In this paper I argue that the ground of this disagreement is different than philosophers have traditionally supposed. On the surface, the disagreement appears to be a matter of substantive moral judgment: Hume admires the sort of person who rushes to the aid of another from motives of sympathy or humanity, while Kant thinks that a person who helps with the thought that it is his duty is the better character. While a moral disagreement of this kind certainly follows from (...) their views, I will argue that the source of the disagreement lies elsewhere, namely in their different conceptions of action and motivation. This difference leads in turn to a surprisingly deep difference in their conception of our relation to other people, and of what it means to interact with other people. It is his conception of human interaction that leads Hume to think that benevolence is natural while there is something artificial about our motives to act justly and to keep our promises. For Kant, on the other hand, no form of adult human motivation is “natural” in Hume’s sense – all adult human motivation involves the agent’s use of nonnatural concepts such as law or reason. But Kant’s theory of interaction grounds another sense in which it is just as “natural” to be motivated to keep our promises and agreements as it is to be motivated to help each other out when we are in need. (shrink)
There is little consensus about whether Kant intends his Critique of Pure Reason to change the mind of a skeptical empiricist such as Hume. I challenge a common assumption made by both sides of the debate. This is the thought that Kant can convince a skeptic only if he does not beg the question against her. Surprisingly, I argue, that is not how Kant sees things. On Kant’s view, skeptical empiricism is an inherently unstable and unsatisfying position, which skeptics cannot (...) help wanting to escape. Kant’s Critique, and especially its Transcendental Deduction, offers thinkers like Hume an appealing means of escape, by explaining a possible relation of the mind to the objects of knowledge which skeptics have overlooked. On Kant’s view of the skeptic as inherently dissatisfied with her position, the offer of an explanation can change her mind while neither refuting nor appealing to her skeptical empiricism. (shrink)
The emergence of experimental philosophy was one of the most significant developments in the early modern period. However, it is often overlooked in modern scholarship, despite being associated with leading figures such as Francis Bacon, Robert Boyle, Isaac Newton, Jean Le Rond d'Alembert, David Hume and Christian Wolff. Ranging from the early Royal Society of London in the seventeenth century to the uptake of experimental philosophy in Paris and Berlin in the eighteenth, this book provides new terms of reference for (...) understanding early modern philosophy and science, and its eventual eclipse in the shadow of post-Kantian notions of empiricism and rationalism. Experimental Philosophy and the Origins of Empiricism is an integrated history of early modern experimental philosophy which challenges the rationalism and empiricism historiography that has dominated Anglophone history of philosophy for more than a century. (shrink)
Kant's analysis of ordinary moral consciousness reveals that people believe they are bound by duty. Duty, in turn, Kant explains, "is the necessity of an action from respect for law." All inclination to the contrary, and even inclination toward duty is set aside, so that the only motivation is respect for law. The binding power of the law reflects not only a universal command but also a universal command of reason. After all, given that the realm of experience is, by (...) nature, contingent, no empirical fact can command as completely. Reason's command is an imperative: it is what must be done. When one does one's duty for its own sake, then one acts from respect for the moral law. (shrink)
Issues concerning naturalism have increasingly become the subject of philosophical reflections involving ontological, epistemological, and even ethics affairs. The most popular topic for contemporary philosophy has been the relationship between ontological results of Darwinism and epistemology. Despite the varied circumstances of its establishment, naturalism almost always produces recommendations that reflect a worldview much “weaker” (as in the case of Habermas) than the strong one more common among scientism. There are good structural reasons for this difference. The aim of this paper (...) is to elucidate some of distinctive social features of Habermas's conception of the human being and its implications in the Theory of Communicative Action (1982). Therefore, it is shown that his anthropology takes a naturalistic and Darwinist perspective in the weak naturalism perspective. In the first part, Darwin ́s legacy is analysed as a research program, and Habermas ́s studies on biological anthropology are compared with the latest research in genetics and palaeontology. In the second part, we will show Habermas's proposal to confront an epistemological dualism through a weak non‐reductionist naturalism as a critique of modern metaphysics, which structures a new pragmatic realism. (shrink)
World peace was a common theoretical consideration among philosophers during Europe’s Enlightenment period. The first robust essay on peace was written by Charles Irénée Castel de Saint- Pierre, which sparked an intellectual debate among prominent philosophers like Jean- Jacques Rousseau and Jeremy Bentham, who offered their own treatises on the concept of peace. Perhaps the most influential of all such writings comes from Immanuel Kant, who argues that world peace is no “high- flown or exaggerated notion” but rather a natural (...) result of the rational progression of the human species. U.S. President Woodrow Wilson, the mastermind behind the formation of the League of Nations in 1920 that provided the scaffolding to today’s United Nations, read Kant’s philosophy while he was a student at the College of New Jersey (now Princeton University). Some have argued that it is no coincidence that the per-son responsible for embarking upon the first serious political pursuit of world peace on a global scale was familiar with Kant. Indeed, William Galston claims that “Woodrow Wilson’s Fourteen Points [for world peace] were a faithful transcription of both the letter and spirit of Kant’s Perpetual Peace.”3 Historical connections aside, the question remains as to whether Kant’s philosophy is a viable conception of peace in a contemporary context. Using the conceptual distinction of positive and negative peace provided by Johan Galtung, I argue that Kant’s philosophy does provide the scaffolding for a viable conception of peace. In particular, I provide particular examples as to what social rights must be included in a Kantian model of peace. (shrink)
In this paper I reconstruct Schiller's theory of virtue from his essay “On grace and dignity” and discuss how it fits into Kant's moral philosophy. According to Schiller, a virtuous person – a beautiful soul – is characterised by harmony between reason and sensibility. I show that despite some misleading textual clues and interpretations based on them, Schiller does not regard the harmony between reason and sensibility as an equal partnership. On the contrary, just like Kant, Schiller fully recognises the (...) priority of reason. The difference between their positions is more subtle. Whereas Kant holds that sensibility must be overtly subordinated to reason, Schiller believes that there should be a semblance of an equal partnership between reason and sensibility, provided that the latter is sufficiently ennobled. (shrink)
This paper argues that in both Kant and Heidegger the relation between thought and the world is possible only by means of the transcendental mediation of time. Where is the difference, then, between Kant’s and Heidegger’s temporal ontology? Whereas for Kant the schema is a “product of the imagination”, and thus a product of a transcendental faculty of the subject, for Heidegger the three temporal ecstases of transcendence are simply a neutral, structural articulation of the relation between Dasein and world. (...) They are not a product of subjectivity – least of all can they be brought back to the transcendental constitution of a consciousness. (shrink)
Die Abhandlung Kant und Goethe. Zur Geschichte der modernen Weltanschauung erscheint 1916 als dritte Auflage des erstmals 1906 verlegten Traktats Kant und Goethe. Der bewusst populär geschriebene Text stellt Kant und Goethe als Archetypen zweier Weltanschauungen gegenüber und skizziert aus diesem Kontrast eine Strukturfolie der modernen Weltanschauung.
This essay pertains to Nietzsche's and Spinoza's philosophical/historical relationship, and the hitherto unnoticed role Kant plays as an intermediary for Spinoza's ideas and legacy. We advance two main assertions: 1) that Nietzsche is historically related to Spinoza via Kant's Antinomies of Pure Reason and their legacy, and 2) that both the striking similarities and tremendous differences between these two thinkers are best described with reference to the Antithesis positions of Kant's Antinomies. Our account rests primarily on the works of two (...) other scholars. The first is Omri Boehm, who argues convincingly that a) Spinoza was both the single greatest influence on and primary target of Kant's Antinomies, and b) that Spinoza's position is remarkably similar to the first three Antithesis positions (and no other relevant thinker comes close). The second is Michael Steven Green, who argues with equal force that c) Nietzsche's mature philosophy is heavily dependent upon Afrikan Spir's concept of the "fundamental antinomy," and d) that Nietzsche's view of empirical reality amounts to an "antithetic" view of reality. We demonstrate that these two scholars were, independently of one other, pointing to a single historical/philosophical connection between Nietzsche and Spinoza, and begin an exploration of the ramifications of this discovery. (shrink)
Es ist unwahrscheinlich, dass Tocqueville Kant gelesen hat. In einem Brief an Gobineau fragt er diesen, ihm Kants Lehre zusammenzufassen, da er selbst kein Deutsch könne. Dieser einzig relevante Hinweis auf Kant im Werk Tocquevilles erfolgt im Rahmen einer Überlegung zur Moral: Tocqueville will den Zusammenhang zwischen Religion und Moral ergründen und will vor allem wissen, inwiefern die moderne Moral sich vom Christentum und der christlichen Moral entfernt.
Die Philosophie Immanuel Kants und – wenn auch in weit geringerem Maße – der Neukantianismus waren für das philosophische Denken von Hans Jonas zeitlebens von hoher Bedeutung. Wichtige Prinzipien wie die kritische Grundhaltung zur Metaphysik und die Notwendigkeit einer philosophischen Begründung ethischer Normen hat Jonas in das eigene Denken übernommen, dann aber für seine sehr eigenständige, von Kant immer wieder stark abweichende Philosophie fruchtbar werden lassen.
I argue that Kant thought his Transcendental Deduction of the Pure Concepts could reach skeptical empiricists like Hume by providing an overlooked explanation of the mind's a priori relation to the objects of experience. And he thought empiricists may be motivated to listen to this explanation because of an instability and dissatisfaction inherent to empiricism.
This chapter provides a brief history of Kantianism in Russia since the late eighteenth century and identifies the main themes of Kantianism in Russia. It considers the reasons for the uneven and intermittent spread of Kantianism, the main motives behind the fierce resistance to Kantianism within the framework of certain trends of Orthodox thought, and the ways in which this philosophical polemic was reflected in the Russian literature. The achievements of Russian Kantianism are analyzed with attention to both its undeniable (...) merits and its weaknesses and inconsistencies. In addition, the scope and scale of Russian Kantianism will be compared with Schellingism and Hegelianism in Russia. On the basis of this comparison, I will argue against the stereotype that Russian philosophy is resistant to Kant. (shrink)
Leibniz and Kant were the most important figures in German philosophy from the late 17th to the early 19th century. This volume examines the relationships between their philosophies, illuminating fundamental questions of metaphysics, epistemology, and philosophical theology, and assessing Kant's understanding of his philosophical predecessor.
Kant’s Prolegomena is a piece of philosophical advertising: it exists to convince the open-minded “future teacher” of metaphysics that the true critical philosophy — i.e., the Critique — provides the only viable solution to the problem of metaphysics (i.e. its failure to make any genuine progress). To be effective, a piece of advertising needs to know its audience. This chapter argues that Kant takes his reader to have some default sympathies for the common-sense challenge to metaphysics originating from Thomas Reid (...) and his followers; this fact in turn explains his rhetorical strategies in the Prolegomena, particularly regarding the presentation of the problem of metaphysics. The chapter draws attention to the importance of Shaftesbury, who, with a nod to Horace, had argued for the deployment of humour to disarm fraudulent claims to epistemic and moral authority. Kant looks to Horace himself to poke fun at the common-sense challenge to metaphysics, and from there to indicate the general shape of the particular argumentative strategies of the Critique — that project that alone, in his view, can promise some kind of future for metaphysics. (shrink)
Karl Leonhard Reinhold’s and Friedrich Schiller’s conception of drive can be interpreted as a systematic response to an ambivalence in Kant’s conception of drive and driving force, which he associates with heteronomy and autonomy. Reinhold distinguishes between a selfish and an unselfish drive. In doing so, he revaluates the drive as something that is compatible with our freedom of the will. Both drives are the vital basis of our free decision and therefore united. Schiller distinguishes between three kinds of drive. (...) The object of the form-drive is the Gestalt of the world, its intelligible structure and necessity, whereas the object of the material drive is the human life and its sensual reality. In opposition to Reinhold, Schiller introduces a third drive that he calls the “play drive”. However, it is not an instance additional to the material and form-drive, but rather designates the harmony of both drives. (shrink)
Heidegger’s Kant and the Problem of Metaphysics (1929) turns on a reading of the productive imagination in the first edition of the Critique of Pure Reason (1781). In siding with the imagination, Heidegger declares his dissent from the neo-Kantianism of his contemporaries. Yet, when Heidegger subsequently elaborates his philosophy of art in the 1930s, he is dismissive of the imagination altogether. His earlier partisanship was qualified. In Kant and the Problem of Metaphysics, Heidegger treats the productive imagination of Kant’s critical (...) period as still a step short of Heidegger’s own problem of the time of finite human beings. German Idealism’s step past Kant is, for Heidegger, a step beyond, but in the wrong direction. The aesthetics of German Idealism builds on the unification of experience and conceptuality wrought by the productive imagination in its transcendental use, thereby inscribing in the work of art a neglect of finitude that Heidegger will dispute. If what Heidegger holds against the imagination is its transcendental use, the fully empirical concept of the imagination in Kant’s precritical writings invites reassessment in light of an engagement with finitude. I will show it has particular promise for rehabilitating the imagination in a Heideggerian philosophy of art. (shrink)
The focus of this chapter will be Kant’s understanding of Hume, and its impact on Kant’s critical philosophy. Contrary to the traditional reading of this relationship, which focuses on Kant’s (admittedly real) dissatisfaction with Hume’s account of causation, my discussion will focus on broader issues of philosophical methodology. Following a number of recent interpreters, I will argue that Kant sees Hume as raising, in a particularly forceful fashion, a ‘demarcation challenge’ concerning how to distinguish the legitimate use of reason in (...) (say) natural scientific contexts from the illegitimate use of it in (say) dogmatic metaphysics. I will then go on to argue that Kant sees Hume’s tendency to slide into more radical forms of skepticism as a symptom of his failure to provide a systematic or principled account of this distinction. This failure, I argue, can be traced (according to Kant) to Hume’s impoverished, non-hylomorphic account of our faculties – which both robs Hume of the materials necessary to construct a genuinely systematic philosophy as Kant understands this, and makes it impossible for Hume to clearly conceive of what Kant calls ‘Formal Idealism.’ In this way, the failings of Hume’s account of causation are (for Kant) symptoms of more fundamental limitations within Hume’s philosophy. I close by briefly discussing the similarities between Hume and Kant’s understanding of the relationship between, first, philosophical methodology and, second, the nature of our faculties. (shrink)
This paper argues that Maimon’s metaphilosophy presents a distinctive view on what the scientific role and method of philosophy should consist in: in the production of fictions of systematicity. It shows how Maimon’s philosophy of science links to metaphilosophical views, and ultimately leads him to adopt the so-called “method of fictions” to transform philosophy into a proper science. By connecting his remarks on scientific fictions and their methodological role with Kant’s doctrine of regulative ideas and the latter’s conception of systematicity, (...) the paper develops a systematic account of the method of fictions, its employment in theoretical philosophy and the scientific image resulting from this view. (shrink)
This chapter considers the encounter of skepticism with the Kantian and post-Kantian philosophical enterprise and focuses on the intriguing feature whereby it is assimilated into this enterprise. In this period, skepticism becomes interchangeable with its other, which helps understand the proliferation of many kinds of views under its name and which forms the background for transforming skepticism into an anonymous, routine practice of raising objections and counter-objections to one’s own view. German philosophers of this era counterpose skepticism to dogmatism and (...) criticism, ancient to modern skepticism, and, importantly, conceptualize the transitions from one form to another, which forms the conceptual matrix in which new disciplinary forms, such as psychology, anthropology, and historicism contend for cultural-intellectual standing beside philosophy. I present this assimilationist trajectory by reviewing three well-known moments of this encounter of skepticism and idealism: (1) Kant’s idealization of skepticism as a floating position amidst various philosophical positions through the dialectic, polemics, systematics, and history of pure reason; (2) Fichte’s schematic conception of skepticism as a dispute of systems in the early Wissenschaftslehre following his review of the skeptic G. E. Schulze’s attacks on Critical philosophy; (3) Hegel’s historicizing conception of skepticism in the context of differences between subjective idealism and speculative thought and his early Jena review of another work by the same skeptic Schulze. (shrink)
Thomas Windisch Problème fondamental de la tradition philosophique occidentale, la justification de l’existence du mal dans le monde est un thème inépuisable pour le philosophe. Particulièrement d’actualité au moment où les effets directs et indirects de la pandémie mondiale de COVID-19 n’épargnent personne, la forme de ce questionnement a évolué au fil des révolutions philosophiques. Le présent article tente de se replacer à la fin du xviiie siècle pour prolonger la parole du poète Friedrich Hölderlin à partir d’une réinterprétation du (...) mal kantien. En adoptant une perspective à la fois philosophique et littéraire, il est possible de démontrer comment le concept d’unité, compris à l’aune du Beau, se révèle en tant que cause irrémédiable, mais justifiée, du mal vécu par l’humain. À partir de son roman Hypérion, Hölderlin nous proposerait une théodicée tacite qui, sans renier les critères épistémologiques de la philosophie kantienne, lui échapperait, autant qu’à toute justification exclusivement philosophique de l’existence du mal tentée depuis la modernité. (shrink)
The notion of Trieb, constitutive for Blumenbach’s greatest conceptual intervention, the Bildungstrieb, intentionally separated it from the other Bildungskräfte that had been identified in the physical world. This discrimination proved decisive for Kant. Thus we must endeavor to reconstruct the source and the significance of Blumenbach’s conceptual departure. My argument will be that in his turn to Trieb, Blumenbach drew upon the pioneering work of Hermann Reimarus. Thus, my argument will have three components: first, the conceptualization of Trieb in Reimarus; (...) second, the introduction of that term into Blumenbach’s own theorizing, in the notion Bildungstrieb; and, finally, how that figured in the reception of Blumenbach by Kant. (shrink)
The chapter places the recourse to the concept of drive in the accounts of practical subjectivity in Fichte into the historical and systematic context of Platonic and Kantian thinking about the psycho-politics of self-rule. Part 1 presents Plato’s comparison of the soul’s set-up and manner of operation to a team of horses of opposed character that are driven by a seriously challenged charioteer. Part 2 first addresses Kant’s account of the irrational and rational modes of practical subjectivity and then traces (...) Reinhold’s and Fichte’s appropriation of the concept of drive for detailing the dynamic structure and functionality of the mind’s multiple and competing drives, including the “selfish” and “unselfish drive” in Reinhold and the “natural,” “pure” and “ethical drive” in Fichte. (shrink)
Immanuel Kant's work continues to be a main focus of attention in almost all areas of philosophy. The significance of Kant's work for the so-called continental philosophy cannot be exaggerated, although work in this area is relatively scant. The book includes eight chapters, a substantial introduction and a postscript, all newly written by an international cast of well-known authors. Each chapter focuses on particular aspects of a fundamental problem in Kant's and post-Kantian philosophy, the problem of the relation between the (...) world and transcendence. Chapters fall thematically into three parts: sensibility, nature and religion. Each part starts with a more interpretative chapter focusing on Kant's relevant work, and continues with comparative chapters which stage dialogues between Kant and post-Kantian philosophers, including Martin Heidegger, Hannah Arendt, Jean-François Lyotard, Luce Irigaray and Jacques Derrida. A special feature of this volume is the engagement of each chapter with the work of the late British philosopher Gary Banham. The Postscript offers a subtle and erudite analysis of his intellectual trajectory, philosophy and mode of working. The volume is dedicated to his memory. (shrink)
Building on the theory of humor advanced by Yves Cusset in his recent book Rire: Tractatus philo-comicus, I argue that we can understand the phenomenon in terms of what Jean-Luc Nancy, following Roland Barthes, has called the exemption from sense. I attempt to show how the humorous sensibility, understood in this way, is entirely incompatible with the experience of others as contemptible. I conclude by developing some of the normative implications of this, focusing specifically on the question whether it is (...) ever morally permissible to treat others with contempt. (shrink)
This article reconstructs the development of Kurt Walter Zeidler's argument for a reformulation of Kant's transcendental dialectic as a theory of the foundation of transcendental logic. It therefore examines his doctoral dissertation "Logik des Erkenntnisprozesses. Dedukton - Induktion - Abduktion" (1979), where he discusses Norwood Russell Hansons 'logic of discovery' and finds an analogy between Charls S. Peirce's definiton of 'abduction' and Hegel's defintion of 'analogy', as well as his early papers, collected in "Grundlegungen. Zur Theorie der Vernunft und Letztbegründung" (...) (2015), and his habilitation dissertation "Vernunft und Erfahrung. Untersuchungen zum Erkenntnisproblem in Philosophie und Wissenschaftstheorie" (1986), where he first seeks to verify the claim of Hegel and Peirce, that the synthetical unity of apperception is to be analyzed as a unity of three forms of syllogism corresponding to Aristotle's three figures of syllogism, through a close study of Kant's transcendental deduction of the categories as well as of the transcendental ideas, before he comes to reformulate these deductions in the light of the original unity of sensuality and understanding. The development of this argument is critically examined in three respects, first, in reference to Zeidler's reading of Peirce, Hegel and Schelling, second, with respect to Zeidler's analysis of scientific rationality as well as of the architectonic of the Critique of pure reason, and third, in view of the influence of Erhard Oeser and Erich Heintel on Zeidler's thought. (shrink)
In this paper I develop an account of Fichte’s conception of philosophical construction. Following the latter’s definition of philosophy as the ‘science of science’, philosophy is to be understood as a normative theory of what should qualify as science. In order to ground scientific knowledge-production as such, philosophy itself has to acquire a scientific method, through the application of which the constitution of scientific knowledge is secured. In systematic continuity to Kant’s account of geometrical construction, Fichte develops a philosophical method (...) that exploits the special epistemic conditions of performativity. Construction is then defined as an experimental, self-reflexive performance that exemplifies consciousness. Throughout its acts of exemplification this reflexive kind of self-observation yields a particular type of experience, which ultimately satisfies the Science of Knowledge’s demand for certainty, that is intellectual intuition. (shrink)
Kant and Heidegger argue that our subjectivity escapes scientific explanation, while also providing the conditions that enable it. This understanding of the relationship between subjectivity and science places limits on the explanatory scope of the sciences. But what makes transcendental reflection on the structure of subjectivity possible in the first place? Fink argues that transcendental philosophy encounters its own limits in attempting to characterize its own conditions of possibility. I argue that the limits of science and transcendental philosophy entail that (...) nature cannot be conceived as a specific object, or as a totality of objects in the world, but only as the ontological ground of phenomenal manifestation in general. Nature is not identical with anything discoverable in either science or phenomenology; it is, rather, the origin from which discovery of phenomena proceeds. (shrink)
En este artículo me propongo mostrar ciertos aspectos de la filosofía de Kant que podrían haber servido como antecedente a la elaboración de la fenomenología por parte de Husserl. Se toma para este respecto la Deducción de los conceptos puros del entendimiento como sistematización del criticismo kantiano, pero, además, por la controversia que las dos ediciones de la Crítica de la razón pura suscitan en torno a la imaginación en esta sección. Una vez expuesta esta parte de la Crítica en (...) su generalidad, estaremos en condiciones de comprender las insuficiencias que Husserl advierte en ella en relación con su proyecto fenomenológico, especialmente en lo concerniente al análisis eidético, ausente en el pensamiento de Kant. Husserl va a retomar ciertos aspectos, específicamente el de síntesis, que va a aparecer como el concepto más amplio de constitución entendido desde Ideas I. (shrink)
ABSTRACTIf it seems unquestionable that C. I. Lewis is a Kantian in important respects, it is more difficult to determine what, if anything, is original about his Kantianism. For it might be argued that Lewis’ Kantianism simply reflects an approach to the a priori which was very common in the first half of the twentieth century, namely, the effort to make the a priori relative. In this paper, I will argue that Lewis’ Kantianism does present original features. The latter can (...) be detected by focusing on Lewis’ account of the method of philosophy in the first chapter of Mind and the World Order. In that context, Lewis argues that the method of philosophy should be reflective and critical. It will be my contention that this understanding of philosophy involves a therapeutic perspective, which bears important resemblances to Kant’s account of transcendental reflection in the Amphiboly of the Critique of Pure Reason. I will illustrate how this therapeutic application of reflection works in Lewis’ metaphysics. In... (shrink)
The purpose of this paper is to analyze what neo-Kantian Heinrich Rickert designates by the term ‘chaos’. I argue that using this term Rickert means infinite manifolds of human life experiences, that philosophers have to convert into ‘cosmos’ of theories by using concept formation. Rickert thinks that cognition orders chaos. I show that Rickert’s version of ‘chaos’ is different from the ones that were expressed by I. Kant, J. G. Herder, F. W. von Schelling, F. von Schlegel, and F. Nietzsche. (...) I also argue that ideas of I. Kant influenced the formation of Rickert’s ideas on chaos. (shrink)
According to Kant, there is some doctrine, which he sometimes calls 'empirical realism,' such that it was doubted by Descartes, denied by Berkeley, and endorsed by Kant himself. It may be doubted whether there really is such a doctrine or, if there is, whether it takes the form Kant seems to say it does. For instance, if empirical realism is taken as the assertion that familiar objects like tables and chairs exist, then this doctrine was neither seriously doubted by Descartes, (...) nor denied by Berkeley. If empirical realism is the view that such objects are mind-independent, then it was clearly denied by Berkeley, but was neither seriously doubted by Descartes, nor straightforwardly endorsed by Kant. Kant's assertion thus presents us with a puzzle: what might empirical realism be? The primary aim of this paper will be to reconstruct Kant's own narrative of the historical relationship between Descartes, Berkeley, and himself, in order to identify the doctrine Kant calls 'empirical realism.' I argue that the empirical realism which Descartes doubted, Berkeley denied, and Kant endorsed is the doctrine that the concept of extended substance has legitimate application. (shrink)
I argue that the descriptions of perceptual experience offered by Kant and Merleau-Ponty are, contrary to what many commentators suppose, largely compatible. This is because the two are simply referring to different things when they talk about experience: Kant to empirical cognition and Merleau-Ponty to perception. Consequently, while Merleau-Ponty correctly denies that Kant accurately describes the conditions for the possibility of perception, Kant nevertheless provides a plausible account of the conditions of empirical judgment. Further, the two approach experience with different (...) standards of normativity: Kant with the standard of justification, but Merleau-Ponty with the standard of what he calls “motivation”. I exemplify this approach through an analysis of the Second Analogy of Experience. (shrink)