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Realizing ReasonA Narrative of Truth and Knowing$
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Danielle Macbeth

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780198704751

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198704751.001.0001

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Kant’s Critical Turn

Kant’s Critical Turn

(p.153) 4 Kant’s Critical Turn
Realizing Reason

Danielle Macbeth

Oxford University Press

Whereas on the ancient Greek view concepts are constitutively sensory and object involving, on the modern conception make possible by Descartes’ new mathematical practice and made explicit in Kant, concepts are merely predicates of possible judgment. They do not give objects but are instead that through which independently given objects are thought. Kant’s understanding of concepts and intuitions, and his new philosophical practice of critique, are motivated, this chapter argues, by the need to get between the horns of a dilemma that inevitably arises in the wake of Descartes’ transformed conception of being, between, that is, dogmatism and scepticism. Kant’s solution is to reject the foundationalist conception of knowing on which the dilemma rests. It is the activity of inquiry that holds the key to an adequate conception of truth in the exact sciences.

Keywords:   concepts, critique, dogmatism, exact sciences, judgment, Kant, philosophical practice, scepticism

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