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Before Tomorrow: Epigenesis and Rationality



Before Tomorrow: Epigenesis and Rationality

Catherine Malabou, Carolyn Shread (Translated by)

ISBN: 978-0-745-69151-0 July 2016 Polity 224 Pages


Is contemporary continental philosophy making a break with Kant? The structures of knowledge, taken for granted since Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason, are now being called into question: the finitude of the subject, the phenomenal given, a priori synthesis. Relinquish the transcendental: such is the imperative of postcritical thinking in the 21st century.

Questions that we no longer thought it possible to ask now reemerge with renewed vigor: can Kant really maintain the difference between a priori and innate? Can he deduce, rather than impose, the categories, or justify the necessity of nature? Recent research into brain development aggravates these suspicions, which measure transcendental idealism against the thesis of a biological origin for cognitive processes.

In her important new book Catherine Malabou lays out Kant’s response to his posterity. True to its subject, the book evolves as an epigenesis – the differentiated growth of the embryo – for, as those who know how to read critical philosophy affirm, this is the very life of the transcendental and contains the promise of its transformation.
  • Contents
  • Translator’s Preface: Epigenesis of Her Texts
  • Foreword
  • Introduction
  • Chapter 1: Paragraph 27 of the Critique of Pure Reason
  • Chapter 2: Caught Between Skeptical Readings
  • Chapter 3: The Difference Between Genesis and Epigenesis
  • Chapter 4: Kant’s “Minimal Preformationism”
  • Chapter 5: Germs, Races, Seeds
  • Chapter 6: The “Neo-Skeptical” Thesis and its Evolution
  • Chapter 7: From Epigenesis to Epigenetics
  • Chapter 8: From Code to Book
  • Chapter 9: Irreducible Foucault
  • Chapter 10: Time in Question
  • Chapter 11: No Agreement
  • Chapter 12: The Dead-End
  • Chapter 13: Towards an Epigenetic Paradigm of Rationality
  • Chapter 14: Can We Relinquish the Transcendental?
  • Conclusion
  • Notes
  • Bibliography