The Cement of the Universe

Edward M. Hundert

in Philosophy Psychiatry and Neuroscience

Published in print November 1990 | ISBN: 9780198248965
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191681165 | DOI:

Series: Clarendon Paperbacks

The Cement of the Universe

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This chapter looks at the metaphysical problems with the ‘Necessary’ part of Kant's argument. The search for the ‘necessity’ embodied in Kant's ‘Necessary’ Unity of Consciousness can itself explain why Kant should have believed that the label ‘great metaphysician’ would ‘scarcely be envied’ by any ‘sophisticated man’. Since Kant only criticized Descartes about his laxity in including too large a domain for Descartes' own individual experience, so Kant could limit his epistemology to a subset of those individual experiences which are connected by his special brand of ‘Necessity’. Philosophers like Hume argue that what ‘necessity’ may be found in the unfolding of the world's four-dimensional scenery is nothing but a fiction, superimposed by our minds upon a world which has no room for it. Furthermore, Kant could have responded to any form of incoherent nihilism, but relative nihilism already forces one to return to Hegel's dynamic dialectical view.

Keywords: metaphysical; consciousness; epistemology; ;necessity; nihilism; four-dimensional scenery

Chapter.  13325 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Philosophy of Mind

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