Can Kantian Laws Be Broken? Kant on Miracles

Res Philosophica 91 (1):103-121 (2014)
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Abstract

In this paper I explore Kant’s critical discussions of the topic of miracles (including the important but neglected fragment from the 1780s called “On Miracles”) in an effort to answer the question in the title. Along the way I discuss some of the different kinds of “laws” in Kant’s system, and also the argument for his claim that, even if empirical miracles do occur, we will never be in a good position to identify instances of them. I conclude with some tentative remarks about the notorious suggestion that intelligible finite agents, too, might have some sort of influence over the laws of nature. The goal throughout is to show that exploring Kant’s answer to a traditional question in philosophical theology can deepen our understanding of his metaphysics and epistemology of nature generally.

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Andrew Chignell
Princeton University

References found in this work

Counterfactuals.David K. Lewis - 1973 - Malden, Mass.: Blackwell.
Critique of Pure Reason.Immanuel Kant - 1998 - Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Edited by J. M. D. Meiklejohn. Translated by Paul Guyer & Allen W. Wood.
Summa Theologica.Thomasn D. Aquinas - 1273 - Hayes Barton Press. Edited by Steven M. Cahn.
Counterfactuals.David Lewis - 1973 - Foundations of Language 13 (1):145-151.

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