The World as Actual: The Postulates and the Refutation of Idealism
This chapter discusses the ‘postulates of empirical thinking in general’ that has concerns with the categories of modality: possibility, actuality, and necessity. The Postulates are rather principles regarding the modalities in their empirical use. They are concerned on what we might call ‘real’ possibilities and material necessities. The concepts of substance, causation, and community elucidated in the Analogies, as Kant observes, can be shown to express real possibilities only in this way, in relation to ‘the form of an experience in general and the synthetic unity in which alone objects can be empirically cognized’. The contrast between exclusionary and predicational judgments which figured in Kant's discussion of phenomena and noumena also has a significant role to play in the interpretation and critique of Descartes' arguments for the ontological independence of mind and body. Those arguments belong to what Kant calls ‘rational psychology’, the traditional project of giving an a priori categorical account of the transcendental ego.
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