Both in his pre-critical writings and in his critical works, Kant criticizes the Wolffian tradition for its use of the mathematical method in philosophy. The chapter argues that the apparent unambiguousness of this opposition between Kant and Wolff notwithstanding, the problem of ascertaining the relationship between Kant’s and Wolff’s methods in philosophy cannot be dismissed so quickly. Only a close consideration of Kant’s different remarks on Wolff’s approach and a comparison of the methods that Wolff and Kant actually used in (...) philosophy can allow us to determine when Kant’s criticisms are justified and where the differences in their methodological proposals for philosophy actually lie. We see that Kant’s account of philosophical method in fact has some elements in common with the Wolffian paradigm, even though there are also relevant differences. (shrink)
Kant’s account of practical justification for belief has attracted much attention in the literature, especially in recent years. In this context, scholars have generally emphasized the originality of Kant’s thought about belief (Glaube), and Kant indeed offers a definition of belief that is very different from views that were prevalent in eighteenth-century Germany. In this article, however, I argue that it is very likely that Christian August Crusius exerted influence on Kant’s definition of belief and his account of practical justification. (...) In turn, acknowledging this influence has relevant consequences for how we understand the phenomenology of Kantian belief. (shrink)
This book presents a systematic interpretation of Charles S. Peirce’s work based on a Kantian understanding of his teleological account of thought and inquiry. Departing from readings that contrast Peirce’s treatment of purpose, end, and teleology with his early studies of Kant, Gabriele Gava instead argues that focusing on Peirce’s purposefulness as a necessary regulative condition for inquiry and semiotic processes allows for a transcendental interpretation of Peirce’s philosophical project. The author advances this interpretation through presenting original views on aspects (...) of Peirce’s thought, including: a detailed analysis of Peirce’s ‘methodeutic’ and ‘speculative rhetoric,’ as well as his ‘critical common-sensism’; a comparison between Peirce’s and James’ pragmatisms in view of the account of purposefulness Gava puts forth; and an examination of the logical relationships that order Peirce’s architectonic classification of the sciences. (shrink)
ABSTRACTIf it seems unquestionable that C. I. Lewis is a Kantian in important respects, it is more difficult to determine what, if anything, is original about his Kantianism. For it might be argued that Lewis’ Kantianism simply reflects an approach to the a priori which was very common in the first half of the twentieth century, namely, the effort to make the a priori relative. In this paper, I will argue that Lewis’ Kantianism does present original features. The latter can (...) be detected by focusing on Lewis’ account of the method of philosophy in the first chapter of Mind and the World Order. In that context, Lewis argues that the method of philosophy should be reflective and critical. It will be my contention that this understanding of philosophy involves a therapeutic perspective, which bears important resemblances to Kant’s account of transcendental reflection in the Amphiboly of the Critique of Pure Reason. I will illustrate how this therapeutic application of reflection works in Lewis’ metaphysics. In... (shrink)
Interpretations of Kant’s account of the forms of “taking-to-be-true” (Fürwahrhalten) have generally focused on three such forms: opinion (Meinung), belief (Glaube), and knowledge (Wissen). A second distinction that has received comparatively less attention is that between conviction (Überzeugung) and persuasion (Überredung). Kant appears to use the distinction between the subjective and the objective sufficiency of a taking-to-be-true to characterize all of these forms. However, it is impossible to account for the differences between them by relying on this latter distinction alone. (...) In turn, this makes it difficult to fit all of these forms into a single classification of taking-to-be-true. In this chapter, I propose a new approach to conviction and persuasion that dissolves these problems. Conviction and persuasion are not single forms of taking-to-be-true with distinctive characteristics, yet it is not useful to treat them as “classes” of taking-to-be-true either. Rather, they are “operators” that determine whether a taking-to-be-true is apt or inapt, depending on whether it rests on a correct evaluation of the grounds we have. (shrink)
In this paper, I consider whether a reading of Kant's solution to the Third Antinomy can offer material for devising a new model of transcendental argument. The problem that this form of argument is meant to address is an antinomy between two apparently contradictory claims, q and ¬q, where we seem equally justified in holding both. The model has the following form: p; q is a necessary condition of p; the only justification we have for q is that it is (...) a necessary condition of p; p is justified only in domain X (where X is a domain of objects of cognition); therefore, q is justified only in domain X. Because the argument shows that our justification for q is valid only in X, it also establishes that there is conceptual space to hold ¬q outside of X. (shrink)
In this chapter, I investigate a problem for Kant’s claim that metaphysics can reach the status of science. The problem arises when one considers Kant’s account of the “architectonic unity” of metaphysics in the Architectonic of Pure Reason. Attaining architectonic unity is a condition for becoming a science for any body of cognitions that purports to be such. This is achieved when the cognitions belonging to a science are systematically organized according to the “idea of reason” which lies at the (...) basis of that science. However, Kant suggests that nobody can ever legitimately claim to have matched the idea of the philosopher, where this appears to imply that nobody can justifiably claim that she has fully grasped the idea of metaphysics. This generates a problem. I suggest that when Kant claims that the idea of the philosopher must remain an ideal or an archetype, he has a particular conception of philosophy in mind, that is, philosophy as a doctrine of wisdom. According to this understanding, philosophy must provide an example of how one can become virtuous. However, this is only a partial solution to our problem, for reasons that will be illustrated. (shrink)
In this paper, I try to make sense of some puzzling claims that Peirce makes in the Cambridge conferences lectures. I identify four tasks that a successful interpretation of those claims must accomplish. First, we must provide a plausible reading of the “no belief in science” thesis. Second, we must provide a compelling interpretation of the “no science in vital matters” thesis. Third, we must explain Peirce’s distinction between two forms of holding for true. Fourth, we should be able to (...) solve the conflict with “The fixation of belief.” I start by analysing Christopher Hookway’s reading of Peirce’s claims because he clearly identifies these tasks and offers an interpretation with considerable merits. However, I identify a problem in Hookway’s reading, since he fails to account for a normative dimension of the “no science in vital matters” thesis. Finally, I sketch my attempt to accomplish these four tasks while also avoiding this latter problem. (shrink)
In the Transcendental Dialectic of the first Critique, Kant famously claims that even if ideas and principles of reason cannot count as cognitions of objects, they can play a positive role when they are used “regulatively” with the aim of organizing our empirical cognitions. One issue is to understand what assuming “regulatively” means. What kind of attitude does this “assuming” imply? Another issue is to characterize the status of ideas and principles themselves. It is to this second issue that this (...) article is dedicated. Some interpreters have suggested that ideas and principles that can be assumed regulatively consist of propositions that we know are false. Others have suggested that at least some regulative ideas, as for example the idea of the homogeneity of nature, consist of propositions that we know are true but are indeterminate. Still others argue that, in assuming regulative ideas and principles, we assume propositions that cannot be proved true, but are nonetheless possibly true. In this article, I reject the view that regulative ideas consist of true but indeterminate propositions. Moreover, I argue that it is wrong to presuppose that only one of the remaining two options can apply to Kant’s account of regulative ideas and principles. By contrast, I submit that while in some cases assuming regulative ideas and principles does involve assuming some propositions that we know are false, this is not true for all regulative ideas and principles. More specifically, assuming regulative ideas involves assuming false propositions when assuming them means assuming that a “totality of appearances” is given. (shrink)
This article addresses Kant's distinction between a synthetic and an analytic method in philosophy. I will first consider how some commentators have accounted for Kant's distinction and analyze some passages in which Kant defined the analytic and the synthetic method. I will suggest that confusion about Kant's distinction arises because he uses it in at least two different senses. I will then identify a specific way in which Kant accounts for this distinction when he is differentiating between mathematical and philosophical (...) syntheses. I will examine Kant's arguments in the Critique of Pure Reason with the latter sense of the distinction in mind. I will evaluate if he uses the analytic or the synthetic method and if the synthetic method is able to identify, without a previous consideration of some sort of given knowledge, sufficient conditions for deriving some aspects of our knowledge. (shrink)
In his 1868 ‘Questions Concerning Certain Faculties Claimed for Man’ and ‘Some Consequences of Four Incapacities’ Peirce famously rejected the possibility of having intuitions. He defined an intuition as ‘a cognition not determined by a previous cognition of the same object’ or as a ‘premiss not itself a conclusion.’ The rejection of intuitive knowledge can thus be seen as an expression of Peirce’s enduring conviction that our knowledge is by nature inferential. Even though the main polemical target of these papers (...) is surely Descartes, Peirce specifies in a footnote that he nearly uses the word intuitive ‘as the opposite of discursive cognition,’ and that this ‘is also nearly the sense in which Kant uses it.’ Peirce’s position seems thus to be quite radical in his rejection of the Kantian distinction between intuitive and discursive cognition, between intuitions and concepts. I show that Peirce, despite this opposition to the Kantian distinction in his early writings, retained and developed in a totally new way some of its essential features in his mature semiotic. In fact, Peirce’s famous distinction between icons, indices, and symbols can be read as having functions similar to those reserved by Kant for the distinction between intuitions and concepts. In this framework, the tasks that Kant attributed to intuitions are performed by indices and icons. (shrink)
Philosophers working within the pragmatist tradition have pictured their relation to Kant and Kantianism in very diverse terms: some have presented their work as an appropriation and development of Kantian ideas, some have argued that pragmatism is an approach in complete opposition to Kant. This collection investigates the relationship between pragmatism, Kant, and current Kantian approaches to transcendental arguments in a detailed and original way. Chapters highlight pragmatist aspects of Kant’s thought and trace the influence of Kant on the work (...) of pragmatists and neo-pragmatists, engaging with the work of Peirce, James, Lewis, Sellars, Rorty, and Brandom, among others. They also consider to what extent contemporary approaches to transcendental arguments are compatible with a pragmatist standpoint. The book includes contributions from renowned authors working on Kant, pragmatism and contemporary Kantian approaches to philosophy, and provides an authoritative and original perspective on the relationship between pragmatism and Kantianism. (shrink)
In this Paper I interpret Charles S. Peirce’s method of prescision as a transcendental method. In order to do so, I argue that Peirce’s pragmatism can be interpreted in a transcendental light only if we use a non‐justificatory understanding of transcendental philosophy. I show how Peirce’s prescision is similar to some abstracting procedure that Immanuel Kant used in his Critique of Pure Reason. Prescision abstracts from experience and thought in general those elements without which such experience and thought would be (...) unaccountable. Similarly, in the Aesthetics, Kant isolated the a priori forms of intuition by showing how they could be abstracted from experience in general, while experience in general cannot be thought without them. However, if Peirce’s and Kant’s methods are similar in this respect, they reached very different conclusions. (shrink)
This paper is a reading of Peirce’s manuscript “Ideas, stray or stolen, about scientific writing.” The latter text has been considered to be a key for understanding the relationship between speculative rhetoric and methodeutic. While I agree that it includes essential reflections on the third branch of Peirce’s logic, I will argue that the classification of rhetoric studies that it contains cannot be used to clarify the way in which methodeutic and speculative rhetoric are related to one another. I will (...) first introduce the classification as it is presented by Peirce in “Ideas, stray or stolen, about scientific writing” and list some problems that immediately arise when we identify methodeutic with the rhetoric of science. Then, I will elucidate Peirce’s distinction between the universal art of rhetoric, speculative rhetoric, and ordinary rhetoric. I will argue that the classification of rhetoric studies in “Ideas, stray or stolen, about scientific writing” should be seen as a classification of the ways in which we can obtain different ordinary rhetorics specifying the contents of speculative rhetoric for different contexts of sign use. To finish, I will propose a different approach to support the claim that methodeutic is a subdivision of speculative rhetoric. (shrink)
Prescission is a method used by Peirce to separate concepts and ideas from one another and to find hierarchical relationship of dependence among them. In particular, prescission is applied in those cases in which two objects cannot be imagined separately, but we can nonetheless suppose one without the other. Prescission is of fundamental importance within Peirce’s system because it is used to identify relationships among the three fundamental categories.
The aim of this paper is to determine whether Charles S. Peirce's direct criticisms of the transcendental method in philosophy are effective. I will present two different views on transcendental arguments by introducing two ways of accounting for Kant's transcendental project. We will see that Peirce's criticisms are directed against a picture of transcendental philosophy which is in line with what I will call the justificatory account of Kant. Since this view is totally in contrast to what I will call (...) the alternative account, Peirce's criticisms of the former cannot be considered a refutation of the latter. As far as Peirce's criticisms attack only justificatory accounts of transcendental philosophy, they are not in conflict with transcendental readings of his philosophy along the lines of the alternative account. (shrink)
The aim of this paper is to apply Charles S. Peirce's pragmatic method to establishing if proponents of transcendental arguments could hold the conclusions of their arguments to be fallibly known. I will thus propose a pragmatic clarification of the concepts of a priority, necessity, and infallibility in order to ascertain if these concepts are unavoidably related or not. I will argue that an a priori knowable necessary proposition is not in principle indubitable, whereas a proposition infallibly known is so. (...) Finally, I will apply these reflections to transcendental philosophy. (shrink)
Christopher Hookway is, beyond question, one of the most respected scholars working on Peirce and the tradition of pragmatism. His books Peirce and Truth, Rationality, and Pragmatism are essential readings for any scholar with an interest on Peirce and pragmatism. Hookway has shown how Peirce has still a lot to contribute to contemporary debates in logic, epistemology, the philosophy of language, etc. The present book, which collects 9 essays...
In two often neglected passages of the Critique of Pure Reason, Kant submits that the Critique is a 'treatise' or a 'doctrine of method'. These passages are puzzling because the Critique is only cursorily concerned with identifying adequate procedures of argument for philosophy. In this book, Gabriele Gava argues that these passages point out that the Critique is the doctrine of method of metaphysics. Doctrines of method have the task of showing that a given science is indeed a science because (...) it possesses 'architectonic unity' – which happens when it realizes the 'idea' of a science. According to Gava's novel approach, the Critique establishes that metaphysics is capable of this unity, and his reading of the Critique from this perspective not only illuminates the central role of the Transcendental Doctrine of Method within it, but also clarifies the relationship between the different parts of the work. (shrink)
The book collects the papers presented at a conference held at Goethe University Frankfurt in 2007, which celebrated the 100 year anniversary of the publication of James’ Pragmatism: A New Name for Some Old Ways of Thinking. It contains contributions from leading scholars, who discuss the relevance of pragmatism for addressing current problems in epistemology, the philosophy of language, the philosophy of mind, political philosophy, the philosophy of religion etc. It also contains papers that...
This paper aims to shed light on the role played by purposefulness in Peirce’s account of thought by means of a comparison with Kant’s regulative principles. Purposefulness, as an orientation toward an end involved in a thought process, is distinguished from purposiveness, as conformity to an end. Peirce’s architectonic, cosmology, and theory of natural classes are briefly analyzed in light of these concepts. Then, a comparison between Peirce’s esthetic ideal and regulative hopes and Kant’s regulative ideas and principle of purposiveness (...) is undertaken. This comparison, while allowing us to find a solution for some difficulties, especially some regarding Peirce’s esthetics, shows how purposefulness is far more important for the American thinker. Thus, purposefulness and purposiveness turn out to be primarily regulative principles of our thought. As such, they allow us to identify a transcendental level in Peirce’s philosophy, avoiding the inconsistencies that have been attributed to Karl-Otto Apel’s account. (shrink)
The topic of common sense is central to pragmatism, both classical and contemporary. In different ways, Peirce, James and Dewey all wrote extensively on this idea, highlighting its theoretical complexity as well as its heuristic function in philosophical inquiry. In more recent times, to give only one noteworthy example, Nicholas Rescher published a book titled Common Sense in which he argues against those philosophical approaches that downplay the epistemological importance of common...
Isaac Levi is a central figure in contemporary pragmatism, who, drawing extensively on the philosophy of classical pragmatists like Charles S. Peirce and John Dewey, has been able to successfully develop, correct, and implement their views, thus presenting an innovative and significant approach to various issues in contemporary philosophy, including problems in logic, epistemology, decision theory, etc. His books (just to mention a few of them) Gambling with Truth (Knopf 1967), The Enterprise...