Intrinsic natures: A critique of Langton on Kant


Authors
Lucy Allais
University of California, San Diego
Abstract
This paper argues that there is an important respect in which Rae Langton's recent interpretation of Kant is correct: Kant's claim that we cannot know things in themselves should be understood as the claim that we cannot know the intrinsic nature of things. However, I dispute Langton's account of intrinsic properties, and therefore her version of what this claim amounts to. Langton's distinction between intrinsic, causally inert properties and causal powers is problematic, both as an interpretation of Kant, and as an independent metaphysical position. I propose a different reading of the claim that we cannot know things intrinsically. I distinguish between two ways of knowing things: in terms of their effects on other things, and as they are apart from these. I argue that knowing things' powers is knowing things in terms of effects on other things, and therefore is not knowing them as they are in themselves, and that there are textual grounds for attributing this position to Kant
Keywords Analytic Philosophy  Contemporary Philosophy  Philosophy of Mind
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ISBN(s) 0031-8205
DOI 10.1111/j.1933-1592.2006.tb00608.x
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References found in this work BETA

In Defense of Pure Reason.Laurence BonJour - 1998 - Cambridge University Press.
Critique of Pure Reason.Immanuel Kant - 1998 - Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Dispositions and Conditionals.C. B. Martin - 1994 - Philosophical Quarterly 44 (174):1-8.
Kant's Transcendental Idealism.Henry E. Allison - 1988 - Yale University Press.

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Citations of this work BETA

Kant's Argument for Transcendental Idealism in the Transcendental Aesthetic.Lucy Allais - 2010 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 110 (1pt1):47-75.
Reality in-Itself and the Ground of Causality.Christian Onof - 2019 - Kantian Review 24 (2):197-222.
Allais on Transcendental Idealism.Andrew F. Roche - 2011 - Kantian Review 16 (3):351-374.
Receptivity and Phenomenal Self‐Knowledge.Thomas McClelland - 2013 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 2 (4):293-302.

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Defining 'Intrinsic'.Rae Langton & David Lewis - 1998 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 58 (2):333-345.
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Hyperventilating About Intrinsic Value.Fred Feldman - 1998 - The Journal of Ethics 2 (4):339-354.

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