Kantian Humility

Kantian Humility : Our Ignorance of Things in Themselves

4.58 (12 ratings by Goodreads)
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Rae Langton offers a new interpretation and defence of Kant's doctrine of things in themselves. Kant distinguishes things in themselves from phenomena, and in so doing he makes a metaphysical distinction between intrinsic and relational properties of substances. Kant says that phenomena-things as we know them-consist 'entirely of relations'. His claim that we have no knowledge of things in themselves is not idealism, but epistemic humility: we have no knowledge
of the intrinsic properties of substances. This humility has its roots in some plausible philosophical beliefs: an empiricist belief in the receptivity of human knowledge and a metaphysical belief in the irreducibility of relational properties. Langton's interpretation vindicates Kant's scientific
realism, and shows his primary/secondary quality distinction to be superior even to modern-day competitors. And it answers the famous charge that Kant's tale of things in themselves is one that makes itself untellable.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 246 pages
  • 156 x 234 x 14mm | 365g
  • Clarendon Press
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Revised ed.
  • 0199243174
  • 9780199243174
  • 1,138,875

Table of contents

Introduction ; 1. An Old Problem ; 2. Three Kantian Theses ; 3. Substance and Phenomenal Substance ; 4. Leibniz and Kant ; 5. Kant's Rejection of Reducibility ; 6. Fitting the Pieces Together ; 7. A Comparison with Locke ; 8. Kant's 'Primary' Qualities ; 9. The Unobservable and the Supersensible ; 10. Realism or Idealism? ; Bibliography, Index
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Review quote

a novel attempt to elucidate and defend a central Kantian thesis ... a most interesting, impressive, and scholarly exercise in Kantian interpretation * P. F. Strawson *
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About Rae Langton

Rae Langton is Professor of Moral Philosophy at the University of Edinburgh.
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Rating details

12 ratings
4.58 out of 5 stars
5 75% (9)
4 8% (1)
3 17% (2)
2 0% (0)
1 0% (0)
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