Syntheticity and Recent Metaphysical Readings of Kant’sCritique of Pure Reason

  • 1 Carleton University, 3A35 Paterson Hall, ON K1S 5B6, Ottawa, Canada
Dr. Simon R. Gurofsky MA


Metaphysical readings of Kant’s theoretical philosophy in the Critical period are ascendant. But their possibility assumes the possibility of existence- and real-possibility-judgments about things in themselves. I argue that Kant denies the latter possibility, so metaphysical readings have dubious prospects. First, I show that Kant takes existence- and real-possibility-judgments, as necessarily synthetic, to require a relation to sensible intuition. Second, I show that the most promising metaphysical readings can ultimately neither satisfy nor explain away that requirement for existence- and real-possibility-judgments about things in themselves. I conclude with pessimistic reflections on the prospects for the metaphysical interpretive project.

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Kant-Studien is devoted to philosophical and historical studies on Kant and Kantian topics. The journal publishes a comprehensive bibliography of new works on Kant, and provides reviews of the most important books. It is thus the leading German and English language resource on the current state of Kant research.