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Drawing from the Sources of Reason: Reflective Self-knowledge in Kant's First Critique

Merritt, Melissa McBay (2004) Drawing from the Sources of Reason: Reflective Self-knowledge in Kant's First Critique. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Kant advertises his Critique of Pure Reason as fulfilling reason's "most difficult" task: self-knowledge. As it is carried out in the Critique, this investigation is meant to be "scientific and fully illuminating"; for Kant, this means that it must follow a proper method. Commentators writing in English have tended to dismiss Kant's claim that the Critique is the scientific expression of reason's self-knowledge — either taking it to be sheer rhetoric, or worrying that it pollutes the Critique with an unfortunate residue of rationalism. As a result, there is little sustained treatment of the method of the Critique in the secondary literature. Since Kant holds that the substantive insights of critical philosophy are not separable from the methodological context in which they come to light, this is a serious mistake. My dissertation corrects for this, by approaching the Critique through an examination of its method. In doing so, it yields a reading of the Transcendental Deduction that not only promises to resolve current debates about its "proof structure", but also fully accounts for the Deduction's pivotal role in the work as a whole.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Merritt, Melissa
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairEngstrom, Stephen
Committee MemberEdwards, Anthony
Committee MemberConant, James F
Committee MemberMcDowell, John
Committee MemberRescher, Nicholas
Date: 25 June 2004
Date Type: Completion
Defense Date: 14 April 2004
Approval Date: 25 June 2004
Submission Date: 15 April 2004
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Faculty of Arts and Sciences > Philosophy
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Critique of Pure Reason; Kant; reflection; self-knowledge; spontaneity; synthetic method; Transcendental Deduction
Other ID:, etd-04152004-210504
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2011 19:37
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 13:40


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