Kant's Doctrine of Illusion

Term: Fall 2012

Subject Code: GPHI

Course Number: 6668

Kant's Critique of Pure Reason culminates in the claim that human reason necessarily entangles itself in "transcendental illusions." This seminar evaluates that argument by a careful reading of the Critique's Dialectic. Special focus will be put on Kant's critique of Descartes' Cogito; on the Antinomies; and on Kant's refutation of the proofs of the existence of God. We will consider also the notion of Illusion in connection with the third Critique account of aesthetic judgment--namely the connection between metaphysics and aesthetics; or illusion and the beautiful/sublime. In concluding the course we will confront Kant's position with some Early Modern thinkers (e.g. Descartes and Spinoza) and German Idealist (e.g., Schelling).

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