Il colibrì kantiano contro il picchio darwiniano. L’approccio normativo alla nomicità biologica


Darwin’s The Origin of Species starts with the same sort of admiration towards the organization of the biological world, which also characterizes Kant’s Critique of the Teleological Power of Judgment. In this essay I will address the issue as follows: (1) I will analyze the particular kind of admiration triggered by the specific nomic or lawlike character of biological regularities according to Kant’s account of teleology in the Critique of the Power of Judgment; (2) I will then outline the three major ways in which we can understand the lawlikeness of natural regularities according to H. Ginsborg (2001). Ginsborg’s paper, in my view, rightly stresses the demand for a normative reading of Kant’s idea of purposiveness, but the way this reading – specifically in Ginsborg’s version – might secure the objectivity of biological purposiveness remains unclear; (3) The third Critique claims that the objectivity of the so-called «internal» biological purposiveness is achieved by virtue of the relationship that a teleological, or in specific case, functional judgment can establish with the so-called «merely mechanical laws». This issue will be analyzed in depth through a confrontation between Kant’s own version of the normative approach to the lawlikeness of biological regularities and certain neo-Darwinian approaches to normative claims in biology; (4) I will eventually go back to the opening issue of admiration and try to establish how the resulting normative account of biological lawlikeness affects Kant’s original idea.