Kantian Humility: Our Ignorance of Things in Themselves by Rae Langton

Kantian Humility: Our Ignorance of Things in Themselves

byRae Langton

Paperback | January 15, 2001

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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 thatphenomena--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 philosophicalbeliefs: 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-daycompetitors. And it answers the famous charge that Kant's tale of things in themselves is one that makes itself untellable.

About The Author

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

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Title:Kantian Humility: Our Ignorance of Things in ThemselvesFormat:PaperbackDimensions:246 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.55 inPublished:January 15, 2001Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199243174

ISBN - 13:9780199243174

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Table of Contents

Introduction1. An Old Problem2. Three Kantian Theses3. Substance and Phenomenal Substance4. Leibniz and Kant5. Kant's Rejection of Reducibility6. Fitting the Pieces Together7. A Comparison with Locke8. Kant's 'Primary' Qualities9. The Unobservable and the Supersensible10. Realism or Idealism?Bibliography, Index

Editorial Reviews

`contains shrewd discussions of the many issues surrounding [the] central theme: reducibility and supervenience, primary and secondary qualities and the unobservable and supersensible are all carefully examined.'Graham Bird, The Philosophical Quarterly, Vol 50, No 198