Review: Forster, Michael, Kant and Skepticism

Journal of the History of Philosophy 47 (2):pp. 319-320 (2009)
Kant's theoretical philosophy is often read as a response to skeptical challenges raised by his predecessors. Yet Kant himself explicitly discusses skepticism in relatively few places in his published work, so Michael Forster's focused examination of Kant's relation to skepticism is a useful addition to the literature. Forster sets out to distinguish different types of skepticism to which Kant might be responding, determine what responses Kant offers, and evaluate the strength of those responses.Perhaps the most valuable part of the book is the opening chapters, where Forster distinguishes three kinds of skepticism about metaphysics , and argues that it is a mistake to see Cartesian, veil of perception skepticism as a central target of Kant's. Though this point has been made before , insufficient attention to it has continued to result in misplaced criticisms of Kant's project, and Forster's forceful reminder is certainly welcome.The other two types of skepticism, Forster argues, did play crucial roles in the development of Kant's metaphysical views, with each at some point rousing Kant from a self-described "dogmatic slumber." Forster claims that the 1766
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DOI 10.1353/hph.0.0107
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