Published online by Cambridge University Press: 08 October 2021
The chapter looks at the ways in which the analytic method adopted in Parts I and II, where Kant addresses the possibility of mathematics and natural science, bears on the status of metaphysics. The essay canvasses two possible accounts of how mathematics and science relate to metaphysics as a priori cognition – the ‘Necessary Conditions’ view, and the ‘Examples First’ proposal – and rejects each. Rather, Kant denies that metaphysics can be a science not because it fails to achieve the necessity that we find in mathematics and natural science, but instead because metaphysics does not amount to cognition at all. The analytic method Kant adopts does not lead to a quick rejection of metaphysics as not being something we in fact possess, but requires a subtler and more complex case to show that metaphysics cannot have any cognition of an a priori object, though it still has some other methodological value to offer.
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