Imagining Kant’s Theory of Scientific Knowledge: Philosophy and Education in Microbiology

This is a Preprint and has not been peer reviewed. The published version of this Preprint is available: This is version 1 of this Preprint.


Download Preprint


Fernando Baquero


In the field of observational and experimental natural sciences (as is the case for microbiology), recent decades have been overinfluenced by overwhelming technological advances, and the space of abstraction has been frequently disdained. However, the predictable future of biological sciences should necessarily recover the synthetic dimension of “natural philosophy”. We should understand the nature of Microbiology as Science, and we should educate microbiology scientists in the process of thinking. The critical process of thinking “knowing what we can know” is entirely based on Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason. However, this book is extremely difficult to read (even for Kant himself) and almost inaccessible to modern experimental natural scientists. Professional philosophers might have been able to explain Kant to scientists; unfortunately, however, they don’t get involved this type of education for science. The intention of this review is to introduce natural scientists, particularly microbiologists and evolutionary biologists, to the main rigorous processes (aesthetics, analytics, dialectics) that Kant identified to gain access to knowledge, always a partial knowledge, given that the correspondence between truth and reality is necessarily incomplete. This goal is attempted by producing a number of “images” (figures) to help the non-expert reader grasp the essential of Kant’s message and by making final observations paralleling the theory of scientific knowledge with biological evolutionary processes and the role of evolutionary epistemology in science education. Finally, the influence of Kant’s postulates in key-fields of microbiology, from taxonomy to systems biology is discussed.



Education, Life Sciences


Kant, Critique pure reason, Science Education, Evolutionary epistemology, Microbiology as Science


Published: 2022-12-10 10:02


CC BY Attribution 4.0 International

Additional Metadata

Conflict of interest statement:

Data and Code Availability Statement:
Open data/code are not available

Add a Comment

You must log in to post a comment.


There are no comments or no comments have been made public for this article.