2 - Critique of Pure Reason Lecture notes, February 19,...

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Critique of Pure Reason Lecture notes, February 19, 1997: Existence of the External World G. J. Mattey Kant held that transcendental realism leads to empirical idealism, in one of two ways. There are a priori arguments which purport to show that the very concept of a material thing or a thing in space is contradictory: their consequence is dogmatic idealism. And if one tries to prove the existence of bodies in space a posteriori , by reasoning from perception as effect to bodies as their cause, one runs into the possibility of other causes, resulting in skepticism. These types of idealism are treated in more detail under the lexicon entry Idealism . Transcendental idealism, the doctrine that things in space are appearances, offers the possibility of avoiding idealism. Dogmatic idealism is undermined because its arguments depend on treating matter and space as things in themselves. Problematic idealism might be avoided if one could find a way of proving the existence of bodies without having to resort to a dubious causal inference. In the Fourth Paralogism, Kant sought to show that bodies are known immediately, just as we know our own mental states immediately through inner intuition. Our inner intuitions are representations of ourselves as thinking. Kant argued on Cartesian lines that the presence of these representations is known immediately. Our outer intuitions are representations of bodies, and qua representation, they are known immediately as well. But we do not infer from these representations that bodies exist as their cause; rather, the representations are identified with the bodies. Bodies, as appearances, are nothing more than "species of our representations" and hence are known immediately. Kant exploited the thesis that as species of representations, bodies are on the same footing as our inner intuitions of ourselves, in order to solve the Cartesian mind/body problem. This problem depends once again on transcendental realism. If body and soul are independently existing beings with nothing in common, it is impossible to understand how they could influence each other. One is driven to extreme positions such as the pre-established harmony (
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2 - Critique of Pure Reason Lecture notes, February 19,...

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