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Metaphysics, Mathematics and the Distinction Between the Sensible and the Intelligible in Kant's Inaugural Dissertation

From: Journal of the History of Philosophy
Volume 42, Number 2, April 2004
pp. 165-194 | 10.1353/hph.2004.0026

Abstract

In this paper I argue that Kant's distinction in the Inaugural Dissertation between the sensible and the intelligible arises in part out of certain open questions left open by his comparison between mathematics and metaphysics in the Prize Essay. This distinction provides a philosophical justification for his distinction between the respective methods of mathematics and metaphysics and his claim that mathematics admits of a greater degree of certainty. More generally, this illustrates the importance of Kant's reflections on mathematics for the development of his Critical philosophy.



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