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LPHI 3051 - Kant's Doctrine of Illusion

Kant's Critique of Pure Reason culminates in his argument that human reason constantly deceives itself through necessary illusions. That argument That argument constitutes the heart of Kant’s attack on metaphysics, as well as the “ultimate proof” of Transcendental Idealism. The seminar evaluates Kant’s claim through a close reading of the Critique’s Dialectic. We will focus on Kant’s criticism of Descartes’ Cogito; on the Antinomies; and on Kant’s refutation of the ontological argument. We will study and evaluate Kant’s claim that the metaphysical-rational illusions result from the illusory characters of the Principle of Sufficient Reason, and confront Kant with possible rationalist attempts to defend that principle. We will conclude the seminar by evaluating Kant’s account of the beautiful and the sublime, and his understanding of illusion
Liberal Arts, Open to Non Majors
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Spring 2020
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