David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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International Journal of Philosophical Studies 5 (2):164 – 186 (1997)
Transcendental idealism has been conceived of in philosophy as a position that aims to secure objectivity without traditional metaphysical underpinnings. This article contrasts two forms of transcendental idealism that have been identified: one in the work of Kant, the other in the later Wittgenstein. The distinction between these two positions is clarified by means of a distinction between transcendental constraints and transcendental features. It is argued that these conceptions provide the - fundamentally different - bases of the two positions under discussion. With the core of the positions identified, it is then suggested that neither form of transcendental idealism - the Kantian or the Wittgensteinian - manages to combine the twin aims of safeguarding objectivity and maintaining metaphysical parsimony. The Kantian form appears to succeed on the first score at the cost of failing on the second, while the Wittgensteinian form succeeds on the second and fails on the first.
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