Skip to main content Accessibility help

Reality in-itself and the Ground of Causality

  • Christian Onof (a1)


This article presents a metaphysical approach to the interpretation of the role of things-in-themselves in Kant’s theoretical philosophy. This focuses upon identifying their transcendental function as the grounding of appearances. It is interpreted as defining the relation of appearing as the grounding of empirical causality. This leads to a type of dual-aspect account that is given further support through a detailed examination of two sections of Kant’s first Critique. This shows the need to embed this dual-aspect account within a two-perspective framework. The resulting picture is contrasted with the main rival theories and objections are addressed.


Corresponding author


Hide All
Adams, R. (1997) ‘Things in Themselves’. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, 57(4), 801–25.
Adickes, E. (1924) Kant und das Ding an Sich. Berlin: Pan Verlag Rolf Heisse.
Allais, L. (2006) ‘Intrinsic Natures: A Critique of Langton on Kant’. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, 73(1), 143–69.
Allais, L. (2007) ‘Kant’s Idealism and the Secondary Quality Analogy’. Journal of the History of Philosophy, 45(3), 459–84.
Allais, L. (2015) Manifest Reality: Kant’s Idealism and his Realism. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Allison, H. (1983) Kant’s Transcendental Idealism. An Interpretation and Defense. New Haven and London: Yale University Press.
Allison, H. (2004) Kant’s Transcendental Idealism: An Interpretation and Defense (2nd edition). New Haven and London: Yale University Press.
Ameriks, K. (2000) Kant and the Fate of Autonomy: Problems in the Appropriation of the Critical Philosophy. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Ameriks, K. (2003) Interpreting Kant’s Critiques. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Aquila, R. E. (1979) ‘Things in Themselves and Appearances: Intentionality and Reality in Kant’. Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie, 61, 293307.
Aquila, R. E. (1981) ‘Intentional Objects and Kantian Appearances’. Philosophical Topics, 12(2), 937.
Bennett, J. (1974) Kant’s Dialectic. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Bird, G. (2006) The Revolutionary Kant. A Commentary on the Critique of Pure Reason. New York: Open Court.
Chalmers, D. (2015) ‘Panpsychism and Panprotopsychism’. In Alter, T. and Nagasawa, Y. (eds), Consciousness in the Physical World. Perspectives on Russellian Monism (Oxford: Oxford University Press), pp. 246–76.
Chiba, K. (2012) Kants Ontologie der Raumzeitlichen Wirklichkeit. Berlin: De Gruyter.
Gardner, S. (1999) Kant and the Critique of Pure Reason. London: Routledge.
Goff, P. (2017) Consciousness and Fundamental Reality. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Guyer, P. (1987) Kant and the Claims of Knowledge. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Hogan, D. (2009) ‘Noumenal Affection’. Philosophical Review, 118(4), 501–32.
Jacobi, F. H. (1994) ‘On Transcendental Idealism’. In di Giovanni, G. (trans.), The Main Philosophical Writings and the Novel (Montreal and Kingston: McGill and Queen’s University Press), pp. 331–8.
Kant, I. (1950) Prolegomena to Any Future Metaphysics. Trans. L. W. Beck, Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill.
Kant, I. (1959) Foundations of the Metaphysics of Morals. Trans. L. W. Beck. Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill.
Kant, I. (1987) Critique of Judgment. Trans. W. S. Pluhar, Indianapolis: Hackett.
Kant, I (1997) Critique of Pure Reason. Trans. P. Guyer and A. W. Wood. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Langton, R. (1998) Kantian Humility. Oxford: Clarendon Press.
Longuenesse, B. (1998) Kant and the Capacity to Judge. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
Marshall, C. (2013) ‘Kant’s Appearances and Things in Themselves as Qua-Objects’. Philosophical Quarterly, 63(252), 520–45.
Onof, C. (2008) ‘Property Dualism, Epistemic Normativity and the Limits of Naturalism’. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, 76(1), 6085.
Onof, C (2011) ‘Thinking the In-Itself and its Relation to Appearances’. In Schulting, D. and Verburgt, J. (eds), Kant’s Idealism: New Interpretations of a Controversial Doctrine (Dordrecht: Springer), pp. 211–36.
Prauss, G. (1974) Kant und das Problem der Dinge an sich. Bonn: Bouvier.
Robinson, H. (1994) ‘Two Perspectives on Kant’s Appearances and Things in Themselves’. Journal of the History of Philosophy, 32(3), 411–41.
Rosefeldt, T. (2007) ‘Dinge an sich und sekundäre Qualitäten’. In Stolzenberg, J. (ed.), Kant in der Gegenwart (Berlin: de Gruyter), pp. 167212.
Schulting, D. (2017a) Kant’s Radical Subjectivism. London: Palgrave.
Schulting, D. (2017b) ‘Kant’s Idealism and Phenomenalism Critical Notice of Lucy Allais’. Studi Kantiani, 30, 191202.
Senderowicz, Y. (2005) The Coherence of Kant’s Transcendental Idealism. Dordrecht: Springer.
Stang, N. (2014) ‘The Non-Identity of Appearances and Things in Themselves’. Nous, 48(1), 106–36.
Stang, N. (2015) ‘Who’s Afraid of Double Affection?’. Philosophers’ Imprint, 15(18), 128.
Watkins, E. (2005) Kant and the Metaphysics of Causality. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Westphal, K. (2004) Kant’s Transcendental Proof of Realism. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.


Reality in-itself and the Ground of Causality

  • Christian Onof (a1)


Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed