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Two Worlds and Two Aspects: on Kant’s Distinction between Things in Themselves and Appearances

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  30 January 2015

Michael Oberst*
Affiliation:
Humboldt University of Berlin
*Corresponding

Abstract

In the interpretation of Kant’s transcendental idealism, a textual stalemate between two camps has evolved: two-world interpretations regard things in themselves and appearances as two numerically distinct entities, whereas two-aspect interpretations take this distinction as one between two aspects of the same thing. I try to develop an account which can overcome this dispute. On the one hand, things in themselves are numerically distinct from appearances, but on the other hand, things in themselves can be regarded as they exist in themselves and as they appear. This reveals a mutual entailment of both accounts. Finally, I suggest that this approach most naturally leads to a kind of ‘phenomenalism’, but of a sort not normally attributed to Kant.

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Articles
Copyright
© Kantian Review 2015 

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