If Kant wanted to combat dogmatism—if he wanted to deny knowledge in order to make room for freedom and faith—he must have taken Spinoza seriously. In considering the case of the third Antinomy, the chapter argues, contrary to the prevalent view, that he did. The first part of the chapter challenges the historical pieces of evidence (allegedly) supporting the conclusion that Kant never engaged with Spinoza in the first Critique. The second part considers the third Antinomy, arguing that its Antithesis, eliminating freedom by invoking the Principle of Sufficient Reason, articulates a Spinozist position—not a Leibnizian one, as is commonly assumed. The third part explores the chief Spinozist challenge to the Antinomy, drawing on Spinoza’s understanding of infinity, freedom, and adequate ideas. The conclusion defends Kant’s position by confronting Spinoza’s position on infinity and freedom with Kant’s account of the sublime.
Keywords: Kant; freedom; adequate ideas; infinity; the sublime
Article. 14685 words.
Subjects: History of Western Philosophy ; Metaphysics
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