The Refutation of Mendelssohnian Idealism

Contemporary Studies in Kantian Philosophy Vol. Iii (2018)
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The aim of this paper has been to present a new reconstruction of Kant’s Refutation of Idealism. I have considered several different targets of the Refutation, five of them mentioned by Kant himself. I believe that I have shown that the Refutation of Idealism is best considered only as a sound argument against Mendelssohnian subjectivist idealism, against Mendelssohnian immaterialism, and against Mendelssohnian realist idealism. First, Kant’s Refutation is a sound argument in favor of the claim that the outer things represented in our minds are real rather than ideal; that is, they exist mind-independently as noumena. And second, Kant’s refutation is a sound argument for a fundamental ontology of noumena: the ultimate nature of reality and of our minds is neither material nor mental but made up of things in themselves.

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Roberto Horácio De Pereira
Federal University of Rio de Janeiro


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