James Kreines Claremont McKenna College
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  • Faculty, Claremont McKenna College
  • PhD, University of Chicago, 2001.

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  1. James Kreines (forthcoming). Kant and Hegel on Teleology and Life From the Perspective of Debates About Free Will. In Thomas Khurana (ed.), THE FREEDOM OF LIFE. Hegelian Perspectives. Walther König.
    Kant’s treatment of teleology and life in the Critique of the Power of Judgment is complicated and difficult to interpret; Hegel’s response adds considerable complexity. I propose a new way of understanding the underlying philosophical issues in this debate, allowing a better understanding of the underlying structure of the arguments in Kant and Hegel. My new way is unusual: I use for an interpretive lens some structural features of familiar debates about freedom of the will. These debates, I argue, allow (...)
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  2. James Kreines (2012). Learning From Hegel What Philosophy is All About: For the Metaphysics of Reason; Against the Priority of Meaning. Verifiche - Rivista di Scienze Umane 41 (1-3):129-173.
  3. James Kreines (2009). Kant on the Laws of Nature: Laws, Necessitation, and the Limitation of Our Knowledge. European Journal of Philosophy 17 (4):527-558.
    Consider the laws of nature—the laws of physics, for example. One familiar philosophical question about laws is this: what is it to be a law of nature? More specifically, is a law of nature a regularity, or a generalization stating a regularity? Or is it something else? Another philosophical question is: how, and to what extent, can we have knowledge of the laws of nature? I am interested here in Kant's answers to these questions, and their place within his broader (...)
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  4. James Kreines (2008). Hegel: Metaphysics Without Pre-Critical Monism. Bulletin of the Hegel Society of Great Britain 57:48-70.
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  5. James Kreines (2008). The Logic of Life: Hegel's Philosophical Defense of Teleological Explanation of Living Beings. In , The Cambridge Companion to Hegel and Nineteenth-Century Philosophy. Cambridge Univ Pr.
    Kant argues that we necessarily conceive of living beings in irreducibly teleological terms, but that we cannot know that living beings themselves truly satisfy the implications of teleological judgment. Hegel argues in response that we can know that living beings are teleological systems. Both Kant and Hegel here advocate positions distinct from those most popular today. And although much of the biological science of their time is now outdated, each has philosophical arguments of lasting interest and import. I focus on (...)
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  6. James Kreines (2007). Between the Bounds of Experience and Divine Intuition: Kant's Epistemic Limits and Hegel's Ambitions. Inquiry 50 (3):306 – 334.
    Hegel seeks to overturn Kant's conclusion that our knowledge is restricted, or that we cannot have knowledge of things as they are in themselves. Understanding this Hegelian ambition requires distinguishing two Kantian characterizations of our epistemic limits: First, we can have knowledge only within the "bounds of experience". Second, we cannot have knowledge of objects that would be accessible only to a divine intellectual intuition, even though the faculty of reason requires us to conceive of such objects. Hegel aims to (...)
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  7. James Kreines (2006). Review: Henrich, Between Kant and Hegel: Lectures on German Idealism. [REVIEW] Philosophical Review 115 (1):112-115.
  8. James Kreines (2006). Review: Henrichs, Between Kant and Hegel: Lectures on German Idealism. Philosophical Review 115 (1):112-115.
  9. James Kreines (2006). Hegel's Metaphysics: Changing the Debate. Philosophy Compass 1 (5):466–480.
    There are two general approaches to Hegel’s theoretical philosophy which are broadly popular in recent work. Debate between them is often characterized, by both sides, as a dispute between those favoring a more traditional “metaphysical” approach and those favoring a newer “nonmetaphysical” approach. But I argue that the most important and compelling points made by both sides are actually independent of the idea of a “nonmetaphysical” interpretation of Hegel, which is itself simply unconvincing. The most promising directions for future research, (...)
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  10. James Kreines (2005). The Inexplicability of Kant's Naturzweck: Kant on Teleology, Explanation and Biology. Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie 87 (3):270-311.
    Kant’s position on teleology and biology is neither inconsistent nor obsolete; his arguments have some surprising and enduring philosophical strengths. But Kant’s account will appear weak if we muddy the waters by reading him as aiming to defend teleology by appealing to considerations popular in contemporary philosophy. Kant argues for very different conclusions: we can neither know teleological judgments of living beings to be true, nor legitimately explain living beings in teleological terms; such teleological judgment is justified only as a (...)
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  11. James Kreines (2004). Hegel's Critique of Pure Mechanism and the Philosophical Appeal of the Logic Project. European Journal of Philosophy 12 (1):38–74.
    I undertake here the challenges of clarifying and defending Hegel’s mechanism argument, and showing how it throws some much-needed light on the nature and philosophical appeal of the Logic project. I will argue that the key to all this is Hegel’s focus on a philosophical problem concerning explanation itself. Unfortunately, this problem can easily be obscured from us by contemporary tastes and assumptions. In particular, where Hegel discusses mechanism and teleology, we must not read him as if he meant to (...)
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  12. James Kreines, Metaphysics Without Pre-Critical Monism: Hegel on Lower-Level Natural Kinds and the Structure of Reality.
    My focus here is on what Hegel has to say about nature and natural kinds, in ‘Observing Reason’ from the Phenomenology, and also in similar material from the Logic and Encyclopedia. I intend to argue that this material suggests a surprising way of stepping beyond the fundamental debate. There can of course be no question of elaborating and defending here a complete interpretation of Hegel’s entire theoretical philosophy. I will have to restrict myself to arguing for the unlikely conclusion that (...)
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  13. James Kreines, Kant on Our Unquenchable Desire for Unknowable Things in Themselves: A Path Through the Minefield.
    (i) There are things in themselves. (ii) We can have no knowledge of things in themselves. An obvious worry is that the denial of knowledge should undercut Kant’s own assertion that there are things in themselves.1 Thus Jacobi quips, referring to the thing in itself as a presupposition of Kant’s system: “without that presupposition I could not enter into the system, but with it I could not stay within” (1787, 336).
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  14. James Kreines, Paul Redding, Or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying so Much About Meaning and Love Hegel's Metaphysics and Kant's Epistemic Modesty.
    In this interest of time, I’ll just say something directly: this is an incredible book. Reading it, thinking it through, is extremely rewarding. I haven’t read a work of philosophy that had as much impact on me since being in school myself. The book presents you with new ideas and connections and it forces you to see philosophy and its history in new ways, even if you (like me) had been quite attached to your old ways. The book got into (...)
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  15. James Kreines, Kreines Comment on Redding.
    In this interest of time, I’ll just say something directly: this is an incredible book. Reading it, thinking it through, is extremely rewarding. I haven’t read a work of philosophy that had as much impact on me since being in school myself. The book presents you with new ideas and connections and it forces you to see philosophy and its history in new ways, even if you (like me) had been quite attached to your old ways. The book got into (...)
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