The Ontology of Kant's Theory of Knowledge

Abstract
Adopting a Quinean criterion of ontological commitment, I consider Kant’s theory of our a priori knowledge of objects. I am directly concerned with the customary view that the ontology of Kant’s theory of knowledge in general, whether a priori or empirical, must be thought in terms of the a priori conditions or representations of space, time, and the categories. Accordingly, the customary view is accompanied by the customary interpretation of the ontology as consisting of Kantian“appearances” or “empirical objects.” I argue against this view and interpretation. The argument turns on the opposition between the necessity and universality of the a priori and the particularity and contingency of the existent. Its main point is that the a priori can remain necessary and universal only if the existence of objects is kept distinct from it
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