A number of contemporary philosophers of science and social science, as well as historians of ideas, philosophers of language and sociologists, endorse, more or less explicitly, Kantian roots in subscribing to some version or other of ‘constructed’ objectivity, yet without often necessarily renouncing a (qualified) realist position. How is this the case? In the epistemological literature a divide is normally acknowledged between ontological objectivity (firmly rooted in reality) and epistemological objectivity (relative to how reality appears to us), and Kant is often portrayed as the forerunner of the latter. Objectivity is either a subject of discovery (if you are a realist) or an invention (if you are an anti-realist), and Kant’s idealism would seem to make him veer towards the latter. However, his idealism is far more complex than some or any of its caricatures. Besides, those who believe that objectivity can be a combination of discovery and invention can equally find inspiration and support from Kant’s position. So what did Kant actually say about objectivity? If there is such a thing as a Kantian view of objectivity, what does this view consist of? What does Kant’s idealism retain of the realist stance? In what follows I go back to Kant’s text and try to extract a picture that might help answering these questions.

Constructed Objectivity and Realist Presuppositions: A Kantian Framework

Montuschi Eleonora
2018-01-01

Abstract

A number of contemporary philosophers of science and social science, as well as historians of ideas, philosophers of language and sociologists, endorse, more or less explicitly, Kantian roots in subscribing to some version or other of ‘constructed’ objectivity, yet without often necessarily renouncing a (qualified) realist position. How is this the case? In the epistemological literature a divide is normally acknowledged between ontological objectivity (firmly rooted in reality) and epistemological objectivity (relative to how reality appears to us), and Kant is often portrayed as the forerunner of the latter. Objectivity is either a subject of discovery (if you are a realist) or an invention (if you are an anti-realist), and Kant’s idealism would seem to make him veer towards the latter. However, his idealism is far more complex than some or any of its caricatures. Besides, those who believe that objectivity can be a combination of discovery and invention can equally find inspiration and support from Kant’s position. So what did Kant actually say about objectivity? If there is such a thing as a Kantian view of objectivity, what does this view consist of? What does Kant’s idealism retain of the realist stance? In what follows I go back to Kant’s text and try to extract a picture that might help answering these questions.
2018-01
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/10278/3698216
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