The paper provides a reconstruction of proof by contradiction in Kant’s pure general logic. A seemingly less-explored point of view on this topic is how apagogical proof can account for the formal truth of a judgement. Integrating the argument held by Kjosavik (2019), I intend to highlight how one can use proof by contradiction, conceived as a modus tollens, to establish the logical actuality (logical or formal truth) of a cognition. Although one might agree on the capacity of the proof to prove formal falsity, the logical actuality of a judgement is assessable based on a logically grounded judgement and, as for transcendental logic, this cognitive operation has to presuppose the real possibility of an object.
In the past forty years, epistemology is one of the fastest growing branches of philosophy. Among the new topics studied by epistemologists are peer disagreement, wisdom, know-how, propaganda, understanding and explanation, testimony, epistemic value, collective and extended knowledge, epistemic injustice, and memory. Research on Kant has also grown immensely over the last decades. Given the unique legacy of Kant’s philosophy, and the fact that philosophy always benefits from a serious and sustained engagement with its history one would expect Kantian ideas to figure prominently in contemporary epistemology. But this is not the case. Even bracketing differences in terminology, Kant’s epistemological
In this essay, I discuss three readings of Descartes’ Meditations. According to the first reading, “I exist” is for Descartes the foundation of our knowledge. This reading is dismissed on the grounds that, in his view, as long as God’s existence is not proven there is a good reason to doubt this proposition. Proponents of the second reading claim that there are two kinds of Cartesian knowledge: perfect and imperfect knowledge. The meditator has imperfect knowledge of “I exist” before God’s existence is proven. Subsequently, she acquires perfect knowledge of various metaphysical theorems. This reading is repudiated, too. I argue for a third reading, according to which “I think” – and not “I exist” – is the foundation of our knowledge.