This article explores Immanuel Kant’s contributions to psychology (specifically, the “Dreams of a Spirit-Seer” of 1766 and the “Classification of Mental Disorders” of 1764) in order to illuminate some connections between critical philosophy and psychology. Early in his career, and, surprisingly, in texts about hallucinations and mental illness, Kant’s expositions on the malfunctioning, (or extraordinary functioning) of the mind demonstrated interests similar to those that guided his philosophy decades afterwards. Kant’s philosophy has been credited with informing later developments in psychology and psychoanalysis. But the article argues that Kant’s early work demonstrates that early psychology also informs modern critical philosophy.
Institution: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Department: Germanic Languages and Literatures, and affiliated with Comparative and World Literature and with the Unit for Criticism and Interpretive Theory
City: Urbana, IL
Laurie Johnson is Associate Professor of German, with affiliations in Comparative and World Literature and in the Unit for Criticism and Interpretive Theory, at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She is the author of the books Forgotten Dreams: The Cinema of Werner Herzog and a New Romanticism (Camden House Press, 2016), Aesthetic Anxiety (Rodopi, 2010), and The Art of Recollection in Jena Romanticism (Niemeyer, 2002), as well as numerous articles spanning eighteenth- through twenty-first-century literature and culture. More information is available on laurieruthjohnson.weebly.com