Kant / Sellars Conference at the University of Chicago, February 21-23, 2014

About the Conference

Wilfrid Sellars was a leading American philosopher of the postwar period who wrote extensively on the interpretation of Kant’s philosophy. Many of his most interesting writings on Kant, however, were only published posthumously — some appearing only in the past few years. The conference will seek to bring together a handful of the leading North American and European scholars of Sellars’s work with a number of leading Kant interpreters. The three central topics of the conference will be  the following:

(1) Sellar’s contributions to a proper exegetical and philosophical understanding of Kant,

(2) the import of Sellars’s reading of Kant for contemporary philosophical debates about the nature of perceptual experience, and

(3) the place of Sellar’s writings on Kant in an overall understanding of Sellar’s own systematic philosophical project.

Maimon Reading Group: Chapter 7 Rejoinder.

This rejoinder is meant to add some of my observations to those already made by Utisz. Hopefully this will be helpful, these are the sorts of issues I found interesting in Chapter 7. Generally, these reflections are an attempt to tackle Utisz’ question: How far, if at all, is Maimon disagreeing with Kant or taking the idea in a direction other than Kant’s intention?

Although, as Utisz points out, chapter 7 is rather short, it’s certainly not lacking in depth. If we take extensive and intensive magnitudes as attempts not only to think about quantitative and qualitative differences, but also as a continuation of the previous discussion of the nature of cognition, then the “definition” of extensive and intensive magnitudes, it seems to me, is the central claim of the chapter: Continue reading

Kant’s Philosophy of Mathematics

I’m slowly making my way through Gideon Freudenthal’s “Definition and Construction: Salomon Maimon’s Philosophy of Geometry” and I came across a reference to Louis Couturat‘s discussion of Kant’s philosophy of mathematics (Les Principes des Mathematiques: avec un appendice sur la philosophie des mathématiques de Kant) – it is available on Google Books (as a PDF) in German as “Kants Philosophie der Mathematik” published as an appendix to Die philosophischen Prinzipien der Mathematik (Leipzig, 1908). Continue reading

Maimon Reading Group: Digression on Kant’s Transcendental Deduction

Although most of those who will be reading Maimon’s Essay here over the next several weeks will be familiar with the intricacies of Kant’s philosophy, I think it would be appropriate to quickly mention Maimon’s main target in the Critique of Pure Reason – Kant’s complex and controversial Transcendental Deduction (TD). This is just a quick outline of Kant’s presentation of the subject matter, I hope that those interested will read the TD again to get the sense of Maimon’s critique. There have been many excellent interpretations of TD and I will not even attempt to present a summary. Continue reading

New Open Access Kant Journal

A new open-access, peer reviewed Kant journal, Kant Studies Online.  Details:

Kant Studies Online publishes articles written in English on all aspects of Kant’s works including historically informed studies, applications of Kantian thought to contemporary problems, the relationship between Kantian and Neo-Kantian thinking, and detailed scholarly works on interpretation of Kant’s works. It will also include review articles of secondary works on Kant. An issue of the journal will be deemed to exist whenever an accepted article is published. The journal is edited by Gary Banham in association with an editorial board and is published in the spirit of the open access movement. Whilst its target audience is academic philosophers and students it aims to attract non-academic readers by making all its material freely available without restriction.

(h/t Self and World)

Why Maimon?

I suppose it is not entirely necessary to justify interest in Maimon, even if the fact that his major works are still untranslated, expect, of course, now for the Essay, shows that his position among the Kantian contemporaries is not as secure. But then again it’s not as if we have the works of Jacobi, Reinhold, or Schulze (among others) available in English either, although di Giovanni’s commendable effort should be, well, commended (see his collection Between Kant and Hegel). This situation is easy to explain, it seems, if one considers the degree to which Hegel’s interpretation of post-Kantian philosophical development won over other discourses and, having established itself as the only story (whether hegemonically or due to historical circumstances), continues to dominate the conversation.  I am not suggesting we should disregard Hegel’s way of seeing the development of Kant’s thought, to do that would be to simply swing the proverbial pendulum in the opposite direction.  However, from historical point of view, the immediate years after Kant’s critical “revolution” reveal a fascinatingly fertile conversation about the possible implications of Kant’s insights for the future of philosophy.  In that sense, Maimon is one of the participants, even if strange and eccentric, of this large conversation (among a rather small number of intellectuals).  And yet, he is a distinct figure precisely because, as many have already pointed out, his insights have prefigured not just the immediate conceptualizations of Fichte and then Hegel, but also those of later neo-Kantians such as Cohen and Natorp. Continue reading

Maimon Reading Group (Summer 2010)

If you are interested in participating in the conference (August 19th, 2010) dedicated to Maimon’s Essay, please see the announcement.

The dates below will have links to the posts dedicated to the discussed reading sections as the reading goes on. Click on the chapter or a rejoinder to see the post and the comments.

Participation is open to anyone interested. If you post something on the related subject matter on your blog, please send us a link and we’ll post it here as well.

6/7Why Maimon? Preliminary Issues: (by Shahar Ozeri and Mikhail Emelianov, with a Rejoinder by Bryan Carr and a Bibliographical Aside by Jon Cogburn).

[A review of the English translation can be found here.]

[A copy of Maimon’s short essay “The Philosophical Language-Confusion” is posted here.]


6/14 – Chapter 1(11-18): Matter, Form of Cognition, Form of Sensibility – (by Mikhail Emelianov, with a Rejoinder by Shahar Ozeri).

[Some quick responses by Mikhail Emelianov]

[A digression on Kant’s Transcendental Deduction by Mikhail Emelianov]

[An extended comment by Nick Midgley]

[An essay by Gideon Freudenthal, “Definition and Construction: Salomon Maimon’s Philosophy of Geometry” (warning, large PDF) linked to by Nick Midgley]

[If anyone is interested in looking at Maimon’s Logic, here it is in German – PDF]


6/21 – Chapter 2 (19-43): Sensibility, Imagination, Understanding – (by Jon Cogburn, with a Rejoinder by Mikhail Emelianov)

[Jeffrey Bell‘s reaction to Chapter 2 summary – “Thresholds of Consciousness: Leibniz-Maimon-Deleuze“]


6/28Chapters 3 & Chapter 4 (44-55): Ideas of Understanding / Subject and Predicate – The Determinable and the Determination – (by Nick Midgley)


7/5 – Chapters 5 & Chapter 6 (56-67): Thing, Possible, Necessary, Ground, Consequence / Identity, Difference, Opposition, Reality, Logical and Transcendental Negation – (by Corey McCall, with a Rejoinder by Mikhail Emelianov).

[a post “What is it like to be an object? Hume and Maïmon” by Jeffrey Bell]


7/12 – Chapters 7 & 8 (68-79): Magnitude / Alteration, Change – (by Utisz, with a Rejoinder to chapter 7 by Mikhail Emelianov)


7/19 – Chapter 9 (by Utisz) & Chapter 10 (by Mikhail Emelianov) (80-89): Truth / Materialism, Idealism.


PS. Some earlier links to posts related to this event are here.

Back to Kant: Jon Cogburn Edition

Jon is reacquainting himself with Kant and posting his notes online. I have to say that such monumental undertakings are awe-inspiring as I rarely attempt any such feats (knowing that I will give up early on). I’m hoping to follow Jon’s progress if only to do some reading (I admit that I haven’t read the whole of first critique in one sequence probably since I did it for the first time long time ago, it’s always been sections here and there since then).

The wisdom is collected here. I must add that Jon’s familiarity with the analytic tradition makes for a great read even if you have read Kant for many years (or do so on the regular basis, like reading the Bible).