Journal of the History of Philosophy Vol. 44, No. 4, October 2006.
The recent spate of literature on Kant's account of the self considers only a small percentage of Kant's recorded views on the self, limiting itself almost exclusively to the Critique. Because Kant there rejects the positive ontology of the self offered by the rationalists, it has been assumed that he rejects all positive ontology of the self. This essay turns to the pre-Critique history of Kant's views on the self. It focuses on Kant's positive ontology of the self during the two decades leading to the Critique, examining Kant's many rich, often untranslated accounts of the self from this period, including those found in his anthropology lectures, which were published for the first time in any language in 1997. Kant argues that we have an immediate consciousness of the self as a simple substance, and that our simplicity, substantiality, and immediate consciousness of this is necessary for personal identity. At the same time he makes clear that this substantiality and simplicity do not imply permanence, incorruptibility, or immortality. Presenting Kant's positive ontology of the soul prior to the Critique helps to lay the foundation for a thoroughly new interpretation of Kant's account of the self in the Critique and later sources.
Kant on Arithmetic, Algebra, and the Theory of Proportions, DANIEL SUTHERLAND
Kant's philosophy of arithmetic cannot be understood apart from his theory of magnitudes, which reflects the Eudoxian theory of proportions. Kant thought that numbers presuppose units, which suggests that arithmetic is about discrete magnitudes and that arithmetic fits into a broadly Euclidean mathematical tradition. At the same time, Kant was also influenced by a distinct Greek arithmetical tradition and by early modern advances in algebra. This paper attempts to explain Kant's unified account of mathematical cognition in geometry, arithmetic, and algebra. One important result is that intuition plays a role in arithmetic by allowing us to represent discrete magnitudes.
Kant's Critical Concepts of Motion, KONSTANTIN POLLOK
This paper argues that the concept of motion is central to Kant's natural philosophy, and that the Metaphysical Foundations of Natural Science (1786) cannot be properly understood without it. An investigation of this concept is also helpful in assessing the systematic status of this Critical text and the special metaphysics of corporeal nature developed in it. Analysis of the text is particularly important for understanding Kant's theory of pure and applied motion. Since Kant also speaks of motion in his discussions of geometry, and transcendental philosophy in general, some commentators have argued that significant similarities are to be found between his use of "motion" in natural philosophy and his use of the same concept in transcendental philosophy. This paper contends that clarifying the concept of motion in natural philosophy shows how important it is not to confuse objective motion with motion in the subjective sense. The concept of motion in natural philosophy, it is argued, is an empirical and metaphysical concept, while in geometry and transcendental philosophy it is a pure concept connected with the discussion of the transcendental synthesis of the pure imagination.
Kant and Herder on Baumgarten's Aesthetica, ANGELICA NUZZO
This paper proposes to view aesthetics as being primarily concerned with the broad potential of human sensibility and with the condition of embodiment. The thesis is articulated through an analysis of the historical connection between Kant, Herder, and Baumgarten--the philosopher who first introduced the term "aesthetics" in philosophy. For Baumgarten, aesthetics is the investigation of the "kingdom of darkness" of sensibility and is subordinated to logic. In different ways, Kant and Herder reject this subordination and claim a central place for sensibility in the development of the human faculties. This is the condition of the autonomy of aesthetics as philosophical discipline.
The Purposiveness of Form: A Reading of Kant's Aesthetic Formalism, RACHEL ZUCKERT
The author proposes a new interpretation of Kant's aesthetic formalism: Kant does not claim that an object's spatial or temporal configuration renders it beautiful, as he is usually read, but rather that in aesthetic appreciation, we apprehend the object as a unity of diversity, a unified manifold of reciprocally contrasting and complementing, empirically diverse properties that make the object what it is, as an individual. This interpretation renders Kant's formalism consonant not only with the import of the principle of purposiveness in the Critique of Judgment as a whole, but also with a view of formalism prevalent among his contemporaries.
Character and Evil in Kant's Moral Anthropology, PATRICK FRIERSON
This paper resolves an apparent conflict in Kant's account of character. At times, Kant associates character with moral virtue, but his primary example of character is one who is evil, Sulla. The author shows that character is a matter of acting on stable maxims and is thus compatible with evil. He then explains three reasons why there is a close connection between character and moral virtue in Kant: character is a necessary condition of moral virtue, the methods for cultivating character promote the development of a virtue, and the good will is the most authentic form of character. This account sheds light on the way character functions in Kant's moral anthropology.
The Value of Humanity and Kant's Conception of Evil, MATTHEW CASWELL
In recent years, several leading scholars have advanced an influential reinterpretation of Kant's ethics as a "theory of value" grounded in the unconditional value of humanity, or the power to set ends through reason. The author shows that this approach (found in the work of Paul Guyer, Allen Wood, and Christine Korsgaard) is incompatible with Kant's own conception of evil as strictly imputable, and with his correlated theory of the "original predisposition" in human nature.
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|Title Annotation:||PHILOSOPHICAL ABSTRACTS|
|Publication:||The Review of Metaphysics|
|Date:||Sep 1, 2006|
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