Loyola University Chicago

Department of Philosophy

PHIL 415: Kant

Catalog Description

The foundations and consequences of Kant's critical philosophy are studied in a reading of the Critique of Pure Reason.


PHIL 415: Kant

In this seminar we will study Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason. We will situate Kant’s arguments historically and discuss their contemporary relevance. Getting through the entire Critique in a single semester is not an easy task. We could easily spend an entire semester looking just at the notoriously difficult Transcendental Deductions. There is something to be said, however, for a quicker run-through of the entire book, which develops a single, unified, complex argument about the nature of metaphysics. Kant’s predecessors distinguished general metaphysics (ontology) from special metaphysics (theology, cosmology, and psychology). Kant’s critical determination of the bounds of human reason led him to replace ontology with a “transcendental analytic” of human understanding, and to explain why the search for absolutes generates dialectical illusion. Human cognition, he argues, is limited to spatiotemporal appearances of unknowable things in themselves.


PHIL 415: Kant - Critique of Pure Reason

Dr. Naomi Fisher

The purpose of this course is to gain a thorough understanding of Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason, the foundational text of Kant’s Critical project. This work spans topics such as the nature of human cognition, the limits of reason, the conditions that make experience possible, and the status of claims about that which is beyond the limits of possible experience. We will conduct detailed analyses of key portions of this text (including the Transcendental Aesthetic, the Transcendental Deductions, the Analogies of Experience, the Antinomies, and the Appendix to the Dialectic, among others). Our reading of these portions of the Critique will be supplemented by secondary readings.