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Kant on Causality, Freedom, and Objectivity

William L. Harper and Ralf Meerbote, Editors

Kant on Causality, Freedom, and Objectivity was first published in 1984. Minnesota Archive Editions uses digital technology to make long-unavailable books once again accessible, and are published unaltered from the original University of Minnesota Press editions.

Kant's account of causation is central to his views on objective truth and freedom. The Second Analogy of Experience, in the Critique of Pure Reason,where he provides his defense of the causal principle, has long been the focus of intense philosophical research. In the past twenty years, there have been two major periods of interest in Kantian themes, The first coincided with a general turn away from positivism by analytic philosophers, and resulted in a fruitful interchange between Kant scholars and those who applied Kantian ideas to contemporary philosophical problems. In recent years, a new surge of interest in Kant's work occurred along with the developing controversy over realism generated by the work of Dummett and Putnam. Scholars now appreciate the extent to which the Kantian causal principle is illuminated by the philosopher's argument that his transcendental idealism supports an empirical realism. And in turn, Kant's views on objectivity, causation, and freedom are especially relevant to the philosophical concerns raised by the new debate over realism.

The eight papers in this book are drawn from two conferences that honored Lewis White Beck, an influential Kant scholar. Together with the introductory essay by the editors, they show the continuing relevance of Kant's analysis for the present-day philosophy of causation.

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Kant on Causation

On the Fivefold Routes to the Principle of Causation

Kant famously confessed that Hume’s treatment of cause and effect woke him from his dogmatic slumber. According to Hume, the concept of cause does not arise through reason, but through force of habit. Kant believes this can be avoided through the development of a revolutionary new cognitive framework as presented in the Critique of Pure Reason. Focusing on the Second Analogy and other important texts from the first Critique, as well as texts from the Critique of Judgment, the author discusses the nature of Kant’s causal principle, the nature of his proof for this principle, and the status of his intended proof. Bayne argues that the key to understanding Kant’s proof is his discussion of objects of representations, and that it is his investigation into the requirements for an event’s being an object of representations that enables him to develop his proof of the causal principle.

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Kant on the Frontier

Philosophy, Politics, and the Ends of the Earth

Geoffrey Bennington

Frontier: the border between two countries; the limits of civilization; the bounds of established knowledge; a new field of activity. At a time when all borders, boundaries, margins, and limits are being—often violently—challenged, erased, or reinforced, we must rethink the concept of frontier itself. But is there even such a concept? Through an original and imaginative reading of Kant, Geoffrey Bennington casts doubt upon the conceptual coherence of borders. The frontier is the very element of Kant’s thought yet the permanent frustration of his conceptuality. Bennington brings out the frontier’s complex, abyssal, fractal structure that leaves a residue of violence in every frontier and complicates Kant’s most rational arguments in the direction of cosmopolitanism and perpetual peace. Neither a critique of Kant nor a return to Kant, this book proposes a new reflection on philosophical reading, for which thinking the frontier is both essential and a recurrent, fruitful, interruption.

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Kant's Conception of Pedagogy

Toward Education for Freedom

G. Felicitas Munzel

Although he was involved in the education debates of his time, it is widely held that in his mature philosophical writings Immanuel Kant is silent on the subject. In her groundbreaking Kant’s Conception of Pedagogy, G. Felicitas Munzel finds extant in Kant’s writings the so-called missing critical treatise on education; it appears in the Doctrines of Method with which he concludes each of his major works. Here Kant identifies the fundamental principles for the cultivation of reason’s judgment when it comes to cognition, beauty, nature, and the exercise of morality while subject to the passions and inclinations that characterize the human experience. From her analysis, Munzel extrapolates principles for a cosmopolitan education that parallels the structure of Kant’s republican constitution for perpetual peace. With the formal principles in place, the argument concludes with a query of the material principles that would fulfill the formal conditions required for an education for freedom.

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Kant's Dog

On Borges, Philosophy, and the Time of Translation

Situates Borges at the limit of philosophy and literature.

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Kant's Philosophy of Communication

by G. L. Ercolini

While Kant has typically been characterized as one who dismissed rhetoric as an art of semantic delusion, G. L. Ercolini engages in a new and inspired reading of Immanuel Kant that places communication at its center.

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Kant’s Political Theory

Interpretations and Applications

Edited by Elisabeth Ellis

Kant’s writings on politics were seldom viewed as having much importance by past interpreters of his thought, especially in comparison with his writings on ethics, which received the lion’s share of attention (along with his major works, such as the Critique of Pure Reason). But in recent years a new generation of scholars has revived interest in what Kant had to say about politics. This volume of essays offers a comprehensive introduction to Kant’s often misunderstood political thought from a position of engagement with today’s most pressing questions. Covering the full range of sources of Kant’s political theory—including not only the Doctrine of Right, the Critiques, and the political essays but also Kant’s lectures and minor writings—the volume’s distinguished contributors demonstrate that Kant’s philosophy offers compelling positions that continue to inspire the best thinking on politics today. Aside from the editor, the contributors are Michaele Ferguson, Louis-Philippe Hodgson, Ian Hunter, John Christian Laursen, Mika LaVaque-Manty, Onora O’Neill, Thomas W. Pogge, Arthur Ripstein, and Robert S. Taylor.

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Kant's Theory of Morals

Bruce Aune

Written for the general reader and the student of moral philosophy, this book provides a clear and unified treatment of Kant's theory of morals. Bruce Aune takes into account all of Kant's principal writings on morality and presents them in a contemporary idiom.

Originally published in 1980.

The Princeton Legacy Library uses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These paperback editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.

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Kant's Theory of Science

Gordon G. Brittan Jr.

While interest in Kant's philosophy has increased in recent years, very little of it has focused on his theory of science. This book gives a general account of that theory, of its motives and implications, and of the way it brought forth a new conception of the nature of philosophical thought.

To reconstruct Kant's theory of science, the author identifies unifying themes of his philosophy of mathematics and philosophy of physics, both undergirded by his distinctive logical doctrines, and shows how they come together to form a relatively consistent system of ideas. A new analysis of the structure of central arguments in the Critique of Pure Reason and the Prolegomena draws on recent developments in logic and the philosophy of science.

Professor Brittan's unified account of the philosophies of mathematics and physics explores the nature of Kant's commitment to Euclidean geometry and Newtonian mechanics as well as providing an integrated reading of the Critique of Pure Reason and the Metaphysical Foundations of Natural Science. Contemporary ideas help both to illuminate Kant's position and to show how that position, in turn, illuminates contemporary problems in the philosophy of science.

Originally published in 1978.

The Princeton Legacy Library uses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These paperback editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.

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