The Methodological Role of Intellectual Intuition in Kant’s Critique

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceeding with ISSN or ISBNChapterpeer-review


With Chapter 4, by Toby Lovat, this volume begins to zero in on Kant, the most significant figure in the development of metaphysics in Classical German Philosophy. By way of an examination of Kant’s remarks concerning the hypothetical faculty of “intellectual intuition” throughout the Critique of Pure Reason, Lovat provides a recapitulation of the limits that Kant places on theoretical metaphysical speculation by means of his antecedent project of critique, which primarily considers our cognitive faculties, the way they can be understood to give rise to genuine cognition, and the kinds of subject matter which fall beyond the boundaries of their legitimate application.

The insistence upon such an antecedent project of critique, of course, is the most distinctively Kantian contribution to debates about what is required in order to render metaphysics a genuine science. Lovat affirms the merits of a broadly “deflationary” interpretation of Kant’s first Critique, the most notable advocate of which is probably Henry Allison. Along these lines, Lovat argues that Kant’s discussions of intellectual intuition, as a model of cognition that would indeed cognise things in themselves, serve a primarily contrastive and negative purpose in the argument of the Critique, shedding light on the discursive nature of human cognition and Kant’s case for limit- ing the latter to knowledge of appearances. Any future science of metaphysics developed with the resources of theoretical reason, according to Kant, must observe this limitation. Indeed, as Lovat notes, this limitation is, for Kant, an essential condition of even the possibility of such a science, since in the absence of its restriction to the limits and conditions of discursive cognition, metaphysics is at best mere sophistry and at worse a calamitous dead end for reason. For Lovat, Kant’s metaphysical humility not only remains an important philosophical bulwark against dogmatism and scepticism, but also adds considerable weight to a “non-metaphysical”, deflationary, and methodological interpretation of Kant’s conception of intellectual intuition and things in themselves.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMetaphysics as a Science in Classical German Philosophy
EditorsRobb Dunphy, Toby Lovat
Place of PublicationNew York
PublisherRoutledge. Taylor & Francis
Pages105 - 131
Number of pages26
ISBN (Electronic)9781003187561
ISBN (Print)9781032030005
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2023

Publication series

NameRoutledge Studies in Eighteenth-Century Philosophy


  • German Idealism
  • Kant
  • Henry Allison


Dive into the research topics of 'The Methodological Role of Intellectual Intuition in Kant’s Critique'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this