Kant’s Regulative Spinozism

Omri Boehm, 1
  • 1 New York

Abstract: The question of Kant’s relation to Spinozist thought has been virtually ignored over the years. I analyze Kant’s pre-critical ‘possibility-proof’ of God’s existence, elaborated in the Beweisgrund, as well as the echoes that this proof has in the first Critique, in beginning to uncover the connection between Kant’s thought and Spinoza’s. Kant’s espousal of the Principle of Sufficient Reason [PSR] for the analysis of modality during the pre-critical period committed him, I argue, to Spinozist substance monism. Much textual evidence suggests that he was aware of this commitment. However, by transforming the PSR into a regulative principle the critical Kant has transformed his pre-critical proof into a regulative ideal. He is thereby (consciously) committed, I argue, to regulative Spinozism.

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Kant-Studien is devoted to philosophical and historical studies on Kant and Kantian topics. The journal publishes a comprehensive bibliography of new works on Kant, and provides reviews of the most important books. It is thus the leading German and English language resource on the current state of Kant research.