•  1424
    Kant and Rational Psychology
    Oxford University Press UK. 2014.
    Corey W. Dyck presents a new account of Kant's criticism of the rational investigation of the soul in his monumental Critique of Pure Reason, in light of its eighteenth-century German context. When characterizing the rational psychology that is Kant's target in the Paralogisms of Pure Reason chapter of the Critique commentators typically only refer to an approach to, and an account of, the soul found principally in the thought of Descartes and Leibniz. But Dyck argues that to do so is to overloo…Read more
  •  292
    In this review essay, I raise three principal concerns relating to Schulting’s project of deriving the categories from apperception as elaborated in his recent book Kant’s Deduction and Apperception (Palgrave Macmillan, 2012). First, I claim that Schulting overlooks a key ambiguity relating to ‘ableiten’ and which contrasts with his strictly logical understanding of that term. Second, I dispute on textual and philosophical grounds Schulting’s characterization of the subject’s consciousness of it…Read more
  •  683
    Considered in light of the reader’s expectation of a thoroughgoing criticism of the pretensions of the rational psychologist, and of the wealth of discussions available in the broader 18th century context, which includes a variety of proofs that do not explicitly turn on the identification of the soul as a simple substance, Kant’s discussion of immortality in the Paralogisms falls lamentably short. However, outside of the Paralogisms (and the published works generally), Kant had much more to say…Read more
  •  303
    The Priority of Judging: Kant on Wolff's General Logic
    Estudos Kantianos 4 (2): 99-118. 2016.
    In this paper, I consider the basis for Kant's praise of Wolff's general logic as "the best we have." I argue that Wolff's logic was highly esteemed by Kant on account of its novel analysis of the three operations of the mind (tres operationes mentis), in the course of which Wolff formulates an argument for the priority of the understanding's activity of judging.
  •  113
    In this paper I argue, contrary to a widely influential account of Kant’s development in the “silent decade,” that key changes in his empirical and rational psychology throughout the 1770’s are traceable to changes in the scope he assigns to inner sense. Kant’s explicit inclusion of our access to the I or soul within the scope of inner sense in the early 1770’s (after its apparent exclusion in the Dissertation) yields a more robust empirical psychology. Given the Wolffian character of Kant’s pre…Read more
  •  156
    In the Anthropology, Kant wonders whether the genius or the individual possessing perfected judgment has contributed more to the advance of culture. In the KU, Kant answers this question definitively on the side of those with perfected judgment. Nevertheless, occurring as it does in §50 of the KU, immediately after Kant’s celebration of the genius in §49, this only raises more questions. Kant rejects the genius in favour of the individual of taste as an advancer of culture, yet under what condit…Read more
  •  696
    In attempts to come to grips with Kant’s thought, the influence of the philosophy of Christian Wolff (1679-1754) is often neglected. In this paper, I consider three topics in Kant’s philosophy of mind, broadly construed, where Wolff’s influence is particularly visible: consciousness, self-consciousness, and psychology. I argue that we can better understand Kant’s particular arguments and positions within this context, but also gain a more accurate sense of which aspects of Kant’s accounts derive…Read more
  •  91
    Review: Lee, The German 'Mittelweg': Garden theory and philosophy in the time of Kant (review)
    Journal of the History of Philosophy 47 (3). 2009.
    Kant's dismissive reference in the Critique of Judgment to landscape gardening as "nothing but the ornamentation of the ground" is puzzling since, as an art that seems like a product of nature, the garden should be a paradigm case of fine art. Additionally, it runs counter to a growing academic interest in garden theory in the late 1700s, as Michael Lee documents in this often overwrought but useful volume. After Kant, German academic philosophy was bedevilled by irresolvable oppositions between…Read more
  •  130
    Materialism in the mainstream of early German philosophy
    British Journal for the History of Philosophy 24 (5): 897-916. 2016.
    ABSTRACTDiscussions of the reception of materialist thought in Germany in the first half of the eighteenth century tend to focus, naturally enough, upon the homegrown freethinkers who advanced the cause of Lucretius, Hobbes, and Spinoza in clandestine publications and frequently courted the ire of the state for doing so. If the philosophers belonging to the mainstream of German intellectual life in that period are accorded a place in the story, it is only insofar as they actively set themselves …Read more
  •  297
    Kant's Transcendental Deduction and the Ghosts of Descartes and Hume
    British Journal for the History of Philosophy 19 (3): 473-496. 2011.
    This paper considers how Descartes's and Hume's sceptical challenges were appropriated by Christian Wolff and Johann Nicolaus Tetens specifically in the context of projects related to Kant's in the transcendental deduction. Wolff introduces Descartes's dream hypothesis as an obstacle to his account of the truth of propositions, or logical truth, which he identifies with the 'possibility' of empirical concepts. Tetens explicitly takes Hume's account of our idea of causality to be a challenge to t…Read more
  •  1102
    While there is good reason to think that Mendelssohn's Morgenstunden targets some of the key claims of Kant’s first Critique, this criticism has yet to be considered in the appropriate context or presented in all of its systematic detail. I show that far from being an isolated assault, Mendelssohn’s attack in the Morgenstunden is a continuation and development of his earlier criticism of Kant’s idealism as presented in the Inaugural Dissertation. I also show that Mendelssohn’s objection was more…Read more
  •  212
    In this paper, I challenge the assumption that Kant’s Third Paralogism has to do, first and foremost, with the question of personal identity.
  •  66
    Kant and the Leibnizian Conception of Mind
    Dissertation, Boston College. 2006.
    In what follows, I will detail Kant's criticism of the Leibnizian conception of mind as it is presented in key chapters of the Kritik der reinen Vernunft . Approaching Kant with such a focus goes against the current predominant in contemporary Kant scholarship. Kant's engagement with Leibniz in the KrV is often taken as limited to the refutation of the latter's relational theory of space and time in the Aesthetic and the general criticism presented in the Amphiboly chapter, inasmuch as Kant is t…Read more
  •  240
    In this paper I consider Tetens' reaction to Kant's Inaugural Dissertation in his two most important philosophical works, the essay “Über die allgemeine speculativische Philosophie” of 1775 and the two-volume Philosophische Versuche of 1777. In particular, I focus on Tetens’ critical discussion of Kant's account of the acquisition of concepts of space and time.
  •  343
    Between Wolffianism and Pietism: Baumgarten's Rational Psychology
    In Courtney Fugate & John Hymers (eds.), Baumgarten and Kant on Metaphysics, Oxford University Press. pp. 78-93. 2018.
    In this paper, I consider Baumgarten’s views on the soul in the context of the Pietist critique of Wolff’s rational psychology. My primary aim is to account for the largely unacknowledged differences between Wolff’s and Baumgarten’s rational psychology, though I also hope to show that, in some cases, the Pietists were rather more perceptive in their reading of Wolff than they are typically given credit for as their criticisms frequently succeed in drawing attention to significant omissions in Wo…Read more
  •  346
    Kant’s introduction in the Kritik der reinen Vernunft (KrV) of a spontaneity proper to the understanding is often thought to be one of the central innovations of his Critical philosophy. As I show in this paper, however, a number of thinkers within the 18th century German tradition in the time before the KrV (including the pre-Critical Kant himself) had already developed a robust conception of the spontaneity of the mind, a conception which, in many respects lays the groundwork for Kant’s later,…Read more
  •  208
    In this paper, I attempt to trace the broader contours of a putative Leibnizian psychology by adopting the rather unusual, and perhaps historically dubious, strategy of outlining the continuities between Leibniz’s discussion of the soul and the much more detailed and systematic psychological writings of his German successor, Christian Wolff.