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Philosophische Zeitschrift der Kant-Gesellschaft

Ed. by Baum, Manfred / Dörflinger, Bernd / Klemme, Heiner F.

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Volume 107, Issue 4


Kant’s Theoretical Reasons for Belief in Things in Themselves

Mark Pickering
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  • Lynn University, Department of Philosophy, 3601 North Military Trail, Boca Raton, Florida 33431–5598, United States of America
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Published Online: 2016-12-21 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/kant-2016-0053


I argue that Kant’s commitment to the existence of things in themselves takes the form of a commitment short of knowledge that does not violate the limitations on knowledge which he lays down. I will argue that Kant’s commitment fits his description of what he calls “doctrinal belief”: acceptance of the existence of things in themselves which is subjectively sufficient but not objectively sufficient. I outline two ways in which we accept the existence of things in themselves which are subjectively sufficient. First, we must accept the existence of appearances, which requires us to accept the existence of things in themselves. Second, we must accept the existence of an unconditioned ground of appearances.

Keywords:: transcendental idealism; things in themselves; appearances; belief; doctrinal belief

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About the article

Published Online: 2016-12-21

Published in Print: 2016-12-20

Citation Information: Kant-Studien, Volume 107, Issue 4, Pages 589–616, ISSN (Online) 1613-1134, ISSN (Print) 0022-8877, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/kant-2016-0053.

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