GIUSEPPE MOTTA | Die Postulate des empirischen Denkens überhaupt | Walter de Gruyter 2012


 

By Thomas Teufel

Giuseppe Motta’s book on Kant’s Postulates of Empirical Thinking in General is part introduction to, part commentary on Kant’s mature treatment of the modal principles in the short Postulates sub-section of the Analytic of Principles of the Critique of Pure Reason. Motta’s comprehensive philosophical introduction takes up roughly the first two thirds of his book. His analytical commentary—organized in the form of 135 often long and insightful endnotes to an original presentation of the text of the Postulates (which Motta helpfully divides into titled sub-sections, numbered paragraphs and supplements with a critical apparatus)—takes up the remaining third. Motta thus shines a probing light on a part of the Analytic of Principles that is usually considered to be of only minor philosophical significance, especially when compared with Kant’s late and somewhat orthogonal addition to the Postulates in the B-edition: the Refutation of Idealism.

In the eyes of many, the Refutation (which contains Kant’s response to Cartesian scepticism and assumes its place between the second and third of Kant’s three Postulates in the largely unaltered text of the B-edition)—and not Kant’s account of the modal principles—carries the philosophical weight of the Postulates section (see e.g., Guyer 1987:275; Allison 2004:286; Bird 2006:501). For reasons that are both pragmatic and programmatic, Motta takes a divergent view. While otherwise basing his commentary on both the 1781 A-edition and the 1787 B-edition of the Critique, Motta deliberately omits the Refutation (B 275–9) from his presentation of the Kantian text, thus obviating comment. Only Motta’s introductory essay contains a discussion of the Refutation (see Section 6.3).

Pragmatically speaking, this choice is easy enough to understand. Including the internally complex and largely independent argument of the Refutation in his account of the Postulates would have needlessly diverted attention from Motta’s intended focus on Kant’s account of modal notions and would have made his project unwieldy at the very least. This is especially true given that Kant kept redrafting the argument of the Refutation long after its publication in the B-edition, leaving “close to a dozen additional versions” (Guyer 2006:117) to consider. But Motta’s choice is more programmatic than this rationale might suggest. Motta effectively seeks to invert the conventional view of the relative philosophical merit of these texts, arguing both (a) that the A-edition Postulates are of considerably greater and (b) that the B-edition Refutation is of considerably lesser philosophical importance than traditionally thought. This dual philosophical commitment, defended in Motta’s introductory essay, presumably stands in the interest of justifying the sustained scholarly attention here paid to the Postulates. But while there are indeed good reasons to be sympathetic to Motta’s scholarly interest in the Postulates (and to welcome the considerable achievement of both his essay and his commentary), I believe that Motta’s own justification of this interest overplays the available philosophical hand.

The Postulates are important because they make explicit the precise role modal concepts must play in object cognition given Kant’s doctrines in the Transcendental Deduction of the Categories and the Analogies of Experience. It is hard to agree with Motta’s assessment that “one cannot fully comprehend the arguments of the Deduction and of the Analytic of Principles unless one at the same time considers the theory of objectivity Kant develops in the analysis of modal concepts” (p. 8).[1] I address this matter in Section 2 below.

Conversely, one may grant that the B-edition Refutation relies on a “structural dependence of inner and outer sense” (p. 122) that Kant already espouses elsewhere in the Critique, but this hardly warrants the conclusion that “if one considers certain arguments of the second and third postulate” (p. 118) one finds that “this section of the Critique thus already contains an—implicit—Refutation […] also of Idealism” (p. 118). As Kant’s subsequent struggles with the Refutation illustrate quite powerfully, the details of the argument matter greatly and a general assertion of the dependence of inner on outer sense does not a Refutation of Idealism make. At best it identifies a strategy. Indeed, Kant’s Refutation of Idealism first gives the thesis of the dependence of inner on outer sense precise philosophical meaning. I address this issue in Section 3 below. Despite these criticisms, I do believe that Motta’s book makes a highly valuable contribution to Kant scholarship and I would like to begin by discussing the distinctive virtues of his account in Section 1.

1. Judgement-Determination

A compelling argument in support of the sustained attention Motta devotes to Kant’s discussion of the Postulates of Empirical Thinking begins with the unique place this section occupies in the crowded real estate of the first Critique. The main point is simple: in the layout of the Transcendental Analytic, the Postulates are the last constructive section. They are, to be sure, followed by Kant’s chapter on Noumena and Phenomena as well as by Kant’s engagement with Leibniz in the appended Amphiboly of the Concepts of Reflection. Nevertheless, in systematic terms, the Postulates are the section that effectively concludes the business of the Analytic of Principles and a fortiori the business of the Transcendental Analytic. Kant himself stresses this point in at least two different ways.

First, in the B-edition he adds a ‘General Note on the System of Principles’ at the very end of the Postulates section. The location of this General Note (a note Motta omits from his commentary, presumably because, like the Refutation, it makes no substantive contribution to Kant’s discussion of the modal principles) clearly signals that the Postulates complete the work on the System of Principles. Second, in the first sentence of the transitional chapter on Noumena and Phenomena Kant, looking back on the Analytic (and opening one of the more poetic passages of the Critique), observes that “we have now not only traveled through the land of pure understanding, and carefully inspected each part of it, but we have also surveyed it and determined the place for each thing in it” (A235/B294). Kant then explains that this leaves only the fortifying work of “a summary overview” (A236/B295) of its accomplishments to be undertaken in the remainder of the Analytic—work explicitly conducted in awareness of the “stormy seas” (ibid.) that await us in the Dialectic and with the aim of assuring ourselves, one last time, of the safe harbour offered by the first division of the Transcendental Logic. If the Postulates thus constitute the final leg of our travels through the land of the understanding, then it may not be unreasonable to suppose that the relative prominence of that position is a reflection, also, of their relative philosophical importance.

This supposition is surely supported by the importance of the topic addressed in the Postulates. One can hardly get closer to the core of Kant’s revolutionary programme in metaphysics than by considering Kant’s argument for the role possibility, actuality, and above all necessity must play in a duly critical theory of object cognition. Consistent with this, Motta makes the entirely plausible case that Kant’s reorganization of the interrelation between possibility (first Postulate), actuality (second Postulate) and necessity (third Postulate) marks the official location of (the positive dimension of) Kant’s critique of traditional metaphysics—Kant’s “revolution in ontology” (p. 8), as Motta calls it. Motta thus rejects as fallacious the notion that because they address modality in empirical cognition, the three Postulates themselves are somehow insufficiently transcendentally necessary, or that they only hold within but are not in their own way constitutive of experience (see Bird 2006:505; Motta 2012:209n71). The Postulates are the part of the Analytic in which various strands of Kant’s argument that had been articulated in the Aesthetic, Deduction and the Analogies come together and are considered in their joint and final form.

We may put the point in terms of Kant’s travel-analogy above. In the Postulates, Kant is not so much encountering and inspecting new parts of the land of pure understanding but is engaged in a process of ‘determining the place’ for things already encountered and inspected. Specifically, Kant does not discover new object-determining principles in the Postulates. Instead, he presents three “subjective-synthetic” (p. 181) principles which set the object in relation to the thinking subject by spelling out the conditions under which the thinking subject must consider that object as either a possible, an actual or a necessary thing. Setting the object in relation to the subject through the specification of these conditions is a determination not of the object itself (it adds nothing to the object) but a determination of its place (or, if you will, of the modal key in which it is played) in the land of pure understanding.

Motta correctly emphasizes that, by spelling out these conditions, Kant, while focusing on the relation between subject and object, abstracts from the relata and that it is precisely by means of this shift in focus that Kant arrives at a “new definition of objectivity” (p. 9; see p. 84). Since the ‘objects’ at issue are, moreover, of course not the objects of the transcendental realist but the spatiotemporally and categorically structured objects of Kant’s Analytic, we thus find that Kant, in the Postulates, completes his revolution in metaphysics with one final and important turn of the Copernican screw. The assessment of an object’s ontological status as possible, actual or necessary is not the result of an objective determination of the thing as subject to the conditions of experience; it is the result of a subjective determination of—or a reflection on—the manner in which a thing objectively so determined satisfies those conditions. More accurately, it is the result of a reflection on which of those conditions (“formal,” “material”, or “general”; A218/B266) a thing so determined satisfies.

Kant’s critical theory of object cognition is thus incomplete (though not, pace Motta, incomprehensible) without a survey of all the principles governing this subjective determination of, or reflection on, an object’s ontological status. But what kind of principle governs that sort of determination? Qua principles governing a form of reflection, these principles are instructions on how we must think modality in object cognition. They are, accordingly, practical propositions or, as Kant here calls such propositions: Postulates. Because instructions governing the thinking of objects are judgement-determining and not object-determining principles, Kant’s Postulates are, more precisely, a species of regulative principle (p. 210n91). Importantly, the regulative principles at issue in the Postulates are transcendental-philosophically justified practical propositions and, so, not empirical postulates of thinking but duly a priori and critical postulates of empirical thinking (see Section 2 below).

It must be added in this context that Kant, in the Critique of Pure Reason, is very far indeed from formulating a coherent theory of regulativity.[2] Among other things, he still systematically confuses regulative principles with heuristic ones, notably in the Appendix to the Transcendental Dialectic (heuristic principles are, however, only one—and a relatively inconsequential—form of regulative principle). Kant eventually corrects this mistake in the Critique of the Power of Judgment (his mature treatise on the kinds, nature and justification of regulative principles), but it very much haunts the literature to this day. The important point for now is that the Postulates present a species of regulative principle as integral to Kant’s critical theory of object cognition and—judging by the location of the section—arguably as the high-point of it.

Accordingly, what is new in Kant’s “new definition of objectivity” (p. 9) in the Postulates is not so much the theoretical content of the critical account of objectivity that emerges, including: (i) the demotion of possibility from the exalted position it held in rationalist metaphysics by restricting it to agreement with the formal conditions of experience and (ii) the virtual identification of actuality with a type of (conditional material) necessity by highlighting the role empirical laws play in our cognition of external objects (pp. 208n56, 209n69). These dimensions of Kant’s theory of modality in the Postulates are more or less straightforward implications of the Transcendental Analytic up to this point (see below, Section 2). While these consequences had perhaps not yet been drawn up systematically or with their consequences in full view (e.g., that our judgement of an object as actual has less to do with its perception than with its presumed subsumability under empirical law; A226/B 273), there is very little surprise in what they are (whence, perhaps, the literature’s general lack of excitement about the Postulates). What is truly new, worthy of sustained scrutiny and of considerable importance to Kant’s overall philosophical project—as well as mostly neglected in the literature—is the role transcendentally necessary technical-practical propositions governing cognitive conduct play in Kant’s critical theory of experience.

It is primarily for this reason that I believe Motta’s intense focus on the Postulates constitutes an important contribution to Kant studies. But Motta’s account clearly has additional merits. Chief among them is Motta’s high level of scholarship, which allows him to discuss a wealth of conceptual and historical matters and enter into frequent, substantive asides without becoming overly tedious. The densely woven tapestry of his account is impossible to reproduce or even partially convey here. The 135 endnotes composing Motta’s commentary annotate virtually every sentence of the Kantian text, providing insight ranging from in-depth discussions of philosophical topics like, e.g., each of Kant’s four “a priori laws of nature” (in mundo non datur casus, non datur fatum, non datur saltus, non datur hiatus), their meaning and (pre-) history (see Section 7.2; pp. 210–11n86, n88, n90, n92–5), all the way to curious linguistic facts such as, say, Kant’s use of ‘einen Staat machen’ (‘to expect,’ ‘to reckon’) at the end of the second Postulate (p. 209n70). Motta displays an especially firm grasp of the secondary literature, which deeply informs his discussion (and extends to both recent and not so recent titles as well as not only to English and German but also to many French and Italian texts). This is on full display in his incisive critique of two dozen pertinent titles in the extant literature which concludes his commentary (pp. 287–307).

The richness of Motta’s account is, moreover, structurally grounded in the complex interplay between (i) the introductory essay, (ii) the extensive footnotes to the introductory essay and (iii) the extensive endnotes that make up the commentary. A good example of that interplay is Motta’s discussion of what it means to ‘construct’ mathematical and other objects (pp. 103, 103n325; 205n20, n22). All this internal complexity makes Motta’s book highly interactive, as the reader is invited (but not forced) to flip back and forth between essay, footnotes and commentary. It also makes the book quite enjoyable. One thing that is perhaps not always entirely clear, is the principle of inclusion that governs the introductory essay as opposed to the commentary. Motta explains that the introductory essay is supposed to deal with “general themes and aspects”, such as (i) pre-Kantian, (ii) Kantian pre-critical and (iii) Kantian critical meanings of terms and forms of argument. He contends that the commentary, by contrast, is supposed to “explain arguments in the context of Kant’s philosophy and its engagement with the philosophies of the 18th century” (p. 2). If this does not sound like much of a difference in theory, it turns out not to make much of a difference in practice—many topics make appearances and are treated in a similar fashion in both places.

2. A New Theory of Objectivity?

As indicated above, and much to his credit, Motta places considerable emphasis on the judgement-determining and not object-determining nature of the Postulates, sounding the theme both at the beginning (p. 16ff.) and near the end (p. 180ff.) of his introductory essay, and devoting a section in the middle specifically to the development of the use of the term ‘postulate’ (ff. 69–85). Still, Motta takes the principal original contribution of the Postulates to Kant’s “new definition of objectivity” (p. 9; see p. 100) to consist in his reorganization of the relation between possibility, actuality and necessity: Kant’s identification of the actual with the necessary and his elevation of both over the possible (see again Section 1, above).

But while this reorganization is indeed crucial to Kant’s critical conception of objectivity, we do not first learn about it in the Postulates or require the Postulates in order to begin to make sense of it. Consider, for instance Kant’s famous dictum at the beginning of the System of Principles (long before the Postulates section) that “the conditions of the possibility of experience in general are at the same time conditions of the possibility of the objects of experience” (A158/B197; Motta discusses this in his account of the concepts of ‘objective reality’, ‘objective validity’ and ‘transcendental truth’; Section 5.1). Kant here makes explicit what can be an object of experience (namely, that which conforms to the conditions of the possibility of experience) and what cannot be an object of experience (namely, that which does not so conform). A fortiori, Kant makes explicit what are possible objects of experience (namely, those that conform). Conditions of the possibility of experience, in other words, are conditions of what is possible in experience—they constrain empirical possibility. Accordingly, we do not have to wait for the first Postulate to inform us that, as far as empirical cognition is concerned, “what agrees with the formal conditions of experience (in accordance with intuition and concepts) is possible” (A218/B265), or that objective possibility is restricted to such agreement. Much the same goes for the Postulates of actuality and necessity and, so, for the entire critical reorganization of modal concepts.

More problematic for the Postulates’ putative contribution to Kant’s new theory of objectivity is that the centrepiece of that theory—the identification of actuality with (empirical) necessity—is not only not an entirely new idea in the Postulates (it is already present in the Analogies) but one that remains fairly obscure even here and, so, hardly supports the notion that the Postulates present a full-fledged theory of empirical objectivity. Motta is right to point out that Kant’s conception of necessity in the third Postulate comprises not merely the transcendental necessity of conditions of the possibility of experience in general, but the empirical necessity of particular laws of nature as well. Events in nature are not only necessarily governed by the transcendental causal principle (‘every event has a cause’) nor even additionally (as in MAN and KdU) by the metaphysical causal principle (‘every event in nature has an external cause’), but, crucially, by particular causal laws arrived at inductively by natural science. Accordingly, the actual is not only the transcendentally and metaphysically but also—as the a priori Postulates inform us of transcendental necessity—the empirically necessary.

Unfortunately, while Kant has a perfectly good explanation of transcendental causal necessity and a somewhat weaker explanation of metaphysical causal necessity, he is at a loss—at least in the first Critique—as to how to explain the peculiar necessity of empirical causal laws or, for that matter, their relation to the transcendental causal principle. Kant first addresses this problem in earnest in the Introduction to the Critique of the Power of Judgment, which Motta does not discuss. In the end, Motta is left to proclaim emphatically but inconclusively that “the empirical and the transcendental level of lawfulness are inseparable” (p. 255n80). But such announcements can hardly suffice when the problem is how these two levels can possibly be integrated.

To repeat, then, the Postulates section marks the place in the first Critique where Kant brings together the various modal doctrines that emerged either implicitly or explicitly over the course of the Transcendental Analytic. But it is not the place where Kant breaks new ground in the sense of first arriving at those doctrines or even in the sense of fully justifying them all. What is new, in the Postulates, is not the content of these doctrines but the form they take—as Postulates.

Yet, Motta seems to struggle with a definitive characterization of the judgement-determining nature of this type of principle. It is certainly true that the Postulates in some sense concern “a wholly original and constitutive positing of the object” (p. 78). It is true, moreover, that this positing is in some sense constitutive only of the possibility of “objectivity in general” (78). Thus, the Postulates are really only “subjective-synthetic” (p. 181) principles engaged in a “reflexive discourse” (p. 10). But none of this is terribly precise in either Kant or Motta.

Rather than help clear things up, matters get a little more obscure in Motta’s account of the genitive construction of the title of Kant’s Postulates section. In trying to characterize the ‘of’ of the “Postulates of Empirical Thinking”, Motta considers only two explanatory possibilities: that Kant’s construction is a genitivus subjectivus or a genitivus objectivus (p. 79). Accordingly, Motta considers the empirical thinking of Kant’s title as either the subject or the object of an act of postulation (p. 79). But, as Motta then rightly points out, empirical thinking does not itself arrive at these a priori Postulates, as it would have to if Kant’s construction were a genitivus subjectivus (nor could it: an act of transcendental reflection does, and must). Moreover, empirical thinking is not itself being postulated by these a priori Postulates, as it would have to be if Kant’s construction were a genitivus objectivus (indeed, Kant then would have had to title “The Postulation of Empirical Thinking”).

Limiting himself to these two interpretative options, Motta is consequently unable to explain just how the a priori principles in question are supposed to relate to empirical thinking. In the end, Motta considers the construction ‘Postulate of empirical thinking’ as “containing an oxymoron” (p. 79)—an inconsistent combination of a priori and a posteriori elements. But there surely is no deep mystery here. The genitive in question is readily explained as a genitivus possesivus. The Postulates ‘belong’ to empirical thinking (or empirical thinking ‘has’ or ‘exhibits’ these Postulates) in the sense that they specify conditions that underlie all empirical thought. They are conditions of the possibility—albeit subject-determining conditions of the possibility—‘of’ (genitivus possesivus) empirical thinking. Consequently, they are a priori and necessary regulative principles of empirical thinking. If there is a mystery here, it is how subject-determining conditions can be conditions of the possibility of object-cognition at all. And that is a mystery that only renewed attention to Kant’s conception of judgement-determination—the sort of attention that, one hopes, Motta’s scrutiny of the Postulates section will inaugurate—may be able to solve.

3. Refutation of Idealism

As noted at the outset, just as Motta seeks to raise the profile of the Postulates, he also seeks to downplay the relative importance of Kant’s subsequent addition to the Postulates: the Refutation of Idealism. Motta’s basic idea is that the dependence of inner on outer sense, so central to the Refutation, is not introduced in the Refutation itself but already presupposed by it (Heidemann 1998). Since Motta also believes that the refutation does not go much beyond the mere (re-) assertion of this dependence, he concludes that Kant adds the section primarily for tactical reasons. Having underestimated the extent to which the first-edition Critique would be misinterpreted as advocating a form of idealism, Kant seeks to “invite” his readers “to a more intense confrontation with his own theory of objectivity” through the “adept positioning” of the refutation between the second and third Postulate in the second-edition Critique (p. 118).

Motta’s sense that the Refutation does not advance in significant ways beyond already established doctrine is not entirely without justification. One might of course object to this, noting that the second Postulate explains the actuality of external objects in terms of sequences of intuitions governed by empirical law and, so, that the second Postulate actually suggests a dependence of outer on inner sense, and not the other way around. Accordingly, it still falls to the Refutation of Idealism to turn the tables on Cartesianism and to establish the dependence of inner on outer sense. This, the objection might continue, the Refutation does by insisting that the “determination [of my existence] in time” (B277) is impossible without reference to something perduring outside of me.

However, while the directionality of the dependence relation between inner and outer sense is thus ostensibly subject to re-orientation in the Refutation, Motta can plausibly see little more than a (re-)assertion of “a structural dependence of inner and outer sense” (p. 122; my emphasis) in this—and so presumably at most an assertion of their co-dependence. The simple reason for this is that the B-edition Refutation does not actually proffer a satisfactory philosophical explanation why determining my existence in time without appeal to something persisting outside of me should be impossible [3]. The sense in which Motta can nevertheless believe that in both Postulates and Refutation the inner depends on the outer must then be a merely formal one. To the extent that inner and outer enter into a relation at all, each thus depends on the other.

But even if Motta were right to think, as he appears to, that the Refutation does little more than confirm the sort of a co-dependence or “parity” (Bird 2006:501) of inner and outer that Kant already establishes in the Transcendental Aesthetic (A37–8/B54–5), it would be wrong to think that this alone could serve Kant’s anti-Cartesian aims. A merely formal dependence of inner on outer sense (keyed to the second Postulate) is fully consistent with the possibility of a Cartesian individualist epistemology (Westphal 2006:131). I may not be able to establish the actuality of outer objects unless I determine their relation to sensation and empirical law, but this does not, or not by itself, suffice to show that I am, in turn, unable to determine my own existence in time unless I reference outer objects. At most, then, it would seem to follow that Kant’s B-edition Refutation of Idealism is not (yet) a refutation of idealism, not that the A-edition Postulates (already) are one.

Kant’s further and somewhat frantic addition to the argument in a hastily added footnote to the B-edition Preface confirms the point. Kant there begs “leave to alter” the third sentence of the “Proof” of the new Refutation, explaining that it is, more specifically, the sequential “change” in my representations that resists determination unless I appeal to something outside me (B xxxix). That’s better (because more specific) but still does not quite do the trick. And so Kant continues to refine the argument until he is able to show that nothing but a determinate order of events in the external world could fix my determination of the order of my present and past representations as indeed their determinate as opposed to a merely imagined (or perhaps continually re-imagined) order (Guyer 2006:119ff). This line of argument commences in the B-edition Refutation of Idealism, not in the A-edition Postulates. Consequently, given the absolute centrality of Kant’s anti-Cartesianism to his critical project, Kant’s Refutation advances greatly over the Postulates—even if the 1787 version of the Refutation of Idealism is only a way-station toward the argument’s eventual form.

4. Conclusion

Perhaps no other section in the Critique of Pure Reason, with the exception of the Appendix to the Dialectic, points as urgently as the Postulates of Empirical Thinking toward serious unfinished business within Kant’s critical theory of object cognition. There is treacherous terrain even within the seemingly safe land of the pure understanding. The role that subjective transcendental principles play in—as well as the problem the peculiar necessity of empirical causal laws of nature poses for—theoretical philosophy continues to occupy Kant well into the 1790s. Both problems are quite clearly at the heart of Kant’s recognition of the need for yet another work of critical philosophy. Both, moreover, are two sides of the same philosophical coin. This is already evident in the Postulates, where the assignment of empirical necessity is a matter of a priori and transcendentally necessary, if subjective, postulation. It becomes even more clear in the Critique of the Power of Judgment, where the transcendental necessity of a new subjective principle of object cognition (the transcendental principle of nature’s purposiveness) is supposed to help explain what an assignment of empirical necessity to causal laws of nature might mean in the first place.

***

Notes

[1] All translations from the original German into English are mine.

[2] See T. Teufel, ‘Regulativity in Kant’, unpublished manuscript.

[3] Note that the issue here is not Kant’s doctrine that I cannot perceive time itself. That inability only entails that I could not distinguish, within a given sequence of my representations, between objective and subjective changes, if I did not already appeal to rules governing objective change. It does not entail what Kant now seeks to show, that I could not even determine a given sequence as this particular sequence, if I did not already presuppose an objective sequence.

 

References

Allison, H. (2004) Kant’s Transcendental Idealism. An Interpretation and Defense, 2nd edition (New Haven: Yale University Press).

Bird, G. (2006) The Revolutionary Kant (Chicago and La Salle, IL: Open Court).

Guyer, P. (1987) Kant and the Claims of Knowledge (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press).

—— (2006) Kant (London and New York: Routledge).

Heidemann, D. (1998) Kant und das Problem des metaphysischen Idealismus (Berlin and New York: de Gruyter).

Motta, G. (2012) Die Postulate des empirischen Denkens überhaupt (Berlin and New York: de Gruyter).

Westphal, K. (2006) ‘Science and the Philosophers’, in Scandinavian Studies in the Human and Social Sciences, ed. H. Schroder, vol. 27, Science—a Challenge to Philosophy?, ed. H. J. Koskinen, S. Philström and R. Vilko, pp. 125–52.

 

© 2014, Thomas Teufel

Thomas Teufel received his Ph.D. in philosophy from Harvard University in 2006. He is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Baruch College, CUNY, New York and is member of the Faculty at the CUNY Graduate Center. His primary research interest is in the philosophy of Immanuel Kant and, in particular, in Kant’s Critique of the Power of Judgment. He has published, among others, in Kant-Studien, Kantian Review, SATS and Studies in History and Philosophy of Science. He is associate editor of the journal The Philosophical Forum.

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