About this topic
Summary In addition to its positive account of synthetic a priori cognition in mathematics and natural science, The Critique of Pure Reason also had the goal of exposing the fraudulent basis for the putatively synthetic a priori cognition contained in the doctrines of traditional metaphysics, namely, rational psychology, general cosmology, and natural theology. Kant has long been judged particularly successful in achieving this latter goal, to the extent that Moses Mendelssohn dubbed him the 'all destroying Kant.' 
Key works Grier 2001 brought renewed attention to Kant's doctrine of illusion and its systematic role in his criticism of metaphysics. Other discussions of Kant's general criticism of traditional metaphysics can be found in Bennett 1974, Allison 1988, and Bird 2006.
Introductions Useful introductions to Kant's criticism of traditional metaphysics can be found in Ameriks' contribution to Guyer 1992, and in Grier's SEP entry on the topic
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  1. Kant’s Letter to Fichte, the Pure Intellect and His ‘All-Crushing’ Metaphysics: Comments on De Boer’s Kant’s Reform of Metaphysics.Brian A. Chance - 2022 - Kantian Review 27 (1):119-125.
    I raise three questions relevant to De Boer’s overall project in Kant’s Reform of Metaphysics. The first is whether Kant’s 1799 open letter to Fichte supports or threatens her contention that Kant had an abiding interest in developing a reformed metaphysics from 1781 onwards. The second is whether De Boer’s conception of the pure intellect and its place in Kant’s projected system of metaphysics captures the role of pure sensibility in the Analytic of Principles, rational physics and rational psychology. The (...)
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  2. Humor, Common Sense and the Future of Metaphysics in the Prolegomena.Melissa M. Merritt - 2021 - In Peter Thielke (ed.), Kant's Prolegomena: A Critical Guide. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. pp. 9-26.
    Kant’s Prolegomena is a piece of philosophical advertising: it exists to convince the open-minded “future teacher” of metaphysics that the true critical philosophy — i.e., the Critique — provides the only viable solution to the problem of metaphysics (i.e. its failure to make any genuine progress). To be effective, a piece of advertising needs to know its audience. This chapter argues that Kant takes his reader to have some default sympathies for the common-sense challenge to metaphysics originating from Thomas Reid (...)
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  3. The Beach of Skepticism: Kant and Hume on the Practice of Philosophy and the Proper Bounds of Skepticism.Karl Schafer - forthcoming - In Peter Thielke (ed.), Cambridge Critical Guide to Kant’s Prolegomena. Cambridge: Cambridge. pp. 111-132.
    The focus of this chapter will be Kant’s understanding of Hume, and its impact on Kant’s critical philosophy. Contrary to the traditional reading of this relationship, which focuses on Kant’s (admittedly real) dissatisfaction with Hume’s account of causation, my discussion will focus on broader issues of philosophical methodology. Following a number of recent interpreters, I will argue that Kant sees Hume as raising, in a particularly forceful fashion, a ‘demarcation challenge’ concerning how to distinguish the legitimate use of reason in (...)
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  4. Ian Proops, The Fiery Test of Critique: A Reading of Kant’s Dialectic. [REVIEW]Aaron Wells - forthcoming - Philosophical Quarterly.
  5. The World According to Kant - Appearances and Things in Themselves in Critical Idealism.Anja Jauernig - 2021 - Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
    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 (...)
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  6. Transcendence and Immanence: Deciphering Their Relation Through the Transcendentals in Aquinas and Kant.Alexander J. B. Hampton - 2018 - Toronto Journal of Theology 2 (34):187-198.
    This article examines the relationship between the conspicuous and complicated terms of transcendence and immanence, which may equally be defined as essentially connected, or diametrically opposed. Recent developments in two largely unrelated sets of scholarship— the re-evaluation of secularisation, and the relationship between medieval and modern philosophy—provide a helpful means to arrive at a clearer understanding of this challenging problem. Charles Taylor and Jan Aertesn act as foci for these developments, particularly through their respective concerns with epistemic framing in relation (...)
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  7. Kant, Hume, and the Interruption of Dogmatic Slumber.Abraham Anderson - 2020 - New York, USA: Oxford University Press.
    Kant, Hume, and the Interruption of Dogmatic Slumber offers an interpretation of Kant’s “confession,” in the Prolegomena, that “it was the objection of David Hume that first, many years ago, interrupted my dogmatic slumber.” It argues that Hume roused Kant not, as has often been thought, by challenging the principle “every event has a cause” that governs experience, but by attacking the principle of sufficient reason, the basis of rationalist metaphysics and of the cosmological proof of the existence of God. (...)
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  8. Reason Unbound: Kant's Theory of Regulative Principles.Kenneth Walden - 2019 - European Journal of Philosophy 27 (3):575-592.
    It is an essential part of Kant's conception of regulative principles and ideas that those principles and ideas are in a certain sense indeterminate. The relevant sense of indeterminacy is cashed out in a section in the Antinomies where Kant says that the regress of conditions of experience forms not a “regressus in infinitum” but a “regressus in indefinitum.” The mathematics that Kant appears to rely on in making this distinction turns out to be problematic, as Jonathan Bennett showed long (...)
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  9. Fugate D. Courtney and Hymers John , Baumgarten and Kant on Metaphysics Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018 Pp. 256 ISBN 9780198783886 $65.00. [REVIEW]Matthew McAndrew - 2019 - Kantian Review 24 (3):483-487.
  10. Noumenal Ignorance: Why, For Kant, Can't We Know Things in Themselves?Alejandro Naranjo Sandoval & Andrew Chignell - 2017 - In Matthew Altman (ed.), The Palgrave Companion to Kant. London: Palgrave Macmillan UK. pp. 91-116.
    In this paper we look at a few of the most prominent ways of articulating Kant’s critical argument for Noumenal Ignorance — i.e., the claim that we cannot cognize or have knowledge of any substantive, synthetic truths about things-in-themselves — and then provide two different accounts of our own.
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  11. R. Lanier Anderson: The Poverty of Conceptual Truth. Kant’s Analytic/Synthetic Distinction and the Limits of Metaphysics. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015. XVIII U. 408 Seiten. ISBN: 978-0-19872457-5. [REVIEW]Michael Pluder - 2019 - Kant-Studien 110 (2):294-297.
    Name der Zeitschrift: Kant-Studien Jahrgang: 110 Heft: 2 Seiten: 294-297.
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  12. How is Metaphysics Possible? Kant's Great Question and His Great Answer.Nicholas Stang - 2018 - In Stephen Hetherington (ed.), What Makes a Great Philosopher Great? Thirteen Arguments for Twelve Philosophers. Routledge.
  13. A Guide to Ground in Kant's Lectures on Metaphysics.Nicholas Stang - 2019 - In Courtney Fugate (ed.), Kant's Lectures on Metaphysics: A Critical Guide. pp. 74–101.
    While scholars have extensively discussed Kant’s treatment of the Principle of Sufficient Ground in the Antinomies chapter of the Critique of Pure Reason, and, more recently, his relation to German rationalist debates about it, relatively little has been said about the exact notion of ground that figures in the PSG. My aim in this chapter is to explain Kant’s discussion of ground in the lectures and to relate it, where appropriate, to his published discussions of ground.
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  14. Los sueños de un visionario y la única realidad en que habitamos.Stéfano Straulino - 2016 - In Juan Manuel Navarro Cordón, Rogelio Rovira & Rafael Orden Jiménez (eds.), Nuevas perspectivas sobre la filosofía de Kant. Madrid: Escolar y Mayo. pp. 33-39.
    The Dreams of a Spirit-Seer and the one reality in which we live [English] Traüme eines Geistersehers usually constitutes a problematic work for Kant’s scholars for its unusual style and for the apparent break with the problems that occupied him at the beginning of the 1760s. However, this work is to a large extent the natural outcome of those themes, especially of the search for an appropriate method for metaphysics. In this paper we are particularly interested in highlighting two ideas (...)
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  15. Wolff's Logic, Kant's Critique, and the Foundations of Metaphysics.Colin McQuillan - 2017 - In Arnaud Pelletier & Karin De Boer (eds.), 300 Years of Christian Wolff’s German Logic: Sources, Significance and Reception. Hildesheim: Georg Olms.
  16. Beyond the Limits of Reason: Kant, Critique, and Enlightenment.Colin McQuillan - 2012 - In Karin De Boer & R. Sonderegger (eds.), Conceptions of Critique in Modern and Contemporary Philosophy. Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 66-82.
  17. The Possibility of Ontology.Dino Jakušić - 2017 - Dissertation, University of Warwick
    This thesis investigates the development of ontology as a philosophical discipline in the German philosophical tradition. It starts from what can be considered the invention of ontology and proceeds to the way it was received in the philosophy of Hegel. It is separated into two parts. The first part argues that what can be called the ‘traditional’ form of ontology is developed by Christian Wolff in his 1730 monograph Philosophia prima sive Ontologia, and it traces both the history of the (...)
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  18. Moral Theory and Moral Motivation in Dilthey’s Critique of Historical Reason.David J. Zoller - 2016 - Idealistic Studies 46 (1):97-118.
    Dilthey’s moral writings have received scant attention over the years, perhaps due to his apparent tendency toward relativism. This essay offers a unified look at Dilthey’s moral writings in the context of his Kantian-styled “Critique of Historical Reason.” I present the Dilthey of the moral writings as an observer of reason in the spirit of Kant, watching practical reason devolve into error when it applies itself beyond the bounds of possible experience. Drawing on moral writings from across Dilthey’s corpus, I (...)
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  19. Is Existence a Predicate?W. Kneale & G. E. Moore - 1936 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 15 (1):154-188.
  20. J. Lacroix, Kant et le kantisme. [REVIEW]A. Lachièze-rey - 1967 - Kant-Studien 58 (1):116.
  21. On Kant’s Refutation of Metaphysics.Edward G. Ballard - 1958 - New Scholasticism 32 (2):235-252.
  22. Knowledge, Discipline, System, Hope: The Fate of Metaphysics in the Doctrine of Method.Andrew Chignell - 2017 - In James O'Shea (ed.), Kant's Critique of Pure Reason: A Critical Guide. New York, USA: Cambridge University Press. pp. 259-279.
    In this chapter I highlight the apparent tensions between Kant’s very stringent critique of metaphysical speculation in the “Discipline of Pure Reason” chapter and his endorsement of Belief (Glaube) and hope (Hoffnung) regarding metaphysical theses in the subsequent “Canon of Pure Reason.” In the process I will examine his distinction between the theoretical and the practical bases for holding a “theoretical” conclusion (i.e. a conclusion about “what exists” rather than “what ought to be”) and argue that the position is subtle (...)
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  23. Kant's Doctrine of Transcendental Illusion.Michelle Grier - 2001 - Cambridge University Press.
    This major study of Kant provides a detailed examination of the development and function of the doctrine of transcendental illusion in his theoretical philosophy. The author shows that a theory of 'illusion' plays a central role in Kant's arguments about metaphysical speculation and scientific theory. Indeed, she argues that we cannot understand Kant unless we take seriously his claim that the mind inevitably acts in accordance with ideas and principles that are 'illusory'. Taking this claim seriously, we can make much (...)
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  24. Kant's Attack on Metaphysics.A. C. Ewing - 1954 - Revue Internationale de Philosophie 30 (4):371.
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  25. Scepticism and the Development of the Transcendental Dialectic.Brian A. Chance - 2012 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 20 (2):311-331.
    Kant's response to scepticism in the Critique of Pure Reason is complex and remarkably nuanced, although it is rarely recognized as such. In this paper, I argue that recent attempts to flesh out the details of this response by Paul Guyer and Michael Forster do not go far enough. Although they are right to draw a distinction between Humean and Pyrrhonian scepticism and locate Kant's response to the latter in the Transcendental Dialectic, their accounts fail to capture two important aspects (...)
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  26. The Truths of Metaphysics.Henry Veatch - 1964 - Review of Metaphysics 17 (3):372 - 395.
    TODAY it would seem to be rather generally assumed that Kant had posed a problem for any future metaphysics which no future metaphysics has either been able to solve, or perhaps even tried very hard to solve. And it would further seem to be the consensus that Kant's famous challenge to metaphysics really turned on what, in the broad sense of the term, might be called a set of simple logical considerations, viz. that any judgment, and hence any metaphysical judgment, (...)
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  27. Kant’s Conception of Analytic Judgment.Ian Proops - 2005 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 70 (3):588–612.
    In the 'Critique of Pure Reason' Kant appears to characterize analytic judgments in four distinct ways: once in terms of “containment,” a second time in terms of “identity,” a third time in terms of the explicative–ampliative contrast, and a fourth time in terms of the notion of “cognizability in accordance with the principle of contradiction.” The paper asks: Which of these characterizations—or apparent characterizations—best captures Kant’s conception of analyticity in the first Critique? It suggests: “the second.” It argues, further, that (...)
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Kant: Rational Psychology
  1. The “Fourth Paralogism” in the 1781 Critique of Pure Reason: A (Moderately) Realist Reading.Marialena Karampatsou - 2021 - In Camilla Serck-Hanssen & Beatrix Himmelmann (eds.), The Court of Reason: Proceedings of the 13th International Kant Congress. Berlin/Boston: De Gruyter. pp. 545-554.
    On the historically dominant reading of the Fourth Paralogism, Kant pursues an antiskeptical strategy of a Berkeleyan stripe, aiming to secure our belief in the existence of the external world by reducing this world to a mind-dependent, mental entity. I propose a more charitable and realist interpretation of Kant’s strategy. On the proposed reading, Kant pursues a moderate antiskeptical strategy which sets radical skeptical worries aside; Kant’s Berkeleyan-sounding remarks merely express standard Kantian doctrine (his theory of space).
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  2. The Science of the Soul and the Unyielding Architectonic: Kant Versus Wolff on the Foundations of Psychology.Michael Bennett McNulty - 2021 - In Saulo de Freitas Araujo, Thiago Constâncio Ribeiro Pereira & Thomas Sturm (eds.), The Force of an Idea: New Essays on Christian Wolff's Psychology. pp. 251–69.
    Thorough comparison of Immanuel Kant’s and Christian Wolff’s divergent appraisals of the science of psychology reveals various ways in which Kant fundamentally altered the Wolffian philosophical apparatus that he inherited. Wolff conceived of a thoroughgoing interplay between empirical and rational psychology, of combining different sorts of cognition in psychology, and of a mathematical science of the soul, or psychometrics. Kant however rejected each of these particular theses and deemed psychology to be no natural science, “properly so-called.” This chapter details these (...)
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  3. Fictionalism and Illusion: Comments on Chapter 5 of Kraus' Kant on Self-Knowledge and Self-Formation. [REVIEW]Corey W. Dyck - manuscript
    These comments are my contribution to the author-meets-critics session on Katharina Kraus' recently published Kant on Self-Knowledge and Self-Formation, at the APA Pacific meeting. In my comments, I challenge Kraus' characterization of my fictionalism concerning the idea of the soul, and contend for the importance of transcendental illusion in that idea's function of guiding the empirical investigation of inner appearances.
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  4. Kant on de Se.Luca Forgione - 2018 - In Violetta Waibel, Margit Ruffing & David Wagner (eds.), Natur und Freiheit: Akten des XII. Internationalen Kant-Kongresses. Berlino, Germania: De Gruyter. pp. 3779-3786.
    Since the classic works by Castañeda, Perry and Lewis, de se thoughts have been described as thoughts about oneself ‘as oneself’. In recent years, various theoretical perspectives have gained ground, and even if the transcendental system does not seem to contemplate an explicit articulation of de se thoughts, apparently a few features of transcendental apperception and I think do anticipate a few points in Perry and Recanati’s claims on the so-called implicit de se thoughts in the specific terms of Transcendentalism.
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  5. Béatrice Longuenesse, I, Me, Mine: Back to Kant, and Back Again Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017 Pp. Xx+257 ISBN 9780199665761 $45.00. [REVIEW]Curtis Sommerlatte - 2018 - Kantian Review 23 (3):504-510.
  6. Immaterial Spirits and the Reform of First Philosophy: The Compatibility of Kant’s Pre-Critical Metaphysics with the Arguments in Dreams of a Spirit-Seer.Matthew Rukgaber - 2018 - Journal of the History of Ideas 79 (3):363-383.
  7. Kant, Epistemic Phenomenalism, and the Refutation of Idealism.Michael Oberst - 2018 - Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie 100 (2):172-201.
    This paper takes issue with the widespread view that Kant rejects epistemic phenomenalism. According to epistemic phenomenalism, only cognition of states of one’s own mind can be certain, while cognition of outer objects is necessarily uncertain. I argue that Kant does not reject this view, but accepts a modified version of it. For, in contrast to traditional skeptics, he distinguishes between two kinds of outer objects and holds that we have direct access to outer appearances in our mind; but he (...)
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  8. Transcendental Paralogisms as Formal Fallacies - Kant’s Refutation of Pure Rational Psychology.Toni Kannisto - 2018 - Kant-Studien 109 (2):195-227.
    : According to Kant, the arguments of rational psychology are formal fallacies that he calls transcendental paralogisms. It remains heavily debated whether there actually is any formal error in the inferences Kant presents: according to Grier and Allison, they are deductively invalid syllogisms, whereas Bennett, Ameriks, and Van Cleve deny that they are formal fallacies. I advance an interpretation that reconciles these extremes: transcendental paralogisms are sound in general logic but constitute formal fallacies in transcendental logic. By formalising the paralogistic (...)
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  9. Uberzeugender Beweis Aus der Vernunft von der Unsterblichkeit Sowohl der Menschen Seelen Insgemein, Als Besonders der Kinder-Seelen.Israel Gottlieb Canz & Corey W. Dyck (eds.) - 2017 - Hildesheim: Olms.
    Israel Gottlieb Canz’s Uberzeugender Beweiß, first published in 1741 and reprinted here in its second, expanded edition stands as his most influential discussion of the soul’s immortality, with one contemporary pronouncing it to be “one of the best [treatments of immortality] that we have.” In this text, Canz seeks to augment and supplement traditional Wolffian proofs by considering, first, the grounds for the soul’s immortality that are contained in its own nature and, second, the grounds for the same that are (...)
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  10. Karl Ameriks, "Kant's Theory of Mind: An Analysis of the Paralogisms of Pure Reason". [REVIEW]Michael Washburn - 1984 - Journal of the History of Philosophy 22 (2):245.
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  11. Kant and the Demands of Self-Consciousness. [REVIEW]Frederick Rauscher - 2000 - Journal of the History of Philosophy 38 (2):285.
    Keller (Univ. of California, Riverside) offers an original reading of Kant's Critique of Pure Reason that combines thematic focus and comprehensive scope." Choice \n\nBook Description\n\nIn Kant and the Demands of Self-Consciousness, Pierre Keller examines\nKant's theory of self-consciousness and argues that it succeeds in\nexplaining how both subjective and objective experience are possible.\nPrevious interpretations of Kant's theory have held that he treats\nall self-consciousness as knowledge of objective states of affairs,\nand also that self-consciousness can be interpreted as knowledge\nof personal identity. By developing this (...)
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  12. V. Satura, Kants Erkenntnispsychologie in den Nachschriften seiner Vorlesungen über empirische Psychologie. [REVIEW]H. Drüe - 1974 - Kant-Studien 65 (4):479.
  13. Der transzendentale Schein in den Paralogismen der reinen Vernunft nach der ersten Auflage der Kritik der reinen Vernunft: Ein Kommen-tar zu KrV, A 396-405.Matthias Koßler - 1998 - Kant-Studien 90 (1):1-22.
    At the end of the chapter on paralogisms in the first edition of his _Critique of Pure Reason, Kant treats the problem of the transcendental illusion in a very detailed way which is not exceeded in the second edition. The essay gives an exhaustive commentary to this passage leading to the result that the unavoidability of transcendental illusion has to be taken seriously in that sense that human reason in his theoretical use cannot conceived other than liable to illusion.
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  14. Personal Identity and Kant’s “Refutation of Idealism”.Richard E. Aquila - 1979 - Kant-Studien 70 (3):259.
  15. Fundamental Singleness: How to Turn the 2nd Paralogism Into a Valid Argument: Galen Strawson.Galen Strawson - 2010 - Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 67:61-92.
    [1] Experience is a real concrete phenomenon. The existence of experience entails the existence of a subject of experience. Therefore subjects of experience are concretely real. [2] The existence of a subject of experience in the lived present or living moment of experience, e.g. the period of time in which the grasping of a thought occurs, provably involves the existence of singleness or unity of an unsurpassably strong kind. The singleness or unity in question is a metaphysically real, concrete entity. (...)
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  16. Review of Kant's Transcendental Psychology by P. Kitcher. [REVIEW]Arthur Melnick - 1993 - Philosophy of Science 60 (3):513-515.
  17. Kant’s Transcendental and Empirical Psychology of Cognition.Claudia M. Schmidt - 2008 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 39 (4):462-472.
    One of the perennially intriguing questions regarding Kant’s approach to the human sciences is the relation between his ‘transcendental psychology’ and empirical cognitive psychology. In this paper I compare his analysis of the a priori conditions of human cognition in the Critique of pure reason with his empirical account of the human cognitive faculties in his Anthropology from a pragmatic point of view. In comparing his approach to self-consciousness, sensibility, imagination, and understanding in these two works, I argue that Kant (...)
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  18. A Double Edged Sword? Kant's Refutation Of Mendelssohn's Proof Of The Immortality Of The Soul And Its Implications For His Theory Of Matter.Lorne Falkenstein - 1998 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 29 (4):561-588.
  19. Fichte’s Critique of Kant’s Doctrine of Inner Sense.Garth W. Green - 2007 - Idealistic Studies 37 (3):157-178.
    In this paper, the thematic context for Fichte’s early concern with the character of the forms of intuition, and specifically inner intuition, is adumbrated. This context is provided by means of a brief exposition of Kant’s doctrine of time as the form of inner sense, and its dual role; its positive role in the “order of cognition” or ordo cognoscendi, and its negative role in the critique of Seelenlehre or “doctrine of the soul.” It is then argued, on this basis, (...)
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  20. Personal Identity and Kant’s Third Person Perspective.Pierre Keller - 1994 - Idealistic Studies 24 (2):123-146.
    In recent philosophy there has been increasing interest in the relation between the first and third person perspective on experience. The first person perspective has a certain epistemic priority with regard to the ascription of inner states. An agent knows his or her beliefs and desires in a way which no one else can. There is thus a presumption in favor of the agent’s self-ascriptions when it comes to the ascription of inner states. This first person authority over such inner (...)
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  21. Kant’s Critique of Mysticism: (1) The Critical Dreams.Stephen R. Palmquist - 1989 - Philosophy and Theology 3 (4):355-383.
    This is a series of two articles examining Kant’s attitude toward mystical experiences and the relation between his interest in these and his interest in constructing a Critical system of metaphysics.“The Critical Dreams” begins by questioning the traditional division between “Critical” and “pre-Critical” periods in Kant’s development. After explaining Kant’s Critical method, his 1766 book, Dreams of a Spirit-Seer... is examined and found to contain all the essential elements of that method. The onlykey element which is missing is his “Copernican” (...)
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  22. Selbstbewußtsein und Objektbewußtsein bei Kant: Eine Studie zu den Paralogismen der reinen Vernunft.Richard Schantz - 2000 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 60 (1):151-169.
    In the Paralogisms of Pure Reason Kant casts a critical glance at that doctrine of the soul which was called "rational psychology" by the classical metaphysics of his time, and which can best be understood as a systematic reconstruction of Descartes' theory of mind. Kant agrees with the proponents of rational psychology that our representation of a subject of experience is necessarily the representation of a simple, unitary and persisting subject. But Kant's decisive objection to his opponents is that from (...)
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  23. The Embodiment of Reason: Kant on Spirit, Generation and Community. By Susan Meld Shell. Chicago: University of Chicago Press 1996. Pp. Vii, 483. ISBN 0-226-75215-1 , ISBN 0-226-75217-8. [REVIEW]Andrew N. Carpenter - 1998 - Kantian Review 2:134-143.
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