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Oxford Studies in Early Modern Philosophy, Volume VIII$
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Daniel Garber and Donald Rutherford

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780198829294

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198829294.001.0001

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Kant, Wolff, and the Method of Philosophy

Kant, Wolff, and the Method of Philosophy

(p.271) 9 Kant, Wolff, and the Method of Philosophy
Oxford Studies in Early Modern Philosophy, Volume VIII

Gabriele Gava

Oxford University Press

Both in his pre-critical writings and in his critical works, Kant criticizes the Wolffian tradition for its use of the mathematical method in philosophy. The chapter argues that the apparent unambiguousness of this opposition between Kant and Wolff notwithstanding, the problem of ascertaining the relationship between Kant’s and Wolff’s methods in philosophy cannot be dismissed so quickly. Only a close consideration of Kant’s different remarks on Wolff’s approach and a comparison of the methods that Wolff and Kant actually used in philosophy can allow us to determine when Kant’s criticisms are justified and where the differences in their methodological proposals for philosophy actually lie. We see that Kant’s account of philosophical method in fact has some elements in common with the Wolffian paradigm, even though there are also relevant differences.

Keywords:   Immanuel Kant, Christian Wolff, mathematical method, philosophical method, mathematics, philosophy

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