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Scepticism and the Development of the Transcendental Dialectic

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Abstract:

Kant's response to scepticism in the Critique of Pure Reason is complex and remarkably nuanced, although it is rarely recognized as such. In this paper, I argue that recent attempts to flesh out the details of this response by Paul Guyer and Michael Forster do not go far enough. Although they are right to draw a distinction between Humean and Pyrrhonian scepticism and locate Kant's response to the latter in the Transcendental Dialectic, their accounts fail to capture two important aspects of this response. The first is that Kant's response to Pyrrhonian scepticism is also a response to Hume. The second is that aspects of this response are decidedly positive. In particular, I argue (1) that Kant believed Hume's scepticism manifested important elements of Pyrrhonian scepticism and (2) that both Pyrrhonian scepticism and Hume had a significant positive influence on the development of the Transcendental Dialectic.

Keywords: Hume; Kant; Pyrrhonian scepticism; critique of metaphysics; transcendental dialectic; transcendental illusion

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/09608788.2012.664025

Affiliations: University of Tennessee,

Publication date: 2012-03-01

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