Epistemology and Ontology In Kant’s Critique of Berkeley

Idealistic Studies 32 (3):203-220 (2002)
Ted Kinnaman
George Mason University
Despite apparent similarities between them, in the Prolegomena to Any Future Metaphysics and in the second edition of the Critique of Pure Reason Kant makes several attempts to distinguish his idealism from Berkeley ’s. I argue that Kant ’s arguments in three of the four places where he explicitly distances himself from Berkeley are insufficient to their task because they attack only Berkeley ’s empiricism rather than his immaterialism. Although a close reading of the Refutation of Idealism lies beyond the scope of this paper, my reading of Kant ’s critique of Berkeley will produce an interesting result concerning the reading of this difficult passage: If Kant is to offer a convincing defense of the charge that Berkeley reduces the world to sheer illusion while his does not, then the Refutation of Idealism must be aimed at proving, on a transcendental idealist basis, the existence of things in themselves
Keywords Continental Philosophy  History of Philosophy
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ISBN(s) 0046-8541  
DOI 10.5840/idstudies200232316
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