I argue that Immanuel Kant's critical philosophy—in particular the doctrine of transcendental idealism which grounds it—is best understood as an `epistemic' or `metaphilosophical' doctrine. As such it aims to show how one may engage in the natural sciences and in metaphysics under the restriction that certain conditions are imposed on our cognition of objects. Underlying Kant's doctrine, however, is an ontological posit, of a sort, regarding the fundamental nature of our cognition. This posit, sometimes called the `discursivity thesis', while considered (...) to be completely obvious and uncontroversial by some, has nevertheless been denied by thinkers both before and after Kant. One such thinker is Jakob Friedrich Fries, an early neo-Kantian thinker who, despite his rejection of discursivity, also advocated for a metaphilosophical understanding of critical philosophy. As I will explain, a consequence for Fries of the denial of discursivity is a radical reconceptualisation of the method of critical philosophy; whereas this method is a priori for Kant, for Fries it is in general empirical. I discuss these issues in the context of quantum theory, and I focus in particular on the views of the physicist Niels Bohr and the Neo-Friesian philosopher Grete Hermann. I argue that Bohr's understanding of quantum mechanics can be seen as a natural extension of an orthodox Kantian viewpoint in the face of the challenges posed by quantum theory, and I compare this with the extension of Friesian philosophy that is represented by Hermann's view. -/- A shorter version of this paper, focusing specifically on the views of Grete Hermann, has been published as: Cuffaro, Michael (2023). Grete Hermann, Quantum Mechanics, and the Evolution of Kantian Philosophy. In Jeanne Peijnenburg & Sander Verhaegh (eds.), Women in the History of Analytic Philosophy. Cham: Springer. pp. 114-145. (shrink)
Recently, Kenneth Westphal has presented a highly interesting and innovative reading of Kant's critical philosophy.2 This reading continues a tradition of Kantscholarship of which, e.g., Paul Guyer's work is representative, and in which the antiidealistic potential of Kant's critical philosophy is pitted against its idealistic selfunderstanding. Much of the work in this tradition leaves matters at observing the tensions this introduces in Kant's work. But Westphal's proposed interpretation goes farther. Its attractiveness derives for the most part from the promise that (...) it permits an internal critique of Kant's transcendental idealism (TI), that is, a critique that is based on the very resources of Kantian transcendental philosophy.3 In contrast to these resources, which currently seem to go through a sort of revival in an enormous array of fields, TI is notorious for dismaying even sympathetic interpreters. How attractive and needed such an internal critique of TI would be becomes all the more patent when we place such a promise in the context of some of the contemporary discussions about TI after Allison's famous defense of it. Before directly engaging with Westphal's interpretation, I would therefore like to quickly sketch on what background it acquires its force (I). After characterizing the main features of Westphal's view (II), and supporting it in more detail by an account of Kant's theory of cognitive significance (III), I then want to review the extent of its success to present Kant as issuing an anti-skeptical argument (IV.1), or semantic views that are incompatible with TI (IV.2), or a 'proof of not merely empirical realism' (IV.3). I agree that purely idealist readings of Kant are mistaken. Westphal's... (shrink)
Kant’s doctrine of the “transcendental object” has always puzzled interpreters. On the one hand, he says that the transcendental object is the object to which we relate our representations. On the other hand, he declares the transcendental object to be unknowable and identifies it with the thing in itself. I argue that this poses a problem that Kant only in the B edition of the Critique solves in a satisfactory manner. According to this solution, we ascribe sensible predicates to things (...) in themselves, but only insofar as they appear. I conclude that this could motivate a phenomenalist account of Kant’s idealism, but one that gives due weight to the role of things in themselves. (shrink)
In this paper, I explain why for Kant self-consciousness is intimately related to objectivity, how this intimacy translates to real objects, what it means to make judgements about objects, and what idealism has got to do with all of this.
The paper offers a model of Kant's claim that unity of consciousness entails objectivity of experience. This claim has nothing especially to do with thought, language or the categories but is a general truth about arbitrary signaling systems of the sort modeled in the paper. In conclusion I draw some consequences for various forms of idealism.
Kant's A-Edition objective deduction is naturally (and has traditionally been) divided into two arguments: an " argument from above" and one that proceeds " von unten auf." This would suggest a picture of Kant's procedure in the objective deduction as first descending and ascending the same ladder, the better, perhaps, to test its durability or to thoroughly convince the reader of its soundness. There are obvious obstacles to such a reading, however; and in this chapter I will argue that the (...) arguments from above and below constitute different, albeit importantly inter-related, proofs. Rather than drawing on the differences in their premises, however, I will highlight what I take to be the different concerns addressed and, correspondingly, the distinct conclusions reached by each. In particular, I will show that both arguments can be understood to address distinct specters, with the argument from above addressing an internal concern generated by Kant’s own transcendental idealism, and the argument from below seeking to dispel a more traditional, broadly Humean challenge to the understanding’s role in experience. These distinct concerns also imply that these arguments yield distinct conclusions, though I will show that they are in fact complementary. (shrink)
Stephenson (2022) has argued that Kant’s thesis that all transcendental truths are transcendentally a priori knowable leads to omniscience of all transcendental truths. His arguments depend on luminosity principles and closure principles for transcendental knowability. We will argue that one pair of a luminosity and a closure principle should not be used, because the closure principle is too strong, while the other pair of a luminosity and a closure principle should not be used, because the luminosity principle is too strong. (...) Stephenson’s argument also depends on a factivity principle for transcendental knowability, which we will argue to be false. (shrink)
I offer a new reconstruction of Hegel’s criticism of Kant’s idealism. Kant held that we impose categorial form on experience, while sensation provides its matter. Hegel argues that the matter we receive cannot guide our imposition of form on it. Contra recent interpretations, Hegel’s argument does not depend on a conceptualist account of perception or a view of the categories as empirically conditioned. His objection is that given Kant’s dualistic metaphysics, the categories cannot have material conditions for correct application. This (...) leads to subjectivism in the content of experience: the subject is given an implausibly strong role in determining what is the case. Hegel’s own absolute idealism solves this problem. (shrink)
Famously, in the second Critique, Kant claims that our consciousness of the moral law provides us with sufficient grounds for the attribution of freedom to ourselves as noumena or things-in-themselves. In this way, while Kant insists that we have no rational basis to make substantive assertions about things-in-themselves from a theoretical point of view, it is rational for us to assert that we are noumenally free from a practical one. This much is uncontroversial. What is controversial is the cognitive relation (...) to things-in-themselves that is possible from a practical point of view. Interpreters have tended to regard such “practical cognition” of things-in-themselves as a poor step-cousin of its theoretical counterpart — as a sort of mere “rational faith” unworthy of comparison with genuine theoretical knowledge or cognition. Recent work on these issues has begun to shift this picture. But this reassessment is in its early stages and remains highly controversial. My aim here is to take this tendency and push it farther than most have generally been willing to go - at least with respect to our practical self-understanding as noumenally free agents. Indeed, I believe that, far from representing an impoverished cousin of theoretical cognition and knowledge, our practical awareness of ourselves as free possesses the central marks of cognition and knowledge in Kant’s sense of these terms, albeit on practical grounds. Thus, it is no surprise that Kant is willing to speak of our consciousness of the moral law as enabling genuine cognition of noumenal freedom. (shrink)
This essay reassesses the relation between Kant and Kripke on the relation between necessity and the a priori. Kripke famously argues against what he takes to be the traditional view that a statement is necessary only if it is a priori, where, very roughly, what it means for a statement to be necessary is that it is true and could not have been false and what it means for a statement to be a priori is that it is knowable independently (...) of experience. Call such a view the Entailment Thesis. Along with many Kant scholars, Kripke thinks that Kant endorses the Entailment Thesis. Thus Kripke and many others take his arguments against the Entailment Thesis to tell against Kant and to mark an important point of disagreement with him. I will argue that this is a mistake. Kant does not endorse the Entailment Thesis that Kripke and many others attribute to him. He does endorse two quite different theses concerning the relation between necessity and the a priori, as he conceives them. One is a matter of definition and the other is a very substantial philosophical thesis indeed—to establish it is the aim of the entire Critique of Pure Reason. But Kripke’s arguments against the Entailment Thesis tell against neither of Kant’s theses, as they involve crucially different conceptions of necessity and the a priori. This superficial lack of disagreement masks deep disagreements, but these result from divergent views regarding matters such as realism, modal epistemology, and philosophical methodology; views which Kant does a lot, and Kripke very little, to argue for. (shrink)
Asymmetry theories about free will and moral responsibility are a recent development in the long history of the free will debate. Kant commentators have not yet explored the possibility of an asymmetrical reconstruction of Kant's theory of freedom, and that is my goal here. By "free will", I mean the sort of control we would need to be morally responsible for our actions. Kant's term for it is "transcendental freedom", and he refers to the attribution of moral responsibility as "imputation". (...) By "Kant's theory of freedom", I mean not only his theory of transcendental freedom and imputation, but also the various ways in which he draws on these ideas in his moral theory. (shrink)
This is the penultimate draft of a forthcoming article. The first part surveys five perspectives in Kant’s philosophy on the quantity of retribution to be inflicted on wrongdoers, ordered by two dimensions of difference—whether they are theoretical or practical perspectives, and the quantity of retribution they prescribe: (1) theoretical zero, the perspective of theoretical philosophy; (2) practical infinity, the perspective of God and conscience; (3) practical equality, the perspective of punishment in public law; (4) practical degrees, the perspective we adopt (...) in private relations to others; and (5) practical zero, a perspective I argue is entailed by Kant’s doctrine of strict right, which is his justification of coercing compliance with public law. Kant acknowledges 1-4, but not 5. The second part draws on Kant’s account of the burden of proof in criminal law to argue that Kant is wrong to adopt 3 in responding to criminals, and that we ought to adopt 5 instead. (shrink)
This paper critically examines the notion of a limit. It questions whether a putative opposition of philosophical “camps” emphasized in recent years is actually tenable. This opposition is taken to hold between classical approaches in a Kantian spirit, operating with the notion of necessary limits to human cognition and sense-making, and a recent “speculative” turn in philosophy championed by Quentin Meillassoux, looking to overcome such limits. The paper’s contention against this dichotomy is that the rhetoric of unlimitedness depends on ideas (...) about limits that are rooted in the very Kantian way of thinking it claims to oppose. What is more, these ideas are just as questionable for they, in turn, rely on a notion of “the Absolute” which they claim to undermine. The paper investigates these foundations of modern thought about limits and finitude in perception and thought, and the consequences these ideas have had. It closes by arguing that the notion of a limit as it has been formative for recent philosophy is inconsistent, and that our focus in philosophy should rather rest on the contextual conditions of thought: on this picture, thoughts articulate a contextually determined grip on reality, which presupposes that reality is used in a certain way. (shrink)
In "Kant on Freedom and Rational Agency", I aim to give a comprehensive interpretation and a qualified defense of Kant’s doctrine of freedom as a systematic conception of rational agency. -/- Although my book follows Kant in focusing on the idea of free will as a condition of moral agency, it denies that moral freedom of will is the only relevant (transcendental) type of freedom. Human beings also exercise absolute freedom of thought (intellectual autonomy) in their theoretical cognition. Moreover, our (...) creation and appreciation of beauty requires our freedom of imagination. I consider these three varieties of free agency both in their own rights and in their systematic connections, by examining how they differ from and yet relate to each other. On this basis, my interpretation shows that and why for Kant transcendental freedom is the proper anchor ("cardinal point") of all meaningful, rational human activity: our moral efforts to become more virtuous and to make the world a better place; our theoretical efforts to understand, explain and predict the world; and our aesthetic engagement with the world of beauty, both artistic and natural. -/- Additionally, "Kant on Freedom and Rational Agency" illuminates Kant's intricate, multifaceted account by considering the various metaphysical, semantic, epistemological and normative dimensions of Kantian freedom and by revealing their systematic interconnections. One significant benefit of tracing these links is that by doing so we can arrive at a charitable view of how Kant seeks to justify the belief in moral freedom of will. -/- For many commentators, Kant's appeal to a moral ‘fact of reason’ as our basis for believing in supersensible free will is an abject philosophical failure or a lapse into dogmatic rationalism. By contrast, I show that Kant justifies our belief in free will through a rather powerful, two-pronged argumentative strategy. First, he constructs a practical-moral proof of free will via the fact of reason doctrine. Second, he provides a theoretical defense of this moral proof against challenges arising from a naturalistic worldview. The linchpin of this defense is his argument that naturalistic cognizers must presuppose their epistemic freedom of thought as a necessary condition of all objective theoretical (including naturalistic) cognition. Since epistemic freedom of thought and moral freedom of will are both species of transcendental freedom, naturalists cannot (coherently) debunk our practical self-conception as transcendentally free moral agents. The appeal to epistemic freedom of thought provides no positive grounds for believing in a free moral will; but it shields our moral self-awareness (which does provide such grounds) against its most prominent detractors. -/- This defense strategy (among other aspects of Kant’s view that I examine in my book) shows that a significant part of Kant’s legacy is his abiding potential to challenge and provide alternatives to a naturalistic philosophical worldview (held by the “defender of an omnipotent nature”) according to which the mechanistic order of nature engulfs all metaphysical reality and (thereby) our entire humanity. (shrink)
In Kant’s idealism, all spatiotemporal objects depend on the human mind in a certain way. A central issue here is whether the existence of spatiotemporal things requires that these things are, at least at some point, objects of some actual experience or of a merely possible experience. In this essay, I argue (on textual and philosophical grounds) for the latter view: spatiotemporal things exist (or spatiotemporal events occur) if they are objects of a (suitably qualified) possible experience.
This paper develops its exegetical claim by building mainly on a reconstruction of a central argument in the Critique of Pure Reason and supporting it with material from Kant’s other critical works. It argues that Kant’s philosophy does not permit us any judgment about things in themselves whatsoever. This could be called a form of ignorance, albeit a unique one. On the developed reading, Kant claims that there cannot be any objectively valid judgment about things in themselves, and since so-called (...) judgments without objective validity are actually no judgments at all, there is no judgment about things in themselves available to us – not even a negative one. The paper considers the theses and antitheses of the antinomies, analytic judgments, and the practical postulates as potential candidates for such judgments, each of which fail the objectivity test. It ends by concluding that we should read Kant’s critical writings in such a way that they do not feature any judgments about things in themselves and suggests one way to do so: putative judgments of this sort could be read as higher-order judgments about the concept of a thing in itself. (shrink)
I seek to show in this paper how, in addressing the concept of “I” and the question of self-knowledge in the Critique of Pure Reason, one encounters a paradox, which is essentially a consequence of the doctrine of transcendental idealism. I point to Kant's concept of “I” and its three co-constitutive perspectives. The importance of the concept of subject and its intertwining with the concept of reason is pointed out, as also how these two concepts appear in the text of (...) the Critique of Pure Reason as presuppositions. Subsequently, I deal with some basic questions of transcendental idealism. Finally, I briefly present the three perspectives of the "I": as a phenomenon, as a transcendental structure, and as a noumenon. I conclude by bringing back what Kant himself conceives as a paradox, which is the subject’s self-affection, and the relation between the subject as noumenon and as inner sense. (shrink)
Este artículo presenta el modo de relación de la totalidad de lo condicionado y lo incondicionado en la lógica transcendental de Kant. Para ello el argumento reconstruye los elementos que abren el tratamiento de la dialéctica transcendental en la "Crítica de la razón pura", es decir, la apariencia ilusoria y las Ideas de la razón. Este modo de leer la doctrina de las síntesis transcendentales de lo condicionado y lo incondicionado exhibe la tesis de la complementariedad diferenciada entre ambas regiones, (...) dando a cada una su derecho, lugar y misión. (shrink)
Can sensibility, as our capacity to be sensibly presented with objects, be understood independently of the understanding, as the capacity to form judgments about those objects? It is a truism that for judgments to be empirical knowledge they must agree with what sensibility presents. Moreover, it is a familiar thought that objectivity involves absolute independence from intellectual acts. The author argues that together these thoughts motivate a common reading of Kant on which operations of sensibility are conceived as intelligible independently (...) of acts of the understanding, so that their supposed objectivity can validate judgments as empirical knowledge. He contends that there are two reasons why this epistemic compositionalism is implausible both as a reading of Kant and in itself. First, read compositionally, Kant’s Transcendental Deduction is unable to fulfill its stated aim of showing that the categories are objectively valid, that is, exemplified by the objects that sensibility presents. Second, Kant sees that sensibility by itself cannot be understood to even purport to present objects, thus undermining the very intelligibility of compositionalism. The author argues that, given these challenges, Kant’s Deduction develops an alternative account, on which operations of sensibility and acts of the understanding can be understood only together. He contends that this epistemic hylomorphism transforms the familiar thought underlying compositionalism: objectivity simultaneously involves formal agreement with intellectual acts in general and material independence from any specific such act. He thus shows how Kant reconceives our conception of objectivity by overcoming compositionalism in favor of hylomorphism. (shrink)
The goal of this paper is to sketch an account of Kant’s signature metaphysical doctrine (transcendental idealism) that (a) has no supporters – as far as I am aware – in the contemporary literature, and (b) draws its primary motivation (as interpretation) from considerations regarding our practical situation and needs as agents. -/- The consideration I focus on here is that people not only have mental and moral features, but they also appear to us – in our daily experience – (...) to have such features: “[w]e can perceive virtue in our experience (Wir können in der Erfahrung wohl Tugend wahrnehmen)” (24: 906). The same presumably goes for vice: When I see you casually torturing a cat, you appear to me to be brown-haired, wearing jeans, moving your arms, laughing, and so on, but you also appear to me to be vicious and cruel. Your character shines through in your actions. I can then make a defeasible inference from those appearances to the moral reality. -/- Such appearances and inferences play a central role in our practices of praise, blame, forgiveness, and punishment. An interpretation of transcendental idealism that gives primacy to the practical will thus seek to analyze the concepts of experience, acquaintance, and appearance/phenomenon in a capacious-enough way that they can apply to mental and moral features too. If successful, such an interpretation would have a clear practical advantage over those that leave us merely conjecturing from experiences of bodies, gestures, and secondary qualities to moral features that do not appear, or even to the non-appearing features of a distinct set of things. (shrink)
This book offers an original philosophical perspective on exemplarity. Inspired by Wittgenstein’s later work and Derrida’s theory of deconstruction, it argues that examples are not static entities but rather oscillate between singular and universal moments. There is a broad consensus that exemplary cases mediate between singular instances and universal concepts or norms. In the first part of the book, Mácha contends that there is a kind of différance between singular examples and general exemplars or paradigms. Every example is, in part, (...) also an exemplar, and vice versa. Furthermore, he develops a paracomplete approach to the logic of exemplarity, which allows us to say of an exemplar of X neither that it is an X nor that it is not an X. This paradox is structurally isomorphic to Russell’s paradox and can be addressed in similar ways. In the second part of the book, Mácha presents four historical studies that exemplify the ideas developed in the first part. This part begins with Plato’s Forms, understood as standards/paradigms, before considering Kant’s theory of reflective judgment as a general epistemological account of exemplarity. This is then followed by analyses of Hegel’s conceptual moment of particularity and Kuhn’s concept of paradigm. The book concludes by discussing the speculative hypothesis that all our knowledge is based on paradigms, which, following the logic of exemplarity, are neither true nor false. (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)
Immanuel Kant: Transcendental Idealism Transcendental idealism is one of the most important sets of claims defended by Immanuel Kant, in the Critique of Pure Reason. According to this famous doctrine, we must distinguish between appearances and things in themselves, that is, between that which is mind-dependent and that which is not. In Kant’s view, human … Continue reading Kant: Transcendental Idealism →.
ABSTRACT One of the core issues where interpreters of Kant disagree concerns his alleged Noumenalism—the claim that the objects of our experience, which are in space and time, are underpinned by entities that are not spatio-temporal and that non-spatio-temporally cause our representations of empirical objects. Although there is much textual evidence in favour of Noumenalism, non-Noumenalists have also gathered a significant number of philosophical and exegetical challenges to such a reading of Kant. I present a novel way of understanding the (...) Noumenalist view, which characterises the distinction between appearances and things in themselves as the distinction between referents and truthmakers. I show that, on this interpretation of Kant, the most pressing problems for the Noumenalist reading are primarily based on equivocations between features of reference and features of truthmaking. (shrink)
In the Anticipations, Kant defends the claim that all sensations must register on a purely subjective scale of response to stimuli, in order for sensation to be a possible source of knowledge. In this paper, I argue that Kant defends this claim in response to “scholasticism” or transcendental realism about sensation. The fact that all sensations are measurable on a subjective scale is the a priori content of the principle of the Anticipations, and, according to Kant, is a necessary condition (...) for building any systematic analysis of sensation. The anti-metaphysical arguments in the “Anticipations of Perception” are key building blocks of Kant’s transcendental idealism. (shrink)
This paper draws attention to two problems with Kant's claim that transcendental freedom is timeless. The problems are that this causes conceptual difficulties and fails to vindicate important parts of our moral practices. I then put forward three ways in which we can respond to these charges on Kant's behalf. The first is to defend Kant's claim that transcendental freedom occurs outside of time. The second is to reject this claim, but try to maintain transcendental idealism. And the third is (...) to reject both Kant's claim about the timelessness of freedom and also transcendental idealism itself. (shrink)
In this paper I address a structurally similar tension between phenomenalism and realism about matter in Leibniz and Kant. In both philosophers, some texts suggest a starkly phenomenalist view of the ontological status of matter, while other texts suggest a more robust realism. In the first part of the paper I address a recent paper by Don Rutherford that argues that Leibniz is more of a realist than previous commentators have allowed. I argue that Rutherford fails to show that Leibniz (...) is any less an idealist than his main target, Robert Merrihew Adams, does. I distinguish various kinds of idealism about bodies that Leibniz might have held, and attempt to determine which package of views represents his considered view. In the second part of the paper I situate Kant’s idealism within the same coordinates. I argue that, abstracting from deep differences in their metaphysics and epistemology, Kant and Leibniz have structurally very similar views on the ontological status of matter and bodies. I conclude that the key to understanding the realist strand in their ontology of matter is understanding the way in which, for both thinkers, the forces in bodies are appearances of forces of more fundamental entities, either monads or things in themselves. (shrink)
This article argues that in Beyond Good and Evil (BGE) Nietzsche defends “will to power” as a transcendentally ideal condition of objectivity, in the sense in which Kant considers, say, space, time, or the concepts of substance and causation to be such conditions. The article shows how Nietzsche’s engage-ment with the transcendental idealist arguments of his Kantian contemporaries leads him to reject naturalism and to adopt a peculiarly transcendental kind of skepticism, which rejects as unjustified the conditions that would make (...) objec-tivity possible. The article then turns to the argument for “will to power” in BGE 36, showing that it is best read as defending a transcendentally ideal condition of objectivity, and thus as responding to transcendental skepticism. The article concludes by elaborating on this understanding of “will to power,” particularly in relation to the sense of causality that Nietzsche invokes and in comparison with Kant’s own transcendental claims. (shrink)
In der vorliegenden Festschrift "Schlusslogische Letztbegründung" stehen zwei von Zeidlers zentralen wissenschaftlichen Forschungsbereichen im Fokus. Zum einen hat Zeidler sich in seiner Beschäftigung mit der transzendentalen und spekulativen Logik durch Herausarbeitung der begründenden Funktion des Schlusses hervorgetan. Zum Anderen führte er intensive Studien zur Thematik der Letztbegründung durch, die letztere als dynamische Form der Selbstbegründung auswiesen. Diese zentralen Thesen, dass der Schluss die logische Form der Begründung sei und Letztbegründung nur als Selbstbegründung möglich ist, führten ihn zu seiner Vollendung der (...) kantischen Transzendentalphilosophie, seinem absoluten Idealismus der Schlusslogischen Letztbegründung. Die Aufsätze lassen sich bezüglich Zeidlers Œuvre in drei Gruppen einteilen: Erstens, die Beiträge die Zeidlers Schriften kontextualisieren und analysieren (Mathisen, Rendl, Schmied-Kowarzik, Meer, Bunte, König, Hoffmann, Breil, Tydeckes). Zweitens, die Beiträge, die sich primär als Kritik an Zeidler verstehen (Flach, Knoppe, Krijnen). Drittens, die Beiträge, die sich der Ergänzung und Weiterentwicklung des zeidlerischen Ansatzes oder bestimmter von ihm aufgeworfenen Fragestellungen annehmen (Blau, Gloy, Hiltscher, Wiedenbach, Gottschlich, Müller, Klein, Dober). Da Zeidler die Transzendentalphilosophie primär als transzendentale Logik versteht, kann der Diskurs um diese als Leitfaden der Rekonstruktion der Beiträge gelten. Selbstverständlich kann in dieser Rezension nicht jeder Beitrag in Gänze gewürdigt werden. Jedoch soll sowohl versucht werden, einen Überblick über die verschiedenen Linien der Rezeption von Zeidler anhand der Beitragsgruppen zu geben, als auch diese Beiträge in ihren Theoriekontext einzubetten. Darüber hinaus sollen Zeidlers Repliken, die in der Festschrift unter dem Titel "Anmerkungen zur Schlusslogischen Letztbegründung" aufgeführt sind, an entsprechender Stelle thematisch zusammengefasst und der Analyse der Beiträge zur Seite gestellt werden. (shrink)
Le travail de Kurt Walter Zeidler n’est pas connu en France, mais il représente aujourd’hui la tentative la plus ambitieuse et la plus aboutie pour interpréter la philosophie critique à partir de son double héritage, postkantien et néokantien. Comme l’indiquent ici un grand nombre de ses collègues et de ses disciples, son œuvre très fournie part du constat que l’idéalisme transcendantal n’est pas vraiment parvenu à fonder la synthèse de la raison et de la réalité et à résorber le divorce (...) que le nominalisme a introduit entre le logos et le monde quand il a érigé le sujet en instance jugeante détachée de tout (p. 18, 574). Kant a fait le premier pas pour émanciper la logique du primat de la forme judicative (p. 67). Mais ni son contextualisme temporel, qui rapporte tout ce qui est su à la forme du temps (p. 345), ni les efforts de son continuateur Cohen pour fonder l’idéalisme critique sur un dépassement du psychologisme n’ont réussi à réconcilier la raison avec la réalité ou à rétablir son unité (p. 205). (shrink)
Los noumena son, en principio, conceptos límites. En el corpus kantiano encontramos múltiples de ellos, cuyo papel es decisivo en el tratamiento de la metafísica anterior, así como en la propuesta de metafísicas alternativas. Kant, sin embargo, no se detiene a explicarnos de dónde surgen esos conceptos y dónde irían. La presente investigación sugiere que a partir del concepto de nota (Merkmal) presentada en la KrV y desarrollada en la Jäsche Logik, podemos comprender estos noumena como las notas analíticas, suficientes, (...) esenciales y primitivas de las ideas de la razón, tanto teóricas como prácticas. (shrink)
Kant attacks the Leibnizians on various fronts but the objection that occurs most frequently in his writings is that they are committed to an untenable conception of the relation between sensible and intellectual representations. They regard the difference between intellectual and sensible representations as a merely ‘logical’ difference that concerns their form, namely, their different degrees of distinctness, while in truth it is a difference in kind that concerns their nature, origin, and content. In the first part of this essay, (...) I provide a detailed reconstruction of what exactly this objection amounts to, and show why Kant takes this misconception to be so significant that he keeps coming back to it over and over again. The misconception is so significant because virtually all of the other mistaken doctrines of the Leibnizians can be traced back to it. Several commentators have argued that Leibniz is not guilty of the confusion of sensible and intellectual representations that Kant accuses him of. But this does not automatically clear him from all the other errors that Kant takes to be closely connected with this confusion. In the second part of this essay, I take a look at Leibniz's theory of confused perceptions and examine whether he is committed to one of these errors, namely, the view that we could learn something about things in themselves by experience if our senses were acute enough or our powers of 'disfusing' perceptions were strong enough. (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)
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).
Do plants represent according to Kant? This is closely connected to the question of whether he held plants are alive, because he explains life in terms of the faculty to act on one’s own representations. He also explains life as having an immaterial principle of self-motion, and as a body’s interaction with a supersensible soul. I argue that because of the way plants move themselves, Kant is committed to their being alive, to their having a supersensible ground of their self-activity, (...) and to their having desires (although these are not conscious). This has important ramifications for Kant’s teleology and philosophy of mind. (shrink)
Readings of Kant’s Critique as endorsing phenomenalism have occupied the spotlight in recent times: ontological phenomenalism, semantic phenomenalism, analytical phenomenalism, epistemological phenomenalism, and so on. Yet, they raise the same old coherence problem with the Critique : are they compatible with Kant’s Refutation of Idealism? Are they able to reconcile the Fourth Paralogism of the first edition with the Refutation of the second, since Kant repeatedly claimed that he never changed his mind in-between the two editions of his Critique? This (...) paper addresses the key question: was Kant a phenomenalist and, if he was, in which precise sense? I propose a metaphysical but not ontologically reductionist reading of Kant as a phenomenalist. I argue for the following claims. To be sure, for Kant appearance is mere representation. Yet, appearance is representation only insofar as we take “appearance” in the empirical sense, namely the way that the mind-independent existing noumenon appears in space and, crucially, when we take “representation” in the transcendental sense, namely the mind -dependent way that we can cognize the same mind-independent existing noumenon. How shall I argue in defense of my alternative reading? First, I argue that my reading is pretty much compatible with Kant’s Refutation. Second, I argue that my reading reconciles the causal with the intentional readings of the Refutation. Third, I argue that my reading makes the Fourth Paralogism of the first edition and the Refutation of Idealism of the second completely compatible. (shrink)
In this paper I draw on Husserl's early analysis of the frustration of an intentional act to argue against orthodox transcendental idealism, the claim that our acts of cognition can be mistaken with regard to a "matter," and are therefore objective, but this matter only has conceptual structure by virtue of human activity. For example, the proposition "My coffee cup is red" can be true or false depending on the sensations I receive (the matter of the act of cognition), which (...) are independent of my will, but it is only by virtue of my own conceptualizing activity (the form or "structure" of the act of cognition) that there exists an object which is my coffee cup and is red, as opposed to this bare sensation of redness. I will argue against this view; Objects have both matter and conceptual structure independent of the actual fact of human cognition. Our acts of cognition can be mistaken with regard to matter insofar as subsequent intentional acts give the same object as having a different, contradictory matter, in which case our earlier act is "frustrated." This contradictory matter, in order to contradict the earlier matter, which was itself a property predicated to the object insofar as it has a certain conceptual structure, must itself belong to the object insofar as it has the same conceptual structure. (shrink)
Nietzsche, Kant, and the Problem of Metaphysics is the first of three volumes meant to address Nietzsche's relation to Kant and Kantian philosophy. This volume addresses how Nietzsche rejects, adopts, and reformulates Kantian epistemology and metaphysics. In what follows I go through the book chapter by chapter, providing a brief summary before a brief commentary.In their helpful introduction, Brusotti and Siemens do an impressive job of elucidating the young Nietzsche's acquaintances with Kant. This section is a "must-read." They then lay (...) the groundwork for Nietzsche's later criticisms of Kant and provide an instructive outline of the volume's contributions. There is one lacuna, however. The title of the volume... (shrink)
The objective of this paper is to provide critical analysis of the Kantian notion of freedom ; its significance in the contemporary debate on free-will and determinism, and the possibility of autonomy of artificial agency in the Kantian paradigm of autonomy. Kant's resolution of the third antinomy by positing the ground in the noumenal self resolves the problem of antinomies; however, it invites an explanatory gap between phenomenality and the noumenal self; even if he has successfully established the compatibility of (...) natural causality and non-natural causality through his transcendental argument. This paper is also devoted to establishing the plausibility of the knowledge claim that Kantian reduction of phenomenality has served half of the purpose of the AI scientists on the possibility of Artificial Autonomous Agency. (shrink)
The objective of this paper is to provide a critical analysis of the Kantian notion of freedom (especially the problem of the third antinomy and its resolution in the critique of pure reason); its significance in the contemporary debate on free-will and determinism, and the possibility of autonomy of artificial agency in the Kantian paradigm of autonomy. Kant's resolution of the third antinomy by positing the ground in the noumenal self resolves the problem of antinomies; however, invites an explanatory gap (...) between phenomenality and the noumenal self; even if he has successfully established the compatibility of natural causality and non-natural causality through his transcendental argument. This paper is also devoted to establishing the plausibility of the knowledge claim that Kantian reduction of phenomenality has served half of the purpose of the AI scientists on the possibility of Artificial Autonomous Agency. (shrink)
The book addresses two main areas of Kant’s theoretical philosophy: the doctrine of transcendental idealism and various central aspects of the arguments from the Metaphysical and Transcendental Deductions, as well as the relation between the deduction argument and idealism. -/- Among the topics covered are the nature of objective validity, the role and function of transcendental logic in relation to general or formal logic, the possibility of contradictory thoughts, the meaning of the Leitfaden at A79 and the unity of cognition, (...) the two-steps-in-one-proof interpretation and categorial instantiation, categorial illusion, Strawson’s transcendental argument, the persistently perplexing question of the derivation of the categories, and the relation between apperception, objectivity, judgement, and idealism. -/- With regard to idealism in particular, the focus is on the metaphysical two-aspect interpretation and its problems, on the merits and demerits of the controversial phenomenalist reading of Kant’s idealism, and on the topic of subjectivism and epistemic humility. -/- In all of the aforementioned topics, the book presents wholly novel interpretations compared to the standard or mainstream interpretations. (shrink)
talk Oslo-Kant congress. In this paper, I explain why for Kant self-consciousness is intimately related to objectivity, how this intimacy translates to real objects, what it means to make judgements about objects, and what idealism has got to do with all of this.
Este artículo examina el concepto del concepto en Kant y en Hegel. El modo de relación entre el principio de la apercepción y el concepto puro permite pensar a la filosofía de la forma transcendental como una metafísica crítica. La conexión sistemática entre las doctrinas del concepto, el juicio y el silogismo posibilita, en cambio, concebir la filosofía de la forma absoluta como una metafísica especulativa. En ambas lógicas el objeto corresponde, en último término, a la totalidad de las determinaciones (...) de aquella unidad suprema que Kant denominó apercepción y Hegel el concepto. (shrink)