Academic journal article The Review of Metaphysics

Journal of the History of Philosophy Vol. 44, No. 4, October 2006

Academic journal article The Review of Metaphysics

Journal of the History of Philosophy Vol. 44, No. 4, October 2006

Article excerpt

Kant's Immediatism, Pre-Critique, JULIAN WUERTH

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. …

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