Kant's Baconian method as a transformation of Aristotelian transcendental philosophy: a propaedeutic

  • Brandon Joel Love

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


This dissertation deals with the transcendental philosophy of Immanuel Kant. I provide the background of transcendental philosophy before Kant, beginning from Aristotle. Kant transformed Aristotelian transcendental philosophy by using the method of the sciences in the Modern period. This method was initiated by Francis Bacon, in his method of induction. Isaac Newton transformed the method so that it could deal with verification and falsification. This Newtonian method was taken up into chemistry, serving as a guide for the analysis and synthesis of elements. Kant used this method in his transcendental philosophy, with a view to putting metaphysics onto the path of a science. Kant was first awakened to transcendental idealism in 1769, though he did not put forth a full transcendental philosophy until 1781. In his mature transcendental philosophy, he not only uses the scientific method, but he also illustrates the categories using biological imagery. After looking at the broad contours of Kant's transcendental philosophy, I deal with the first criticism of his transcendental philosophy. In replying to his critic, Kant made explicit his scientific method, while drawing from the thought of David Hume and Thomas Reid. With Kant's explanations of his transcendental philosophy in hand, I turn to an element of his non-transcendental philosophy, namely moral philosophy, in order to provide a contrast that serves to illuminate the precise nature of his transcendental philosophy.

Date of Award28 Aug 2018
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorStephen R PALMQUIST (Supervisor)

User-Defined Keywords

  • Bacon, Francis, 1561-1626
  • Contributions in metaphysics
  • Kant, Immanuel, 1724-1804
  • Transcendentalism

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