“Kant and the Early Modern Scholastic Legacy: New Perspectives on Transcendental Idealism”.

In Hubertus Busche (ed.), Departure for Modern Europe. A Handbook of Early Modern Philosophy. Meiner. pp. 1178-1193 (2011)

Wolfgang Ertl
Keio University
This paper attempts to shed light on Kant’s distinction between things in themselves and appearances. It draws on the early modern debate about the nature of divine knowledge which resonates in Kant’s lectures on metaphysics and natural theology. The problem as to how divine foreknowledge of human actions is compatible with their freedom is of particular relevance, since the solution to the problem of human freedom is at the core of transcendental idealism. Philosophers such as Molina take divine cognition of free human acts to arise independently of objects external to the divine mind and to be concerned first and foremost with mind-internal ideas. This strategy is crucial for solving an important puzzle, as it shows that a two-world and a two-aspect reading of the distinction are compatible after all, since – at least in the sense of a conceptual possibility – things in themselves have correlates.
Keywords Kant, Immanuel  transcendental idealism  things in themselves and appearances  freedom and divine foreknowledge
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