Kant on the Inapplicability of the Categories to Things in Themselves

British Journal for the History of Philosophy 23 (1):90-114 (2015)
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This paper addresses the question of what we can legitimately say about things in themselves in Kant's critical doctrine. Many Kant scholars believe that Kant allows that things in themselves can be characterized through the unschematized or ‘pure’ concepts of our understanding such as ‘substance’ or ‘causality’. However, I show that on Kant's view things in themselves do not conform to the unschematized categories : the pure categories, like space and time, are merely subjective forms of finite, discursive cognition. I then examine what this interpretation might entail for central aspects of Kant's system such as his doctrine of noumenal freedom.



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Markus Kohl
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

Citations of this work

Kant on Method.Karl Schafer - forthcoming - In Andrew Stephenson & Anil Gomes (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Kant. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Why Does Kant Think We Must Believe in the Immortal Soul?Jessica Tizzard - 2020 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 50 (1):114-129.
Kant on intuitive understanding and things in themselves.Reed Winegar - 2018 - European Journal of Philosophy 26 (4):1238-1252.
Kant on Modality.Colin Marshall & Aaron Barker - forthcoming - In Anil Gomes & Andrew Stephenson (eds.), Oxford Handbook of Kant. Oxford University Press.

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References found in this work

Kant and the Exact Sciences.Michael Friedman - 1990 - Harvard University Press.
Kant’s Thinker.Patricia Kitcher - 2011 - Oxford University Press.
A Commentary on Kant's Critique of Practical Reason.L. W. BECK - 1960 - Les Etudes Philosophiques 19 (3):438-439.
Kant on Marks and the Immediacy of Intuition.Houston Smit - 2000 - Philosophical Review 109 (2):235-266.

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