Graduate studies at Western
Journal of the History of Philosophy 45 (3):459-484 (2007)
|Abstract||: Interpretations of Kant's transcendental idealism have been dominated by two extreme views: phenomenalist and merely epistemic readings. There are serious objections to both of these extremes, and the aim of this paper is to develop a middle ground between the two. In the Prolegomena, Kant suggests that his idealism about appearances can be understood in terms of an analogy with secondary qualities like color. Commentators have rejected this option because they have assumed that the analogy should be read in terms of either a Lockean or a Berkelean account of qualities such as color, and have argued, rightly, that neither can provide the basis for a coherent interpretation of Kant's position. I argue that the account of color that the analogy requires is one within the context of a direct theory of perception, as opposed to Locke's representative account. Using this account of color, the secondary quality analogy enables us to explain how appearances can be mind-dependent without existing in the mind|
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