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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter December 3, 2019

The transition within the transition: the Übergang from the Selbstsetzungslehre to the ether proofs in Kant’s Opus postumum

Stephen Howard EMAIL logo
From the journal Kant-Studien


Recent literature on Kant’s Opus postumum has typically focused on two parts of the drafts: the ether proofs and the Selbstsetzungslehre. Eckart Förster’s interpretation is representative of this tendency and, moreover, presents the Selbstsetzungslehre as the culmination of Kant’s late project. By contrast, I argue that the drafts of fascicles X/XI, written in between the ether proofs and the Selbstsetzungslehre, are of primary importance for understanding the Opus postumum. Through a close reading of a page from fascicle XI, I show that Kant attempts to resolve problems internal to the Selbstsetzungslehre and the ether proofs by presenting a transition from the former to the latter. I advocate a renewed appreciation of the centrality of fascicles X/XI, insofar as the Opus postumum drafts aspire to a science of transition.

Published Online: 2019-12-03
Published in Print: 2019-12-01

© 2019 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston

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