Affinity, Idealism and Naturalism: The Stability of Cinnabar and the Possibility of Experience

Kant-Studien 88 (2):139-189 (1997)
In the Critique of Pure Reason Kant introduced both transcendental idealism and transcendental arguments into philosophy. Transcendental arguments in general aim to establish conditions necessary for our having self-conscious experience at all. Transcendental idealism holds that such conditions do not hold independently of human subjects; those conditions obtain or are satisfied because they are generated or fulfilled by the structure or functioning of the subject’s cognitive capacities. Is transcendental idealism the only possible explanation of such conditions? I pursue this question by exploring a widely neglected issue, the transcendental affinity of the manifold of intuition. I argue the following: (1) This issue remains vital to the second edition of the Critique, even though many passages on the topic were omitted from that edition. (2) Kant’s link between transcendental idealism and transcendental arguments is substantive, not methodological. (3) Kant’s views on transcendental affinity show that there are non-subjective, transcendental material conditions for the possibility of unified self-conscious experience. (4) These conditions and Kant’s arguments for them directly undermine Kant’s own arguments for transcendental idealism. This criticism of Kant’s arguments for transcendental idealism is entirely internal to the first Critique. (5) These points reveal some serious flaws in Henry Allison’s defense of Kant’s idealism. (6) Realists, naturalists, and pragmatists have much to learn and to borrow from Kant’s transcendental analysis of the conditions of unified self-conscious experience.
Keywords Transcendental Proof of Realism  Mental Content Externalism  Anti-Cartesianism  Internal Critique of Transcendental Idealism
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1515/kant.1997.88.2.139
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 23,201
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Gaven Kerr (2011). Kant's Transcendental Idealism. International Philosophical Quarterly 51 (2):195-222.
Avery Goldman (2002). The Metaphysics of Kantian Epistemology. Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association 76:239-252.
Ralf M. Bader (2012). The Role of Kant's Refutation of Idealism. Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie 94 (1):53-73.

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

34 ( #138,994 of 1,940,950 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

2 ( #333,818 of 1,940,950 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.