Dissertation, Humboldt-University, Berlin (2013
This publication defends a phenomenalist interpretation of Kant’s idealism, which, however, deviates from usual phenomenalist interpretations in several respects. According to my reading, appearances are the content of representations, but not the true object of cognition. The object to which our cognition refers is rather the thing itself as the transcendental object. Nonetheless, we only cognize them as they appear and not as they are in themselves. Thus the unknowability of things as they are in themselves is retained. In the course of my presentation, I discuss a number of aspects of Kant’s philosophy, among which are the distinction between appearances and things in themselves, Kant’s relationship to Cartesian epistemology, the refutation of idealism, and not least his theory of synthesis. My aim is not only to show that Kant is a phenomenalist, but also to characterize the kind of his phenomenalism.