Kant and the scandal of philosophy [Book Review]

Journal of the History of Philosophy 47 (2):pp. 317-318 (2009)
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Abstract

Luigi Caranti presents his readers three carefully articulated arguments in this estimable book. The first is that Kant's career-long engagement with Cartesian skepticism culminates in the first Critique's A-edition version of the Fourth Paralogism, rather than in the later Refutation of Idealism, as is more traditionally thought. The second argues that scholars must take Kant seriously when he asserts that transcendental idealism is the only possible refutation of skepticism, since it denies the possibility of the skeptical doubt arising in the first place. Third, on the merit of its solution to this skeptical "scandal of philosophy," transcendental idealism remains today a first-rate epistemological viewpoint.What Caranti means by skepticism is restricted to Descartes's infamous "Evil Genius" hypothesis, the doubt whether any logical inference can establish a causal connection between external objects and the immediately-known affects of the mind . Caranti shows that Kant failed to adequately answer this charge throughout the pre-critical period since he then identified phenomena with mind-dependent representations and noumena with the cause of those representations. That causal argument would never satisfy since it presumed the very inference denied by the skeptic in the first

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