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Title:Kant's Ontology: Reality and the Formal Structure of the First Person Perspective
Author(s):Rukgaber, Matthew S.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Melnick, Arthur
Department / Program:Philosophy
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Abstract:This work argues that Kant's transcendental philosophy is built upon the insight that any judgment about what there is or what is possible must emerge from an existential perspective rather than a purely logical one. Rather than a mere account of our conceptual resources, I argue that Kant's goal is necessary knowledge of the structure of reality. He holds that we can achieve this through a priori cognition of our own existence as a body capable of standing in spatio-temporal relations to objects and as capable of action (movement). An a priori metaphysics of nature is possible on this basis. Kant's idealism holds that individuation of material objects is relative to what I call a transcendental metric or a privileged frame of reference, but not relative to empirical minds, thoughts, or actions. The intrinsically perspectival nature of extension and material individuation leads Kant to argue that by knowing ourselves and the formal structure of our perspective, we come to know the necessary structure of possibility and, therefore, of possible existence. This ontological interpretation of Kant's critical project sets my interpretation apart from the major epistemic, cognitive scientific, and psychological trends of Kant scholarship.
Issue Date:2009
Description:267 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2009.
Other Identifier(s):(UMI)AAI3363078
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-12-17
Date Deposited:2009

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