Rational Psychology and Natural Theology (§§796-808)




Manuscript: Nachl. Johann Gottfried Herder XXVI.5 (4°, 2 pp., Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin – Preußischer Kulturbesitz)


Studienbuch O

Braunes Studienbuch
(NL-Herder XXVI.5)

This is a bound, brown 4° notebook (17.5 x 20 cm), 70 sheets, paginated (apparently by Herder) as I-IV (with I as the title-page) and then 1-137 (the inside back cover is p. 137). The text is all in ink (dark brown or black, on one page red), with pencilled markings by a later user. On the title-page (p. I): “Beiträge / fürs / Gedächtniß. / 1761. / 1762ff.”[1] Below which is a quote: “Der Weise / Der minder liest, als denkt, ˚.und minder schreibt, als liest. / v.on Creuz.”[2] On p. II is a quote from Horace. This notebook is a collection of thoughts, notes on books read, sketches of letters, as well as a few lecture notes.


Other transcribed text from this notebook can be found at Varia (Mathematics) (notebook pages 9, 10, and 21) and Varia (XXVI.5) (notebook pages 1, 2, 25, 34, 123).


Two entries are of particular interest:

(1) On p. 32: “bey Kant. 1sten mal. d. 21 Aug”[3] followed by two pages of notes from Kant’s metaphysics lectures concerning Baumgarten, §§796-808 (rational psychology and natural theology).

(2) On p. 123: “den 21. Aug. bei Kant das Collegium angefangen”[4].

The text on this first page (ms 32) is complicated by the presence of several long marginal notes (in the left-margin), and a number of insertion-signs throughout the main text that are not entirely unambiguous. Details are given in the textual notes.


[1] “Articles for memory. 1761. 1762ff.”

[2]The Sage. Who reads less then thinks, and writes less than reads. / von Creuz.” Friedrich Karl Kasimir Freiherr von Creuz (1724-1770) was a German poet and civil servant who served out his brief life as a Hofrat (eventually Reichshofrat) in Hessen-Homburg. He was primarily an autodidact, with only a Gymnasium education for formal training. Herder quotes from his poetry in the "Poetisches Fach" portion of the notebook (pp. 66-83).

[3] “With Kant the 1st time, Aug 21”.

[4] “the 21st of Aug, begun the class with Kant”.


[XXVI.5(32)] ms 1



[Sectio VII]
[Finiti spiritus, extra hominem]

[a]/ bey Kant. 1st.en mal. ˚den 21. Aug.[1] aus ˚der Pnevmat.ologie ˚Daß ausser uns.erer Seele es noch andre Geister gebe, [b] k.ann ˚.aus ˚der Vernunft

˚durch Erfahrung ˚nicht bewiesen ˚werden, ˚weil bey Erfahrungen immer ˚das Das.ein gewiß vor˚ausgesezt wird, ˚.und ˚.man ˚.aus

ungewißen Wirkungen ˚.auf ihr Das.ein ˚.nicht schlüßen kann: Z.E. in ˚den höchsten Berg.en ˚sind oft grosse haufen gross.er See-

muscheln angetroffen, ˚die ˚.von ˚.einer Sindfluth ˚nicht herkommen können, daher einige s.ie ˚die Affen haben hintragen

laßen, andere behaupten, ˚daß zu ˚Zeit ˚der ritterl.ichen Züge ˚.man hier ‹Austern› gespeist, ˚.und ˚die Schal.en hingeworf:en.[2] Dies ist noch

immer wahrscheinlicher, als ˚daß es ˚Der Teufel gem.acht ˚weil ˚.man ˚.von deß.en Das.ein ˚nicht so ˚wie ˚.von ˚der Affen ˚.und Austern über-

zeugt ist. Es fall.en also übern haufen α) alle Kobolds[c] Poltergeister[3] (histor.ie des Sohns ˚eines Predig.er in ˚der Wetter.au)[4][d] ˚.und kleine Männerchen Historien, ˚die erst

zur guten Absicht ersonnen, (˚.wie ˚die Waßermütter ˚.und Gespenster, ˚die Kinder ˚.vom

Waß.er ˚.und Finstern abzuhalten) ˚Die Höll.änder glauben ˚.auf jed.em Schiff ˚.ein Männchen, ˚das

˚das Schiff vor Gefahr bewahrt,[e]

/ Anmerkung ˚.Exempel des Herzogs ˚.von Buckingham.[5]

Es gibt ˚eine Art delirii, da leute ˚.von ˚der ge-

sundesten Vernunft ˚.und feinste Wizz

˚eine überspannte Phantas.ie haben, ˚daß s.ie sehr

oft Geister sehen, ˚.und deutl.ich sehen, ˚weil eben solche

Drückungen des Gehirns sind, als bey andern

˚die s.ie wirkl.ich sehen. Dieses kann, ˚.wie bey dem

/ β) alle Erschein.ungen ˚der abgeschiedenen Seelen, ˚.von den, ˚wenn ˚.mans annähme, doch ˚nicht weiß

obs abgeschiedne Seel.en ˚sind. Insonderh.eit ˚.auf Kirchhöfen, Gewölben etc. ˚Die oft ˚.von boßhaften

‹ersonnen› oft [von] furchtsamen ˚.und erschrocknen Leuten geglaubt ˚werden. Exempel Jenes ˚der in ˚das West-

münstersche Gewölb ging, in ˚das lezte Sarg einen Nagel zu schlagen, ˚den er

aber ˚.aus Angst in s.ein Kleid schlug, ˚das ihn also zurückhielte, in Verwirr.ung ˚.und

Ohnmacht brachte.[f]

Mörder Buckinghams, ˚.auch redl.ichen Leuten, ˚die

z.E. bei dem beten, in Rel.igionsbetrachtungen ˚.und

andern Wahrheiten, ˚die ˚nicht intuitiv sind,

˚sich überanstrengt, passiren.

γ) alle Zauber- ˚.und Hexengeschichte, Verschwörung ˚.mit ˚dem Teufel.[g]

[h]/ ˚Den Grad ˚der ˜Gottlos.igkeit k.ann ˚.man ˚nicht leugnen, ˚daß ˚.einfaltige leute sollten wollen ˚.mit ˚dem Teufel ˚.ein Bund machen

˚.auch bey ihr.en [i] Zauberformeln, ˚.und dazu kommenden ängstlichen Träumen es ˚sich ˚.einbilden, aber

es ist ˚nicht wirkl.ich geschehen, ˚.und ‹˚das leben› des D. Fausts[6] ˚.und ˚die ˚die v.om Teufel geholt sind, ist erlogen.

[j]/ ˚Der Teufel ˚.hat ja ˚.auch ˚kein Geld ˚.und k.anns ˚.auch ˚nicht münzen.

/ In ˚den vorigen Zeiten ˚sind s.ie ˚.auch in ˚der Protest.antischen [k] Ländern sehr häufig gewesen, ˚.und ihre

Proben, ˚sind sehr jämmerl.ich. ˚Die folter ist sehr zweideutig ˚.und ˚die Waßerprobe ist

/ Problem: haben ˚die Geister ˚.auch Körper?[7] Vermutl.ich haben

s.ie Organische Körper 1) ˚weil s.ie nach uns.erer

Vorstell.ung sonst, wenn ˚das Universum ˚.auf s.ie stürmte

˚keine deutlichen Vorstellungen haben könnten, z.E. ˚wenn wir

lauter Auge Ohr wären 2) ˚weil s.ie sonst wohl

nicht ins Universum wirken könnten.

Es erklärt es ˚einigermaßen die Magnet-

kraft ˚die Materialisch s.ein muß, doch unsichtb.ar

ist ˚.und ˚durch z.E. zinzerne Teller ˚durchwirkt.

Wenn ˚.ein Geist erschiene, so müßte er

falsch; da ˚.man ˚.mit ˜kreuzweis ‹@˚.auf ˚den Rucken@› gebundnen Händen ˚.und Füßen ˚.auf ˚den Waßer schwimen muste. Es

ist bek.annt, ˚daß ˚wenn ˚das [l] vacuum thoracis ˚.ausgedehnt wird; ˚der Mensch ˚der ohne dem

˚nicht ˚viel schwerer, als ˚das Waßer ist, (da erfahrne Schwimmer ˚.auch ˚.auf ˚den Rücken ˚.auf ˚den Waßer

liegen können, ˚weil ˚die furcht, ihre Teile ˚nicht ˚zusammenzieht) schwimmt.

entweder all.en sichtbar s.ein, wenn es natürlich

˚durch ˚die Refraktion der lichtstral.en geschähe,

˚oder ˚wenn er nur ˚einem erscheinen sollte, so dörfte

er nur ˚das Gehirn bei ihm ˚.auf solche Art

drücken etc.

δ) ˚die Besizzungen, da ˚der Mensch ˚nicht willkürl.ich handelt, ˚sondern s.ein leib ˚ein organ.ischer leib des Teufels ist

(δαιμονιακοσ [daimoniakos]) ˚die Brustredner[8] etc. etc. D. Semler[9] ˚.hat in ˚den Streit wegen ˚der Lohmannin beweisen

wollen, ˚daß es nie leibl.iche besizzungen gegeben, ˚.auch ˚nicht in ˚der Bibel, ˚weil ˚die Juden schwere @und@ unheilbare

Krankheiten, Besizzungen nannten, da ˚der ruach in ˚.ein solchen Menschen wäre. J.esus ˚.und ˚die Apost.el brauchten ihnen dies Vor-

urteil nicht ˚.aus dem Sinn reden, ˚weil s.ie alsdenn sehr viel andre hätten zerstören müssen, ˚.und ˚der[m] Werth ihrer

Wunder doch noch vest bleibt, ˚.mit ˚einem Worte unsinnige etc. zu heilen.

/ Da ˚.man also ihr Das.ein ˚nicht weiß, so k.ann ˚.man ˚.auch ihre Beschaffenh.eit ˚nicht vestsezzen, vermutl.ich muß es doch ˚.ein höhere Stuffe s.ein

˚.von Geistern. [n]

[datum: 27.10.2013 / 29.06.2014]


[XXVI.5(33)] ms 2



/ [Pars IV] Theol.ogia natural.is
[Caput I
Conceptus dei
Sectio I
Exsistentia dei, §§803-62]

Da wir ˚.von den [a] Geistern geredt haben, so gehen wir z.um höchsten Geiste, ˚der alle geschaffen, ˚.und ˚den [b] höchsten Verstand besizzt. ˚Den Begriff [c]

˚.von ihm machen wir uns blos ˚durch ˚einen Schluß von uns.erer Seele ˚.auf ˚den höchsten Grad ˚der Fähigkeiten. [d] ˚.Man muß aber 1) sehen, ˚daß ˚.man ˚nicht unsere Mängel ˚.einmische, ˚.wie ˚.man sehr

oft irrig ανθροποπατως[1] geschieht 2) woher unsere Ideen kommen, ob s.ie Grund haben. Wir haben 2. Erkännt.nis Quellen: 1) ˚die Erfahrung α) uns.ere β)

anderer, sonst ˚das Zeugniß. 2) ˚die Vernunft. Aus ˚der eign.en Erfahrung können wir nicht ˚.vom Das.ein ˜Gottes überzeugt ˚werden: noch ˚durch ˚das Zeugn.is anderer neml.ich in ˚der Philos.ophie

denn ˚das heißt ˚durch ˚den Glauben: es bleibt also übrig, ˚durch ˚die Vernunft. In ˚der Theol.ogia revel:ata ˚wird dies.er Saz ohne Demonstr:ation angenommen, da es doch beß.er wäre,

die Theol.ogia revel:elata[e] etwaz voranzuschick.en 1) ˚weil ˚.man da˚durch recht hohe Begriffe ˚.von ˜Gott ˚.und folgl.ich lebhaftere Empfindungen ˚.von ˚seiner Gütigkeit bekäme: als

˚wenn ˚.man ˚durch unzeitig angebrachte Gleichniße ˚.von ˚einem Könige ˚der s.einen Bauren guts @that/thut@, ˜Gott verkleinert. 2) ˚würden ˚die freigeister ˚sich eher viell.eicht zur Relig.ion

bequemen. 3) dies ˚würde ˚.auch bei Kindern v.on erstaunend.en Nuzzen s.ein indem ˚.man ihre Seel.en Kräfte da˚durch ˚ausbildete, ˚.und s.ie ˚.von bösen selbst ˚durch ˚die nat.ürliche the-

ologie abhielte: all.ein wegen viel Schwürigkeiten ist ˚das lezte fast nicht zu hoffen.

[f]/ Ens realissimum,[2] in quo maximus est realitatis gradus, quo major non datur possibilis. Realitas est [g] s.ive deter-

minans s.ive determinatum. Als determinantes können[h] in ˚den Ente realissimo alle realitates ‹˚nicht› s.ein. ˚Weil s.ie ˚sich ˚.zwar nicht

logice contradiciren, [i] aber ‹einige› realiter [j] repugnirten. P.atet ab instantia. Wenn ˚sich 2 Körper, ˚der 1e ˚.von Morgen gegen abend,[k] ˚der andre

ʾ.vice .versa bewegen, stoßen so entsteht ˚eine Null, d.i. ˚keine Bewegung, ˚.das ist ˚keine logische Contradict.io, aber[l] ˚eine reale Repugnans.

Schmerz ist ˚keine privation,[3] weil wir ausser ˚dem Schmerzzustande in einen privatstande, ˚der weder [m] Schmerz noch freud ist,

kommen können, ˚sondern ˚eine wirkl.iche realitaet, ˚die die freude realiter repugnirt, in dem s.ie ˚einen Grad ˚.von ihr ˚aufhebt.

/ ˚der höchste Verstand ist ˚der höchste Grad der realitaet, ˚weil [n] positis omnibus ceteris realitatibus, omniscientia etc. etc. noch ˚kein

ens perfectissimum her˚auskommt, ˚.und ˚wenn alle Welten noch schöner als unsere auß.er vernünftigen geschöpfen wären, ˚das

es genießen könnten: so wäre da ˚keine Vollkommenheit.

/ Ens perfectiss.imum[4] ˚wird ˚durch ˚eine folge ˚.aus ˚den ente realiss.imo [ab]geleitet

/ [o]ens perfectissimum ‹est possibile.› Baumgarten[5][p] quia ens perfectiss.imum omnes realitates continet, hoc involuit nullam ne-

                 gationem, et nec impossibilitatem. Falsum, ʾquia realitates realiter sibi

                 [q] repugnare possunt.

/ Datur ens perfectissimum ʾquia ens perfectissimum omnis possidet realitates, et si exsistentia careret, praedicato quodam

         careret, et sic non esset perfectissimum. Falso quia exsistentia non est praedicatum, sed

         absoluta positio; Nam si esset praedicatum, tunc plura essent cogitanda praedicata in existen-

         te, quam non exsistenste. Hoc non, ʾquia tot de [r] possibili, e.g. de Judaeo

         ʾperegrinante[6] cogitamus, quot de exsistente quodam. [s]

[datum: 02.11.2013 / 30.06.2014]


Explanatory Notes
[RP/NT 796-808]

ms 1


[1] [21. Aug.] A similar entry is found on p. 123 of this notebook (see). This appears to have been Herder’s first visit to Kant’s classroom, and would have taken place soon after the summer break in August (Herder enrolled at the university August 10, 1762). The date, however, leaves us with a puzzle, since August 21 of that year fell on a Saturday, a highly unlikely day for Kant to have been holding classes, and especially unlikely for the first day of classes after a break. It appears that the university was still using the Gregorian calendar during the Russian occupation; but if for some reason Herder was using the Julian calendar, then August 10 would have fallen on a Wednesday – equally implausible. But then again, perhaps the notes were not from the first day after vacation, but simply from the first day for Herder.

[2] [Schalen hingeworfen] See the Holstein-Beck notes on physical geography (AA 26.1: 69):

“An allen Orten der Erde selbst auf den Spitzen hoher Berge findet man große Haufen von Seemuscheln und andere Merkmaale des ehemaligen Meeresgrundes.”

[3] [Poltergeister] See Refl. #3807 (AA 17: 299), quoted in a corresponding note to RP/NT 763-C2.

[4] [Prediger in Wetterau] This example also appears at RP/NT 763-C3.

[5] [Buckingham] George Villiers (1592-1628), 1st Duke of Buckingham, and favorite to James I of England, was stabbed to death on 23 August 1628 by the army officer John Felton. Kant is referring to a well-known ghost story, where the ghost of George Villiers' father appeared at night to a servant, who was told to warn his son that he must ingratiate himself with the people or else he would be murdered. After three such visitations, the servant met with the Duke, also conveying to him information given to him by the ghost that no one but the Duke would know, and that would warrant the servant’s message. This was a month or so before his assassination. A likely source of this story for Kant is Glanville (1701, 145-48). Felton is mentioned at EP 531-A3.

[6] [D. Faust] See the discussion of Faust at RP/NT 763-C3 and in the accompanying note.

[7] [haben die Geister auch Körper?] Baumgarten, §797, claims that each finite spirit has body.

[8] [Brustredner] This may be the same as, or else a miswrite or mishearing of, Bauchredner, a term used at RP/NT 763-C2 (see the corresponding note) and in Refl. #3807.

[9] [D. Semler] See the discussion of Semler in RP/NT 763-C2 and the accompanying note.

ms 2


[1] [ανθροποπατως] ‘Anthropopathos’ – in the human manner. This term also appears at a RP/NT 763-E1; see the accompanying note.

[2] [ens realissimum] Baumgarten, §807, notes that all realities are “truly positive” (vere positiva) (§36), that all realities in a being are compossible, and that the most perfect being is the most real being (§806), concluding that the “totality of all realities” (omnitudo realitatum) belongs to the most perfect being.

[3] [keine privation] This same example is used in Kant’s Only Possible Argument (AA 2: 85-86):

The thrust of a body or the force of cohesion are, without doubt, something truly positive, similarly, in the sensations of the mind, pain is never merely a deprivation. A confusion has seemingly justified such an idea. It is said: reality and reality never contradict each other, for both of them are true affirmations; as a consequence, they do not conflict with each other in the subject either. Now, although I concede that there is no logical contradiction here, the real repugnancy is not thereby cancelled. [Walford tr.]

Kant’s target here is likely Baumgarten (Metaphysica, §807).

[4] [Ens perfectissimum] Baumgarten, §806, argues that “the most perfect being is the most real being.”

[5] [Baumgarten] Baumgarten, §808, argues that the most perfect being cannot include any negation, since a negation is the denial of some reality, and the most perfect being has the most realities. Kant is rejecting this inference.

[6] [Judaeo peregrinante] Kant uses this same example in the Only Possible Argument (AA 2: 76-77):

The Omniscient certainly knows all the determinations which would inhere in such a person, if he were to exist, even though he does not actually exist. Without doubt, the eternal Jew, Ahasuerus, is, in respect of all the countries through which he is to wander and all the times through which he is to live, a possible person. [Walford tr.]


Textual Notes
[RP/NT 796-808]

[Here is a mark-up key for the transcription.]

ms 1


[a] In a darker ink but in the same hand, a '32)' is written in the top-left corner, above 'Kant'.

[b] An 'ist' is crossed out.

[c] A small sign that looks like a backwards 'N' and placed like a punctuation mark is written after 'Kobolds', as well as after 'Männerchen' later in the line.

[d] This parenthetical remark occurs three lines later in the manuscript, but is inserted here with a sign; the parentheses are added.

[e] An '˚und' is crossed out, followed by an insertion sign and phrase ("historie des Sohnes eines Prediger in der Wetterau") that is inserted three lines above (in added parentheses).

[f] An 'Anmerkung' is written here, indicating where the long note in the left margin (concerning the Duke of Buckingham) should be inserted.

[g] Two insertion signs (upright-'F') appear here, the first with three flags.

[h] The following three lines of text is inserted here with a sign (slanting-'F' with two flags); in the manuscript, it is found six lines down.

[i] A '@Bann@' is crossed out.

[j] The following line is inserted with a sign (slanting-'F' with three flags), and immediately follows the previous insertion.

[k] A '@Kirch@' is crossed out.

[l] A 'Br' is crossed out.

[m] '˚Der' is written above a crossed out 'gr'.

[n] Text following this, and written in a dark black ink, is a poem fragment unrelated to the notes on metaphysics: “Im Tanze, der mit innerl.ich Gesang / ˚der @Z.eit / zur@ Mannl.iche den Jungl.liche Zwang, ˚.und in die Weiber ¿¿ Klang.”

ms 2


[a] A 'höchsten' is crossed out.

[b] A 'Verst' is crossed out.

[c] '33.' is written in the top-right corner (above 'Begriff') in the same ink.

[d] A '(1' is crossed out.

[e] Theol.ogia revel:elata is surely a miswrite; 'Theologia naturalis' is intended.

[f] The following text is written in a light-brown ink; the text above was a dark brown bordering on black.

[g] An underlined 'p' follows 'est', and then a gap in the text before 's.ive, as though for a word to be filled-in later.

[h] The 't' in 'könnten' is crossed out.

[i] A '˚sondern' is crossed out.

[j] A 'contradicirten' is crossed out.

[k] Reading 'aber' as 'abend'.

[l] 'aber' overwrites '˚sondern' in the manuscript.

[m] A 'Tran' is crossed out.

[n] A 'gesez' is crossed out.

[o] 'Sa¿en' is crossed out.

[p] A '˚weil' is crossed out.

[q] A 'contra' is crossed out.

[r] A 'non ente' is crossed out.

[s] A short line is drawn under this text, in black ink (darker than that used at the top of the page), followed by unrelated text, in the same black ink, down to the bottom of the page. This is the same ink, and the text concerns the same theme, as at the bottom of the previous page: “Im Tanze, der das ein Jünglings brüst …”