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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter January 3, 2017

Objectivity and Idealism

  • Andrew MacDonald EMAIL logo
From the journal Conceptus


This paper takes up a more so-called ‘austere’ argument for objectivity derived, for the most part, from P. F. Strawson’s Bounds of Sense. It is austere in the sense that its conclusion is reached by transcendental means but without transcendental idealism. Readers familiar with Henry Allison’s Kant’s Transcendental Idealism will know that in his view arguments of this general kind cannot be separated from Kant’s idealism. The motivation for this position and for Allison’s interpretation and defense of transcendental idealism more generally is, I argue, the threat of a particular kind of scepticism. I go on to explore how we might retrospectively understand the more austere argument as one meant to uncover the indispensability of objectivity for the very possibility of thought or experience. Such a status would not guarantee the truth of objectivity, but it would provide a kind of invulnerability against the scepticism Allison is worried about.


Allison, Henry (2004): Kant’s Transcendental Idealism: An Interpretation and Defense. New Haven: Yale University Press.10.2307/j.ctt1cc2kjcSearch in Google Scholar

Kant, Immanuel (1998): Critique of Pure Reason. Transl. by Paul Guyer/Allen Wood. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 10.1017/CBO9780511804649Search in Google Scholar

Strawson, Peter Frederick (1966): The Bounds of Sense: An Essay on Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason. New York: Routledge.Search in Google Scholar

Stroud, Barry (2011): Engagement and Metaphysical Satisfaction: Modality and Value. New York: Oxford University Press.10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199764969.003.0004Search in Google Scholar

Published Online: 2017-1-3
Published in Print: 2017-1-1

© 2017 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston

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