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Kant's Reform of Metaphysics
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Book description

Scholarly debates on the Critique of Pure Reason have largely been shaped by epistemological questions. Challenging this prevailing trend, Kant's Reform of Metaphysics is the first book-length study to interpret Kant's Critique in view of his efforts to turn Christian Wolff's highly influential metaphysics into a science. Karin de Boer situates Kant's pivotal work in the context of eighteenth-century German philosophy, traces the development of Kant's conception of critique, and offers fresh and in-depth analyses of key parts of the Critique of Pure Reason, including the Transcendental Deduction, the Schematism Chapter, the Appendix to the Transcendental Analytic, and the Architectonic. The book not only brings out the coherence of Kant's project, but also reconstructs the outline of the 'system of pure reason' for which the Critique was to pave the way, but that never saw the light.


'De Boer has succeeded in writing a much-needed account of Kant's critical philosophy as the salvation - not the destruction - of metaphysics, correcting the epistemological focus of over a century of Kant scholarship. Her illuminating rereading in light of the metaphysics of Wolff and Baumgarten and her scrupulous reconstruction of the system of pure reason that Kant intended but never completed makes this book essential reading for anybody interested in Kant's philosophy.'

Paul Franks - Yale University

'De Boer shows in detail how Kant's Critical aim was to reform metaphysics as a system, not to reject it altogether. An especially valuable feature of her discussion is its focus on Kant's concern with Wolff's philosophy and the meta-metaphysical question of how metaphysics as a science of pure reason is possible at all.'

Karl Ameriks - University of Notre Dame

'By contextualizing Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason against the background of Wolffian philosophy, de Boer innovatively argues that Kant’s Critique should be interpreted as a reform (rather than simply a destruction) of traditional metaphysics. In the course of her overall argument, de Boer helps further our understanding of 18th-century figures like Wolff and Baumgarten, while also casting new light on aspects of Kant’s own thought. De Boer’s book should appeal both to scholars of Kant’s theoretical philosophy and historians of 18th-century philosophical thought more generally.'

Reed Winegar - Fordham University

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