Idealism and Freedom: Kant's Theoretical and Practical by Henry E. Allison

By Henry E. Allison

Henry Allison is among the leading interpreters of the philosophy of Kant. This new quantity collects all his fresh essays on Kant's theoretical and sensible philosophy. specific good points of the gathering are: an in depth protection of the author's interpretation of transcendental idealism; a attention of the Transcendental Deduction and a few different fresh interpretations thereof; extra gildings of the tensions among a variety of points of Kant's belief of freedom and of the advanced position of this belief inside of Kant's ethical philosophy.

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According to Robinson, the problem with my analysis is two-fold: Rrst, I consider only a single passage and extend the results to the other texts without further argument; second, my interpretation of this passage is itself questionable. In the passage in question Kant writes: "All objects of any experience possible to us are nothing but appearances, that is, mere representations, which, in the manner in which they are represented, as extended beings, or as 12 TRANSCENDENTAL IDEALISM: A RETROSPECTIVE series of alterations, have no independent existence outside our thoughts" (A49D---91IBSl8-19).

I have dealt with this thorny question both in an early paper and in Kant's Transcendental Idealism, but since my analyses have been subject to a fair amount of criticism and since my views on the topic have evolved over the years, 1 shaJl take this opportunity to state my poSition and to indicate something of the route by which 1 have arrived at it. 14 Initially, I attempted to derive the nOll-spatiality thesis directly from an analysis of the concept of a thing considered as it is in itself. If space and time are forms of human sensibility (which is granted by the neglected alternative 8 TRANSCENDENTAL IDEALISM: A RETROSPECTIVE objection) and if to consider things as they are in themselves is to consider them independently of these fonus (which is stipulated as a matter of definition), then it follows that things so considered are not in space and time.

Kant speaks of the primacy of practical reason in relation to the speculative (KprVS: 119-21; 12S~27). But this means only that our practical interest (in morality and the conditions of its possibility) is entitled to override our speculative interest in avoiding ungrounded claims and that the latter must therefore submit to the former. Once again, then, there is no thought of any access (Cognitive or otheIWise) to an ontologically superior order of being. " Since what Kant mayor may not have believed (as a matter of private opinion) is not really germane.

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