Nihon Kant Kenkyu 18:66-82 (2016)

Authors
Wolfgang Ertl
Keio University
Abstract
The distinction of things in themselves and appearances is an integral part of Kant’s transcendental idealism, yet it has often been met with rather significant hostility. Moreover, what surely has not contributed to the popularity of this Kantian doctrine is that there are, or at least there appear to be, two distinct models, detectable in Kant’s texts, to account for this distinction. Most commonly, these two models are called the “two aspect view” on the one hand and the “two world view” on the other, but it is possible that these labels themselves invite misunderstandings and obscure rather than clarify what Kant had in mind with his distinction. In this paper, I shall first briefly discuss how these two models could be described and labelled in a more suitable manner, namely as the “one composite entity view” and the “two separate objects view”. Subsequently, I will enquire which of the models is pertinent for Kant’s solution to the 3rd antinomy. I will try to show that although the two models appear to be incompatible, it is at least plausible to read Kant as using both of them in this crucial text of his oeuvre. Moreover, Kant’s strategy in solving the freedom problem on the basis of an indirectly realist account of the divine intellect provides the clue to understanding how these seemingly incompatible models can co-exist without forcing Kant into maintaining contradictory claims.
Keywords Kant  transcendental idealism  things in themselves and appearances
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