Kant-Studien 105 (2):221-260 (2014)

While Kant in the Critique of Pure Reason maintains that things in themselves cannot be known, he also seems to assert that they affect our senses and produce representations. Following Jacobi, many commentators have considered these claims to be contradictory. Instead of adding another artificial solution to the existing literature on this subject, I maintain that Kant’s use of terms such as thing-in-itself, noumenon, and transcendental object becomes perfectly consistent if we take them to acquire a different meaning in the various parts of the work. Challenging the opposed interpretations of Allison and Langton, I argue that Kant’s account of things in themselves is primarily relevant to the second-order reflection on the possibility and limits of a scientific metaphysics that the Critique undertakes.
Keywords Kant  metaphysics  thing-in-itself  Critique of Pure Reason  transcendental object  Allison  affection
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DOI 10.1515/kant-2014-0011
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