Themes in Kant's Metaphysics and Ethics
Publication Year: 2012
Published by: The Catholic University of America Press
Title Page, Copyright
This work is a collection of ten essays on Kant’s theoretical philosophy and three essays on his practical philosophy. All of the essays have been written expressly to be read independently of the others. Together, however, the first ten essays I believe constitute a unified and fairly comprehensive account of Kant’s views in the first Critique. Most of the ...
PART I. THE TRANSCENDENTAL AESTHETIC
1. The Consistency of Kant’s Theory of Space and Time
In the Aesthetic Kant holds that space and time are given in pure intuition. In the Transcendental Deduction he holds that they are due to a synthesis of the transcendental imagination. Since a synthesis is a putting together, this seems to contradict the view of the Aesthetic that space and time are simply given. At least, in both these sections, Kant ...
2. Kant vs. Lambert and Trendelenburg on the Ideality of Time
Kant’s thesis that space and time are transcendentally ideal can be fruitfully understood, I claim, on the model of constructivism in the philosophy of mathematics. Just as numbers are not objective (Platonic) realities but exist in and through procedures or constructions such as counting, so too space and time are not objective (absolute or ...
PART II. THE TRANSCENDENTAL DEDUCTION
3. Apperception and the Premise of Kant’s Transcendental Deduction
Kant’s Transcendental Deduction is supposed to provide a method for establishing the applicability of pure concepts to all cognizable reality. The premise of this method, then, must itself be such as to pertain to all cognizable reality and so, a fortiori, to all varieties of experience and consciousness as well as all varieties of objects and states of affairs. ...
4. Categories, Logical Functions, and Schemata in Kant
In the first edition Transcendental Deduction of the categories Kant does not mention the logical functions of judgment. In the second edition (the B edition), the Deduction can be said to be dominated by the logical functions of judgment. A transcendental deduction supplies a method for showing that pure concepts can have applicability. ...
5. A Modified Version of Kant’s Theory of Cognition
Kant has a theory of cognition in which all thoughts or cognitions are rules for empirical reacting in the course of spatially and temporally constructing. These rules function as representations of our situation in relation to all the ways in which it is proper to interact with reality. Kant’s theory is fundamentally different from accounts of representation ...
PART III. THE PRINCIPLES
6. Kant’s Proofs of Substance and Causation
Kant’s views on the nature of causation and substance do not depend on any compromise between or any combination of rationalism and empiricism, but on what he calls a “third thing,” the pure intuition of time, which is completely missing in both rationalism and empiricism. ...
7. Kant’s Refutation of Idealism in the B Edition
The Refutation of Idealism in the B edition attempts to show that if I know that I am now in a conscious state, then I must also be immediately aware of objects in space outside me. The argument proceeds in two steps, each of which concerns the reality of time. First, to know that I am now in a conscious state entails that the present time exists, and ...
PART IV. THINGS IN THEMSELVES
8. Kant on Things in Themselves
Understanding Kant’s doctrine of things in themselves involves understanding three claims he makes. First, we do not cognize things in themselves. Second, they are not in space and time, and third, the categories do not apply to them. These claims, I contend, are utterly central to Kant’s entire theory of cognition in the Critique and cannot be ...
9. Kant’s Proof of Transcendental Idealism in the First Antinomy
Kant thinks the Antinomies establish transcendental idealism as against an opposing view that he calls transcendental realism. The idealist holds that the world “is only to be met with in the regressive synthesis itself,” while the realist views the field of appearance “as a thing given in and by itself prior to all regress” (A505, B533, p. 448).1 It is ...
10. Macroscopic Facts, Quantum Mechanics, and Metaphysical Realism
There is a plausible way of understanding quantum mechanics according to which reality has quantum-mechanical structure whether or not quantum phenomena are conceptualizable. Further, reality’s having that structure determines or produces macroscopic facts. If so, then such macroscopic facts arise from or are determined by a reality that is ...
PART V. FREEDOM AND MORALITY
11. Reason, Freedom, and Determinism in the Third Antinomy
In Kant’s view, genuine practical reasoning cannot be causally determined. Practical reasoning is open-ended in the sense that there is never a fixed stock of reasons that are definitive or conclusive as to how to live, and so as to what to do. For such open-ended reasoning to be efficacious, its concrete realization cannot be fixed or determined. Rather, ...
12. Kant’s Formulations of the Categorical Imperative
Kant’s second formulation of the categorical imperative commands respect for rational agents as ends in themselves. Korsgaard has interpreted this as commanding respect for rationality as the source of the value of our goals in life. She says, “But the distinctive feature of humanity as such is simply the capacity to take a rational interest in something: ...
13. The Rational Justification of Morality
Kant attempted to derive morality from our nature as rational beings, rationality signifying for Kant universality, which was the form of moral law. Korsgaard has modified this Kantian program by making rationality the source of our goals and morality a matter of respecting or valuing our goals by respecting our rational nature as such.1 ...