•  1370
    Formalizing Kant’s Rules
    with Richard Evans and Marek Sergot
    Journal of Philosophical Logic 48 1-68. 2019.
    This paper formalizes part of the cognitive architecture that Kant develops in the Critique of Pure Reason. The central Kantian notion that we formalize is the rule. As we interpret Kant, a rule is not a declarative conditional stating what would be true if such and such conditions hold. Rather, a Kantian rule is a general procedure, represented by a conditional imperative or permissive, indicating which acts must or may be performed, given certain acts that are already being performed. These ac…Read more
  •  806
    Kant on the object-dependence of intuition and hallucination
    Philosophical Quarterly 65 (260): 486-508. 2015.
    Against a view currently popular in the literature, it is argued that Kant was not a niıve realist about perceptual experience. Naive realism entails that perceptual experience is object-dependent in a very strong sense. In the first half of the paper, I explain what this claim amounts to and I undermine the evidence that has been marshalled in support of attributing it to Kant. In the second half of the paper, I explore in some detail Kant’s account of hallucination and argue that no such accou…Read more
  •  758
    On the Necessity of the Categories
    Philosophical Review 131 (2). 2022.
    For Kant, the human cognitive faculty has two sub-faculties: sensibility and the understanding. Each has pure forms which are necessary to us as humans: space and time for sensibility; the categories for the understanding. But Kant is careful to leave open the possibility of there being creatures like us, with both sensibility and understanding, who nevertheless have different pure forms of sensibility. They would be finite rational beings and discursive cognizers. But they would not be human. A…Read more
  •  655
    Kant on the Relation of Intuition to Cognition
    with Anil Gomes
    In Dennis Schulting (ed.), Kantian Nonconceptualism, Palgrave-macmillan. 2016.
    Recent debates in the interpretation of Kant’s theoretical philosophy have focused on the nature of Kantian intuition and, in particular, on the question of whether intuitions depend for their existence on the existence of their objects. In this paper we show how opposing answers to this question determine different accounts of the nature of Kantian cognition and we suggest that progress can be made on determining the nature of intuition by considering the implications different views have for t…Read more
  •  569
    Kant and the Philosophy of Mind: Perception, Reason, and the Self (edited book)
    with Anil Gomes
    Oxford University Press. 2017.
    The essays in this volume explore those aspects of Kant’s writings which concern issues in the philosophy of mind. These issues are central to any understanding of Kant’s critical philosophy and they bear upon contemporary discussions in the philosophy of mind. Fourteen specially written essays address such questions as: What role does mental processing play in Kant’s account of intuition? What kinds of empirical models can be given of these operations? In what sense, and in what ways, are intui…Read more
  •  497
    Kant, the Paradox of Knowability, and the Meaning of ‘Experience’
    Philosophers' Imprint 15 (27): 1-19. 2015.
    It is often claimed that anti-realism is a form of transcendental idealism or that Kant is an anti-realist. It is also often claimed that anti-realists are committed to some form of knowability principle and that such principles have problematic consequences. It is therefore natural to ask whether Kant is so committed, and if he is, whether this leads him into difficulties. I argue that a standard reading of Kant does indeed have him committed to the claim that all empirical truths are knowable …Read more
  •  465
    Imagination and Inner Intuition
    In Andrew Stephenson & Anil Gomes (eds.), Kant and the philosophy of Mind: Perception, Reason, and the Self, Oxford University Press. pp. 104-123. 2017.
    In this paper I return to the question of whether intuition is object-dependent. Kant’s account of the imagination appears to suggest that intuition is not object-dependent. On a recent proposal, however, the imagination is a faculty of merely inner intuition, the inner objects of which exist and are present in the way demanded by object-dependence views, such as Lucy Allais’s relational account. I argue against this proposal on both textual and philosophical grounds. It is inconsistent with wha…Read more
  •  404
    How to solve the knowability paradox with transcendental epistemology
    Synthese 198 (Suppl 13): 3253-3278. 2018.
    A novel solution to the knowability paradox is proposed based on Kant’s transcendental epistemology. The ‘paradox’ refers to a simple argument from the moderate claim that all truths are knowable to the extreme claim that all truths are known. It is significant because anti-realists have wanted to maintain knowability but reject omniscience. The core of the proposed solution is to concede realism about epistemic statements while maintaining anti-realism about non-epistemic statements. Transcende…Read more
  •  372
    There is a tension at the heart of Lucy Allaiss transcendental idealism. The problem arises from her use of two incompatible theories in contemporary philosophy - relationalism about perception, or naïve realism, and relationalism about colour, or more generally relationalism about any such perceptual property. The problem is that the former requires a more robust form of realism about the properties of the objects of perception than can be accommodated in the partially idealistic framework of t…Read more
  •  301
    Kant on Non-Veridical Experience
    Kant Yearbook 3 (1): 1-22. 2011.
    In this paper I offer an interpretation of Kant’s theory of perceptual error based on his remarks in the Anthropology. Both hallucination and illusion, I argue, are for Kant species of experience and therefore require the standard co-operation of sensibility and understanding. I develop my account in a conceptualist framework according to which the two canonical classes of non-veridical experience involve error in the basic sense that how they represent the world as being is not how the world is…Read more
  •  291
    In this extended critical discussion of 'Kant's Modal Metaphysics' by Nicholas Stang (OUP 2016), I focus on one central issue from the first chapter of the book: Stang’s account of Kant’s doctrine that existence is not a real predicate. In §2 I outline some background. In §§3-4 I present and then elaborate on Stang’s interpretation of Kant’s view that existence is not a real predicate. For Stang, the question of whether existence is a real predicate amounts to the question: ‘could there be non-a…Read more
  •  276
    Manifest reality: Kant's idealism and his realism, by Lucy Allais (review)
    British Journal for the History of Philosophy 24 (6): 1220-1223. 2016.
  •  197
    Existence and Modality in Kant: Lessons from Barcan
    Philosophical Review. forthcoming.
    This essay considers Kant’s theory of modality in light of a debate in contemporary modal metaphysics and modal logic concerning the Barcan formulas. The comparison provides a new and fruitful perspective on Kant’s complex and sometimes confusing claims about possibility and necessity. Two central Kantian principles provide the starting point for the comparison: that the possible must be grounded in the actual and that existence is not a real predicate. Both are shown to be intimately connected …Read more
  •  191
    This essay reassesses the relation between Kant and Kripke on the relation between necessity and the a priori. Kripke famously argues against what he takes to be the traditional view that a statement is necessary only if it is a priori, where, very roughly, what it means for a statement to be necessary is that it is true and could not have been false and what it means for a statement to be a priori is that it is knowable independently of experience. Call such a view the Entailment Thesis. Along …Read more
  •  126
    Transcendental Knowability and A Priori Luminosity
    History of Philosophy & Logical Analysis 25 (1): 134-162. 2021.
    This paper draws out and connects two neglected issues in Kant’s conception of a priori knowledge. Both concern topics that have been important to contemporary epistemology and to formal epistemology in particular: knowability and luminosity. Does Kant commit to some form of knowability principle according to which certain necessary truths are in principle knowable to beings like us? Does Kant commit to some form of luminosity principle according to which, if a subject knows a priori, then they …Read more
  •  101
    The Analytic of Concepts
    with Anil Gomes
    In Sorin Baiasu & Mark Timmons (eds.), The Kantian Mind. forthcoming.
    The aim of the Analytic of Concepts is to derive and deduce a set of pure concepts of the understanding, the categories, which play a central role in Kant’s explanation of the possibility of synthetic a priori cognition and judgment. This chapter is structured around two questions. First, what is a pure concept of the understanding? Second, what is involved in a deduction of a pure concept of the understanding? In answering the first, we focus on how the categories differ from the pure forms of …Read more
  •  65
    A Deduction from Apperception?
    Studi Kantiani 27 77-86. 2014.
    I discuss three elements of Dennis Schulting’s new book on the transcendental deduction of the pure concepts of the understanding, or categories. First, that Schulting gives a detailed account of the role of each individual category. Second, Schulting’s insistence that the categories nevertheless apply ‘en bloc’. Third, Schulting’s defence of Kant’s so-called reciprocity thesis that subjective unity of consciousness and objectivity in the sense of cognition’s objective purport are necessary cond…Read more
  •  22
    One way to rebut the standard evidential problem of evil is to develop a sceptical form of theism. The resulting position – sceptical theism – is a sophisticated philosophical elaboration on the traditional claim that God works in mysterious ways. Yet sceptical theism is contentious because it has a quite natural tendency to entail a degree of scepticism in other areas of discourse that is normally taken to be unacceptable. To curb this tendency a moderately sceptical theism can be developed tha…Read more
  •  21
    The self, the ‘I think’, my existence as an intelligence, the thinking subject, apperception, the person—all of these and the relationships between them form the subject matter of Arthur Melnick’s brilliant new book on Kant. Indeed, every one of these notions is brought into play by the end of the very first paragraph of the preface. This is a difficult book, primarily suited to the specialist, yet its difficulty only rarely lies in unclarity or confusion. The theory of the self that it outlines…Read more
  •  13
    David Lewis’s Neglected Challenge: It’s Me or God
    Perspectives: International Postgraduate Journal of Philosophy 3 (1): 55-72. 2010.
    I begin by sketching a dialectic typical of modern discussions of the ontological argument and explain the underlying modal principles. I will not pursue this well-worn dialectic. Instead I will explicate David Lewis’s valid reconstruction of St Anselm’s argument in Proslogion-II. Lewis’s objections to this argument are based on his idiosyncratic views about modality. Implicitly, Lewis presents a challenge: either I am right about modality, or there is a sound version of the ontological argument…Read more