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Philosophische Zeitschrift der Kant-Gesellschaft

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

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Volume 108, Issue 2


On the Epistemic Status of Absolute Space: Kant’s Directions in Space Read from the Standpoint of his Critical Period

Patricia Kauark-Leite
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  • Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, FAFICH, Departamento de Filosofia, Av. Antônio Carlos, 6627, Belo Horizonte/MG, 31270–901, Brasil
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Published Online: 2017-06-15 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/kant-2017-0015


Contrary to what is usually assumed, I argue that the concept of absolute space at work in Kant’s 1768 pre-Critical text, Directions in Space, is closer to the transcendental notions presented in his Critical period from 1781 onwards, particularly in the Metaphysical Foundations of Natural Science, than to the Newtonian realistic conception of absolute space as a noumenal entity. Kant’s distinction between four notions of space – space as a pure form of intuition, the geometric conception of space, the empirical conception of space, and space as an idea of reason – is brought to bear in analyzing the conception of absolute space operative in this pre-Critical text.

Keywords: Absolute space; directions in space; incongruent counterparts; intuitive space; conceptual space

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Published Online: 2017-06-15

Published in Print: 2017-06-27

Citation Information: Kant-Studien, Volume 108, Issue 2, Pages 175–194, ISSN (Online) 1613-1134, ISSN (Print) 0022-8877, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/kant-2017-0015.

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