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Title: Kant and Hegel on things in themselves : critical and exegetical issues
Author: Fedorko, Joshua
Awarding Body: University of Sheffield
Current Institution: University of Sheffield
Date of Award: 2013
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This dissertation attempts to determine what Kant's notoriously obscure conception of things in themselves, which not only played a key role in Kant's transcendental philosophy but also proved to be a central focus for Hegel's critique of that philosophy, ultimately consists in and how it can best be understood. This suggests, I would argue, that the overall plausibility of both Kantian transcendental idealism as such, as well as Hegel's critique of Kantian transcendental idealism, turns on how the transcendental distinction between appearances and things in themselves (TD) can best be understood. It is therefore the principal aim of my dissertation to come to terms with this particularly obscure conception lying at the heart of Kant's philosophy, and to consider how it shapes Hegel's critique of Kant. To begin with, I identify four major ways of reading Kant's TD, which have all been endorsed by at least one major Kant scholar in recent years. Of these four readings, it will become clear that the methodological reading, espoused by the likes of Henry Allison, Graham Bird, and Robert Pippin, among others, is the only one that can be said to both fit the texts, and also remain systematically defensible on philosophical grounds. On the basis of the methodological reading, I then outline and assess Hegel's foremost objections to the Kantian notion of things in themselves to see if this particular aspect of the Hegelian critique is either just the result of a basic misunderstanding, on Hegel's part, of the Kantian conception of things in themselves, or perhaps an accurate representation of some inherently problematic issues Kant never fully resolved with his transcendental idealism. Ultimately, I will show that the methodological reading, in addition to being the only plausible reading of Kant's TD, is also the most promising when it comes to rebutting Hegel's critique of things in themselves in light of the fact that it prima facie averts some, but not all, of Hegel's criticisms.
Supervisor: Stern, Robert Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available