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Kant and the EmpiricistsUnderstanding Understanding$
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Wayne Waxman

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780195177398

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2006

DOI: 10.1093/0195177398.001.0001

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Kant's Extension of Humean Skepticism to Mathematics

Kant's Extension of Humean Skepticism to Mathematics

(p.18) 2 Kant's Extension of Humean Skepticism to Mathematics
Kant and the Empiricists

Wayne Waxman

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines Kant’s belief that Hume’s premises, if strictly adhered to and pursued to their farthest implications, would have led him to abandon empirical psychologism in favor of Kant’s own transcendental philosophy. It is argued that that the same reasoning Hume used to show causal necessity is grounded not on the constitution of perceived objects — sensations, reflexions, and their images in thought — but on the psychological constitutions of the mind in considering them, and applies with equal force to the necessity of mathematical relations, and thus has the same skeptical implication. Two objections likely to arise from the claim that Kant’s transcendental philosophy must be understood as a psychologism modeled upon Hume are addressed.

Keywords:   Immanuel Kant, David Hume, mathematics, empiricism, skepticism, metaphysics, transcendental philosophy, psychologism

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