Presented in the “Critique of Pure Reason” transcendental philosophy is the first theory of science,which seeks to identify and study the conditions of the possibility of cognition. Thus, Kant carries out a shift to the study of ‘mode of our cognition’ and TP is a method, where transcendental argumentation acts as its essential basis. The article is devoted to the analysis of the transcendental arguments. In § 2 the background of ТА — transcendental method of Antiquity (...) and Leibniz’s Principle of Sufficient Reason — are analyzed and their comparison with ТА is given. § 3 is devoted to the analysis of TA in the broad and narrow senses; a formal propositional and presupposition models are proposed. In § 4 I discuss the difference between TA and metaphysics’ modes of reasoning. It analyzes the Kant’s main limitations of the use TA shows its connection with the Modern Age and contemporary science. (shrink)
This article considers Christine Korsgaard's argument for the value of humanity, and the role that her transcendental argument plays in this, to the effect that an agent must value her own humanity. Two forms of that argument are considered, and the second is defended. The analysis of her position is also put in the context of debates about transcendental arguments more generally.
In Part One of Religion within the Bounds of Bare Reason, Kant repeatedly refers to a “proof ” that human nature has a necessary and universal “evil propensity,” but he provides only obscure hints at its location. Interpreters have failed to identify such an argument in Part One. After examining relevant passages, summarizing recent attempts to reconstruct the argument, and explaining why these do not meet Kant’s stated needs, I argue that the elusive proof must have atranscendental form (called quasi- (...) class='Hi'>transcendental because Kant never uses “transcendental” in Religion). With deceptive simplicity, the section titles of Part One, viewed as components in an architechtonic system of religion, constitute steps in just such a proof. (shrink)
Although Peter Strawson’s ‘Freedom and Resentment’ was published over fifty years ago and has been widely discussed, its main argument is still notoriously difficult to pin down. The most common – but in my view, mistaken – interpretation of Strawson’s argument takes him to be providing a ‘relentlessly’ naturalistic framework for our responsibility practices. To rectify this mistake, I offer an alternative interpretation of Strawson’s argument. As I see it, rather than offering a relentlessly naturalistic framework for moral responsibility, Strawson (...) actually develops a transcendental argument, which grounds our moral responsibility practices in the practical perspective of social agents. However, the aims of this essay are not purely interpretative. Strawson’s essay continues to have important implications for a number of issues that arise in the contemporary debates that concern free will and moral responsibility. In particular, it puts significant pressure on moral responsibility sceptics like Derk Pereboom [Living Without Free Will. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001] who think that the truth of moral responsibility scepticism has no worrisome implications for our lives with others. (shrink)
From this summary account of the deduction we can draw a number of conclusions: In the first place, the guiding thesis used to make sense of the argument was that the argument needed to ground not just the moral law but a cognitive framework within which the moral law is the highest law. This distinction is important since it allows us to distinguish in the practical philosophy (as in the theoretical) a level of transcendental argumentation from a level of (...) metaphysical argumentation: The concern of transcendental philosophy would be to establish the conditions of the possibility of a cognitive framework, whereas the concern of metaphysics (in Kant's sense) is to develop the principles of a given cognitive framework and to derive from them knowledge of objects (see KU, Introduction, Section V). (This distinction turns out to be invaluable in dealing with the problem of the “application” of the moral law.)In the second place, this interpretation allows us to avoid reducing the practical viewpoint to the status of a poor imitation of “real” knowledge, one whose inadequacies must be passed over in embarrassed silence for the sake of rescuing morality. If the argument is correct, practical knowledge is in one sense more firmly grounded than (and even subsumes) theoretical knowledge, even though its grounds do not allow of complete insight.And, finally, we can make at least some cautious generalizations about Kant's understanding of a transcendental argument. Two things in particular seem to characterize the deduction: (1) It is essential that the argument is concerned with a cognitive framework rather than with any specific knowledge within that framework; it is the possibility of knowledge at all that is in question, and it is that fact that requires a special kind of argument. (2) Kant's assumptions about the distinct roots of human knowledge are indispensable to the argument. The distinction between mere speculation (mere thinking, which requires only our rational faculties) and knowledge (which also requires sensibility) is essential: Without that distinction we cannot understand why the argument is necessary in the first place (since, as I argued above, we cannot see how the moral law is synthetic), nor can we understand what it means to ground a cognitive framework: Grounding a cognitive framework for Kant has turned out to involve showing how two irreducibly distinct faculties can cooperate in acts of cognition - here it is the faculty of desire and the pure will which are conceptually irreducible and for which grounds of a possible a priori unity must nevertheless be given. The fact that these two features are so central to the argument would indicate that they should be taken into consideration in any discussion of transcendental arguments framed along Kantian lines. (shrink)
In a transcendental argument, a judgement ≫S is P≪ is unpacked into the two reflective claims: ≫I say that S is P≪, and ≫What I say is indeed the case≪; and the truth of the second is made to rest on the authority of the ≫I say≪ of the first. The argument has all the features of a testimony, where the reliability of the testimony depends on the extent to which, in being rendered, it conforms to stipulated canons of (...) objectivity. As presented in 1804, Fichte’s Wissenschaftslehre can be interpreted as a protracted argument of this kind, inasmuch as, since its avowed subject-matter, the One, is ex hypothesi ineffable, its validity as a narrative about it depends solely on its internal logic as narrative. Such a narrative can only be one which, in constructing any schema about its transcendent subject-matter, at the same time de-constructs it: in the course of this process it methodically and exhaustively uncovers the genesis of otherwise merely accepted facts of experience, manifesting them for what they truly are, and also allowing the necessarily unspoken evidence of the One to shine through. The Wissenschaftslehre 1804 is a type of apophantic theology. It is a Spinozism, but one developed from the standpoint of a finite subject who knows that he exists in a universe where, in truth, there is no explainable room for finitude. (shrink)
On the intended interpretation of intuitionistic logic, Heyting's Proof Interpretation, a proof of a proposition of the form p -> q consists in a construction method that transforms any possible proof of p into a proof of q. This involves the notion of the totality of all proofs in an essential way, and this interpretation has therefore been objected to on grounds of impredicativity (e.g. Gödel 1933). In fact this hardly ever leads to problems as in proofs of implications usually (...) nothing more is assumed about a proof of the antecedent than that it indeed is one, and this assumption does not require a further grasp of the totality of proofs. The prime example of an intuitionistic theorem that goes beyond that assumption is Brouwer's proof of the 'bar theorem': For every tree x, if x contains a decidable subset of nodes such that every path through the tree meets it (a 'bar'), then there is a well-ordered subtree of x that contains a bar for the whole of x. Instantiated with an arbitrary tree t, this proposition takes the form P(t) -> Q(t). Brouwer's proof of the bar theorem mainly consists in an analysis of the inner structure that a proof of P(t) must have, where proofs are taken to be primarily mental objects. So here Brouwer engages in phenomenological reflection by considering the acts in which we think about bars. From that analysis he obtains the information from which to construct a proof of Q(t). In this talk I will argue that Brouwer circumvents the problem of impredicativity by resorting to a transcendental argument based on phenomenological description, and defend this application by showing how common objections to transcendental arguments do not apply here. Finally, I will indulge in some historical speculation by relating the foregoing considerations to the remarkable change that Gödel's view on the Proof Interpretation underwent between his Yale Lecture (1941) and the Dialectica paper (1958). (shrink)
This paper gives an interpretation of Kant's argument for transcendental idealism in the Transcendental Aesthetic. I argue against a common way of reading this argument, which sees Kant as arguing that substantive a priori claims about mind-independent reality would be unintelligible because we cannot explain the source of their justification. I argue that Kant's concern with how synthetic a priori propositions are possible is not a concern with the source of their justification, but with how they can have (...) objects. I argue that Kant's notion of intuition needs to be understood as a kind of representation which involves the presence to consciousness of the object it represents, and that this means that a priori intuition cannot present us with a mind-independent feature of reality. (shrink)
Major recent interpretations of Kant's first "critique" (wolff, Strawson, Bennett) have taken his transcendental deduction to be an argument from the fact of consciousness to the existence of an objective world. I argue that it is unclear such an argument can succeed and there are overwhelming reasons to believe kant understood his deduction as having a very different form, namely as moving from the premise that there is empirical knowledge to the conclusion that there are universally valid pure categories. (...) Detailed support for this contention is offered in an analysis of the second edition version of the deduction. (shrink)
This paper seeks to delineate some of the significant modes of philosophical resistance to, and subversion of, British Idealism already operational in Russell's earliest work. One key tactic employed in "An Essay On the Foundations of Geometry" is to reorient the findings of the "modern logic" of Bradley and Bosanquet by employing some "transcendental" or neo-Kantian strategies. Russell thereby arrives at a number of conclusions with a metaphysical or epistemological import at wide variance with the approach of the British (...) Idealists. Yet, despite this divergence, Russell does retain a basic commitment to at least one of their fundamental logical dogmas: the unity of analysis and synthesis. Should this reading prove fruitful, philosophical analysis in Britain, from its earliest strivings and first manifestations, can be seen as deriving significant sustenance from both Idealist and neo-Kantian sources. (shrink)
I first criticize strawson's account of the transcendental deduction, And then argue that wittgenstein's considerations (in his later work) of the rule-Governed nature of judgment can be used to reconstruct a valid argument for a certain kind of objectivity, Which excludes solipsims. I suggest how kant's talk of synthesis can be reinterpreted in the light of this, As indeed can the doctrine of empirical realism and transcendental idealism.
The goal of Kant’s transcendental deduction is to demonstrate the reciprocal implication of self-consciousness and objectivity. Kant’s argument is that the subject possesses a priori cognizance concerning the thoroughgoing identity of itself and that this entails a priori for the subject cognition of the manners in which the combining activities of individual cognitive states must and can occur if its self-identity is to be maintained. Kant proposes that the cognitive subject makes judgments concerning its identity, and then shows that (...) these judgments must subscribe to formal rules of synthesis relating cognitive representations, for which the subject affirms such identity, to a domain of empirical things-in-themselves or enduring objects. (shrink)
In this paper I present a new solution to the so-called ‘neglected alternative’ objection against Kant’s argument for transcendental idealism. According to this objection, Kant does not give sufficient justification for his claim that not only are space and time forms of our intuition but they also fail to be things in themselves or properties thereof. I first discuss a proposal by Willaschek and Allais, who try to defend Kant against this charge by building on his account of a (...) priori intuition, and argue that it is insufficient to meet the objection in its full force. I then present my own solution to the problem. It is based on a reconstruction of Kant’s account of properties of appearances, and tries to show that this account implies that spatio-temporal properties could in principle not pertain both to appearances and to things in themselves. (shrink)
A concept of the ‘actual now’ is introduced. The ‘actual now’ is negatively characterized by the fact that it is absent from the time-series. This does not mean that the ‘actual now’ is outside the time-series. For saying so would wrongly suggest the existence of an ‘outside’ where the ‘actual now’ could be located. Instead, one considers that the ‘actual now’ is just the name of ‘that with respect to which’ any event can be said to be past or future, (...) yet being no event by itself. It holds the same role with respect to time as Husserl’s transcendental ego with respect to the empirical self. McTaggart’s celebrated refutation of the reality of time is reinterpreted accordingly. To express this argument, one no longer needs to use the notions of ‘change’ or ‘time flow’, but only to point out the in-principle impossibility to refer to the ‘actual now’. (shrink)
In Part One of Religion within the Bounds of Bare Reason, Kant repeatedly refers to a “proof ” that human nature has a necessary and universal “evil propensity,” but he provides only obscure hints at its location. Interpreters have failed to identify such an argument in Part One. After examining relevant passages, summarizing recent attempts to reconstruct the argument, and explaining why these do not meet Kant’s stated needs, I argue that the elusive proof must have atranscendental form. With deceptive (...) simplicity, the section titles of Part One, viewed as components in an architechtonic system of religion, constitute steps in just such a proof. (shrink)
In their philosophical projects that address the concept of law, Immanuel Kant, Johann G. Fichte, and Georg W. F. Hegel all employ transcendental argumentation to demonstrate the sovereignty of community and the existence of power. They do this in the attempt to conceptually ground the idea of freedom and reconcile it with the notion of coercion within the framework of the idea of positive law. This article focuses solely on the Kantian project, since the approaches of Fichte and Hegel (...) take on a more speculative turn in addition to their transcendental form. (shrink)
An exposition of Karl Marx’s argument in the Grundrisse for the logical development of money, this essay is divided into three parts. Since Marx is concerned to distinguish himself and his method from that of the seventeenth century political economists, I begin my paper with a brief reflection on “the scientifically correct method” or the “theoretical method” (Grundrisse 101 and 102). The second part of this paper considers how Marx justifies beginning his reflection with the concept of production in general. (...) To understand the importance that Marx attributes to production, one must also appreciate the way in which distribution, exchange, and consumption belong to the sphere of production. In the remaining pages of this section of my paper, then, I attempt to reconstruct Marx’s argument for the way in which these concepts (distribution, exchange, and consumption) are to be understood in relation to the sphere of production. (shrink)
_ Source: _Page Count 25 This is a pre-print. Please cite only the revised published version. This paper presents an original, ambitious, truth-directed transcendental argument for the existence of an ‘external world’. It begins with a double-headed starting-point: Stroud’s own remarks on the necessary conditions of language in general, and Hegel’s critique of the “fear of error.” The paper argues that the sceptical challenge requires a particular critical concept of thought as that which may diverge from reality, and that (...) this concept is possible only through reflection on situations of error, in which how things are thought to be diverges from how things really are with independent items in an objective world. The existence of such a world is therefore a necessary condition of the possibility of scepticism: such scepticism is therefore false. I defend the argument against objections from Stroud’s sceptic and others. Drawing on Heidegger, the paper concludes by indicating that the chain of necessary conditions includes practical engagement with the world. (shrink)
Surprisingly, over the decade or so since its publication, Bhaskar's Dialectic: The Pulse of Freedom has received relatively little in the way of systematic analysis either by critical realists or their critics. There have been, however, a number of critiques that have dealt with some of its themes and developments in a variety of contexts. In the following study, I assess the argument of Alex Callinicos. Callinicos' critique, though in many ways sympathetic, is fundamental to critical realism. Engaging with it (...) provides a means to develop and clarify a number of arguments about aspects of critical realism in general and also provides a useful staging point to set forth a basic and consistent ordering of inquiry for a critique of DPF. The initial purpose of the analysis is not so much a defence of DPF but an assessment of the construction of an argument brought to bear on it. I argue that the form of the argument deployed is problematic in a way that detracts from the substance of the critique of the content of DPF. This is not to suggest that DPF is immune to criticism but rather to suggest that a fuller analysis of the DPF argument and its potential remains to be made. The ultimate purpose of the analysis is to use this assessment of a strategy of critique—an argumentation schema or discursive form—to create an alternative approach to critically appraising DPF. Fundamental to Callinicos' argument is the nature of transcendental argument. (shrink)
This article analyzes and criticizes the transcendental arguments Roy Bhaskar uses to justify his transcendental realist ontology. They are compared to Kant's in the Critique of Pure Reason and a detailed reconstruction of those formulated in A Realist Theory of Science is presented. It is argued that these formulations contain certain ambiguities and are beset with other, more serious, problems. First, Bhaskar's descriptions of scientific practices are far more controversial than is presupposed in his arguments. Second, Bhaskar uses (...) the Kantian concept of transcendental necessity in his transcendental arguments which inevitably connects them to certain Kantian doctrines that are inconsistent with his transcendental realist ontology. Some qualifications of his formulations Bhaskar made in his later writings are also considered and another possible interpretation of his transcendental arguments is presented from the point of view of these qualifications. On this interpretation, Bhaskar seeks to naturalize Kantian transcendental arguments by combining a posteriori premises with a priori philosophical reasoning. It is argued that this kind of naturalized version of transcendental arguments is also problematic. Therefore, it is concluded that Bhaskar's transcendental arguments fail to justify his transcendental realist ontology. Nevertheless, it might be possible to justify at least some of Bhaskar's ontological claims from the perspective of meta-philosophical naturalism. It is maintained that this requires naturalization not just of transcendental arguments but of the whole transcendental realist ontology. One possible form of naturalistic argument that might replace Bhaskar's problematic transcendental arguments is sketched. It is, however, admitted that, desirable though the naturalization of Bhaskar's early ontology may be, more work needs to be done to achieve this goal. (shrink)
I argue that once one holds (as Kant does) that the mind is equipped with innate, pre-existing, i.e. a priori structures, one can ask (as materialists or empiricists would), Is there an identifiable source of such structures and what does it imply? Already Schopenhauer, Moses Mendelssohn and others have taken that route of argument, without fully drawing the implications. In this paper I attempt to do so, posing the query: Is Kant's very explicit separation of the transcendent from the (...) class='Hi'>transcendental necessary in his critical system? I try to answer from various perspectives. (shrink)
The main contribution of this work is to develop the account of material constitution presented in Spatially Coinciding Objects (Ratio 24, 1982) and a series of related articles. This account was merely ‘analytical’ in that it applied generously to ‘putative’ examples of distinct entities (individuals, pluralities and masses of stuff) in the same place at the same time. The account herein is ‘critical’ in that it seeks justification for recognizing the existence of entities constituted in addition to the entities that (...) allegedly constitute them. While the earlier account used examples such as a clay statue and the clay of the statue for purposes of illustrating material constitution, the present account would consider ‘reducing’ the statue to the clay, and seeks justification for how to resist this and admit the existence of generable and perishable natural objects in general. The justification sought is ‘deep’ in the sense that (unlike the popular ‘method of cases) it does not belong to ‘descriptive’ metaphysics (in Strawson’s sense) but is sufficiently potent to counter ‘revisionist’ views. Transcendental arguments, beginning with austere assumptions of justification itself, are thereby employed. Suggestions are made about what to conclude about our own identity, which amount to supporting animalism. (shrink)
Let us imagine an ideal ethical agent, i.e., an agent who (i) holds a certain ethical theory, (ii) has all factual knowledge needed for determining which action among those open to her is right and which is wrong, according to her theory, and who (iii) is ideally motivated to really do whatever her ethical theory demands her to do. If we grant that the notions of omniscience and ideal motivation both make sense, we may ask: Could there possibly be an (...) ideal utilitarian, that is, an ideal ethical agent whose ethical theory says that our only moral obligation consists in maximizing utility? I claim that an ideal agent cannot be utilitarian. My reasoning against ideal utilitarianism will parallel Putnam's famous argument against the brains in a vat. Putnam argues that an envatted brain cannot describe its own situation because its words do not refer to brains and vats; I argue that an ideal utilitarian cannot entertain or communicate the beliefs necessary to being a utilitarian. (shrink)
In a recent book entitled Free Will and Epistemology. A Defence of the Transcendental Argument for Freedom, Robert Lockie argues that the belief in determinism is self-defeating. Lockie’s argument hinges on the contention that we are bound to assess whether our beliefs are justified by relying on an internalist deontological conception of justification. However, the determinist denies the existence of the free will that is required in order to form justified beliefs according to such deontological conception of justification. As (...) a result, by the determinist’s own lights, the very belief in determinism cannot count as justified. On this ground Lockie argues that we are bound to act and believe on the presupposition that we are free. In this paper I discuss and reject Lockie’s transcendental argument for freedom. Lockie’s argument relies on the assumption that in judging that determinism is true the determinist is committed to take it that there are epistemic obligations – e.g., the obligation to believe that determinism is true, or the obligation to aim to believe the truth about determinism. I argue that this assumption rests on a wrong conception of the interplay between judgments and commitments. (shrink)
I distinguish between two phases of Rorty’s naturalism: “nonreductive physicalism” (NRP) and “pragmatic naturalism” (PN). NRP holds that the vocabulary of mental states is irreducible to that of physical states, but this irreducibility does not distinguish the mental from other irreducible vocabularies. PN differs by explicitly accepting a naturalistic argument for the transcendental status of the vocabulary of agency. Though I present some reasons for preferring PN over NRP, PN depends on whether ‘normativity’ can be ‘naturalized’.
In the article of Bueno titled “Davidson and Skepticism: How Not to Respond to the Skeptic,” he intends to demonstrate that although Davidson’s theory of Coherence holds many attractions, it does not entail a response to any kinds of skepticism including Global, Lottery, and Pyrrhonian. In this study, the goal is to criticize the work of Prof. Bueno in connection with two criticisms raised by him over Davidson’s anti-skeptical strategy. Further, by giving some reasons in favor of Davidson’s anti-skepticism argument, (...) it will be shown that neither the above stated criticisms nor the global skepticism response could undermine the validity of anti-skepticism argument. (shrink)
According to Ian Hacking’s Entity Realism, unobservable entities that scientists carefully manipulate to study other phenomena are real. Although Hacking presents his case in an intuitive, attractive, and persuasive way, his argument remains elusive. I present five possible readings of Hacking’s argument: a no-miracle argument, an indispensability argument, a transcendental argument, a Vichian argument, and a non-argument. I elucidate Hacking’s argument according to each reading, and review their strengths, their weaknesses, and their compatibility with each other.
In "The Self-Defeating Character of Skepticism," Douglas C. Long presents a transcendental argument against epistemological skepticism.' The argument has a distinctively Kantian flavor (though Long does not highlight this connection), in that it proceeds from the premise that I have self-knowledge and ends with the conclusion that I have perceptual knowledge of an objective, material subject of mental states. If the skeptic wishes to accept the transcendental argument's premise (as he seems to do), then he must reject his (...) claim that I lack knowledge of all propositions concerning my physical nature, history and environment. The falsity of this skeptical claim is a condition for the possibility of self-knowledge, according to Long's transcendental argument. In this paper, I would like to see whether the argument is really work-able. (shrink)