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Profile: Kenneth R Westphal (University of East Anglia)
  1. Kenneth R. Westphal (forthcoming). ‘Constructivism, Contractarianism and Basic Obligations: Kant and Gauthier’. In J.-C. Merle (ed.), Reading Kant’s Doctrine of Right.
    Gauthier’s contractarianism begins with an idea of a rational deliberator but ‘finds no basis for postulating a moral need for the justification of one’s actions to others. The role of agreement is to address each person’s demand that the constraints of society be justified to him, not a concern that he justify himself to his fellows’ (Gauther 1997, 134–5). He contrasts his view with Scanlon’s contractualism, according to which agreement with others is the core of morality and each agent has (...)
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  2. Kenneth R. Westphal (2014). ‘Hegel’s Semantics of Singular Cognitive Reference, Newton’s Methodological Rule 4 and Scientific Realism Today’. Philosophical Inquiries 2 (1):9-67.
    Empirical investigations use empirical methods, data and evidence. This banal observation appears to favour empiricism, especially in philosophy of science, though no rationalist ever denied their importance. Natural sciences often provide what appear to be, and are taken by scientists as, realist, causal explanations of natural phenomena. Empiricism has never been congenial to scientific realism. Bas van Fraassen’s ‘Constructive Empiricism’ purports that realist interpretations of any scientific theory in principle always transcend whatever can be justified by that theory’s empirical adequacy, (...)
     
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  3. Kenneth R. Westphal (ed.) (2014). Realism, Science, and Pragmatism. Routledge.
    This collection of original essays aims to reinvigorate the debate surrounding philosophical realism in relation to philosophy of science, pragmatism, epistemology, and theory of perception. Questions concerning realism are as current and as ancient as philosophy itself; this volume explores relations between different positions designated as ‘realism’ by examining specific cases in point, drawn from a broad range of systematic problems and historical views, from ancient Greek philosophy through the present. The first section examines the context of the project; contributions (...)
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  4. Kenneth R. Westphal (2013). Hume, Empiricism and the Generality of Thought. Dialogue 52 (2):233-270.
    Hume sought to analyse our propositionally-structured thought in terms of our ultimate awareness of nothing but objects, sensory impressions or their imagistic copies, The ideas of space and time are often regarded as exceptions to his Copy Theory of impressions and ideas. On grounds strictly internal to Humes account of the generality of thought. This ultimately reveals the limits of the Copy Theory and of Concept Empiricism. The key is to recognise how very capacious is our (Humean) imaginative capacity to (...)
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  5. Kenneth R. Westphal (2013). Kant's Cognitive Semantics, Newton's Rule 4 of Experimental Philosophy and Scientific Realism Today. Kant Yearbook 5 (1).
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  6. Kenneth R. Westphal (2013). Natural Law, Social Contract and Moral Objectivity: Rousseau's Natural Law Constructivism. Jurisprudence 4 (1):48-75.
    Rousseau's Du contrat social develops an important, unjustly neglected type of theory, which I call 'Natural Law Constructivism' ('NLC'), which identifies and justifies strictly objective basic moral principles, with no appeal to moral realism or its alternatives, nor to elective agreement, nor to prudentialist reasoning. The Euthyphro Question marks a dilemma in moral theory which highlights relations between artifice and arbitrariness. These relations highlight the significance of Hume's founding insight into NLC, and how NLC addresses Hobbes's insight that our most (...)
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  7. Kenneth R. Westphal (2013). Rational Justification and Mutual Recognition in Substantive Domains. Dialogue:1-40.
    This paper explicates and argues for the thesis that individual rational judgment, of the kind required for rational justification in non-formal, substantive domains – i.e. in empirical knowledge or in morals (both ethics and justice) – is in fundamental part socially and historically based, although these social and historical aspects of rational justification are consistent with realism about the objects of empirical knowledge and with strict objectivity about basic moral principles. The central thesis is that, to judge fully rationally that (...)
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  8. Kenneth R. Westphal (2013). Substantive Philosophy, Infallibilism and the Critique of Metaphysics: Hegel and the Historicity of Philosophical Reason. In Lisa Herzog (ed.), Hegel's Thought in Europe: Currents, Crosscurrents and Undercurrents. 192.
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  9. Kenneth R. Westphal (2012). ‘Norm Acquisition, Rational Judgment and Moral Particularism’. Theory and Research in Education 10 (1):3--25.
    This paper argues that moral particularism, defined as the view that moral judgment does not require moral principles, depends upon a constricted and untenable view of rational judgment as simple syllogistic ratiocination. This I demonstrate by re-examining Nussbaum’s (1986/2002) case for particularism based on Sophocles’ Antigone. The central role of principles in moral judgment and in educational theory is supported by explicating ‘mature judgment’, which highlights key features of Thomas Green’s account of norm acquisition and of Kant’s account of the (...)
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  10. Kenneth R. Westphal (2011). ‘Comments on Graham Bird’s The Revolutionary Kant’. Kantian Review 16 (2):1-11.
    My contribution to a book symposium on Graham’s commentary on Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason, sponsored by the North American and the UK Kant Societies, held in conjunction with the Central Division Meeting of the American Philosophical Association, Chicago, 20 February 2009. Comments also delivered by Adrian Moore, Gary Banham, Jill Buroker and Manfred Kuehn, with relplies by Graham Bird.
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  11. Kenneth R. Westphal (2011). ‘Kant’s Cognitive Semantics, Newton’s Rule Four of Philosophy and Scientific Realism’. Bulletin of the Hegel Society of Great Britain 63:27-49.
    Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason contains an original and powerful semantics of singular cognitive reference which has important implications for epistemology and for philosophy of science. Here I argue that Kant’s semantics directly and strongly supports Newton’s Rule 4 of Philosophy in ways which support Newton’s realism about gravitational force. I begin with Newton’s Rule 4 of Philosophy and its role in Newton’s justification of realism about gravitational force (§2). Next I briefly summarize Kant’s semantics of singular cognitive reference (§3), (...)
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  12. Kenneth R. Westphal (2011). ‘Kant’s [Moral] Constructivism and Rational Justification’. In Pihlström & Williams Baiasu (ed.), Politics and Metaphysics in Kant. Wales University Press.
    This paper characterises concisely a key issue about rational justification which highlights an important achievement of Kant’s constructivist method for identifying and justifying basic norms: uniquely, it resolves the Pyrrhonian Dilemma of the Criterion. Kant’s constructivist method is both sound and significant because it is based on core principles of rational justification as such. Explicating this basis of Kant’s constructivism affords an illuminating and defensible explication of four key aspects of the autonomy of rational judgment, including our positive moral freedom; (...)
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  13. Kenneth R. Westphal (2011). ‘Self-Consciousness, Anti-Cartesianism and Cognitive Semantics in Hegel’s 1807 Phenomenology’. In S. Houlgate & M. Baur (eds.), The Blackwell Companion to Hegel, pp. 68–90. Blackwell.
    If Hegel’s 1807 Phenomenology is to justify our capacity to know the world as it is, by examining a complete series of forms of consciousness, why and with what justification does he omit the Cartesian ego-centric predicament? By augmenting Franco Chiereghin’s explication of Hegel’s concept of thought, and of why Hegel provides it only at the start of the second half of ‘Self-Consciousness’, this paper shows how Hegel showed that Pyrrhonian, Cartesian and Humean scepticism, and also mental content internalism, all (...)
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  14. Kenneth R. Westphal (2011). ‘Urteilskraft, Gegenseitige Anerkennung Und Rationale Rechtfertigung’. In Hans-Dieter Klein (ed.), Ethik als prima philosophia? Königshausen & Neumann.
    (Title: ‘Judgment, Mutual Recognition and Rational Justification’.) This paper extends my prior analysis of Hegel’s solution to the Pyrrhonian Dilemma of the Criterion (which is more serious than Chisholm’s ‘Problem of the Criterion’) to moral philosophy. So doing provides a uniform account of rational justification in non-formal, substantive domains, i.e. empirical knowledge and morals. It argues that the Pyrrhonian Dilemma refutes both foundationalist and coherentist models of justification, and raises serious issues about the justificatory adequacy of contemporary forms of moral (...)
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  15. Kenneth R. Westphal (2010-11). ‘Analytic Philosophy and the Long Tail of Scientia: Hegel and the Historicity of Philosophy’. The Owl of Minerva 42 (1-2):1–18.
    Rejection of the philosophical relevance of history of philosophy remains pronounced within contemporary analytic philosophy. The two main reasons for this rejection presuppose that strict deduction is both necessary and sufficient for rational justification. However, this justificatory ideal of scientia holds only within strictly formal domains. This is confirmed by a neglected non-sequitur in van Fraassen’s original defence of ‘Constructive Empiricism’. Conversely, strict deduction is insufficient for rational justification in non-formal, substantive domains of inquiry. In non-formal, substantive domains, rational justification (...)
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  16. Kenneth R. Westphal (2010). From 'Convention' to 'Ethical Life': Hume's Theory of Justice in Post-Kantian Perspective. Journal of Moral Philosophy 7 (1):105-132.
    Hume and contemporary Humeans contend that moral sentiments form the sole and sufficient basis of moral judgments. This thesis is criticised by appeal to Hume’s theory of justice, which shows that basic principles of justice are required to form and to maintain society, which is indispensable to human life, and that acting according to, or violating, these principles is right, or wrong, regardless of anyone’s sentiments, motives or character. Furthermore, Hume’s theory of justice shows how the principles of justice are (...)
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  17. Kenneth R. Westphal (2010). ‘Hegel’ (Hegel's Moral Philosophy). In J. Skorupski (ed.), The Routledge Companion to Ethics.
    A 5,000-word conspectus of Hegel’s moral philosophy which considers the theoretical context of his moral philosophy (§1), his accounts of legal, personal, moral and social freedom (§2), the structure of Hegel’s analysis in his Philosophy of Justice (or »Rechtsphilosophie«) (§3), his account of role obligations as a central component of social freedom (§4), and his integrated account of individual autonomy and social reconciliation (§5).
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  18. Kenneth R. Westphal (2010). Hegel, Russell, and the Foundations of Philosophy. In Angelica Nuzzo (ed.), Hegel and the Analytical Tradition. Continuum.
    Though philosophical antipodes, Hegel and Russell were profound philosophical revolutionaries. They both subjected contemporaneous philosophy to searching critique, and they addressed many important issues about the character of philosophy itself. Examining their disagreements is enormously fruitful. Here I focus on one central issue raised in Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit: the tenability of the foundationalist model of rational justification. I consider both the general question of the tenability of the foundationalist model itself, and the specific question of the tenability of Russell’s (...)
     
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  19. Kenneth R. Westphal (2010). ‘Practical Reason: Categorical Imperative, Maxims, Laws’. In W. Dudley & K. Engelhard (eds.), Kant: Key Concepts. Acumen.
    This chapter considers the centrality of principles in Kant’s moral philosophy, their distinctively ‘Kantian’ character, why Kant presents a ‘metaphysical’ system of moral principles and how these ‘formal’ principles are to be used in practice. These points are central to how Kant thinks pure reason can be practical. These features have often puzzled Anglophone readers, in part due to focusing on Kant’s Groundwork, to the neglect of his later works in moral philosophy, in which the theoretical preliminaries of that first (...)
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  20. Kenneth R. Westphal (2010). The Critique of Pure Reason and Analytic Philosophy. In Paul Guyer (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to Kant's Critique of Pure Reason. Cambridge University Press.
    This paper critically examines three key works of analytic Kantianism: C. I. Lewis, Mind and the World Order (1929), P. F. Strawson, The Bounds of Sense (1966) and Wilfrid Sellars, Science and Metaphysics (1968), focusing on their very different approaches to Kant’s Transcendental Deduction.
     
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  21. Kenneth R. Westphal (2009). ‘Consciousness, Scepticism and the Critique of Categorial Concepts in Hegel’s 1807 Phenomenology of Spirit’. In M. Bykova & M. Solopova (eds.), Сущность и Слово. Сборник научных статей к юбилею профессора Н.В.Мотрошиловой. Phenomenology & Hermeneutics Press.
    This paper (in English) highlights a hitherto neglected feature of Hegel’s 1807 Phenomenology of Spirit: its critique of the content of our basic categorial concepts. It focusses on Hegel’s semantics of cognitive reference in ‘Sense Certainty’ and his use of this semantics also in ‘Perception’ and ‘Force and Understanding’. Explicating these points enables us to understand how Hegel criticizes Pyrrhonian Scepticism on internal grounds.
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  22. Kenneth R. Westphal (2009). ‘Does Kant’s Opus Postumum Anticipate Hegel’s Absolute Idealism?’. In E.-O. Onnasch (ed.), Kants Philosophie der Natur. Ihre Entwicklung bis zum Opus postumum und Nachwirkung. deGruyter.
    The three presumptions that Hegel’s idealism further develops or radicalises Kant’s transcendental idealism, that their respective versions of idealism are linked by Kant’s account of self-positing (Selbstsetzungslehre) in the late opus postumum and that the basic model of Hegel’s early idealism holds also for his mature system are wide-spread and largely unexamined. This paper examines several problems confronting these presumptions, including Hegel’s refutation of the basic premises of Kant’s transcendental idealism and Transzendentalphilosophie in the late opus postumum (§2), Hegel’s critical (...)
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  23. Kenneth R. Westphal (2009). ‘Hegel’s Phenomenological Method and Analysis of Consciousness’. In K. R. Westphal (ed.), The Blackwell Guide to Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit. Blackwell. 1--36.
    This chapter argues that Hegel is a major (albeit unrecognized) epistemologist: Hegel’s Introduction provides the key to his phenomenological method by showing that the Pyrrhonian Dilemma of the Criterion refutes traditional coherentist and foundationalist theories of justification. Hegel then solves this Dilemma by analyzing the possibility of constructive self- and mutual criticism. ‘Sense Certainty’ provides a sound internal critique of ‘knowledge by acquaintance’, thus undermining a key tenet of Concept Empiricism, a view Hegel further undermines by showing that a series (...)
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  24. Kenneth R. Westphal (2009). Mutual Recognition and Rational Justification in Hegel's Phenomenology of Spirit. Dialogue 48 (04):753-99.
    Abstract: This paper explicates and defends the thesis that individual rational judgment, of the kind required for justification, whether in cognition or in morals, is fundamentally socially and historically conditioned. This puts paid to the traditional distinction, still influential today, between ‘rational’ and ‘historical’ knowledge. The present analysis highlights and defends key themes from Kant’s and Hegel’s accounts of rational judgment and justification, including four fundamental features of the ‘autonomy’ of rational judgment and one key point of Hegel’s account of (...)
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  25. Kenneth R. Westphal (ed.) (2009). The Blackwell Guide to Hegel's Phenomenology of Spirit. Wiley-Blackwell.
    This groundbreaking collective commentary on the whole of Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit, written by a select group of leading international scholars, peels back the layers of Hegel’s great work to reveal new insights into one of the most challenging works in the history of Western philosophy. By closely analyzing the original text, each essay illuminates the philosophical issues addressed in each section of Hegel’s work. By considering the role and function of each section of text within the Phenomenology as a (...)
     
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  26. Kenneth R. Westphal (2008). ‘Force, Understanding and Ontology’. Bulletin of the Hegel Society of Great Britain 57:1-29.
    This paper examines Hegel’s ontological revolution in ‘Force and Understanding’. I argue that understanding Hegel’s critical engagement with natural science is important for understanding Hegel’s 1807 Phenomenology of Spirit as well as his mature philosophy as a whole. Already in this chapter Hegel argues that philosophical theory of knowledge must take the natural sciences into close consideration. Hegel disambiguates the standard concept of substance in order to show that relational properties can be essential to particular individuals. He further argues that (...)
     
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  27. Kenneth R. Westphal (2008). ‘Philosophizing About Nature: Hegel’s Philosophical Project’. In F. C. Beiser (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to Hegel and Nineteenth Century Philosophy. Cambridge.
    Henry Harris noted that ‘the Baconian applied science of this world is the solid foundation upon which Hegel’s ladder of spiritual experience rests’. Understanding the philosophical character of Hegel’s Philosophy of Nature requires recognizing some basic legitimate philosophical issues embedded in the development of physics from Galileo to Newton (§2). These issues illuminate the character of Hegel’s analysis of philosophical issues regarding nature (§3) and the central aims and purposes of Hegel’s philosophy of nature (§4). Hegel recognized some key weaknesses (...)
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  28. Kenneth R. Westphal (2007). ‘Consciousness and its Transcendental Conditions: Kant’s Anti-Cartesian Revolt’. In Lähteenmäki & Remes Heinämaa (ed.), Consciousness: From Perception to Reflection in the History of Philosophy. Springer.
    Kant was the first great anti-Cartesian in epistemology and philosophy of mind. He criticised five central tenets of Cartesianism and developed sophisticated alternatives to them. His transcendental analysis of the necessary a priori conditions for the very possibility of self-conscious human experience invokes externalism about justification and proves externalism about mental content. Semantic concern with the unity of the proposition—required for propositionally structured awareness and self-awareness—is central to Kant’s account of the unity of any cognitive judgment. The perceptual ‘binding problem’ (...)
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  29. Kenneth R. Westphal (2007). Intelligenz and the Interpretation of Hegel's Idealism. The Owl of Minerva 39 (1-2):95-134.
    Hegel’s idealism and his epistemology have been seriously misunderstood due to various deep-set preconceptions of Hegel’s expositors. Thesepreconceptions include: Idealism is inherently subjective; Hegel’s epistemology invokes intellectual intuition; Hegel was not much concerned with natural science; Natural science has no basic role to play in Hegel’s Logic. In criticizing these notions, I highlight four key features of Hegel’s account of intelligence: (1) Human cognition is active, and forges genuine cognitive links to objects that exist and have intrinsic characteristics, regardless of (...)
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  30. Kenneth R. Westphal (2007). Kant's Anti-Cartesianism. Dialogue 46 (04):709-.
    ‘Kant’s Anti-Cartesianism’. Dialogue 46.4 (2007):709–715. (Preçis of K. R. Westphal, Kant’s Transcendental Proof of Realism; Cambridge, 2004.) -/- > ‘Proving Realism Transcendentally: Replies to Rolf George and William Harper’. Dialogue 46.4 (2007):737–750. (Concluding replies in this symposium on *Kant’s Transcendental Proof of Realism*.).
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  31. Kenneth R. Westphal (2007). Normative Constructivism: Hegel's Radical Social Philosophy. SATS: Northern European Journal of Philosophy 8 (2):7-41.
    Onora O’Neill has contributed enormously to moral philosophy (broadly speaking, including both ethics and political philosophy) by identifying Kant’s unique and powerful form of normative constructivism. Frederick Neuhouser has contributed similarly by showing that all of Hegel’s standards of moral rationality aim to insure the complete development of three distinct, complementary forms of personal, moral and social freedom. However, Neuhouser’s study does not examine Hegel’s justificatory methods and principles. The present article aims to reinforce and extend Neuhouser’s findings by explicating (...)
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  32. Kenneth R. Westphal (2007). Proving Realism Transcendentally: Replies to Rolf George and William Harper. Dialogue 46 (4):737-750.
  33. Kenneth R. Westphal (2006). Contemporary Epistemology: Kant, Hegel, McDowell. European Journal of Philosophy 14 (2):274–301.
    Argues inter alia that Kant and Hegel identified necessary conditions for the possibility of singular cognitive reference that incorporate avant la lettre Evans’ (1975) analysis of identity and predication, that Kant’s and Hegel’s semantics of singular cognitive reference are crucial to McDowell’s account of singular thoughts, and that McDowell has neglected (to the detriment of his own view) these conditions and their central roles in Kant’s and in Hegel’s theories of knowledge. > Reprinted in: J. Lindgaard, ed., John McDowell: Experience, (...)
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  34. Kenneth R. Westphal (2006). Hegel and Realism. In John R. Shook & Joseph Margolis (eds.), A Companion to Pragmatism. Blackwell Pub..
    This article summarizes the systematic importance of Hegel’s philosophy for pragmatism, and in particular for the contemporary revival of pragmatic realism. Key points lie in Hegel’s internal critique of Kant’s transcendental idealism, on the basis of which Hegel demonstrates that we can be self-conscious only if we are conscious of nature. This insight enables Hegel to develop genuinely transcendental proofs without invoking transcendental idealism. Hegel uses this result to defend realism about the molar objects of empirical knowledge against Pyrrhonian, Cartesian, (...)
     
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  35. Kenneth R. Westphal (2006). How Does Kant Prove That We Perceive, and Not Merely Imagine, Physical Objects? Review of Metaphysics 59 (4):781 - 806.
    This paper details the key steps in Kant’s transcendental proof that we perceive, not merely imagine, physical objects. These steps begin with Kant’s method (§II) and highlight the spatio-temporal character of our representational capacities (§III), Kant’s two transcendental proofs of mental content externalism (§IV), his proof that we can only make causal judgments about spatial substances (§§V, VI), the transcendental conditions of our self-ascription of experiences (§VII), Kant’s semantics of singular cognitive reference (§VIII), perceptual synthesis (§IX), Kant’s justificatory fallibilism (§X), (...)
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  36. Kenneth R. Westphal (2006). Homage to Harris. The Owl of Minerva 38 (1/2):7-8.
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  37. Kenneth R. Westphal (2006). 'Science and the Philosophers'. In Pihlström & Vilkko Koskinen (ed.), Science: A Challenge to Philosophy? Pp. 125-152.
    The advent of distinctively Modern European philosophy at the turn of the seventeenth century was occasioned by two major developments: the painful recognition after thirty years of religious war that principles of public conduct must be justified independently of sectarian religious dogma; and the growth of natural science, especially discoveries in astronomy that linked terrestrial and celestial physics in a newly mathematicized, explanatory mechanics founded by Galileo and dramatically extended by Newton. The roles of reason and empirical evidence in inquiry, (...)
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  38. Kenneth R. Westphal (2005). ‘Kant, Hegel, and Determining Our Duties’. Jahrbuch für Recht and Ethik/Annual Review of Law & Ethics 13:335-354.
    Hegel identified in Kant’s practical philosophy precisely the powerful kind of constructivism about the identification and justification of norms that has recently been explicated by Onora O’Neill. If so (I have argued elsewhere this is so), what then did Hegel contribute to practical philosophy? This essay partly answers this question by examining Kant’s and Hegel’s views of the aim and structure of practical philosophy, and what is required to determine specific duties. This theme is specified by examining these issues: two (...)
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  39. Kenneth R. Westphal (2005). Kant, Wittgenstein, and Transcendental Chaos. Philosophical Investigations 28 (4):303–323.
    Explicates and defends closely parallel, genuinely transcendental proofs of mental content externalism developed by Kant and by Wittgenstein. Both their proofs have been widely neglected, to our loss.
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  40. Kenneth R. Westphal (2004). Hegel, Epistemology, and Hermeneutical Philosophizing: Reply to John McCumber. [REVIEW] Continental Philosophy Review 37 (4):495-503.
  41. Kenneth R. Westphal (2004). Kant's Transcendental Proof of Realism. Cambridge University Press.
    This book is the first detailed study of Kant's method of 'transcendental reflection' and its use in the Critique of Pure Reason to identify our basic human cognitive capacities, and to justify Kant's transcendental proofs of the necessary a priori conditions for the possibility of self-conscious human experience. Kenneth Westphal, in a closely argued internal critique of Kant's analysis, shows that if we take Kant's project seriously in its own terms, the result is not transcendental idealism but (unqualified) realism regarding (...)
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  42. Kenneth R. Westphal (2004). ‘Must the Transcendental Conditions for the Possibility of Experience Be Ideal?’. In C. Ferrini (ed.), Eredità Kantiane (1804–2004): questioni emergenti e problemi irrisolti. Bibliopolis.
    Three genuinely transcendental conditions for the possibility of self-conscious experience are and can only be material (§§2–4). Identifying these conditions shows that the link between transcendental proof and transcendental idealism is not direct, but must be justified by substantive argument (§§ 4, 5). This illuminates the prospect of separating transcendental proofs from transcendental idealism. Indeed, examining these conditions reveals a powerful strategy for using transcendental proof to defend realism sans phrase. Strikingly, this prospect illuminates some otherwise occluded aspects of post-Kantian (...)
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  43. Kenneth R. Westphal (2003). A Review of Thomas F. Green, 1999, Voices: The Educational Formation of Conscience. [REVIEW] Studies in Philosophy and Education 22 (6):507-512.
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  44. Kenneth R. Westphal (2003). ‘Can Pragmatic Realists Argue Transcendentally?’. In John Shook (ed.), Pragmatic Naturalism and Realism. Prometheus.
    Kant’s and Hegel’s transcendental argument for mental-content externalism breaks the deadlock between ‘internal’ and genuine realists. This argument shows that human beings can only be self-conscious in a world that provides a humanly recognizable regularity and variety among the things (or events) we sense. This feature of the world cannot result from human thought or language. Hence semantic arguments against realism can only be developed if realism about the world is true. Some of Putnam’s arguments for internal realism are taken (...)
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  45. Kenneth R. Westphal (2003). Epistemic Reflection and Cognitive Reference in Kants Transcendental Response to Skepticism. Kant-Studien 94 (2):135-171.
    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, (...)
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  46. Kenneth R. Westphal (2003). Epistemic Reflection and Transcendental Proof. In Hans-Johann Glock (ed.), Strawson and Kant. Clarendon Press.
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  47. Kenneth R. Westphal (2003). Hegel’s Epistemology: A Philosophical Introduction to the Phenomenology of Spirit. Hackett.
    Though concise and introductory, this book argues inter alia that Dretske’s information-theoretic epistemology must take into account that many of our information channels are socially constructed, not least through learning concepts and information. These social aspects of human knowledge are consistent with realism about the objects of our empirical knowledge. It further argues that, though important, Margaret Gilbert’s social ontology in principle can neither accommodate nor account for the most fundamental social dimensions of human cognition.
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  48. Kenneth R. Westphal (2003). Hegel's Manifold Response to Scepticism in the Phenomenology of Spirit. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 103 (2):149–178.
    For many reasons mainstream Hegel scholarship has disregarded Hegel's interests in epistemology, hence also his response to scepticism. From the points of view of defenders and critics alike, it seems that 'Hegel' and 'epistemology' have nothing to do with one another. Despite this widespread conviction, Hegel was a very sophisticated epistemologist whose views merit contemporary interest. This article highlights several key features and innovations of Hegel's epistemology-including his anti-Cartesianism, fallibilism, realism (sic) and externalism both about mental content and about justification-by (...)
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  49. Kenneth R. Westphal (2002). ‘A Kantian Justification of Possession’. In M. Timmons (ed.), Kant’s Metaphysics of Ethics: Interpretive Essays. Oxford.
    Kant’s justification of possession appears to assume rather than prove its legitimacy. This apparent question-begging has been recapitulated or exacerbated but not resolved in the literature. However, Kant provides a sound justification of limited rights to possess and use things (qualified choses in possession), not of private property rights. Kant’s argument is not purely a priori; it is in Kant’s Critical sense ‘metaphysical’ because it applies the pure a priori ‘Universal Principles of Right’ to the concept of finite rational human (...)
     
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  50. Kenneth R. Westphal (2002). 'Hegel's Standards of Political Legitimacy'. Jahrbuch für Recht Und Ethik/Annual Review of Law and Ethics 10:307-320.
    This critical review article on Frederick Neuhouser, The Foundations of Hegel’s Social Theory, examines in detail Hegel’s standards of political legitimacy, according to which social institutions are justified only by their roles in facilitating human freedom in its three basic forms: personal, moral, and social. Social freedom involves both ‘objective’ institutional requirements and ‘subjective’ aspects of personal understanding and endorsement of institutions so far as they fill their requirements. This includes rational, critical assessment of social institutions, and their role in (...)
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