Back to the Great Outdoors? A Kantian Reply to Meillassoux’s Argument

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis

Abstract

In this thesis I develop both immanent and extrinsic critiques of Meillassoux’s argument, principally as it is developed and articulated in his book After Finitude. Meillassoux’s ambitious project is assessed in detail. While I concede that the anti-realism developed in the shadow of Kant’s legacy has a produced a profound rift between philosophical and scientific discourse, I contend that Meillassoux’s argument tacitly conflates epistemology with ontology. Most pressing, however, is that his central argument is predicated on a misreading of Kant’s idealism. I defend the epistemological interpretation of Kant’s idealism over the traditional metaphysical reading, and argue that Kant’s transcendental idealism and his empirical realism not only accommodates the ‘literal’ truth of ancestral claims but also demonstrates that what counts as real depends on an intuitive-epistemic framework: a standpoint. Moreover, I demonstrate that Meillassoux’s argument is predicated on, and permeated by, what Kant refers to as transcendental error, the upshot of which is a tacit adherence to dogmatism and the generation of antinomies.
Date of AwardNov 2018
LanguageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Brighton
SupervisorBob Brecher (Supervisor) & Mark Devenney (Supervisor)

Cite this

Back to the Great Outdoors? A Kantian Reply to Meillassoux’s Argument
Lovat, T. (Author). Nov 2018

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis