This paper offers a new interpretation of Kant's puzzling claim that the B-Deduction in the Critique of Pure Reason should be considered as having two main steps. Previous commentators have tended to agree in general on the first step as arguing for the necessity of the categories for possible experience, but disagree on what the second step is and whether Kant even needs a second step. I argue that the two parts of the B-Deduction correspond to the two aspects of (...) a priori cognition: necessity and universality. The bulk of the paper consists of support for the second step, the universality of the categories. I show that Kant's arguments in the second half of the B-Deduction aim to define the scope of that universality for possible experience by considering the possibilities of divine intellectual intuition, of non-human kinds of sensible intuition, and of apperception of the self. In these ways Kant delimits the boundaries of the applicability of the categories and excludes any other possible experience for human beings. (shrink)
From a more systematic point of view, the appendix is the final occasion for Kant to reinforce the role of the Critique of the Power of Judgment as part of the system of critical philosophy. It is true that in a sense each and every ...
I defend the claim that Kant is a moral antirealist, or (as he would state it) moral idealist. I first define moral realism and moral idealism, concluding that moral idealism requires that every moral property depend upon the minds of moral agents. Kant's metaethical theory is idealist regarding the nature of value, since it depends upon the voluntary choices of moral agents in pursuing particular ends, the nature of right, since the categorical imperative stems from moral agents' own reason, and (...) the nature of moral agency, since freedom is construed in terms of the use of reason. (shrink)
I show one reason why Hegel’s theory of history is an improvement over Kant’s. There is an ambiguity in Kant’s theory of history. He wants, on the one hand, to distinguish empirical history (and, by extension, other empirical sciences which constitute experience) from reason’s a priori regulative role in theory. On the other hand, his view of the nature of sciences and the role of reason precludes such a separation. I trace this problem to different roles assigned the faculties of (...) understanding and reason in our experience. In Hegel’s theory of history, both reason and understanding together constitute the sciences, and thus experience. Hegel argues that history is a unified field employing both understanding and reason. I conclude that the more consistent theory of history for idealists is Hegel’s, and that this consistency partially explains the movement in German Idealism from Kantian to Hegelian thought. (shrink)
Review\n\n"Keller (Univ. of California, Riverside) offers an original reading\nof Kant's Critique of Pure Reason that combines thematic focus and\ncomprehensive scope." Choice \n\nBook Description\n\nIn Kant and the Demands of Self-Consciousness, Pierre Keller examines\nKant's theory of self-consciousness and argues that it succeeds in\nexplaining how both subjective and objective experience are possible.\nPrevious interpretations of Kant's theory have held that he treats\nall self-consciousness as knowledge of objective states of affairs,\nand also that self-consciousness can be interpreted as knowledge\nof personal identity. By developing this striking new (...) interpretation\nKeller is able to argue that transcendental self-consciousness underwrites\na general theory of objectivity and subjectivity at the same time.\n. (shrink)
I find in Kant two distinct conceptions of the priority of practical over theoretical reason, focused on belief and on action. The former actually involves a higher priority of theoretical reason. The latter, in contrast, gives genuine priority to practical reason by noting that theoretical considerations are irrelevant in moral decision-making. I argue that the former conception requires one to abandon genuine priority of the practical, while the latter conception requires one to abandon the necessary unity of reason. I also (...) assess the work of two contemporary Kantian moral theorists, Christine Korsgaard and Onora O'Neill who utilize Kant's unofficial conception. (shrink)
Contrary to widely held assumptions, an evolutionary metaethics need not be non-cognitivist. I define evolutionary metaethics as the claim that certain phenotypic traits expressing certain genes are both necessary and sufficient for explanation of all other phenotypic traits we consider morally significant. A review of the influential cognitivist Immanuel Kants metaethics shows that much of his ethical theory is independent of the anti-naturalist metaphysics of transcendental idealism which itself is incompatible with evolutionary metaethics. By matching those independent aspects to an (...) evolutionary metaethics a cognitivist Kantian evolutionary metaethical theory is a possibility for researchers to consider. (shrink)