7AAN2039 Kant I: Critique of Pure Reason Syllabus Academic year 2015/16

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1 7AAN2039 Kant I: Critique of Pure Reason Syllabus Academic year 2015/16 Basic information Credits: 20 Module Tutor: Dr Sacha Golob Office: 705, Philosophy Building Consultation time: 11:00 12:00 Wed Semester: First Lecture time and venue: TBC Module description Immanuel Kant is widely recognised as the most important philosopher since Aristotle. This course introduces students to the key themes of his epistemology and metaphysics, focussing on the Critique of Pure Reason. Topics include the relation between perception and concepts; the nature of space and time; the concepts of substance and causality; knowledge of the external world; the self and the unity of the thinking subject; human freedom, and its relation to the thesis of determinism, and the doctrine of transcendental idealism. All texts will be studied in translation. Learning outcomes A firm grasp of the philosophical content of the most important aspects of Kant s theoretical work. An understanding of both the historical background to Kant s work and its significance for contemporary debates. Skill in the careful analysis of language and argument as a means of exposition, as an instrument of refutation, and as a dialectical process of engaging with other philosophers Set Text Students must have access to a copy of the Critique of Pure Reason for the required reading for every lecture and seminar. There are several translations available. The Cambridge edition is the preferred version: Critique of Pure Reason (ed. and trans. Paul Guyer and Allen Wood: Cambridge University Press, 1999). Two alternative editions which are also fine: Critique of Pure Reason (trans. Norman Kemp Smith: Palgrave, 2007); Critique of Pure Reason (trans. Werner Pluhar: Hackett, 1997). Finally, if you are finding the text heavy going take a look at Bennett s simplified version: But please don t exclusively rely on/cite Bennett it leaves too much out. Assessment methods and deadlines Formative assessment: 1 x 2,000 3,000-word essay, due 1200 (Noon) Fri 4 th December Summative assessment: 1 x 4,000-word essay, due 1200 (Noon) Tue 19 th January 2015 Essay Questions This text raises a very broad range of issues, and there are a large number of possible questions set out below in order to allow students to come at it from multiple angles (contemporary metaphysics or mind,

2 early modernism etc). Some of these questions are quite broad, some quite focussed. If you are unsure which question to answer, the following recommended suggestions all deal with core topics widely discussed in the literature.. What was the nature of the influence of Hume or Leibniz upon Kant? Why did Kant want to establish the existence of synthetic a priori truths? Critically assess his reasoning. Evaluate critically Kant's best argument for transcendental idealism. 'The representations of space cannot, therefore, be empirically obtained from the relations of outer appearance' (Kant). Explain and discuss. Is Kant right to think that space and time are a priori forms of intuition? Is Kant's transcendental deduction of the categories successful? Is there any sound version of the argument of the Second Analogy? Is Kant's view that there are synthetic a priori truths ultimately indefensible? 'I have found it necessary to deny knowledge, in order to make room for faith' (KANT). Explain and discuss. Discuss Kant's 'refutation of idealism'. What, according to Kant, is Reason, and how does it differ from the Understanding? What are the problems which Kant identifies with rational psychology? How serious are they? 'Kant's distinction between appearances and things in themselves is fundamentally a distinction between two kinds of properties of things: relational and intrinsic.' Discuss. Do Kant's Antinomies demonstrate the truth of transcendental idealism? How convincing do you find Kant s theory of transcendental freedom General Readings Abbreviations show texts available through online access. These are listed by database - Oxford Scholarship Online (OSO), EBook Library (EBL), and Cambridge Companions Online (CCON) but all should now also be available direct through Library Search. If in doubt how to access any of this, the library staff can help. Some General Introductions Gardner, Kant and the Critique of Pure Reason (Routledge:1998)(EBL) Guyer, Kant (Routedge: 2006) (EBL) Some Useful Collections Bird, G (ed.), A Companion to Kant (Blackwell, 2006) (EBL) Guyer, P. (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to Kant (Cambridge, 1992) (CCON) Guyer P. (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to Kant and Modern Philosophy (Cambridge, 2006).(CCON) Guyer, P. (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to Kant s Critique of Pure Reason (Cambridge, 2010). (CCON) Some Advanced Works Allison, H.E., Kant s Transcendental Idealism (Yale, 2004: NB you need this edition, yellow cover, and not the earlier one, grey cover). Ameriks, K, Interpreting Kant s Critiques (OSO) Guyer, P. Kant and the Claims of Knowledge (Cambridge, 1998) Strawson, P.F., The Bounds of Sense, (Methuen, 1966) (EBL) Kitcher, P., Kant s Transcendental Psychology (OUP, 1990), (EBL) Dictionaries Perhaps the main obstacle to understanding Kant's work is his terminology. The following provides a one or two page summary of the meaning of each of the main terms: Caygill, H., A Kant Dictionary (Oxford: Blackwell, 1995). 2

3 Guidance re the Reading Below Please read the primary readings before each session. I deliberately list a lot of secondary reading; there is no requirement to read it all. It is shown in, roughly, order of increasing difficulty. Required and Suggested Readings by Lecture Topic Lecture 1 - Introduction to KrV: The Background to Kant s Text What was the nature of the influence of Hume or Leibniz upon Kant? To what degree does the structure of the mind determine our experience of the world Is time real? What is the meaning of Kant s analogy with Copernicus s method? The Preface to the A Edition, Avii-Axxii. The Preface to the B Edition, Bvii-Bxliv. The A Introduction, A1-A16/B30. The B Introduction, B1-A16/B30. Schönfeld, Martin, Kant's Philosophical Development, The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Fall 2008 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.)., Beiser, Frederick: Kant's intellectual development in The Cambridge Companion to Kant, Guyer, Kant Ch. 2. Hogan, Desmond, Kant s Copernican Turn and the Rationalist Tradition in The Cambridge Companion to Kant s Critique of Pure Reason, Lecture Two The Project of the Critique: Kant on the Synthetic A Priori and the Copernican Turn How are we to distinguish between the a priori and a posteriori? What is the distinction between concept and intuition? Are they both necessary for knowledge? Are intuitions the same things as sensations? What is the difference between analytic and synthetic judgments? Are there any examples of synthetic a priori judgments? The Preface to the A Edition, Avii-Axxii. The Preface to the B Edition, Bvii-Bxliv. The A Introduction, A1-A16/B30. The B Introduction, B1-A16/B30. 3

4 Gardner, Chs. 1&2. Guyer, Kant Ch. 2. Dicker, Kant's theory of knowledge an analytical introduction Ch. 1 (OUP: 2004) Walker, Ralph: Kant (Routledge, 1978), Ch. 1. Van Cleve, Problems from Kant (OUP:199) Ch. 2. Lecture Three Space and Time: The Transcendental Aesthetic What is an exposition? What is the argument of each exposition? Are they convincing? What are Space and Time? Transcendental Aesthetic (Space) A19/B34 A24/B40. (Time) A30/B46 A32/B49. Bennett, J. Kant s Analytic (Cambridge, 1966) ch. 5. Dicker, Ch. 2. Falkenstein, Lorne, Kant s Transcendental Aesthetic in A Companion to Kant, Gardner, Ch. 4 Guyer, Kant pp Parsons, C. The Transcendental Aesthetic, in The Cambridge Companion to Kant, Shabel, L. The Transcendental Aesthetic in The Cambridge Companion to Kant s Critique of Pure Reason, Van Cleve, Ch. 3. Falkenstein L., 'Was Kant a Nativist?' Journal of the History of Ideas (1990): Reprinted in P. Kitcher (ed.) Kant's Critique of Pure Reason (Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 1998). Warren 'Kant and the Apriority of Space', Philosophical Review, 107 (1998): Lecture Four Introducing Transcendental Idealism Why does Kant think that mathematics is a body of synthetic a priori knowledge? How is the so-called Argument from Geometry supposed to work? Is it convincing? What is the meaning of Kant s conclusions drawn from the argument? What does it mean to say that we can have no knowledge of things in themselves? Transcendental Aesthetic (Space) 3: Transcendental Exposition of Space, B40-1. Conclusions from the above concepts, A26/B42-A30/B45. (Time) 6-7: Conclusions from these concepts, Elucidation, A32/B49-A41/B58. 8: General Remarks on the Transcendental Aesthetic, A41-B59-A49-B73. 4

5 Allison, Chs. 1, 2 Bennett, J. Kant s Analytic (Cambridge, 1966) Ch. 2. Dicker, Ch. 2. Gardner, Chs. 1&2. Guyer, Kant Collins, A. Possible Experience (University of California, 1999), Chs. 1, 2, 3. Van Cleve, James, Ch. 1, Ch 10 Potter, Michael, Reason's Nearest Kin, (Oxford: 2002) Ch.1. Friedman, M. (1992). Kant and the Exact Sciences. (Harvard University Press: 1992), Chapter 1. Matthews, H. 'Strawson on Transcendental Idealism' in.walker (ed.) Kant on Pure Reason (Oxford, 1978) Lecture Five The Transcendental Deduction Part 1 What is the Transcendental Deduction attempting to show? What is the meaning of the quid juris/quid facti distinction? What are transcendental arguments? Does one have to be a transcendental idealist to use transcendental arguments? How attractive is Kant s theory of judgment? Transcendental Analytic The Metaphysical Deduction A67-A71/B92-96 The Introduction to the Transcendental Deduction A84-95/B The B Version of the Deduction B129-B168. Dicker, Ch. 4. Guyer, Paul, The Deduction of the Categories: The Metaphysical and Transcendental Deductions in Guyer (ed.) The Cambridge Companion to Kant s Critique of Pure Reason, Allison, Ch. 7 Cassam, Q. (1987) Transcendental Arguments, Transcendental Synthesis and Transcendental Idealism, Philosophical Quarterly Henrich, D. Kant's Notion of a Deduction and the Methodological Background of the First Critique in E. Förster (ed.) Kant's Transcendental Deductions (Stanford, 1989), Longuenesse, Beatrice, Kant on a priori concepts: The metaphysical deduction of the categories in Guyer (ed.) The Cambridge Companion to Kant and Modern Philosophy, Lecture Six The Transcendental Deduction Part 2 What exactly are the premises of the Transcendental Deduction? How should we understand Kant s theory of self-consciousness? What role, if any, does imagination play in everyday experience? Transcendental Analytic 5

6 The A Version of the Deduction A84-A130 The B Version of the Deduction B129-B168. Ameriks, Karl. Kant s Transcendental Argument as a Regressive Argument Kant-Studien 69 (1978): Van Cleve, Ch. 7 Strawson, P.F. Bounds of Sense (OUP:1968), Part 2, Section II Strawson, P.F. 'Imagination and Perception', in R. Walker, ed., Kant on Pure Reason (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1978). Lecture Seven The Analogies What are the Principles of the Understanding? What are the supposed to show? What is the transcendental argument here? What is the argument of the Second Analogy? Does Kant engage with Hume s scepticism regarding causal knowledge? Does the argument of the Second Analogy contain a non sequitur? The Transcendental Analytic Second Analogy, A189/B232-A211/B256. Allison, Ch 9. Dicker, Ch. 7. Guyer, P. Kant and the Claims of Knowledge (CUP, 1987), Ch. 10. Strawson, P.F. The Bounds of Sense (Methuen, 1966), pp Van Cleve, Ch. 9. Lecture Eight Idealism, Phenomena and Noumena What is the meaning of the distinction between phenomena and noumena? How should we understand the idea of the thing in itself? Is Transcendental Idealism a metaphysical or an epistemic theory? What kind of realism, if any, is involved with Transcendental Idealism? Does the Refutation represent a change of mind on Kant s behalf regarding Transcendental Idealism? Is the Refutation a promising anti-sceptical argument? Transcendental Analytic On the ground of the distinction of all objects in general into phenomena and noumena, A235/B294- A260/B315. Refutation of Idealism, B274-B279. B-Preface, Bxxxix-Bxli note. 6

7 re Transcendental Idealism The Fourth Paralogism (A-edition), A Allison, Chs. 2-3, 11 Gardner, Chs. 5 & 6. Van Cleve, Ch. 10. Langton, R. Kantian Humility: Our Ignorance of Things in Themselves (OUP, 1998) Chs. 1, 2, 10 re The Refutation of Idealism Guyer, Kant pp Aquila, R. Personal Identity and Kant's Refutation of Idealism, Kant-Studien 1979 Bennett, J. Kant s Analytic (Cambridge, 1966) Ch. 14. Carl, W., Kant s Refutation of Problematic Idealism: Kantian Arguments and Kant s Arguments against Skepticism in Bird (ed.) A Companion to Kant, Cassam, Q. (1993) Inner Sense, Body Sense, and Kant's Refutation of Idealism,European Journal of Philosophy, (1), Emundts, Dina, The Refutation of Idealism and the Distinction between Phenomena and Noumena in Guyer (ed.) The Cambridge Companion to Kant s Critique of Pure Reason, Lecture Nine The Thing that Thinks: The Transcendental Subject What is a paralogism? Is there anything wrong with rationalist metaphysics? Could the soul be a substance? What is the nature of the self according to Kant? Transcendental Dialectic Paralogisms of Pure Reason, A341/B399-A348-B406. B-edition, B406-B432. Brook, A., Kant and the Mind (Cambridge, 1994) Chs.1, 2, 7, 8. Gardner, Ch. 7. Guyer, pp Kitcher, P., Kant s Transcendental Psychology (Oxford, 1990), Ch. 7. Strawson, P.F. The Bounds of Sense (Methuen, 1966), Part 3, Section II. Thiel, U. The Critique of Rational Psychology in Bird (ed.) A Companion to Kant, Van Cleve, Ch. 11. Wuerth, Julian, The Paralogisms of Pure Reason, in Guyer (ed.) The Cambridge Companion to Kant s Critique of Pure Reason, Lecture Ten Transcendental Freedom 7

8 What is an antinomy? Does Kant s analysis provide an indirect argument for transcendental idealism? What is the status of freedom, according to Kant s theory? Are free actions explicable in terms of empirical causal grounds? Transcendental Dialectic The antinomy of pure reason, A405/B432-A425/B453. Third Antinomy, A444/B472-A451/B479. On the interests of reason in these conflicts. A462/B490-A497/B525. Gardner, Ch. 7. Guyer, Allison, H.E. Idealism And Freedom (CUP, 1996) Allison, H.E. Morality and Freedom: Kant s Reciprocity Thesis, in P. Guyer (ed.) Kant s Groundwork Of The Metaphysics Of Morals (Rowman and Littlefield, 1998) Strawson, P.F. Freedom and Resentment, in Freedom and Resentment and Other Essays (Methuen, 1974), Wood, Allen, Kant s Compatibilism in A. Wood, ed., Self and Nature in Kant s Philosophy,

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