution. Third, you should be careful in distinguishing the Theory of Evolution from the general layman idea of evolution. Makes huge interpretational differences here.
    – Philip Klöcking
    Commented Jan 11, 2018 at 22:33
  • @PhilipKlöcking thanks for the comments. I'll edit the question later to match the first comment, but I'm more interested in the second and third comments - it seems to me that Hegel's theories will have bigger problems with ET than Kant's. And about the third comment - that's the first I heard of such comment, and I'd like it if you'll elaborate more on that. Commented Jan 11, 2018 at 22:38
  • Three areas of conflict with this idea are necessity, unity and freedom: The idea that reason evolved implies a contingent origin which conflicts with the necessity of a priori concepts. Materialism, as attributed to things in themselves (as opposed to a phenomenal interpretation), is inconsistent with the unity which reason requires. And freedom is necessary for morality and is characterized by an independence from natural determinations. These were among the reasons that led Kant to conclude that we must presuppose a "wise and all-powerful Author."
    – user3017
    Commented Jan 12, 2018 at 1:57
  • @PédeLeão would you care to write this as an answer instead of comment? I'd love to see what other people say about your view too. Commented Jan 12, 2018 at 10:25
  • @YechiamWeiss. If you want to know what other people think, you need their words not mine. Anyone who has something to say is free to speak.
    – user3017
    Commented Jan 12, 2018 at 12:25

1 Answer 1


These things are entirely unrelated

Darwin's Theory of Evolution Through Natural Selection concerns the formation of biological species.

Kant's moral law does not concern speciation.

Hegel's Phenomenology of Spirit does not concern speciation.

Your question is as nonsensical as if to ask of the theory of gravity disproves the ethical arguments for the Golden Rule.

  • It may not necessarily conflict, sure, and I'm hoping you've seen the discussion on it in the comments to the question. Either way, note Pé de Leão's first comment on where precisely it might conflict. Commented Mar 29, 2018 at 11:43
  • I did not say they are in conflict, I said these works are unrelated. The theory of evolution is a scientific theory about a very specific area of biology. Kant and Hegel does not make any proclamations about that. The fact that Darwin may have debated other subjects, subjects that Hegel and Kant have an interest in and have made statements about, does not mean that the theory of evolution is in the least related to those other subjects. In short: Darwin does not personify the Theory Of Evolution. Darwin is a person that presented a theory. The theory is separate from the person.
    – MichaelK
    Commented Mar 29, 2018 at 11:51
  • Again, the works themselves may be unrelated, but they can have conflicting conclusions. Reliability isn't my concern here. Commented Mar 29, 2018 at 11:53
  • If they are unrelated and deal with unrelated subject areas they cannot have conflicting resolutions. A conclusion about how species form can impossibly be in conflict with a statement that does not deal with speciation at all. The post should be edited or closed, because you have not even shown that these works connect in any way.
    – MichaelK
    Commented Mar 29, 2018 at 11:57
  • Have you even looked at the comments to the question? Commented Mar 29, 2018 at 11:58

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .