Bird on Kant's Mathematical Antinomies

Kantian Review 16 (2):235-243 (2011)
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This essay is concerned with Graham Bird’s treatment, in The Revolutionary Kant, of Kant’s mathematical antinomies. On Bird’s interpretation, our error in these antinomies is to think that we can settle certain issues about the limits of physical reality by pure reason whereas in fact we cannot settle them at all. On the rival interpretation advocated in this essay, it is not true that we cannot settle these issues. Our error is to presuppose that the concept of the unconditioned has application to physical reality. Once this presupposition has been abandoned, we can retrieve sound arguments from the antinomies, not indeed to demonstrate that the views originally being defended are correct, but to demonstrate that the views originally being attacked are incorrect. The essay concludes with some comments concerning how this disagreement relates to a broader disagreement about the best way to understand Kant.

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ALisa Moore
Boise State University


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