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Denken und Welt – Wege kritischer Metaphysik

  • Johannes Haag EMAIL logo and Till Hoeppner


We begin by considering two common ways of conceiving critical metaphysics. According to the first (and polemical) conception, critical metaphysics analyses nothing more than the form of thought and thereby misses the proper point of metaphysics, namely to investigate the form of reality. According to the second (and affirmative) conception, critical metaphysics starts from the supposed insight that the form of reality can’t be other than the form of thought and it is thus not necessary to analyse anything but that form. We argue that the first conception is too weak while the second is too strong. Then we sketch an alternative conception of critical metaphysics, a conception we find expressed both in Kant’s B-Deduction and in the way Barry Stroud has recently investigated the possibilities of metaphysics. According to such a conception, a properly critical metaphysics needs to proceed in two steps: first, it needs to analyze the most general and necessary form of any thought that is about an objective reality at all; second, it needs to investigate how that form of thought relates to the reality it purports to represent. But unlike Kant, Stroud remains sceptical regarding the possibility of a satisfying transition from thought to reality in metaphysics. We argue that this dissatisfaction can be traced back to a notion of objectivity and reality in terms of complete mind-independence. Then we sketch an alternative notion of objectivity and reality in terms of distinctness from subjects and acts of thinking, and argue that it is that notion that allows Kant, with his Transcendental Idealism, to make the transition required for any satisfying metaphysics, namely that from the form of thought to reality.


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Published Online: 2019-03-08
Published in Print: 2019-03-05

© 2019 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston

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