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Themes in Kant's Metaphysics and Ethics

Arthur Melnick

Publication Year: 2012

Intended for those interested in Kant's contribution to philosophy, this volume provides an overview of Kant's arguments concerning central issues in metaphysics and ethics.

Published by: The Catholic University of America Press

Series: Studies in Philosophy and the History of Philosophy

Title Page, Copyright

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pp. vii-ix

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 ...


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1. The Consistency of Kant’s Theory of Space and Time

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pp. 3-20

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 ...

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2. Kant vs. Lambert and Trendelenburg on the Ideality of Time

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pp. 21-31

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 ...


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3. Apperception and the Premise of Kant’s Transcendental Deduction

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pp. 35-46

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. ...

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4. Categories, Logical Functions, and Schemata in Kant

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pp. 47-68

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. ...

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5. A Modified Version of Kant’s Theory of Cognition

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pp. 69-92

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 ...


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6. Kant’s Proofs of Substance and Causation

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pp. 95-124

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. ...

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7. Kant’s Refutation of Idealism in the B Edition

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pp. 125-143

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 ...


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8. Kant on Things in Themselves

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pp. 147-163

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 ...

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9. Kant’s Proof of Transcendental Idealism in the First Antinomy

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pp. 164-184

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 ...

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10. Macroscopic Facts, Quantum Mechanics, and Metaphysical Realism

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pp. 185-201

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 ...


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11. Reason, Freedom, and Determinism in the Third Antinomy

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pp. 205-228

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, ...

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12. Kant’s Formulations of the Categorical Imperative

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pp. 229-248

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: ...

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13. The Rational Justification of Morality

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pp. 249-268

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 ...


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pp. 269-272


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pp. 273-275

E-ISBN-13: 9780813216294
Print-ISBN-13: 9780813213712

Page Count: 285
Publication Year: 2012

Series Title: Studies in Philosophy and the History of Philosophy

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Subject Headings

  • Kant, Immanuel, 1724-1804.
  • Metaphysics.
  • Ethics.
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