Rejecting the Plea for Modesty. Kant’s Truth-Directed Transcendental Argument Based on Self-Consciousness of Our Own Existence

Studies in Transcendental Philosophy 3 (3) (2022)
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Recent developments of transcendental arguments reflect the struggle to accommodate Stroud’s devastating objection by giving up on failed expectations in providing proof of what the external-world skeptic calls into question: knowledge of the existence of the outside world. Since Strawson's capitulation in 1984, the truth-direct transcendental arguments have given way to modest belief-direct transcendental arguments that concede that truth-direct transcendental arguments are doomed to fail to establish ambitious conclusions about reality but at the same time hold that they can nonetheless successfully establish modest conceptual connection between the major beliefs within our conceptual scheme. This article seeks the “reactionary” rehabilitation of the old hubris: a new defense of the truth-direct transcendental argument. I set forth a new reconstruction of Kant’s Refutation as a successful truth-directed transcendental argument that meets Stroud’s objection. As with several papers and books about the theme, this article is of a systematic and a historical nature by connecting the contemporary debate about transcendental argument with Kant’s philosophy.

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Roberto Horácio De Pereira
Federal University of Rio de Janeiro


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