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Doubting Kant

Frangiotti, Marco Antonio; (1995) Doubting Kant. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

The aim of this thesis is to show that Kant's epistemology is not successful in defusing sceptical doubts. This is accomplished by arguing that, although it is useful as a tool to point out the mistakes of previous doctrines, transcendental idealism does not provide us with the means to guarantee the mind independence of the empirical world. Keeping this in mind, the thesis is divided in two parts. The purpose of the first part is to evaluate the cogency of transcendental idealism as an epistemological proposal whereby empirical realism is proved to be sound. The purpose of the second part is to assess alleged anti-sceptical proofs within transcendental idealism. The first part is composed by 3 chapters. In chapter 1, we present transcendental idealism as a picture of the external world that is meant to overcome the failure of a kind of realism called by Kant "transcendental". In chapter 2, we characterise Kant's departure from phenomenalism by considering his defence of the a priori character of space and time. In chapter 3, we show that the notion of a priori intuition generates insurmountable difficulties for Kant to establish empirical realism by means of transcendental idealism. The second part, in turn, is also composed by 3 chapters. In chapter 4, we survey the 'Transcendental Deduction of the Categories' and argue, contrary to Strawson and others, that it is not devised by Kant to be a response to the sceptic. In chapter 5, we examine the 'Refutation of Idealism' and show' that it clashes with some of the main doctrines of transcendental idealism. Finally, in chapter 6, we claim that transcendental arguments cannot be put to work properly because they do not stop the sceptic from appealing to a transcendental realist conception of the external world.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: Doubting Kant
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Thesis digitised by ProQuest.
Keywords: Philosophy, religion and theology; Epistemology; Kant
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10099984
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