•  5
    The World According to Kant offers an interpretation of Immanuel Kant’s critical idealism, as developed in the Critique of Pure Reason and associated texts. Critical idealism is understood as an ontological position, which comprises transcendental idealism, empirical realism, and a number of other basic ontological theses. According to Kant, the world, understood as the sum total of everything that has reality, comprises several levels of reality, most importantly, the transcendental level and t…Read more
  •  4
    Finite minds and their representations in Leibniz and Kant
    Internationales Jahrbuch des Deutschen Idealismus / International Yearbook of German Idealism 14 47-80. 2019.
    This essay examines some of the ways in which the assumption of the essential finitude of the human mind, in contrast to the infinitude of God’s mind, bears on Leibniz’s and Kant’s accounts of our representational capacities. This examination reveals several underappreciated similarities between their views, but also some notable differences that help us pinpoint where and in what ways Kant departs from his celebrated predecessor. The fruits of this examination are a better understanding of Kant…Read more
  •  2
    The synthetic nature of geometry, and the role of construction in intuition
    In Kant und die Philosophie in weltbürgerlicher Absicht: Akten des XI. Internationalen Kant Kongresses 2010 in Pisa, Volume V, . pp. 89-100. 2013.
    Most commentators agree that (part of what) Kant means by characterizing the propositions of geometry as synthetic is that they are not true merely in virtue of logic or meaning, and that this characterization has something to do with his views about the construction of geometrical concepts in intuition. Many commentators regard construction in intuition as an essential part of geometrical proofs on Kant’s view. On this reading, the propositions of geometry are synthetic because the geometrical …Read more
  •  11
    Kant, the Leibnizians, and Leibniz
    In Brandon C. Look (ed.), The Continuum Companion to Leibniz, . pp. 289-309. 2011.
    A popular story about Kant's relation to Leibniz presents Kant as a Leibniz-Wolffian by education who, inspired by his encounter with the teachings of Newton and Hume, took on the project of reconciling Leibniz-Wolffian metaphysics with Newtonian science and of responding to epistemological skepticism, a project that led him further and further away from his Leibniz-Wolffian roots and culminated in the total rejection of the Leibniz-Wolffian philosophy in the Critique of Pure Reason. In this ess…Read more
  •  89
    Kant's critique of the Leibnizian philosophy : Contra the Leibnizians, but pro Leibniz
    In Daniel Garber & Béatrice Longuenesse (eds.), Kant and the Early Moderns, Princeton University Press. 2008.
    It is argued that the popular story that portrays Kant’s philosophical development as a gradual emancipation from his Leibniz-Wolffian roots that culminated in a total rejection of the Leibnizian philosophy by 1781 is not accurate. Kant’s many objections against the Leibnizian philosophy in the critical period are not directed against Leibniz himself but against the Leibniz-Wolffians. Kant considers Leibniz’s philosophy to be very close to his own, calling the Critique of Pure Reason the “true a…Read more
  •  6
    The modal strength of Leibniz's principle of the identity of indiscernibles
    Oxford Studies in Early Modern Philosophy 4 191-225. 2008.
    It is surprisingly difficult to determine what modal strength Leibniz wants to ascribe to his principle of the identity of indiscernibles (PII). I consider this question by examining (i) some direct textual evidence, (ii) Leibniz's main arguments for PII, (iii) Leibniz's presumable response to a prominent contemporary defense of the necessity of PII against Max Black style counterexamples, and (iv) Leibniz's views about the possibility of primitive haecceities. I conclude that Leibniz probably t…Read more
  •  11
    Leibniz on Motion – Reply to Edward Slowik
    The Leibniz Review 19 139-147. 2009.
  •  96
    Leibniz on Motion and the Equivalence of Hypotheses
    The Leibniz Review 18 1-40. 2008.
    Contrary to popular belief, I argue that Leibniz is not hopelessly confused about motion: Leibniz is indeed both a relativist and an absolutist about motion, as suggested by the textual evidence, but, appearances to the contrary, this is not a problem; Leibniz’s infamous doctrine of the equivalence of hypotheses is well-supported and well-integrated within Leibniz’s physical theory; Leibniz’s assertion that the simplest hypothesis of several equivalent hypotheses can be held to be true can be ex…Read more
  •  131
    Disentangling Leibniz's views on relations and extrinsic denominations
    Journal of the History of Philosophy 48 (2). 2010.
    Most commentators agree that Leibniz advocates some version of a doctrine of the ideality or reducibility of relations, but there is considerable disagreement about what exactly this doctrine means. I argue that Leibniz’s views on relations are more complex than has been previously appreciated, and that, despite some ‘reductionist’ strands in Leibniz’s position, it is seriously misleading to describe him as a reductionist about relations without adding some important qualifications. The complexi…Read more
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    In his recent book, The Empirical Stance, Bas van Fraassen forcefully raises the question of what a philosophical position can or should be. He mainly discusses this question with regard to empiricism but his discussion makes it clear that he takes his proposed answer to be generalizable: not only empiricism but philosophical positions in general should be understood as stances rather than dogmata. The first part of this essay is devoted to an examination of van Fraassen’s critique of ‘naïve’ …Read more
  •  97
    Leibniz on Motion – Reply to Edward Slowik
    The Leibniz Review 19 139-147. 2009.
    Response to critical comments by Edward Slowik on my article 'Leibniz on Motion and the Equivalence of Hypotheses' in The Leibniz Review 18 (2008).
  •  2
    In Immanuel Kant's pre-critical writings as well as in his main critical work, the Critique of Pure Reason, one finds a whole battery of fierce attacks on core doctrines of Leibnizian philosophy, e.g., the monadology, the principle of the identity of indiscernibles, the principle of sufficient reason, the doctrine of the pre-established harmony, or the relationalist theory of space and time. It is tempting to read Kant's philosophical development as a gradual emancipation from his Leibnizian upb…Read more