Kantian Humility: Our Ignorance of Things in Themselves

Oxford University Press (1998)
Rae Langton offers a new interpretation and defense of Kant's doctrine of things in themselves. Kant distinguishes things in themselves from phenomena, and in so doing he makes a metaphysical distinction between intrinsic and relational properties of substances. Langton argues that his claim that we have no knowledge of things in themselves is not idealism, but epistemic humility: we have no knowledge of the intrinsic properties of substances. This interpretation vindicates Kant's scientific realism, and shows his primary/secondary quality distinction to be superior even to modern-day competitors. And it answers the famous charge that Kant's tale of things in themselves is one that makes itself untellable.
Keywords Ding an sich
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Call number B2799.D5.L36 1998
ISBN(s) 0198236530   0199243174   9780198236535  
DOI 10.1093/mind/111.441.136
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Lucy Allais (2004). Kant's One World: Interpreting 'Transcendental Idealism'. British Journal for the History of Philosophy 12 (4):655 – 684.
Ann Whittle (2006). On an Argument for Humility. Philosophical Studies 130 (3):461 - 497.

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