By John Dewey

ISBN-10: 0300000693

ISBN-13: 9780300000696

ISBN-10: 0585367930

ISBN-13: 9780585367934

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Additional info for A Common Faith (The Terry Lectures Series)

Example text

Whereas Leibniz thought that God grounds possibilities by thinking them, Kant holds that God grounds possibilities by exemplifying them (see especially Adams’s “God, Possibility and Kant,” pp. ). , ground) those possibilities that I ground by existing. The argument then fails, relying on the assumption that a being exists necessarily iff all possibilities are grounded by its existence. Adams seems to assume just this point when he decides to revise D6 into D6*. He reasons that if Kant operates on the assumption that a being is necessary iff all possibilities are grounded by it, the argument would fail: “Your existence or mine,” he writes, “would surely be enough to give a toehold in reality (though precariously contingent one) to the possibilities of those properties that we exemplify.

Whereas P2 illegitimately compels us to assert the existence of an unconditioned being, P1 shows why we cannot but assume the existence of such a being. It also shows how we must conceive of its metaphysical structure. Kant, in other words, is committed to regulative Spinozism. The first Critique’s ideal, which isn’t taken anymore as an entity whose existence has been proven but as an idea that can direct our theoretical reasoning, has a structure resembling Spinoza’s substance. It must be conceived as the stock of material possibility, in which all existing things inhere: “It is not merely a concept which, as regards its transcendental content, comprehends all predicates under itself; it also contains them within itself; and the complete determination of any and every thing rests on this All of Reality [dieses All der Realität]” (A577/B605—emphasis added).

Without promising that that task can be fulfilled. Therefore, P1 is a regulative formulation of the PSR and carries with it none of the ontological commitments that a constitutive formulation would entail. Specifically, it carries no commitment as to the existence of an unconditioned therefore for every wherefore. ). This is a strong claim, and one might ask how Kant could justify it. What is the source of the task? Where does the instinctive demand for explanation come from? ) For example, is it grounded in some further facts about the nature of our reason?

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A Common Faith (The Terry Lectures Series) by John Dewey


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