In Kantian Humility I argue that, for Kant, ignorance of things in themselves is ignorance of the intrinsic properties of substances, and that this is epistemic humility, rather than idealism: some aspects of reality, the intrinsic aspects, are beyond our epistemic grasp.
The interpretation draws upon what Falkenstein takes to be ‘a novel and not implausible understanding of Kant's distinction between things in themselves and appearances’ which views it as a distinction between the intrinsic and the relational. He concedes that Kant frequently puts his distinction in just these terms, that I make ‘a strong textual case for it’, that it is ‘plausible and intriguing’ and that it may even be ‘correct, at least for a certain strand of Kant's thought’. He presumably also allows that this distinction between ‘things as they are in relation to other things and things as they are on their own’ is at base a metaphysical distinction, which makes no mention of how things look to us, appear to us or depend on our minds. I am pleased to find sympathy for this understanding of Kant's distinction in a review whose overall tenor is so critical.