Kant on justification in transcendental philosophy

Synthese 85 (1):25 - 54 (1990)
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Abstract

Kant''s claim that the justification of transcendental philosophy is a priori is puzzling because it should be consistent with (1) his general restriction on the justification of knowledge, that intuitions must play a role in the justification of all nondegenerate knowledge, with (2) the implausibility of a priori intuitions being the only ones on which transcendental philosophy is founded, and with (3) his professed view that transcendental philosophy is not analytic. I argue that this puzzle can be solved, that according to Kant transcendental philosophy is justified a priori in the sense that the only empirical information required for its justification can be derived from any possible human experience. Transcendental justification does not rely on any more particular or special observations or experiments. Philip Kitcher''s general account of apriority in Kant captures this aspect of a priori knowledge. Nevertheless, I argue that Kitcher''s account goes wrong in the link it specifies between apriority and certainty.

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Derk Pereboom
Cornell University

References found in this work

The View From Nowhere.Thomas Nagel - 1986 - New York: Oxford University Press.
Meaning and Necessity: A Study in Semantics and Modal Logic.Rudolf Carnap - 1947 - Chicago, IL, USA: University of Chicago Press.
Tractatus logico-philosophicus.Ludwig Wittgenstein, G. C. M. Colombo & Bertrand Russell - 1994 - New York: Routledge. Edited by Luciano Bazzocchi & P. M. S. Hacker.
The significance of philosophical scepticism.Barry Stroud - 1984 - New York: Oxford University Press.

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