Kant's Neglected Alternative: Neither Neglected nor an Alternative

Philosophical Forum 48 (1):69–90 (2017)
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This is a defense of Kant against the allegedly neglected alternative in his formulation of transcendental idealism. What sets it apart from the contributions of others who have spoken for Kant in this regard is the construction of a general interpretive framework — a reconstruction of the one Kant provides for transcendental idealism — as opposed to the development of an ad hoc defensive strategy for refuting the charges. Hence, comprehensive clarification instead of pointed rebuttal. The difference is between focusing on the text and focusing on the problem. No doubt, doing both is not only possible but also required, as the problem is supposed to be in the text, but the point is that it is not there, and further, that we need not go anywhere else to show that it is not there. Thus, the approach is constructive rather than defensive, or more accurately, constructive as well as defensive. And the construction rests on what Kant actually said rather than on what he might have meant or on what he should have said instead.

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Necip Fikri Alican
Washington University in St. Louis (PhD)


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