A Missing Step In Kant's Refutation of Idealism

Brian O'Connor
2006 Idealistic Studies  
Publication information Idealistic Studies, 36 (2) : 83-95 Publisher Philosophy Documentation Centre Item record/more information http://hdl.handle.net/10197/5365 Publisher's version (DOI) 10.5840/idstudies200636214 Downaloaded 2018-07-22T21:03:13Z The UCD community has made this article openly available. Please share how this access benefits you. Your story matters! (@ucd_oa) Some rights reserved. For more information, please see the item record link above. Abstract: This paper contends that
more » ... per contends that Kant's argument in the Refutation of Idealism section of the Critique of Pure Reason misses a step which allows Kant to move illicitly from inner experience to outer objects. The argument for persistent outer objects does not comprehensively address the sceptic's doubts as it leaves room for the question about the necessary connection between representations and outer objects. A second fundamental issue is the ability of transcendental idealism to deliver the account of outer objects, as required by the Refutation of Idealism itself. Central to any examination of Kant's Refutation of Idealism -as it appears in the Second Edition of the Critique of Pure Reason -are questions about what sort of "idealism" it is trying to refute and what the precise steps of the supposed refutation might be. The first question is one regarding the nature of the claims made by Kant's opponent, whilst the second traces the structure of the argument. Once upon a time the concern was that the Refutation turned out to be a voracious refutation of all idealism, including Kant's own transcendental idealism. That issue has been resolved, however, by the ever more rigorous appreciation of the differences between Kant's transcendental or formal idealism and the forms of Cartesian and Berkeleian idealism for which the refutation is intended. The Refutation of Idealism, then, is no self-refutation but the soundness of the actual execution of Kant's argument in the Refutation of Idealism needs to be considered.
doi:10.5840/idstudies200636214 fatcat:qruvkv6n6bft5c6fgfz7akcmjq