Kant on Propositional Content and Knowledge

Kant Yearbook 15 (1):175-196 (2023)
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Abstract

This paper explores Kant’s account of propositional content and its implications for the relationship between his notions of knowledge (Wissen) and cognition (Erkenntnis). While previous commentators commonly read Kant as holding a Fregean theory of propositional content, in this paper I argue that Kant’s theory of propositional content aligns more closely with Peter Hanks’ recent account. According to my reading, Kant holds that individual acts of judging are both ontologically and explanatorily prior to propositions or Kantian judgments (Urteil). Furthermore, on my reading, acts of judging for Kant are acts of assertively predicating a property of an object rather than merely acts of neutral predication. This reading challenges the lately popular view that Kant’s notions of knowledge and cognition are not only distinct but also disjunct. I instead suggest that we should regard Kantian knowledge that requires cognitions as its grounds as a species of Kantian cognitions.

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Kuizhi Lewis Wang
Boston University

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