David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Kant-Studien 94 (2):135-171 (2003)
Kant’s ‘Refutation of Idealism’ plainly has an anti-Cartesian conclusion: ‘inner experience in general is only possible through outer experience in general’ (B278). Due to wide-spread preoccupation with Cartesian skepticism, and to the anti-naturalism of early analytic philosophy, most of Kant’s recent commentators have sought to find a purely conceptual, ‘analytic’ argument in Kant’s Refutation of Idealism – and then have dismissed Kant when no such plausible argument can be reconstructed from his text. Kant’s argument supposedly cannot eliminate all relevant alternatives, and so cannot justify its strong modal claims. Kant based his arguments on an inventory of our basic cognitive capacities to employ our forms of intuition and our forms of judgment. Kant provides a variety of considerations and arguments to determine what our cognitive capacities are. This involves ‘transcendental reflection’, which Kant held is absolutely crucial for judging matters a priori (A263/B319). I argue that there is a level of philosophical reflection on our own cognitive capabilities and their preconditions that is significantly richer than has been noticed by recent commentators, and that is a precondition of Kant’s transcendental reflection proper. I explicate certain thought experiments Kant proposes in order for us to recognize some our basic, characteristic cognitive capabilities, and the limits and requirements they entail for the nature and objects of human knowledge. These thought experiments involve a kind of reflection on who we as cognizant subjects are, on what our basic cognitive capabilities are. Engaging in this kind of reflection reveals that Kant’s transcendental arguments are significantly stronger and more persuasive than has been recognized in recent commentary.
|Keywords||transcendental proof refutation of idealism mental content externalism|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
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.
Citations of this work BETA
Alberto Vanzo (2012). Kant on Truth-Aptness. History and Philosophy of Logic 33 (2):109-126.
Axel Mueller (2011). Does Kantian Mental Content Externalism Help Metaphysical Realists? Synthese 182 (3):449-473.
Kristi Sweet (2009). “Reflection: Its Structure and Meaning in Kant’s Judgments of Taste”. Kantian Review 14 (1):53-80.
Similar books and articles
Daniel J. Dwyer (2004). Wittgenstein, Kant and Husserl on the Dialectical Temptations of Reason. Continental Philosophy Review 37 (3):277-307.
Jay Newhard (2012). The Argument From Skepticism for Contextualism. Philosophia 40 (3):563-575.
Melissa McBay Merritt (2009). Reflection, Enlightenment, and the Significance of Spontaneity in Kant. British Journal for the History of Philosophy 17 (5):981-1010.
Kenneth R. Westphal (2006). How Does Kant Prove That We Perceive, and Not Merely Imagine, Physical Objects? Review of Metaphysics 59 (4):781 - 806.
Linton Wang & Oliver Tai (2010). Skeptical Conclusions. Erkenntnis 72 (2):177 - 204.
Nikolaj Jang Lee Linding Pedersen (2009). Entitlement, Value and Rationality. Synthese 171 (3):443-457.
John Greco (2004). Externalism and Skepticism. In Richard Schantz (ed.), The Externalist Challenge. De Gruyter. 53.
Robert Stern (2008). Kant's Response to Skepticism. In John Greco (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Skepticism. Oxford University Press. 265.
Kenneth R. Westphal (2004). Kant's Transcendental Proof of Realism. Cambridge University Press.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads34 ( #56,311 of 1,140,280 )
Recent downloads (6 months)4 ( #46,991 of 1,140,280 )
How can I increase my downloads?