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.
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