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Kantian Humility – Our Ignorance of Things in Themselves - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Kantian Humility: Our Ignorance of Things in Themselves

Rae Langton


This book offers a new interpretation and defence of Kant's doctrine of things in themselves. Kant distinguishes things in themselves from phenomena, and in doing so 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 ... More

Keywords: history of philosophy, humility, idealism, ignorance, Kant, Rae Langton, Leibniz, Locke, metaphysics, phenomena, properties, receptivity, scientific realism, thing in itself

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2001 Print ISBN-13: 9780199243174
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003 DOI:10.1093/0199243174.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Rae Langton, author
University of Sheffield
Author Webpage