The Aristotelian Prescription: Skepticism, Retortion, and Transcendental Arguments

From a number of quarters have come attempts to answer some form of skepticism—about knowledge of the external world, freedom of the will, or moral reasons—by showing it to be performatively self-defeating. Examples of this strategy are subject to a number of criticisms, in particular the criticism that they fail to shift the burden of proof from the anti-skeptical position, and so fail to establish the epistemic entitlement they seek. To these approaches I contrast one way of understanding Kant’s core anti-skeptical arguments in the Critique of Pure Reason. Kant’s goal is the more modest one of showing the applicability of the concepts of substance and cause to experience, against those who might call such application incoherent, or a category mistake. I explain why this goal makes Kant’s approach more promising than those of neo-Kantian practitioners of otherwise structurally-similar strategies.
Keywords Kant  Transcendental arguments  skepticism
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DOI 10.5840/ipq200646318
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