Drawing From the Sources of Reason: Reflective Self-Knowledge in Kant's First "Critique"

Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh (2004)
Abstract
Kant advertises his Critique of Pure Reason as fulfilling reason's "most difficult" task: self-knowledge. As it is carried out in the Critique, this investigation is meant to be "scientific and fully illuminating"; for Kant, this means that it must follow a proper method. Commentators writing in English have tended to dismiss Kant's claim that the Critique is the scientific expression of reason's self-knowledge---either taking it to be sheer rhetoric, or worrying that it pollutes the Critique with an unfortunate residue of rationalism. As a result, there is little sustained treatment of the method of the Critique in the secondary literature. Since Kant holds that the substantive insights of critical philosophy are not separable from the methodological context in which they come to light, this is a serious mistake. My dissertation corrects for this, by approaching the Critique through an examination of its method. In doing so, it yields a reading of the Transcendental Deduction that not only promises to resolve current debates about its "proof structure", but also fully accounts for the Deduction's pivotal role in the work as a whole
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