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Kant’s Transcendental Idealism and his Transcendental Deduction

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  30 June 2015

Justin B. Shaddock*
Affiliation:
Williams College

Abstract

I argue for a novel, non-subjectivist interpretation of Kant’s transcendental idealism. Kant’s idealism is often interpreted as specifying how we must experience objects or how objects must appear to us. I argue to the contrary by appealing to Kant’s Transcendental Deduction. Kant’s Deduction is the proof that the categories are not merely subjectively necessary conditions we need for our cognition, but objectively valid conditions necessary for objects to be appearances. My interpretation centres on two claims. First, Kant’s method of self-knowledge consists in his determining what makes our cognitive faculty finite in contrast to God’s infinite cognitive faculty. Second, Kant’s limitation of our knowledge to appearances consists in his developing an account according to which appearances and our finite cognitive faculty are conceived of in terms of each other and in contrast to noumena in the positive sense and God’s infinite cognitive faculty.

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Articles
Copyright
© Kantian Review 2015 

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