Principia: An International Journal of Epistemology (Jun 1999)

A Interpretação Externalista de Kant

  • André Klaudat

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 03, no. 1
pp. 101 – 138


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The externalist interpretation of Kant allows for a rational reconstruction of what is fundamental to transcendental idealism: action. Kant resorts to action several times in the Critique of Pure Reason. The very notion of "synthesis," which plays a vital role in his philosophy, is presented as a Handlung. The externalist interpretation endeavours to explain what Kant means by action in those contexts so as to make philosophical sense of Kant's thought and at the same time to prevent it from being turned into a flawed internalism. Whereas internalism struggles to present synthesis as a mental act that is as private as thinking quietly, or even as an unconscious activity, externalism shows that, according to Kant, human knowledge depends on the ability to carry out observable actions that involve human body in a very particular way. In this article, externalism will be vindicated in relation to (1) the foundations of Kant's conception of figurative synthesis of transcendental imagination; and (2) the nature of transcendental esquemata in his critical speculative philosophy.