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Title: Kant and the problem of objectivity
Author: DiFilippo, J.
ISNI:       0000 0001 3424 3180
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 1980
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This thesis took root in a dissatisfaction with the way in which the problem of objective knowledge - the problem of objectivity in general - in the context of Kant's theoretical enterprise, had been discussed and understood by those philosophers working in this area. In brief, too little attention has been given to works other than the Critique of Pure Reason, or when it has been given, it is usually under the awesome shadow of the First Critique. It is clear to me now that a complete picture of Kant's theory of objectivity cannot he understood from the Firs Critique alone; for Y.ant's philosophy and theory of science and scientific theorizing, tell a rather different story, about things in themselves, the unconditioned, and the conditions necessary and sufficient for objectivity. In order to present a cogent argument in defense of this thesis, it has been necessary to go through a number of Kant's works in some detail and this has meant writing an essay longer than I had expected to write when I first started; indeed, since I began, publications have appeared which touch upon some of the topics I discuss and these naturally suggest alternative ways of approaching the problems dealt with but for the most part, I am convinced that it was required to argue at length about the different aspects of the whole problem of objectivity, if my central thesis was to be at all persuasive. While I have no illusions about the extent to which I have answered the central problems of objectivity, I do think that there is more to the problems related to objectivity in the context of Kant's theoretical framework than has previously been generally understood. In this essay I have tried to work my way through to a general conclusion with respect to metaphysical theories pertaining to the nature of reality and the place of ontology and epistemology within such theories. It hardly needs to be said that a piece of work of this kind, ranging as it does over a wide spectrum of Kant's works, and attempting to address itself to many particular different issues in order to better pronounce on some import- :ant issues of a more general sort, is indebted to many authors who have written in or around the subject -area. The fact that I have relegated all references to secondary material to the notes is not meant to hide this debt but to make for an uncluttered text. My intellectual debts are many and cannot be represented by any single school or group of thinkers; I owe much to the work of Buchdahl, Putnam, Sellars and Silber all of whom may perhaps be said to be representative of the philosophical perspective according to which philosophical problems are properly understood and illuminating only when considered in the context of related problem areas. At any rate, from such as these I have profited greatly. There are many others whose work on Kantian and related problems have enriched my own appreciation of the difficulties involved in an issue such as the problem of objectivity and I try to acknowledge this appreciation whenever appropriate in the notes to the text.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available