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Summary

Immanuel Kant (1724–1804) is the most influential thinker in modern western philosophy. 

The central doctrine of Kant’s theoretical philosophy is what he calls “transcendental idealism.”  This is, roughly, the view that there is a sharp distinction between things as they appear to us and things as they really are (in themselves). It is controversial what that distinction consists in or even how to characterize it, but it is clear that Kant wants to deny that things-in-themselves have spatio-temporal features.  Thus they are things that we can think about (‘noumena’) but not things that appear (‘phenomena’). 

Kant argues that we can only explain our knowledge of non-trivial (‘synthetic’) necessary principles -- including the principle according to which all events have causes --  if transcendental idealism is true.  He also thinks that distinguishing between phenomena and noumena leaves room for incompatibilist freedom, God, and the immortality of the soul (at the noumenal level). 

Kant places the notion of autonomy at the center of his moral and political philosophy, and argues that specific moral obligations are based in a very general principle called the Categorical Imperative.  This principle is fundamental to practical rationality and requires that we respect the autonomy of rational agents and refuse to make arbitrary exceptions for ourselves. 

In his early years, Kant was trained in the German rationalist tradition of Christian Wolff (1679–1750) and G. W. Leibniz (1646–1716). But he was influenced by the British Empiricists like John Locke (1632–1704), Isaac Newton (1642–1727), and David Hume (1711–1776). Later, Kant characterizes his Critical philosophy as a synthesis of rationalism and empiricism. 

Kant’s massive influence is felt across the continental and analytic traditions. He is typically regarded as the forefather of German Idealism, and a key figure in the development of Existentialism, NeoKantianism (obviously), Phenomenology, Critical Theory, and even Post-Modernism. 

In the analytic tradition, Kant’s views were in the background of many of the debates in 20th-century epistemology and philosophy of mind. Kantian moral philosophy is one of the main positions in contemporary ethics, and Kantian political philosophy dominated most of the discussion in 20th and early 21st century political philosophy. Kant’s views about aesthetic judgment are central to many developments in the philosophy of art and art criticism. Kant is not a major figure in contemporary analytic metaphysics, however.

Key works

The three Critiques are the central texts for Kant’s “critical system”: Critique of Pure Reason (1781/1787), Critique of Practical Reason (1788), Critique of Power of Judgment (1790). His Groundwork for the Metaphysics of Morals (1785) is among the most influential works in modern ethics. Other major works include Prolegomena to Any Future Metaphysics (1783), Metaphysical Foundations of Natural Science (1786), Religion within the Boundaries of Mere Reason (1793)Metaphysics of Morals (1797), and Anthropology from a Pragmatic Point of View (1798)

The standard German edition of Kant’s works is Königlichen Preußischen (later Deutschen) Akademie der Wissenschaften (ed.), 1900–, Kants gesammelte Schriften, Berlin: Georg Reimer (later Walter De Gruyter). The standard English edition of Kant’s works is P. Guyer and A. Wood (eds.), 1992–, The Cambridge Edition of the Works of Immanuel Kant, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Introductions Good overall introductions include Wood 2004, Höffe & Farrier 1994, and Guyer 2006Buroker 2006 offers a good introductory overview of Kant’s key text in theoretical philosophy. Cleve 1999 is a more advanced introduction for analytic philosophers. Gardner 1999 is an opinionated but very accessible introduction.  A good introduction to Kant's moral philosophy is Sedgwick 2008.
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Subcategories
Kant: Metaphysics and Epistemology (11,555 | 3,116)

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  1. A Suspensão Do Juízo Em Kant e o Distanciamento Intelectivo Em Zubiri: Limites e Convergências.Petterson Brey - 2023 - Revista Guairacá de Filosofia 39 (1).
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  2. Derrida, lector de Kant. Derrida y Kant sobre el papel de la Universidad.Jesús González Fisac - 2024 - Ideas Y Valores 72 (182).
    La lectura de Derrida de Der Streit de Fakultäten, de Kant, que aborda la relación de saber (Universidad) y poder (Estado), tiene dos fases. Primero Derrida apostará por “dos Kant”, que comparten una visión de la facultad de filosofía cuya fortaleza crítica sólo podrá asegurarse a cuenta de sus distanciamiento del poder, para luego leer en el texto kantiano una propuesta de intervención de la filosofía a través de una vía subjetiva, similar a la deconstrucción. Por último, nosotros leeremos la (...)
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  3. Traumatized Heroes: Living with Wrongdoing.Helga Varden - 2024 - Public Seminar.
    This is a public philosophy piece that explores some questions around heroes, trauma, and wrongdoing.
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  4. Kant on the Normativity of Obligatory Ends.Martin Sticker - 2024 - The Journal of Ethics 28 (1):53-73.
    I propose a novel way to understand the stringency of Kant’s conception of beneficence. This novel understanding can ground our intuition that we do not have to forego (almost) all pursuit of our personal ends. I argue that we should understand the application of imperfect duties to specific cases according to the framework set by the adoption and promotion of ends. Agents have other ends than obligatory ones and they must weigh obligatory ends against these other ends. Obligatory ends are (...)
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  5. Correction to: Kant on the Normativity of Obligatory Ends.Martin Sticker - 2024 - The Journal of Ethics 28 (1):75-76.
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  6. Kants Kritik spekulativer Theologie und Begriff moralischen Vernunftglaubens im katholischen Denken der späten Aufklärung: e. religionsphilos. Vergleich.Winfried Heizmann - 1976 - Göttingen: Vandenhoeck und Ruprecht.
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  7. Kant and the king: Lying promises, conventional implicature, and hypocrisy.Roy Sorensen & Ian Proops - 2024 - Ratio 37 (1):51-63.
    Immanuel Kant promised, ‘as Your Majesty's loyal subject’, to abstain from all public lectures about religion. All past commentators agree this phrase permitted Kant to return to the topic after the King died. But it is not part of the ‘at-issue content’. Consequently, ‘as Your Majesty's loyal subject’ is no more an escape clause than the corresponding phrase in ‘I guarantee, as your devoted fan, that these guitar strings will not break’. Just as the guarantee stands regardless of whether the (...)
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  8. Artistic Manner as Autonomy: Creative Freedom and the Constraint of Rules in Vasari, Bellori and Kant.Aviv Reiter - forthcoming - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism.
    §49 of the Critique of the Power of Judgment concludes with a striking claim regarding the freedom required for artistic expression. Kant classifies Mannerism as aping, but considers manner the only valid means of artistic expression. These opposed uses of maniera echo a historical controversy, which finds reconciliation in Kant in what I call artistic autonomy. For Kant, artistic expression of genuine originality requires autonomous action, the individual manner in which an artist selects, transforms and applies given academic rules, in (...)
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  9. Les possibilités de l’expérience: mathématiques, aperception pure et aperception empirique dans la Critique de la raison pure de Kant.Matthieu Haumesser - 2013 - Kairos 6:161-171.
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  10. Cohen’s Influence on Husserl’s Understanding of Kant’s Transcendental Method.Francesco Scagliusi - forthcoming - Journal of Transcendental Philosophy.
    This article argues that Husserl’s interpretation of Kant’s “regressive method” was influenced by Cohen’s account of the “transcendental method.” According to Cohen’s epistemological reading of the Critique of Pure Reason, Kant’s transcendental method consists in explaining the “fact of science” by using a regressive procedure from this fact to its conditions of possibility. Husserl ascribes, as Cohen does, this method to Kant himself. First, he criticizes Kant for regressively deducing conditions of possibility that elude any type of intuitive fulfillment. Second, (...)
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  11. Die Entstehung der kritischen Rechtsphilosophie Kants, 1762-1780.Werner Busch - 1979 - New York: W. de Gruyter.
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  12. Non-Conceptual Content and Metaphysical Implications: Kant and His Contemporary Misconceptions.Mahyar Moradi - manuscript
    Almost any mainstream reading about the nature of Kant's 'content of cognition' in both non-conceptualist and conceptualist camps agree that 'singular representations' (sensible intuitions) are, at least in some weak sense, objectdependent because they supervene on a manifold of sensations that are given through the disposition of our sensibility and parallel thus the real and physical components of the world (cf. McDowell 1996, Allison 1983, Ginsborg 2008, Allais 2009). The relevant class of sensible intuitions should refer, as they argue, only (...)
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  13. El concepto de apariencia en Kant y la crítica a la metafísica dogmática.Clara Ramas San Miguel - 2024 - Pensamiento 79 (304):603-625.
    En este trabajo se investiga el concepto de apariencia [Schein] que Kant desarrolla en la Crítica de la razón pura y textos complementarios. Se sostendrá que la propuesta crítica de Kant ha de ser comprendida en relación con la tradición metafísica previa —«metafísica dogmática»— y que el concepto de apariencia constituye un punto de anclaje privilegiado para abordar esta relación, además de situar a Kant como pensador moderno. Asimismo, se ofrece, siguiendo a G. Lebrun, una propuesta de distinción entre apariencia (...)
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  14. Modern Moral Philosophy: From Grotius to Kant, by Stephen Darwall.Jacob D. Hogan - 2024 - Teaching Philosophy 47 (1):119-122.
  15. Herder’s Notes from Kant’s Lectures.Steve Naragon & Werner Stark - manuscript
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  16. "Metaphysik und Weltbegriff bei Kant. Kritische (hegelianische) Anmerkungen zu einer problemgeschichtlichen Konstellation".Gregor Schäfer - forthcoming - Kants Projekt der Aufklärung. Akten des Xiv. Kant-Kongresses.
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  17. An Enquiry into Kant's Copernican Revolution.Sanjay Kumar Shukla - 1994 - Indian Philosophical Quarterly 21 (2):10-20.
    This article is published in the Indian Philosophical Quarterly (student supplement).
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  18. Von Kant zu Bastian: ein Beitrag zum Verständnis des wissenschaftlichen Konzepts von Adolf Bastian mit vier kleinen Schriften von demselben.Das Gupta & Tapan Kumar - 1990 - Hamburg: T.K. Das Gupta. Edited by Adolf Bastian.
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  19. Meditating and Inquiring with Imagination: Leibniz, Lambert, and Kant on the Cognitive Value of Diagrams.Lucia Oliveri - 2024 - History and Philosophy of Logic 45:1-19.
    Reasoning with diagrams is considered to be a peculiar form of reasoning. Diagrams are often associated with imagistic representations conveyed by spatial arrangements of lines, points, figures, or letters that can be manipulated to obtain knowledge on a subject matter. Reasoning with diagrams is not just ‘peculiar’ because reasoners use spatially arranged characters to obtain knowledge – diagrams apparently have cognitive surplus: they enable a quasi-intuitive form of knowledge. The present paper analyses the issue of diagrams’ cognitive value by enquiring (...)
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  20. Kant's Copernican Revolution.Sanjay Kumar Shukla - 1999 - Allahabad: Snigdha Publication.
    Peer reviewed in JICPR, Volume XIX, No. 2, April-June, 2002 by Prof. Laksminarayan Lenka, Department of Philosophy, North Eastern Hill University, Shillong.
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  21. Perpetual Peace: Kant ka Rajneeti Darsana.Sanjay Kumar Shukla - 2018 - Unmilan 2 (July-December, 2018):27-45.
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  22. Kant Kei Vicara Ka Samkalin Bhartiya Darsana Par Prabhav: Anusilan Evam Pariksana.Sanjay Kumar Shukla - 2006 - Paramarsha 26 (1-2):3-14.
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  23. Māyā and Mokṣa: Krishnachandra Bhattacharyya's Spiritual Philosophy as a Vedāntin Critique of Kant.Nalini Bhushan & Jay L. Garfield - 2024 - Philosophy East and West 74 (1):3-25.
    Abstract:Subject As Freedom (1930) is correctly regarded as Krishnachandra Bhattacharyya's magnum opus. But this text relies on a set of ideas and develops from a set of concerns that KCB develops more explicitly in essays written both before and after that text, which might be regarded as its intellectual bookends. These ideas are important and fascinating in their own right. They also illuminate KCB's engagement with Kant and with the Vedānta tradition as well as his understanding of freedom itself, including (...)
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  24. Free Will, Foreknowledge, and Creation: Further Explorations of Kant’s Molinism.Wolfgang Ertl - 2023 - Kantian Review 28 (4):497-518.
    While Kant’s position concerning human freedom and divine foreknowledge is perhaps the least Molinist element of his multifaceted take on free will, Kant’s Molinism (minimally defined) is undeniable when it comes to the threat ensuing from the idea of creation. In line with incompatibilism and with careful qualifications in place, he ultimately suggests regarding free agents as uncreated. Given the limitations of our rational insight, this assumption is indispensable for granting that finite free agents can acquire their intelligible characters by (...)
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  25. Kantian Circularity: Maimon on Causal Scepticism and the Status of the Hypothetical Judgement.Emily Fitton - 2023 - Kantian Review 28 (4):597-613.
    A key theme throughout Maimon’s works is a circularity he diagnoses at the heart of Kant’s response to Hume. The objective validity of Kant’s category of causality ultimately rests, Maimon argues, upon the logical status of the hypothetical judgement – on its inclusion among the forms of pure general logic. In turn, however, the inclusion of the hypothetical within pure general logic itself rests upon the objective validity of causal judgements. This article examines Maimon’s diagnosis and traces it back to (...)
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  26. The Effect of Rousseau on Kant’s Resolution of the Antinomy of Practical Reason.Jeremiah Alberg - 2023 - Kantian Review 28 (4):519-536.
    I examine chapters I and II of the Dialectic of Pure Practical Reason from the Critique of Practical Reason, to show that Kant resolved the antimony of practical reason by first giving an accurate representation of the cause of a properly moral act and then recognizing that this accurate representation raised further problems, problems that were anticipated by Rousseau, especially in his Reveries of a Solitary Walker. Rousseau’s reveries allowed Kant to explore, and to some extent overcome, the darker implications (...)
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  27. The Change of Heart, Moral Character and Moral Reform.Conrad Damstra - 2023 - Kantian Review 28 (4):555-574.
    I examine Kant’s claim in part one of Religion within the Boundaries of Mere Reason that moral reform requires both a ‘change of heart’ and gradual reformation of one’s sense (R, 6: 47). I argue that Kant’s conception of moral reform is neither fundamentally obscure nor is it as vulnerable to serious objections as several commentators have suggested. I defend Kant by explaining how he can maintain both that we can choose our moral disposition via an intelligible choice and that (...)
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  28. Till Hoeppner, Urteil und Anschauung. Kants metaphysische Deduktion der Kategorien, Berlin: De Gruyter, 2021. Pp. xvii + 410. ISBN 9783110556278 (hbk) $126.99. [REVIEW]Dennis Schulting - 2023 - Kantian Review 28 (4):640-644.
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  29. Stefano Bacin, Kant e l’autonomia della volontà. Una tesi filosofica e il suo contesto. Bologna: il Mulino, 2021, Pp. 224. ISBN 9788815292957 (pbk) €20.00. [REVIEW]Stefano Lo Re - 2023 - Kantian Review 28 (4):635-640.
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  30. Between ‘Indubitably Certain’ and ‘Quite Detrimental’ to Philosophy: Kant on the Guise of the Good Thesis.Vinicius Carvalho - 2023 - Kantian Review 28 (4):537-553.
    Kant clearly endorses some version of the ‘old formula of the schools’, according to which all volition is sub ratione boni. There has been a debate whether he holds this only for morally good actions. I argue that a closer look at the distinction between the good and the agreeable does not support this conclusion. Considering Kant’s account of the detrimental and the correct use of this thesis, I argue that rational beings always will sub ratione boni, even when they (...)
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  31. Martin Welsch. Anfangsgründe der Volkssouveränität. Immanuel Kants Staatsrecht in der Metaphysik der Sitten, Frankfurt am Main: Klostermann, 2021, Pp. 476. ISBN 9783465045755 (hbk) €32.00. [REVIEW]Hauke Brunkhorst - 2023 - Kantian Review 28 (4):645-648.
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  32. Representation and Reality in Kant’s Antinomy of Pure Reason.Damian Melamedoff-Vosters - 2023 - Kantian Review 28 (4):615-634.
    In this article, I take on a classic objection to Kant’s arguments in the Antinomy of Pure Reason: that the arguments are question-begging, as they draw illicit inferences from claims about representation to claims about reality. While extant attempts to vindicate Kant try to show that he does not make such inferences, I attempt to vindicate Kant’s arguments in a different way: I show that, given Kant’s philosophical backdrop, the inferences in question are not illicit. This is because the transcendental (...)
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  33. 8 Community and Normativity: Hegel’s Challenge to Kant in the Jena Essays.Michael Feola - 2011 - In Charlton Payne & Lucas Thorpe (eds.), Kant and the concept of community. University of Rochester Press. pp. 183-208.
  34. 10 Kant’s Conception of the Nation-State and the Idea of Europe.Susan M. Shell - 2011 - In Charlton Payne & Lucas Thorpe (eds.), Kant and the concept of community. University of Rochester Press. pp. 226-244.
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  35. 9 Paradoxes in Kant’s Account of Citizenship.Ronald Beiner - 2011 - In Charlton Payne & Lucas Thorpe (eds.), Kant and the concept of community. University of Rochester Press. pp. 209-225.
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  36. Introduction: The Many Senses of Community in Kant.Charlton Payne & Lucas Thorpe - 2011 - In Charlton Payne & Lucas Thorpe (eds.), Kant and the concept of community. University of Rochester Press. pp. 1-16.
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  37. 1 Kant’s Standpoint on the Whole: Disjunctive Judgment, Community, and the Third Analogy of Experience.Béatrice Longuenesse - 2011 - In Charlton Payne & Lucas Thorpe (eds.), Kant and the concept of community. University of Rochester Press. pp. 17-40.
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  38. 13 Social Demands: Kant and the Possibility of Community.Jan Mieszkowski - 2011 - In Charlton Payne & Lucas Thorpe (eds.), Kant and the concept of community. University of Rochester Press. pp. 284-302.
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  39. 7 Original Community, Possession, and Acquisition in Kant’s Metaphysics of Morals.Jeffrey Edwards - 2011 - In Charlton Payne & Lucas Thorpe (eds.), Kant and the concept of community. University of Rochester Press. pp. 150-182.
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  40. 6 Kant’s Conception of Public Reason.Onora O’Neill - 2011 - In Charlton Payne & Lucas Thorpe (eds.), Kant and the concept of community. University of Rochester Press. pp. 138-149.
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  41. 11 Kant’s Parergonal Politics: The Sensus Communis and the Problem of Political Action.Charlton Payne - 2011 - In Charlton Payne & Lucas Thorpe (eds.), Kant and the concept of community. University of Rochester Press. pp. 245-259.
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  42. 3 Kant on the Relationship between Autonomy and Community.Lucas Thorpe - 2011 - In Charlton Payne & Lucas Thorpe (eds.), Kant and the concept of community. University of Rochester Press. pp. 63-87.
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  43. Text-book to Kant: with a biographical sketch.James Hutchison Stirling - 1881 - London: Routledge/Thoemmes Press.
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  44. Reading Kant as a radical empiricist: or how to find an orientation for education after progress.Joris Vlieghe - 2024 - Journal of Philosophy of Education 57 (6):1059-1071.
    This article deals with the educational challenge of responding to the pending ecological crisis (and many other future apocalyptic scenarios that haunt our imagination). It seems we are living in a time when we have given up on the idea that progress is possible or desirable, and this questions education at its roots. In order to find a proper educational response that befits our time, it is requested that we gain a new sense of orientation (which is no longer aimed (...)
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  45. Image, Time, and Photography Based on Heidegger’s Kant and the Problem of Metaphysics.Farideh Afarin & Sam Ghazanfari - 2023 - Journal of Philosophical Investigations 17 (45):72-89.
    In Kant and the Problem of Metaphysics (KPM), Heidegger shows how the initial image-making power of the imagination is pictorial in the pure image of time. He further clarifies the recognized link between the syntheses and the time-visualizing power of images which is pictorial formative power, which can visualize time. The three syntheses of imagination are replaced with the modes of existence of Dasein. Three kinds of photographs resemble the images produced when the transcendental imagination functions as Dasein. We can (...)
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  46. An Evaluation of Kant’s Transcendental Idealism Using the Inversion Theory of Truth.Peter Lugten - 2023 - Journal of Philosophical Investigations 17 (45):159-174.
    This paper examines the work of Immanuel Kant in the light of a new theory on the nature of truth, knowledge and falsehood (the Inversion Theory of Truth). Kant’s idea that knowledge could be absolutely certain, and that its truth must correspond with reality, is discredited by a dissection of the Correspondence Theory of Truth. This examination of the nature of truth, as well as knowledge and falsehood, is conducted with reference to Sir Karl Popper’s writings on regulative ideas, the (...)
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  47. Into the Others’ mind. Remarks on the philosophy of geometry from Kant onwards.Luigi Laino - unknown
    Into the Others’ mind. Remarks on the philosophy of geometry from Kant onwards The post-Kantian debate on the philosophy of geometry prevalently revolved around the question whether axioms are synthetic or analytic. In my view, this suggests that even though Kant’s philosophy often appeared as a critical target, it nonetheless provided a general frame of discussion. In this paper, I aim to expand on this and to show that along with this frame, Kant’s agonists inherited the structure of his transcendental (...)
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  48. Hume and Kant on imaginative resistance.Emine Hande Tuna - forthcoming - European Journal of Philosophy.
    The topic of imaginative resistance attracted considerable philosophical attention in recent years. Yet, with a few exceptions, no historical investigation of the phenomenon has been carried out. This paper amends this gap in the literature by constructing a Humean and a Kantian explanation. The main contributions of this historical analysis to this debate are to make room for emotions in explanations of resistance reactions and to upset the polarization between rival accounts by suggesting that our possible responses to morally flawed (...)
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  49. Cień na oświeceniowym rozumie, czyli Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Immanuel Kant i Hugo Kołłątaj o kobietach, ich roli społecznej i edukacji.Joanna Usakiewicz - 2024 - Ruch Filozoficzny 79 (2):81-97.
    Wiek osiemnasty – wiek rozumności, wyzwalania umysłu z błędów, doskonalenia i rozwoju ludzkości – często uważa się także za szczególnie istotny czas postępowej dyskusji o kobiecie, jej roli społecznej, czas torujący drogę do jej instytucjonalnej edukacji i w konsekwencji emancypacji. Analizując treści prac znaczących myślicieli Oświecenia, należy jednak dojść do wniosku, że Kantowskie słowa wskazujące jako ideę przewodnią Oświecenia: „Odważ się posługiwać własnym rozumem!”, nie odnoszą się do kobiety. Podmiotem myślenia filozoficznego pozostaje mężczyzna, choć używany w dziełach filozoficznych tego okresu (...)
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  50. From Mechanical Inexplicability to a System of Ends: Kant on Organisms as Natural Ends.Weijia Wang - forthcoming - International Journal of Philosophical Studies:1-18.
    In Critique of the Power of Judgment, Kant claims organisms are to be judged as ‘natural ends’, which are products of nature but inexplicable by mechanical laws of nature. The conception of natural ends necessarily leads to the idea of nature in its whole as a system of ends. This paper proposes an interpretation of Kant’s biological teleology that can be compatible with modern science. Mechanical laws in the third Critique are understood as empirical causal laws that determine all phenomena. (...)
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