The Loss of the Great Outdoors: Neither Correlationist Gem nor Kantian Catastrophe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article concerns Quentin Meillassoux’s claim that Kant’s revolution is responsible for philosophy’s catastrophic loss of the ‘great outdoors’, of our knowledge of things as they are in themselves. I argue that Meillassoux’s critique of Kant’s ‘weak’ correlationism and his defence of ‘strong’ correlationism are predicated on a fallacious argument (termed ‘the Gem’ by David Stove) and the traditional, but in my view mistaken, metaphysical interpretation of Kant’s transcendental distinction. I draw on Henry Allison’s interpretation of Kant’s idealism to argue that when Kant’s transcendental distinction is understood epistemologically we can avoid the fallacious reasoning underpinning Meillassoux’s argument, and at the very least attenuate his concerns about the ‘Kantian catastrophe’.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)14-27
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 28 Jun 2018

Bibliographical note

© 2017 Toby Lovat , published by De Gruyter. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 4.0 License.


  • Kant
  • Henry Allison
  • Quentin Meillassoux


Dive into the research topics of 'The Loss of the Great Outdoors: Neither Correlationist Gem nor Kantian Catastrophe'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this