Chapter

Realism or Idealism?

Rae Langton

in Kantian Humility

Published in print January 2001 | ISBN: 9780199243174
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191597909 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0199243174.003.0011
 Realism or Idealism?

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At the heart of Kant's distinction between things in themselves and phenomena is a distinction between two classes of properties, intrinsic and relational: on this interpretation, ignorance of things in themselves is not idealism. So why does Kant present his view as idealist ? One possible idealism is somewhat Leibnizian, if things in themselves are monad‐like subjects; the other is somewhat Berkeleian, if phenomena are spatial and space is ideal. Concession: Kant is an idealist about space, whether or not he ought to have been. But that is not the explanation for Humility; and since phenomena are constituted by real (albeit relational) forces, idealism about space is compatible with realism about phenomena.

Keywords: Berkeley; force; Humility; idealism; intrinsic; Kant; monad; phenomena; properties; realism; relational; space; things in themselves

Chapter.  6455 words. 

Subjects: History of Western Philosophy

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