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Kant, Science, and Human Nature$
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Robert Hanna

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780199285549

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199285549.001.0001

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How Do We Know Necessary Truths?

How Do We Know Necessary Truths?

Chapter:
(p.341) 7 How Do We Know Necessary Truths?
Source:
Kant, Science, and Human Nature
Author(s):

Robert Hanna (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199285549.003.0008

This chapter provides a general framework for properly understanding Kant's famous modal-epistemological slogan, ‘reason has insight only into what it self-produces according to its own design,’ in terms of active a priori knowledge and pure practical reason, while rejecting any appeal to strong transcendental idealism, and also effectively avoiding platonism, conventionalism, scientific essentialism, and modal scepticism alike. This framework will be supplied in four stages. First, Kant's theory of epistemic necessity and epistemic apriority is explicated. Then, this theory is exemplified with a case study: his account of conceptual insight into simple analytic truths. Third, some remarks are made about the special role of insight in Kant's overall conception of a priori knowledge. Finally, the concept of insight in terms of his notion of theoretical technique is briefly reexplicated.

Keywords:   epistemic necessity, epistemic apriority, insight, a priori knowledge

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