This chapter discusses Kant's 1763 "possibility proof" for the existence of God. I first provide a reconstruction of the proof in its two stages, and then revisit my earlier argument according to which the being the proof delivers threatens to be a Spinozistic-panentheistic God—a being whose properties include the entire spatio-temporal universe—rather than the traditional, ontologically distinct God of biblical monotheism. I go on to evaluate some recent alternative readings that have sought to avoid this result by arguing that the (...) relevant facts about real modality can be ultimately grounded in God’s powers or thoughts – or that Kant just leaves the grounding relations mysterious. I argue that the textual and philosophical costs of each of these alternative readings are formidable. The chapter concludes with a discussion of the fate of the proof in the critical period. Some commentators think that it disappears altogether, or that it is downgraded such that it produces a mere regulative idea of God as the most real being. I suggest that the proof survives but that the mode of assent it licenses towards its conclusion changes from knowledge to a certain kind of Belief (Glaube). (shrink)
Famously, Kant describes space and time as infinite “given” magnitudes. An influential interpretative tradition reads this as a claim about phenomenological presence to the mind: in claiming that space and time are given, this reading holds, Kant means to claim that we have phenomenological access to space and time in our original intuitions of them. In this paper, I argue that we should instead understand givenness as a metaphysical notion. For Kant, space and time are ‘given’ in virtue of three (...) related facts: (i) they are necessary grounds of the existence of all other spatial and temporal possibilities; (ii) in virtue of being such grounds, they are metaphysically linked to all other represented spatiotemporal things; and (iii) as representations, space and time issue from the nature of our faculty of sensibility rather than from an arbitrary act of choice. Understanding givenness in this non-epistemological way helps us recover what is plausible in both ‘intellectualist’ and ‘anti-intellectualist’ readings of the Transcendental Aesthetic. Anti-intellectualists are correct that space and time are given in mere sensibility, but intellectualists are correct that we depend on the understanding for consciousness of space and time. (shrink)
The problem at the center of this essay is how one can reconcile the continuity of space with a monadological theory of matter, according to which matter is ultimately composed of simple elements, a problem that greatly exercised Leibniz, the Wolffians, and Kant. The underlying purpose of this essay is to illustrate my reading of Kant’s philosophical development, and of his relation to the Wolffians and Leibniz, according to which, (a), this development was fueled by ‘home-grown’ problems that arose within (...) the framework of the Wolffian philosophy from which Kant started out, and, (b), on his journey to critical idealism, Kant gradually moved away from Wolffianism, but closer to Leibniz, which, however, he came to realize only some years after the publication of the Critique of Pure Reason. This reading is illustrated by showing that the problem of how to reconcile the continuity of space with a monadological theory of matter is a problem that Kant inherits from Leibniz and the Wolffians, in whose thinking it already plays an important role, that Leibniz’s mature solution to the problem differs markedly from the Wolffian solution, and that Kant’s early, pre-critical solution is largely Wolffian, while his later critical solution is largely Leibnizian, as he himself notes with gleeful satisfaction. The discussion also reveals that this problem is one of the key problems that fueled Kant’s philosophical development and, eventually, led him to the discovery of transcendental idealism. (shrink)
The World According to Kant offers an interpretation of Immanuel Kant’s critical idealism, as developed in the Critique of Pure Reason and associated texts. Critical idealism is understood as an ontological position, which comprises transcendental idealism, empirical realism, and a number of other basic ontological theses. According to Kant, the world, understood as the sum total of everything that has reality, comprises several levels of reality, most importantly, the transcendental level and the empirical level. The transcendental level is a mind-independent (...) level at which things in themselves exist. The empirical level is a fully mind-dependent level at which appearances exist, which are intentional objects of experience. Empirical objects and empirical minds are appearances, and empirical space and time are constituted by the spatial and temporal determinations of appearances. On the proposed interpretation, Kant is thus a genuine idealist about empirical objects, empirical minds, and space and time. But in contrast to other intentional objects, appearances genuinely exist, which is due both to the special character of experience compared to other kinds of representations such as illusions or dreams, and to the grounding of appearances in things themselves. This is why, on the proposed interpretation, Kant is also a genuine realist about empirical objects, empirical minds, and empirical space and time. This book develops the indicated interpretation, spells out Kant’s case for critical idealism thus understood, pinpoints the differences between critical idealism and ‘ordinary’ idealism, such as Berkley’s, and clarifies the relation between Kant’s conception of things in themselves and the conception of things in themselves by other philosophers, in particular, Kant’s Leibniz-Wolffian predecessors. -/- PS from the author: I maintain a list of errata plus corrections on my website (which can easily be found by googling my name). If you discover additional errors, typos, or unfortunate formulations, I would be grateful to hear from you. -/- . (shrink)
Kant suggested that Newton’s Inverse Square Law (ISL) determines the dimensions of space to be three. Much has been written in the philosophical literature about Kant’s suggestion, including specific arguments attempting to link the ISL to three-dimensionality. In this paper, we explore one such argument and demonstrate that it fails to support the link Kant purports to make between the ISL and the three-dimensionality of space. At best, the link that can be made is between the ISL and symmetry.
I examine how Kant argues for the transcendental ideality of space. I defend a reading on which Kant accepts the ideality of space because it explains our (actual) knowledge that mathematical judgments are necessarily true. I argue that this reading is preferable over the alternative suggestion that Kant can infer the ideality of space directly from the fact that we have an a priori intuition of space. Moreover, I argue that the reading I propose does not commit Kant to incoherent (...) modal views. If we carefully distinguish between different senses of modality, the fact that our spatial form of intuition is (in some sense) contingent does not undermine the claim that this form can explain how our mathematical judgments are (in some sense) necessary. (shrink)
Scholars working on Kant’s Anticipations of Perception generally attribute to him an argument that invalidly infers that objects have degrees of intensive magnitude from the premise that sensations do. I argue that this rests on an incorrect disambiguation of Kant’s use of Empfindung as referring to the mental states that are our sensings, rather than the objects that are thereby sensed. Kant’s real argument runs as follows. The difference between a representation of an empty region of space and/or time and (...) a representation of that same region as occupied by an object entails that, in addition to their extensive magnitude, objects must be represented as having a matter variable in intensive magnitude. Since it is the presence of sensation in a cognition that marks the difference between representing only the extensive magnitude of the object and the object as a whole, it is sensation that represents its intensive magnitude. (shrink)
This book provides an account of the unity of Immanuel Kant’s early metaphysics, including the moment he invents transcendental idealism. Matthew Rukgaber argues that a division between “two worlds”—the world of matter, force, and space on the one hand, and the world of metaphysical substances with inner states and principles preserved by God on the other—is what guides Kant’s thought. Until 1770 Kant consistently held a conception of space as a force-based material product of monads that are only virtually present (...) in nature. As Rukgaber explains, transcendental idealism emerges as a constructivist metaphysics, a view in which space and time are real relations outside of the mind, but those relations are metaphysically dependent on the subject. The subject creates the simple “now” and “here,” thus introducing into the intrinsically indeterminate and infinitely divisible continua of nature a metric with transformation rules that make possible all individuation and measurement. (shrink)
In this paper I consider Tetens' reaction to Kant's Inaugural Dissertation in his two most important philosophical works, the essay “Über die allgemeine speculativische Philosophie” of 1775 and the two-volume Philosophische Versuche of 1777. In particular, I focus on Tetens’ critical discussion of Kant's account of the acquisition of concepts of space and time.
Kant’s published arguments for the non-spatiotemporality of things in themselves have not been well received. I argue that Kant has available to himself an argument for the non-spatiotemporality of things in themselves that is premised upon a disparity between the compositional structure of the intelligible world and the structure of space and time. I argue that Kant was unwaveringly committed to the premises of this argument throughout his career and that he was aware of their idealistic implications. I also argue (...) that this argument is consistent with Kant’s restrictive mature epistemology. If my argument is successful, then even if Kant’s published arguments for transcendental idealism fail, we need not regard his ambitious metaphysical project as a failure. (shrink)
In this paper, I discuss the problem raised by the non-Euclidean geometries for the Kantian claim that the axioms of Euclidean geometry are synthetic a priori, and hence necessarily true. Although the Kantian view of geometry faces a serious challenge from non-Euclidean geometries, there are some aspects of Kant’s view about geometry that can still be plausible. I argue that Euclidean geometry, as a science, cannot be synthetic a priori, but the empirical world can still be necessarily Euclidean.
In the Resolution of the Second Antinomy of the first Critique and the Dynamics chapter of the Metaphysical Foundations of Natural Sciences, Kant presents his critical views on mereology, the study of parts and wholes. He endorses an unusual position: Matter is said to be infinitely divisible without being infinitely divided. It would be mistaken to think that matter consists of infinitely many parts—rather, parts “exist only in the representation of them, hence in the dividing”. This view, according to which (...) parts are created through division somehow, was criticized as obscure early on, and has not received much attention since. Against this trend, I show how a coherent position, which I call Mereological Conceptualism, can be extracted from the sparse textual basis. (shrink)
This article concerns the unsolved riddle of the continuum of the extension of time and space. It becomes solvable if one takes the two different relationships that can exist between extension and point as a basis: the primary relationship in the synthetic continuum and the secondary relationship in the analytical continuum. Time and space can then be deduced from the primary relationship between extension and point as each special extension. And this deduction corresponds exactly to the synthesis of time and (...) space that Kant seeks to develop. (shrink)
The problem of Kant’s Neglected Alternative is that while his Aesthetic provides an argument that space and time are empirically real – in applying to all appearances – its argument seems to fall short of the conclusion that space and time are transcendentally ideal, in not applying to any things in themselves. By considering an overlooked passage in which Kant explains why his Transcendental Deduction is ‘unavoidably necessary’, I argue that it is not solely in his Aesthetic but more so (...) in his Deduction where he intends to provide his argument for the transcendental ideality of space and time. His Deduction shows that space and time do not have a valid application to any things in themselves by arguing that the categories do have a valid application to everything in space and time, but that the categories do not have a valid application to any things in themselves. (shrink)
Il principale obiettivo teoretico di questo lavoro consiste nel tentativo di verificare, attraverso un’indagine storico-genealogica e concettuale, come nella filosofia di Gilles Deleuze si assista ad un radicale mutamento del paradigma relativo alla nozione di trascendentale. Si tratta, in altre parole, di ripercorrere alcune delle tappe fondamentali che conducono il filosofo parigino a “purificare” il trascendentale da ogni riferimento ad una coscienza soggettiva egologica che si fondi in quanto principio genetico del mondo. Si riterrà utile procedere analizzando, in primo luogo, (...) il rapporto che Deleuze intrattiene con le istanze originarie del soggettivismo trascendentale kantiano, ove il trascendentale stesso, nel pensiero del filosofo tedesco, è strettamente connesso all’Io penso in quanto facoltà appercettiva dell’intelletto che incarnerebbe le condizioni di possibilità dell’esperienza. In secondo luogo, si tratterà di orientarsi nel dibattito critico che Deleuze intrattiene con la fenomenologia di Edmund Husserl, ed in particolar modo con la lettura husserliana della Critica della Ragion Pura di Kant, ove il padre fondatore dell’indirizzo fenomenologico novecentesco è colui che fa leva sullo stretto rapporto che sussiste tra il trascendentale e la coscienza. Nonostante il percorso storico, tracciato dal concetto di trascendentale, abbia inizio con l’opera di Kant, ritengo non sia possibile evitare un pur breve confronto con il ruolo che l’ego ha avuto nella formulazione cartesiana del cogito; si dovrà, per ciò stesso, considerare la particolare lettura deleuziana che riconosce nel cogito cartesiano il “luogo” in cui confluiscono tutte le facoltà del soggetto, permettendo di identificare il cogito stesso con una forma embrionale di piano di immanenza, seppur non adeguatamente radicalizzata nella misura in cui il cogito cartesiano resta saldamente ancorato al soggetto. Ritengo, tuttavia, che il più considerevole obiettivo di questa proposta d’indagine non si risolva in una ricostruzione meramente storico-genealogica. Si tratterà, al contrario, di verificare come l’importanza degli esiti raggiunti da Deleuze mediante l’opera di purificazione della nozione di trascendentale sia da individuare su due fronti: 1. La teorizzazione del concetto di campo trascendentale permette a Deleuze di disegnare una forma di temporalità non psicologica e non cronologica fondata sul paradosso secondo cui il tempo costituirebbe un’interiorità non psicologica, o per meglio dire, una dimensione autenticamente trascendentale nella quale il soggetto vive e diviene. 2. In antitesi ai proponimenti della fenomenologia husserliana, l’esito autentico del progetto di purificazione del trascendentale da ogni istanza egologica consiste nell’interruzione della correlazione a priori tra il soggetto e il mondo, nella destituzione della filosofia da ogni pregiudizio antropocentrico, e nella rideterminazione dell’umano niente più che come un effetto, o un caso, del mondo. (shrink)
Como escreveu Thomas Huxley “O que é conhecido é finito, o que é desconhecido infinito...”1. Aqui temos que ter em nossa imaginação que esse desconhecimento não significa não saber nada a respeito. Podemos dizer até que existe uma finitude no conhecimento do infinito.Isso não é conhecer a existência dos infinitos, e utilizar parte deles, como números, por exemplo. E para poder utiliza-los, recortamos parte da infinitude e agrupamos aquela parte que nos interessa. Também é preciso a compreensão de que não (...) é possível conhecer totalmente o que é o infinito, pois levaria um tempo também infinito e, qual seria a referência? -/- . (shrink)
Prolegomena §38 is intended to elucidate the claim that the understanding legislates a priori laws to nature. Kant cites various laws of geometry as examples and discusses a derivation of the inverse-square law from such laws. I address 4 key interpretive questions about this cryptic text that have not yet received satisfying answers: How exactly are Kant's examples of laws supposed to elucidate the Legislation Thesis? What is Kant's view of the epistemic status of the inverse-square law and, relatedly, of (...) the legitimacy of the geometric derivation of that law? Whose account of laws, the understanding, and space is Kant critiquing in the passage? What positive account of the relationship between laws, the understanding, and space is Kant offering in the passage? My answer to depends crucially on my answers to –. As I interpret Kant, he holds that a wide range of a priori laws—including geometric laws, the inverse-square law, and the universal laws discussed in the Analytic of Principles—are ‘grounded’ in categorial syntheses rather than the intrinsic nature of the space given to us in pure intuition. (shrink)
On one reading of Kant’s account of our original representations of space and time, they are, in part, products of the understanding or imagination. On another, they are brute, sensible givens, entirely independent of the understanding. In this article, while I agree with the latter interpretation, I argue for a version of it that does more justice to the insights of the former than others currently available. I claim that Kant’s Transcendental Deduction turns on the representations of space and time (...) as determinate, enduring particulars, whose unity is both given and a product of synthesis. (shrink)
I defend a novel interpretation of Kant's conceptualism regarding the contents of our perceptual experiences. Conceptualist interpreters agree that Kant's Deduction aims to prove that intuitions require the categories for their spatiality and temporality. But conceptualists disagree as to which features of space and time make intuitions require the categories. Interpreters have cited the singularity, unity, infinity, and homogeneity of space and time. But this is incompatible with Kant's Aesthetic, which aims to prove that these same features qualify space and (...) time as intuitions, not concepts. On my interpretation, the feature is objectivity. Space and time are objective, in that they ground our judgments in geometry and mechanics. (shrink)
This is a defense of Kant against the allegedly neglected alternative in his formulation of transcendental idealism. What sets it apart from the contributions of others who have spoken for Kant in this regard is the construction of a general interpretive framework — a reconstruction of the one Kant provides for transcendental idealism — as opposed to the development of an ad hoc defensive strategy for refuting the charges. Hence, comprehensive clarification instead of pointed rebuttal. The difference is between focusing (...) on the text and focusing on the problem. No doubt, doing both is not only possible but also required, as the problem is supposed to be in the text, but the point is that it is not there, and further, that we need not go anywhere else to show that it is not there. Thus, the approach is constructive rather than defensive, or more accurately, constructive as well as defensive. And the construction rests on what Kant actually said rather than on what he might have meant or on what he should have said instead. (shrink)
Are the pure intuitions of space and time, for Kant, dependent upon the understanding's activity? This paper defends the recently popular Self-Affection Thesis : namely, that the pure intuitions require an activity of self-affection—an influence of the understanding on the inner sense. Two systematic objections to this thesis have been raised: The Independence objection claims that SAT undermines the independence of sensibility; the Compatibility objection claims that certain features of space and time are incompatible with being the products of the (...) understanding's activity. I show that the resources to rebut these objections can be found in Kant's account of causal influence. (shrink)
Kant claims that we cannot cognize the mutual interaction of substances without their being in space; he also claims that we cannot cognize a ‘spatial community’ among substances without their being in mutual interaction. I situate these theses in their historical context and consider Kant’s reasons for accepting them. I argue that they rest on commitments regarding the metaphysical grounding of, first, the possibility of mutual interaction among substances-as-appearances and, second, the actuality of specific distance-relations among such substances. By illuminating (...) these commitments, I shed light on Kant’s metaphysics of space and its relation to Newton and Leibniz’s views. (shrink)
I propose that we interpret Kant’s argument from incongruent counterparts in the 1768 article ‘Concerning the Ultimate Ground of the Differentiation of Directions in Space’ in light of a theory of dynamic absolute space that he accepted throughout the 1750s and 1760s. This force-based or material conception of space was not an unusual interpretation of the Newtonian notion of absolute space. Nevertheless, commentators have continually argued that Kant’s argument is an utter failure that shifts from the metaphysics of space to (...) its epistemology, because he has no way to connect ‘directionality’ and ‘handedness’ to absolute space. This supposed failure is based on an understanding of absolute space in purely mathematical terms and as an absolute void that lacks any qualitative or dynamic features. If we recognize that Kant held that space had an intrinsic directional asymmetry then his argument successfully connects incongruent counterparts to absolute space. The presence of this notion in Kant’s pre-Critical thought is rarely noted, and its necessity in understanding his incongruence argument is novel. (shrink)
This book offers an array of important perspectives on Kant and nonconceptualism from some of the leading scholars in current Kant studies. As well as discussing the various arguments surrounding Kantian nonconceptualism, the book provides broad insight into the theory of perception, philosophy of mind, philosophy of mathematics, epistemology, and aesthetics. His idealism aside, Kantian nonconceptualism is the most topical contemporary issue in Kant’s theoretical philosophy. In this collection of specially commissioned essays, major players in the current debate, including Robert (...) Hanna and Lucy Allais, engage with each other and with the broader literature in the field addressing all the important aspects of Kantian nonconceptualism. Among other topics, the authors analyse the notion of intuition and the conditions of its generation, Kant’s theory of space, including his pre-Critical view of space, the relation between nonconceptualism and the Transcendental Deduction, and various challenges to both conceptualist and nonconceptualist interpretations of Kant. Two further chapters explore a prominent Hegelian conceptualist reading of Kant and Kant’s nonconceptualist position in the Third Critique. The volume also contains a helpful survey of the recent literature on Kant and nonconceptual content. Kantian Nonconceptualism provides a comprehensive overview of recent perspectives on Kant and nonconceptual content, and will be a key resource for Kant scholars and philosophers interested in the topic of nonconceptualism. (shrink)
Leibniz’s main thesis regarding the nature of space is that space is relational. This means that space is not an independent object or existent in itself, but rather a set of relations between objects existing at the same time. The reality of space, therefore, is derived from objects and their relations. For Leibniz and his successors, this view of space was intimately connected with the understanding of the composite nature of material objects. The nature of the relation between space and (...) matter was crucial to the conceptualization of both space and matter. In this paper, I discuss Leibniz’s account of relational space and examine its novel elaborations by two of his successors, namely, the young Immanuel Kant and the Croat natural philosopher Roger Boscovich. Kant’s and Boscovich’s studies of Leibniz’s account lead them to original versions of the relational view of space. Thus, Leibniz’s relational space proved to be a philosophically fruitful notion, as it yielded bold and intriguing attempts to decipher the nature of space and was a key part in innovative scientific ideas. (shrink)
This essay examines the relationship between monads and space in Kant’s early pre-critical work, with special attention devoted to the question of ubeity, a Scholastic doctrine that Leibniz describes as “ways of being somewhere”. By focusing attention on this concept, evidence will be put forward that supports the claim, held by various scholars, that the monad-space relationship in Kant is closer to Leibniz’ original conception than the hypotheses typically offered by the later Leibniz-Wolff school. In addition, Kant’s monadology, in conjunction (...) with God’s role, also helps to shed light on further aspects of his system that are broadly Leibnizian, such as monadic activity and the unity of space. (shrink)
Newton had a fivefold argument that true motion must be motion in absolute space, not relative to matter. Like Newton, Kant holds that bodies have true motions. Unlike him, though, Kant takes all motion to be relative to matter, not to space itself. Thus, he must respond to Newton’s argument above. I reconstruct here Kant’s answer in detail. I prove that Kant addresses just one part of Newton’s case, namely, his “argument from the effects” of rotation. And, to show that (...) rotation is relative to matter, Kant changes the meaning of ‘relative motion.’ However, that change puts Kant’s doctrine in deep tension with Newton’s science. Based on my construal, I correct earlier readings of Kant by John Earman and Martin Carrier. And, I argue that we need to revise Michael Friedman’s influential view of Kant. Kant’s struggle, I conclude, illustrate the difficulties that early modern relationists faced as they turned down Newtonian absolute space ; and it typifies their selective engagement with Newton’s case for it. (shrink)
In this article it is shown that a careful analysis of Kant 's Gedanken von der wahren Schätzung der lebendigen Kräfte und Beurtheilung der Beweise leads to a conclusion that does not match the usually accepted interpretation of Kant 's reasoning in 1747, according to which the young Kant supposedly establishes a relationship between the tridimensionality of space and Newton's law of gravitation. Indeed, it is argued that this text does not yield a satisfactory explanation of space dimensionality, and actually (...) restricts itself to justifying the tridimensionality of extension. (shrink)
I argue that Kant’s distinction between the cognitive roles of sensibility and understanding raises a question concerning the conditions necessary for objective representation. I distinguish two opposing interpretive positions—viz. Intellectualism and Sensibilism. According to Intellectualism all objective representation depends, at least in part, on the unifying synthetic activity of the mind. In contrast, Sensibilism argues that at least some forms of objective representation, specifically intuitions, do not require synthesis. I argue that there are deep reasons for thinking that Intellectualism is (...) incompatible with Kant's view as expressed in the Transcendental Aesthetic. We can better see how Kant’s arguments in the first Critique may be integrated, I suggest, by examining his notion of the 'unity' [Einheit] of a representation. I articulate two distinct ways in which a representation may possess unity and claim that we can use these notions to integrate Kant’s arguments in the Aesthetic and the Transcendental Deduction without compromising the core claims of either Sensibilism or Intellectualism—that intuition is a form of objective representation independent of synthesis, and that the kind of objective representations that ground scientific knowledge of the world require synthesis by the categories. (shrink)
In his argument for the possibility of knowledge of spatial objects, in the Transcendental Deduction of the B-version of the Critique of Pure Reason, Kant makes a crucial distinction between space as “form of intuition” and space as “formal intuition.” The traditional interpretation regards the distinction between the two notions as reflecting a distinction between indeterminate space and determinations of space by the understanding, respectively. By contrast, a recent influential reading has argued that the two notions can be fused into (...) one and that space as such is first generated by the understanding through an act of synthesis of the imagination. Against this reading, this article argues that a key characteristic of space as a form of intuition is its nonconceptual unity, which defines the properties of space and is as such necessarily independent of determination by the understanding through the transcendental synthesis of the imagination. The conceptual unity that the understanding prescribes to the manifold in intuition, by means of the categories, defines the formal intuition. Furthermore, this article argues that it is the sui generis, nonconceptual unity of space, when takenas a unity for the understanding by means of conceptual determination, that first enables geometric knowledge and knowledge of spatially located particulars. (shrink)
Kant argued that the perceptual representations of space and time were templates for the perceived spatiotemporal ordering of objects, and common to all modalities. His idea is that these perceptual representations were specific to no modality, but prior to all—they are pre-modal, so to speak. In this paper, it is argued that active perception—purposeful interactive exploration of the environment by the senses—demands premodal representations of time and space.
In the Transcendental Aesthetic, Kant famously characterizes space as a unity, understood as an essentially singular whole. He further develops his account of the unity of space in the B-Deduction, where he relates the unity of space to the original synthetic unity of apperception, and draws an infamous distinction between form of intuition and formal intuition. Kant ’s cryptic remarks in this part of the Critique have given rise to two widespread and diametrically opposed readings, which I call the Synthesis (...) and Brute Given Readings. I argue for an entirely new reading, which I call the Part-Whole Reading, in part by considering the development of Kant ’s views on the unity of space from his earliest works up through crucial reflections written during the silent decade. (shrink)
In the first edition of Concerning the Doctrine of Spinoza in Letters to Mendelssohn, Jacobi claims that Kant’s account of space is “wholly in the spirit of Spinoza”. In the first part of the paper, I argue that Jacobi is correct: Spinoza and Kant have surprisingly similar views regarding the unity of space and the metaphysics of spatial properties and laws. Perhaps even more surprisingly, they both are committed to a form of parallelism. In the second part of the paper, (...) I draw on the results of the first part to explain Kant’s oft-repeated claim that if space were transcendentally real, Spinozism would follow, along with Kant’s reasons for thinking transcendental idealism avoids this nefarious result. In the final part of the paper, I sketch a Spinozistic interpretation of Kant’s account of the relation between the empirical world of bodies and (what one might call) the transcendental world consisting of the transcendental subject’s representations of the empirical world and its parts. (shrink)
An integral translation of Kant's 'Über Kästners Abhandlungen' (AA XX: 410-23). This translation is accompanied by an introductory essay on the importance of the Kästner treatise for an understanding of Kant's theory of space as infinite. See Onof & Schulting, "Kant, Kästner and the Distinction between Metaphysical and Geometrical Space".
The reply to Kanterian offers a rebuttal of his central criticisms. It reaffirms the difference between Kant's arguments in the Aesthetic and at B 148-9; it rejects the alleged error of logic in Fischer's (and my) arguments; and it rejects Kanterian's reading of passages in the Preface (A xx-xxii) and of the Amphiboly. Beyond these specific points Kanterian assumes that Kant's project in the first Critique cannot be understood as a and so begs the question at issue.
Mit dem Terminus 'ursprünglicher Raum' wird der Raum bezeichnet, der Kant innerhalb der transzendentalen Ästhetik als reine subjektive Form der Anschauung des äußeren Sinnes bestimmt. Man könnte ihn auch den 'ästhetischen Raum' nennen. Auf jeden Fall muss er vom (proto-)geometrischen Raum unterschieden werden, da letzterer eine Einheit voraussetzt die auf einer Synthesis beruht, und dadurch – weil bei Kant alle Synthesis unter den Kategorien steht – weniger ursprünglich zum Anschauungsvermögen gehört. Es ist diese Unterscheidung zwischen dem ursprünglichen Raum, der „Form (...) der Anschauung“ ist, und dem (proto-)geometrischen Raum, der „formale Anschauung“ ist, auf die Kant in einer bekannten Fußnote im §26 der transzendentalen Deduktion der B-Auflage anspielt. -/- Die Bedeutung der Unterscheidung zwischen (proto-)geometrischem und ursprünglichem Raum liegt unter anderem darin, dass sie stipuliert, dass das ursprüngliche Wesen des Raumes vor und unabhängig von dem erreichbar ist, was durch jedwede Mathematik der Ausdehnung von ihm ausgesagt wird. Das bedeutet nun aber nicht, dass diese Unterscheidung uns zwingt, anzunehmen, dass das ursprüngliche Wesen des Raumes auch von uns erreichbar ist. Und nehmen wir mal an, dass wir tatsächlich über eine Art Zugang zu diesem Wesen verfügen, dann noch stellt sich überdies die Frage, ob ein solcher Zugang sich innerhalb der Sphäre der Erkenntnis befindet, mit anderen Worten: ob das ursprüngliche Wesen des Raumes vom Philosophen auch wirklich erkannt – das heißt: in Erkenntnisurteile gefasst und ausgedrückt – werden kann. (shrink)
Trendelenburg argued that Kant's arguments in support of transcendental idealism ignored the possibility that space and time are both ideal and real. Recently, Graham Bird has claimed that Trendelenburg (unlike his contemporary Kuno Fischer) misrepresented Kant, confusing two senses of . I defend Trendelenburg's : the ideas of space and time, as a priori and necessary, are ideal, but this does not exclude their validity in the noumenal realm. This undermines transcendental idealism. Bird's attempt to show that the Analytic considers, (...) but rejects, the alternative fails: an epistemological reading makes Kant accept the alternative, while an ontological reading makes him incoherent. As I demonstrate, Trendelenburg acknowledged the ambiguity of , focusing on the transcendental, not the empirical sense. Unlike Fischer, Bird denies Kant's commitment to things-in-themselves in favour of a descriptivist, non-ontological reading of transcendental idealism as an inventory of . But neither Bird's descriptivism, nor Fischer's commitment to things-in-themselves, answers Trendelenburg's sceptical worry about transcendental idealism. (shrink)