Kant and the Early Moderns (review)

Journal of the History of Philosophy 48 (1):111-112 (2009)
This volume contains ten essays that treat the relationship between Kant’s philosophy and those of his predecessors in the early modern canon. The essays divide into five pairs devoted respectively to Descartes, Leibniz, Locke, Berkeley, and Hume. In each case, the work of a prominent Kant scholar precedes a reply by an early modernist. This format provides the opportunity to reevaluate both Kant’s philosophy and those of his predecessors, the contention being that the latter “in our historical conscience” too often are read “in light of Kant’s reconstruction of their thought” .In this review, I discuss a selection of the articles in order to evaluate the extent to which they contribute to the stated historiographic aim of the volume. Each of the ten contributions provides a worthwhile read in isolation from the others, but the success they achieve in reassessing the relationship of Kantian to pre-Kantian philosophy varies significantly from essay to essay. Cumulatively, they offer an inspiring retort to the central arguments of that chapter of modern philosophy entitled “On the division of all philosophies into vorkantische and nachkantische
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DOI 10.1353/hph.0.0192
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