Eric Watkins: What is, for Kant, a law of nature?

In this paper I investigate Kant’s conception of a law of nature, arguing that he rejects empiricist conceptions in favor of one that invokes the notion of a necessary rule. To add content to this conception, I argue that Kant develops a concept of law that is univocal between laws of nature and the moral law and that renders several distinctive features of his conception of a law of nature intelligible, such as his view that the understanding must prescribe laws to nature and in a way that sensibility does not. In this way, I not only explain Kant’s conception of a law of nature, but also shed light on some of his motivations in adopting it.