Kant's system of perspectives and its theological implications
Part One examines the general structure of Kant's System. Chapter I argues that his System cannot be fully understood without appreciating its radically theological orientation. Chapter II introduces the 'principle of perspective', and defines perspective as the 'context of or 'way of considering' a philosophical question and standpoint as the subject-matter which is under consideration. Chapter III suggests that a fixed, architectonic pattern gives Kant's System its 'Gopernican' character. Part Two investigates the epistemological underpinnings of Kant's System. Chapter IV defines his four main perspectives (the transcendental, empirical, logical, and practical) as dealing with the synthetic a priori, the synthetic a posteriori, the analytic a priori, and the analytic a posteriori, respectively. Chapter V applies this perspectival framework to Kant's six primary 'object-terms': 'thing in itself, 'transcendental object', and 'appearance' denote the object as viewed from the transcendental perspective; 'phenomenon', 'negative noumenon', and 'positive noumenon' denote the object as viewed from the empirical perspective. Chapter VT argues that faith in the thing in itself is the necessary starting point for Kant's System. Part Three uses the formal principles established in Parts One and Two to interpret the Critical System itself. Chapters VII-IX regard the three Critiques as systems based, respectively, on theoretical, practical, and empirical standpoints. Part Four discusses the theological implications of Kant's System. Chapter X portrays his theology as he himself regarded it: as a theism which urges a right respect for God by denying the possibility of human knowledge of His existence, yet allows for an adequately certain belief through moral and teleological arguments. Chapter XI interprets Kant's philosophy of religion as an experiment designed to prove that Christianity can serve as the universal religion of mankind. Chapter XII demonstrates Kant's deep concern for religious experience, and argues that the Critical System as a whole was intended to pave the way for a Critical mysticism.