In this introductory textbook to Kant's Critique of Pure Reason, Jill Vance Buroker explains the role of this first Critique in Kant's Critical project and offers a line-by-line reading of the major arguments in the text. She situates Kant's views in relation both to his predecessors and to contemporary debates, explaining his Critical philosophy as a response to the failure of rationalism and the challenge of skepticism. Paying special attention to Kant's notoriously difficult vocabulary, she explains the strengths and weaknesses (...) of his arguments, while leaving the final assessment up to the reader. Intended to be read alongside the Critique, this guide is accessible to readers with little background in the history of philosophy, but should also be a valuable resource for more advanced students. (shrink)
According to Greenberg, most commentators have misunderstood Kant’s purpose and method in the Critique of Pure Reason, as well as his underlying ontology. To correct these errors, Greenberg defends four theses. First, Kant is concerned only with a priori and not empirical knowledge in the Critique. Second, Kant’s underlying ontology consists of a monism of “things.” Third, the table of the logical functions of judgement is not drawn from general logic, because these functions have a “content.” And fourth, the deduction (...) depends on a distinction between two concepts of relations corresponding to the German terms Verhaltnis and Beziehung. The distinction is important, however, since Kant argues that the subject’s B-relation to objects consists in certain V-relations among representations. Throughout, Greenberg targets Strawson’s dismissal of Kant’s idealism, as well as positions taken by Allison, Guyer, and Kitcher. Although I am sympathetic with some of his views, it is not always clear how much he actually diverges from the standard reading. (shrink)
Antoine Arnauld and Pierre Nicole were philosophers and theologians associated with Port-Royal Abbey, a centre of the Catholic Jansenist movement in seventeenth-century France. Their enormously influential Logic or the Art of Thinking, which went through five editions in their lifetimes, treats topics in logic, language, theory of knowledge and metaphysics, and also articulates the response of 'heretical' Jansenist Catholicism to orthodox Catholic and Protestant views on grace, free will and the sacraments. In attempting to combine the categorical theory of the (...) proposition with a Cartesian account of knowledge, their Logic represents the classical view of judgment which inspired the modern transformation in logic and semantic theory by Frege, Russell, Wittgenstein and recent philosophers. This edition presents a new translation of the text, together with a historical introduction and suggestions for further reading. (shrink)
322 JOURNAL OF THE HISTORY OF PHILOSOPHY 36:2 APRIL 1998 little help from his congregation's rabbis -- not only from an orthodox conformity to Jewish traditions, but from any sense of Jewish identity whatsoever. Perhaps it might be more accurate to call Spinoza the "first secular citizen." One of the more contentious claims of Smith's book is his insistence that Spinoza's Treatise contains an esoteric dimension, an intentionally hidden doctrine that only the most careful readers could ascertain. Part of the (...) defense of this Straussian model is the identification of "deliberate contradictions" in the text. I, for one, do not see any esoteric doctrines in the Treatise; nor do I see that any of the alleged inconsistencies could possibly qualify as "deliberate contradictions." Spinoza's is indeed a complex text that often requires some hard work in order to determine what exactly he's getting at. But I would think that the Treatise's "exoteric" pronouncements are radical enough to dis- courage anyone from seeking to find a subversive message underneath a strategically engineered veneer. Moreover, I do not think that Spinoza's famously cautious nature, and his reluctance to share his unpublished writings with any but a few of his closest associates, should be confused with the kind of caution that leads to esoteric writing. On the other hand, there can be no question that, as Smith notes, Spinoza tailored his presentation in the Treatise to a particular audience,.. (shrink)
This article responds to henry allison's criticisms of the author's claim that kant's incongruent counterparts argument supports his critical conclusions that things in themselves must be both non-Spatial and unknowable. The first part of the article treats four objections allison raises. The second part discusses differences between allison's and the author's readings of kant's claims about things in themselves.