Melissa McBay Merritt University of New South Wales
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  • Faculty, University of New South Wales
  • PhD, University of Pittsburgh, 2004.

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  1. Melissa McBay Merritt (forthcoming). Kant on the Pleasures of Understanding. In Alix Cohen (ed.), Kant on Emotion and Value. Palgrave Macmillan.
    Why did Kant write the Critique of Judgment, and why did he say that his analysis of the judgment of taste — his technical term for our enjoyment of beauty — is the most important part of it? Kant claims that his analysis of taste “reveals a property of our faculty of cognition that without this analysis would have remained unknown” (KU §8, 5:213). The clue lies in Kant’s view that while taste is an aesthetic, and non-cognitive, mode of judgment, (...)
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  2. Melissa McBay Merritt (2012). The Moral Source of the Kantian Sublime. In Timothy Costelloe (ed.), The Sublime: From Antiquity to the Present (pp. 37-49). Cambridge University Press.
    A crucial feature of Kant's critical-period writing on the sublime is its grounding in moral psychology. Whereas in the pre-critical writings, the sublime is viewed as an inherently exhausting state of mind, in the critical-period writings it is presented as one that gains strength the more it is sustained. I account for this in terms of Kantian moral psychology, and explain that, for Kant, sound moral disposition is conceived as a sublime state of mind.
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  3. Melissa McBay Merritt (2011). Kant's Argument for the Apperception Principle. European Journal of Philosophy 19 (1):59-84.
    Abstract: My aim is to reconstruct Kant's argument for the principle of the synthetic unity of apperception. I reconstruct Kant's argument in stages, first showing why thinking should be conceived as an activity of synthesis (as opposed to attention), and then showing why the unity or coherence of a subject's representations should depend upon an a priori synthesis. The guiding thread of my account is Kant's conception of enlightenment: as I suggest, the philosophy of mind advanced in the Deduction belongs (...)
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  4. Melissa McBay Merritt (2011). Kant on Enlightened Moral Pedagogy. Southern Journal of Philosophy 49 (3):227-53.
    For Kant, the ideal of enlightenment is most fundamentally expressed as a self-developed soundness of judgment. But what does this mean when the judgment at issue is practical, i.e., concerns the good to be brought about through action? I argue that the moral context places special demands on the ideal of enlightenment. This is revealed through an interpretation of Kant’s prescription for moral pedagogy in the Critique of Practical Reason. The goal of the pedagogy is to cultivate the moral disposition, (...)
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  5. Melissa McBay Merritt (2010). Kant on the Transcendental Deduction of Space and Time: An Essay on the Philosophical Resources of the Transcendental Aesthetic. Kantian Review 14 (2):1-37.
    I take up Kant's remarks about a "transcendental deduction" of the "concepts of space and time" (A87/B119-120). I argue for the need to make a clearer assessment of the philosophical resources of the Aesthetic in order to account for this transcendental deduction. Special attention needs to be given to the fact that the central task of the Aesthetic is simply the "exposition" of these concepts. The Metaphysical Exposition reflects upon facts about our usage to reveal our commitment to the idea (...)
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  6. Melissa McBay Merritt (2010). Review: Clewis, The Kantian Sublime and the Revelation of Freedom. [REVIEW] British Journal for the History of Philosophy 18 (3):529-532.
    Review of Robert Clewis, _The Kantian Sublime and the Revelation of Freedom_.
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  7. Melissa McBay Merritt (2009). Reflection, Enlightenment, and the Significance of Spontaneity in Kant. British Journal for the History of Philosophy 17 (5):981-1010.
    Existing interpretations of Kant’s appeal to the spontaneity of the mind focus almost exclusively on the discussion of pure apperception in the Transcendental Deduction. The risk of such a strategy lies in the considerable degree of abstraction at which the argument of the Deduction is carried out: existing interpretations fail to reconnect adequately with any ground-level perspective on our cognitive lives. This paper works in the opposite direction. Drawing on Kant’s suggestion that the most basic picture we can have of (...)
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  8. Melissa Mcbay Merritt (2007). Analysis in the Critique of Pure Reason. Kantian Review 12 (1):61-89.
    The paper argues that existing interpretations of Kant's Critique of Pure Reason as an "analysis of experience" (e.g., those of Kitcher and Strawson) fail because they do not properly appreciate the method of the work. The author argues that the Critique provides an analysis of the faculty of reason, and counts as an analysis of experience only in a derivative sense.
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  9. Melissa McBay Merritt (2006). Science and the Synthetic Method of the Critique of Pure Reason. Review of Metaphysics 59 (3):517-539.
    Kant maintains that his Critique of Pure Reason follows a “synthetic method” which he distinguishes from the analytic method of the Prolegomena by saying that the Critique “rests on no other science” and “takes nothing as given except reason itself”. The paper presents an account of the synthetic method of the Critique, showing how it is related to Kant’s conception of the Critique as the “science of an a priori judging reason”. Moreover, the author suggests, understanding its synthetic method sheds (...)
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  10. M. Merritt (2003). The Challenge of Clinical Empathy. Journal of Clinical Ethics 14 (4):283.
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