The Influence of Immanuel Kant’s Scientific Researches on the Causes of Natural Disasters in the Process of Secularization in the 18th Century
The studies of Immanuel Kant constitute the foundations of the research for earthquakes from a geo-scientific point of view, through his reflections which favour the quantitative relationships of the search for causes. So, the current of secularization in the representation of the natural disaster is established in the eighteenth century by a speech influenced by the physical and natural sciences. Kant endeavours to propose explanations and to find the natural causes of the disaster, which, thanks to his argument, gain strongly in credibility compared with the moral, theological and philosophical formulations. The disaster becomes a peculiarity, which triggers fear, because it cannot be classified and explained. Kant reminds once again the humility, when he affirms that he is "niemals etwas mehr als ein Mensch", the image of the great discrepancy between the technical audacity of man and his technical capacities.Through all his scientific texts that we have analysed, Kant announces the change of paradigm in the apprehension of the natural catastrophe. It will be analysed as a natural phenomenon, and not according to the perspective of a "coup de destin". He exceeds the status of preacher to become a philosopher of Nature, because the reason of the evil does not lie in the order of Nature but in the excesses and the ignorance of the people. In his work, “Der einzig mögliche Beweisgrund zu einer Demonstration des Daseyns Gottes”, published seven years later, Kant makes a clear distinction between the natural causes and the moral causes, stemming from the faults of people, which do not cause misfortune as natural disasters.
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