Does Kant Demand Explanations for All Synthetic A Priori Claims?

Journal of the History of Philosophy 52 (3):549-576 (2014)
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Kant's philosophy promises to explain various synthetic a priori claims. Yet, as several of his commentators have noted, it is hard to see how these explanations could work unless they themselves rested on unexplained synthetic a priori claims. Since Kant appears to demand explanations for all synthetic a priori claims, it would seem that his project fails on its own terms. I argue, however, that Kant holds that explanations are required only for synthetic a priori claims about (purportedly) experience-independent entities, and that his project rests on a rationalist method of reflection that justifies certain basic synthetic a priori claims.

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Colin Marshall
University of Washington

Citations of this work

Kant’s derivation of the moral ‘ought’ from a metaphysical ‘is’.Colin Marshall - 2022 - In Nicholas Stang & Karl Schafer (eds.), The Sensible and Intelligible Worlds. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 382-404.
Perception and reflection.Anil Gomes - 2017 - Philosophical Perspectives 31 (1):131-152.
Types of Representational Content in Kant.Hemmo A. Laiho - 2019 - Kantian Journal 38 (1):30-54.

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References found in this work

A priori knowledge.Philip Kitcher - 1980 - Philosophical Review 89 (1):3-23.
There is no a priori.Michael Devitt - 2005 - In Steup Matthias & Sosa Ernest (eds.), Contemporary Debates in Epistemology. Blackwell. pp. 105--115.
Things in themselves.Robert Merrihew Adams - 1997 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 57 (4):801-825.

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