The Canon and the Organon of Thought: Formal Logic and Contradiction In Kant’s Theoretical Philosophy

Idealistic Studies 36 (2):123-139 (2006)

This paper looks at the Kantian background in the development of the views on formal logic and contradiction in German Idealism. Assuming the post-Kantian view, I examine what Kant advanced and what he left unsettled, provoking thus the subsequent debate. I start by showing that already the pre-critical Kant questions the effectiveness of formal logic in philosophical discourse andclaims that the laws of identity and non-contradiction fall short of explaining change, opposition, and contradiction, all these being parts of reality. Turning then to the first Critique, I discuss the introduction of transcendental logic as the logic of truth, consider how the tension between formal and transcendental logic is displayed in Kant’s exposition of the antinomy of pure reason, and arrive at the conclusion that Kant, despite his criticism, and unlike the other great German Idealists, allows formal logic to dominate his exposition of transcendental logic.
Keywords Continental Philosophy  History of Philosophy
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ISBN(s) 0046-8541
DOI idstudies200636217
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