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What Descartes Doubted, Berkeley Denied, and Kant Endorsed

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  19 December 2017

KENNETH L. PEARCE*
Affiliation:
Trinity College Dublin

Abstract

According to Kant, there is some doctrine, which he sometimes calls ‘empirical realism,’ such that it was doubted by Descartes, denied by Berkeley, and endorsed by Kant himself. The primary aim of this paper will be to reconstruct Kant’s own narrative of the historical relationship between Descartes, Berkeley, and himself, in order to identify the doctrine Kant calls ‘empirical realism.’ I argue that the empirical realism that Descartes doubted, Berkeley denied, and Kant endorsed is the doctrine that the concept of extended substance has legitimate application.

Selon Kant, il existe une doctrine, qu’il appelle quelquefois le «réalisme empirique», à propos de laquelle Descartes aurait exprimé des doutes, qui aurait été niée par Berkeley, et que Kant lui-même aurait approuvée. L’objectif principal de cet article sera reconstituer le récit fait par Kant de la relation entre Descartes, Berkeley et lui-même, et ce, afin d’identifier la doctrine qualifiée par Kant de «réalisme empirique». Je soutiens que le réalisme empirique en question est la doctrine selon laquelle le concept de substance étendue a une application légitime.

Type
Original Article/Article original
Copyright
Copyright © Canadian Philosophical Association 2017 

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