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International Philosophical Quarterly

Volume 51, Issue 2, June 2011

Gaven Kerr
Pages 195-222

Kant’s Transcendental Idealism
A Hypothesis?

In this article I investigate Kant’s argumentation in the Critique of Pure Reason in favor of transcendental idealism. The argumentation for transcendental idealism seeks to establish the main conjecture of Kant’s Copernican hypothesis, to the effect that objects are conformed to our knowledge and not our knowledge to objects. But if the argumentation for transcendental idealism should presuppose anything of the Copernican hypothesis itself, then such argumentation remains as hypothetical as the Copernican hypothesis. What I seek to establish in this article is that in the Critique Kant presupposes the same presuppositions as does the Copernican turn, in which case transcendental idealism, as defended in the Critique, is nothing more than an elaborate hypothesis.

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