This paper offers a new interpretation of Kant's puzzling claim that the B-Deduction in the Critique of Pure Reason should be considered as having two main steps. Previous commentators have tended to agree in general on the first step as arguing for the necessity of the categories for possible experience, but disagree on what the second step is and whether Kant even needs a second step. I argue that the two parts of the B-Deduction correspond to the two aspects of (...) a priori cognition: necessity and universality. The bulk of the paper consists of support for the second step, the universality of the categories. I show that Kant's arguments in the second half of the B-Deduction aim to define the scope of that universality for possible experience by considering the possibilities of divine intellectual intuition, of non-human kinds of sensible intuition, and of apperception of the self. In these ways Kant delimits the boundaries of the applicability of the categories and excludes any other possible experience for human beings. (shrink)
I defend the claim that Kant is a moral antirealist, or (as he would state it) moral idealist. I first define moral realism and moral idealism, concluding that moral idealism requires that every moral property depend upon the minds of moral agents. Kant's metaethical theory is idealist regarding the nature of value, since it depends upon the voluntary choices of moral agents in pursuing particular ends, the nature of right, since the categorical imperative stems from moral agents' own reason, and (...) the nature of moral agency, since freedom is construed in terms of the use of reason. (shrink)
I find in Kant two distinct conceptions of the priority of practical over theoretical reason, focused on belief and on action. The former actually involves a higher priority of theoretical reason. The latter, in contrast, gives genuine priority to practical reason by noting that theoretical considerations are irrelevant in moral decision-making. I argue that the former conception requires one to abandon genuine priority of the practical, while the latter conception requires one to abandon the necessary unity of reason. I also (...) assess the work of two contemporary Kantian moral theorists, Christine Korsgaard and Onora O'Neill who utilize Kant's unofficial conception. (shrink)
Contrary to widely held assumptions, an evolutionary metaethics need not be non-cognitivist. I define evolutionary metaethics as the claim that certain phenotypic traits expressing certain genes are both necessary and sufficient for explanation of all other phenotypic traits we consider morally significant. A review of the influential cognitivist Immanuel Kants metaethics shows that much of his ethical theory is independent of the anti-naturalist metaphysics of transcendental idealism which itself is incompatible with evolutionary metaethics. By matching those independent aspects to an (...) evolutionary metaethics a cognitivist Kantian evolutionary metaethical theory is a possibility for researchers to consider. (shrink)
I show one reason why Hegel’s theory of history is an improvement over Kant’s. There is an ambiguity in Kant’s theory of history. He wants, on the one hand, to distinguish empirical history (and, by extension, other empirical sciences which constitute experience) from reason’s a priori regulative role in theory. On the other hand, his view of the nature of sciences and the role of reason precludes such a separation. I trace this problem to different roles assigned the faculties of (...) understanding and reason in our experience. In Hegel’s theory of history, both reason and understanding together constitute the sciences, and thus experience. Hegel argues that history is a unified field employing both understanding and reason. I conclude that the more consistent theory of history for idealists is Hegel’s, and that this consistency partially explains the movement in German Idealism from Kantian to Hegelian thought. (shrink)
Kant's description of an enlightened society as involving the free use of reason in public debate has received due attention in recent work on Kant. When thinking of Kant's view of Enlightenment, one now conjures up the image of free persons speaking their mind in what is now often called the ‘public sphere’. Jürgen Habermas is well known for taking Kant to be committed to wide participation of individuals in public debate. Kant's own suggestion for a motto for the Enlightenment, (...) ‘Sapere aude’, seems to speak to all citizens when urging them to ‘Have courage to make use of your own understanding’. (shrink)
Keller (Univ. of California, Riverside) offers an original reading of Kant's Critique of Pure Reason that combines thematic focus and comprehensive scope." Choice \n\nBook Description\n\nIn Kant and the Demands of Self-Consciousness, Pierre Keller examines\nKant's theory of self-consciousness and argues that it succeeds in\nexplaining how both subjective and objective experience are possible.\nPrevious interpretations of Kant's theory have held that he treats\nall self-consciousness as knowledge of objective states of affairs,\nand also that self-consciousness can be interpreted as knowledge\nof personal identity. By developing this (...) striking new interpretation\nKeller is able to argue that transcendental self-consciousness underwrites\na general theory of objectivity and subjectivity at the same time.\n. (shrink)
I show one reason why Hegel’s theory of history is an improvement over Kant’s. There is an ambiguity in Kant’s theory of history. He wants, on the one hand, to distinguish empirical history from reason’s a priori regulative role in theory. On the other hand, his view of the nature of sciences and the role of reason precludes such a separation. I trace this problem to different roles assigned the faculties of understanding and reason in our experience. In Hegel’s theory (...) of history, both reason and understanding together constitute the sciences, and thus experience. Hegel argues that history is a unified field employing both understanding and reason. I conclude that the more consistent theory of history for idealists is Hegel’s, and that this consistency partially explains the movement in German Idealism from Kantian to Hegelian thought. (shrink)
This volume provides an extensive translation of the notes and fragments that survived Kant's death in 1804. These include marginalia, lecture notes, and sketches and drafts for his published works. They are important as an indispensable resource for understanding Kant's intellectual development and published works, casting fresh light on Kant's conception of his own philosophical methods and his relations to his predecessors, as well as on central doctrines of his work such as the theory of space, time and categories, the (...) refutations of scepticism and metaphysical dogmatism, the theory of the value of freedom and the possibility of free will, the conception of God, the theory of beauty, and much more. (shrink)
O postulado prático da existência de Deus é problemático por várias razões: primeiro, Kant nega que ele proporciona qualquer cognição da natureza ou existência de Deus como um ser em si; segundo, ele salienta a natureza prática do postulado contribuindo para o desempenho de nossos deveres; e, terceiro, Kant parece mesmo algumas vezes indicar que nosso postulado de Deus não corresponde a nenhuma realidade, mas é um mero pensamento. No meu trabalho, eu sustento o argumento que o postulado de Kant (...) de Deus pode ser melhor entendido como um conceito sem extensão que serve para unificar vários outros conceitos e obrigações morais mas que ele próprio não tem referência. Eu sustento esse argumento apontando para a relação do postulado para o propósito da filosofia prática, em oposição à teórica e pelo exame da função regulativa da razão em geral e invocando a teologia construtivista contemporânea. A fim de mostrar este ponto eu primeiro analiso a natureza de um postulado comparando postulados a hipóteses transcendentais e crenças da Crítica da Razão Pura. Em segundo lugar, eu examino o uso que Kant faz do postulado da existência de Deus como sendo “imanente... para propósitos práticos” e “somente em referência à lei moral e em função dela” na Crítica da Razão Prática. Terceiro, eu procuro pela função que o postulado de Deus desempenha no Opus Postumum e em outros textos de 1790 para mostrar que Kant chegou mais e mais a argumentar pelo papel funcional ao invés do referencial desse postulado. Ao longo do trabalho, eu discuto a natureza da filosofia prática – direcionada ao uso livre das nossas vontades – como sendo distinta da filosofia teórica – dirigida ao conhecimento dos objetos. Eu mostro como essa solução pode fazer Kant um naturalista metafísico. Eu também entro em questões contemporâneas da teologia relacionadas com o papel humano na construção de sistemas conceituais para ajudá-los a fazer sentido ao mundo que eles experienciam no contexto de um mistério maior que desafia a conceitualização.Kant’s practical postulate for the existence of God is puzzling for several reasons: first, he denies that it provides any cognition of the existence or nature of God as a being in itself, second, Kant stresses the practical nature of the postulate as contributing to performance of our duties, and third, Kant even seems on occasion to indicate that our postulate of God does not correspond to any reality but is a merely a thought. In my paper I advance the argument that Kant’s postulate of God is best understood as an extensionless concept that serves to unify various other moral concepts and moral obligations but that has no referent itself. I make this argument by noting the relation of the postulate to the purpose of practical, as opposed to theoretical, philosophy, and by examination of the regulative role of reason in general, and by invoking contemporary constructivist theology. In order to show this point I first examine the nature of a postulate by comparing postulates to transcendental hypotheses and to beliefs from the Critique of Pure Reason. I second examine the use to which Kant puts the postulate of the existence of God as “immanent . . . for practical purposes” and “only in reference to the moral law and for the sake of it” in the Critique of Practical Reason. Third, I look at the role that the postulate of God plays in Kant’s Opus Postumum and other texts from the 1790s to show that Kant came more and more to argue that the postulates have this functional rather than referential role. Throughout the paper I discuss the nature of practical philosophy – directed toward the free use of our wills – as distingushed from theoretical philosophy – directed toward knowledge of objects. I note how this solution could make Kant a metaphysical naturalist. I also touch on contemporary issues in theology related to the role of human construction of systems of concepts to help them make sense of the world they experience in the context of a greater mystery that defies conceptualization. (shrink)
From a more systematic point of view, the appendix is the final occasion for Kant to reinforce the role of the Critique of the Power of Judgment as part of the system of critical philosophy. It is true that in a sense each and every ...
This book is the first translation into English of the Reflections which Kant wrote whilst formulating his ideas in political philosophy: the preparatory drafts for Theory and Practice, Toward Perpetual Peace, the Doctrine of Right, and Conflict of the Faculties; and the only surviving student transcription of his course on Natural Right. Through these texts one can trace the development of his political thought, from his first exposure to Rousseau in the mid 1760s through to his last musings in the (...) late 1790s after his final system of Right was published. The material covers such topics as the central role of freedom, the social contract, the nature of sovereignty, the means for achieving international peace, property rights in relation to the very possibility of human agency, the general prohibition of rebellion, and Kant's philosophical defense of the French Revolution. (shrink)
In this comprehensive assessment of Kant's metaethics, Frederick Rauscher shows that Kant is a moral idealist rather than a moral realist and argues that Kant's ethics does not require metaphysical commitments that go beyond nature. Rauscher frames the argument in the context of Kant's non-naturalistic philosophical method and the character of practical reason as action-oriented. Reason operates entirely within nature, and apparently non-natural claims - God, free choice, and value - are shown to be heuristic and to reflect reason's ordering (...) of nature. The book shows how Kant hesitates between a transcendental moral idealism with an empirical moral realism and a complete moral idealism. Examining every aspect of Kant's ethics, from the categorical imperative to freedom and value, this volume argues that Kant's focus on human moral agency explains morality as a part of nature. It will appeal to academic researchers and advanced students of Kant, German idealism and intellectual history. (shrink)
Kant considered pure reason to be transcendentally free in its legislative ability. I argue that this transcendental freedom is consistent with an naturalist ontologythat recognizes the existence only of objects in space and time. I show that Kant is committed to the natural faculty of empirical reasonwhich would function as part of the natural causal order. I then argue that pure reason is the structure, discovered by transcendental arguments, of that same faculty. The structure of pure reason is embodied in (...) particular instances of empirical reason. Transcendental freedom of pure reason is the fact that its structure is determined independently of the causal order — in the case of pure practical reason, bymeans of arguments about the very possibility of deliberative action — and this structure contributes to the causal order by means of the causal efficacy of empirical reason. I then discuss the effect this view has on the question of whether Kant is a moral realist. (shrink)
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