Kant’s Theoretical Philosophy: The ‘Analytic’ Tradition

In Mark Timmons & Sorin Baiasu (eds.), The Kantian Mind. London and New York: Routledge (2024)
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Abstract

ABSTRACT: In a previous article (O’Shea 2006) I provided a concise overview of the reception of Kant’s philosophy among analytic philosophers during the periods from the ‘early analytic’ reactions to Kant in Frege, Russell, Carnap and others, to the systematic Kant-inspired works in epistemology and metaphysics of C. I. Lewis and P. F. Strawson, in particular. In this chapter I use the recently reinvigorated work of Wilfrid Sellars (1912–1989) in the second half of the twentieth century as the basis for presenting some of the most familiar ‘analytic Kantian’ themes that continue to animate current debates. I also argue that the complex relationships between Sellars’ philosophy and Kant’s thought are often misunderstood. Overall the chapter examines Sellars’ analytic appropriations of Kant in three topic-areas of significant current philosophical debate: (1) conceptual analysis and the structure of human knowledge; (2) laws of nature, the causal modalities, and the pragmatic or relative a priori; and (3) the disputes concerning Kant and nonconceptual content.

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James O'Shea
University College Dublin

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