Kelley's Kant


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In the present interval, there are not many hits here for these scholarly compositions even when the text is placed right here, rather than only a linkto the text. So I’ve decided not to retreat from placing the text here, for this sort of work, but for the small number who have an interest in these subjects at this level, I’ll add to the link above a summary indication of what is tackled in the composition at the link.

I discuss David Kelley’s treatment of Kant in The Evidence of the Senses. My discussion assesses as well earlier criticisms of Kelley’s and Rand’s representations of Kant.


Dipert & Seddon on Kant v. Kelley/Rand

~Kelley and Rand on Kant

In his excellent book The Evidence of the Senses (ES), David Kelley included some remarks on Immanuel Kant’s mature theoretical philosophy by way of contrast with the realist theory of perception which Kelley had developed within the metaphysical and epistemological framework of Ayn Rand. Dr. Kelley’s book assimilates pertinent modern cognitive science up to the year of its publication 1988. It engages contemporary philosophers and classic modern ones Descartes, Locke, Berkeley, Hume, and Kant.

. . .

Kant sensibly did not dispute that we experience space as given to us, not created by us and put about us by our minds. The challenge he took upon himself was to argue this impression is not durable under careful examination. The challenge he leaves for us (which he thought impossible to accomplish) is to find a way in which the character of what we do in geometry and the character of the results could be accounted for by some method empirical (e.g. Locke/Feder) or rational (e.g. Aristotle/Wolff), rather than by his own subject-heavy account. Dipert rightly noted that that is a challenge Kant leaves for realists and that Objectivists have not risen to this challenge.


~Dipert on Kelley’s Kant~A

Prof. Dipert’s paper is not only a criticism of Kelley’s Kant in ES, it is an examination of the theory of perception that is the aim of Kelley’s book. I want to examine both (a) the direct criticisms that Dipert makes on Kelley’s representation and analysis of Kant and (b) the issues Dipert takes up in Kelley’s theory of perception, their fate in subsequent scientifically informed philosophy of perception and how Kant’s philosophy and Kelley’s philosophy fare in light of those developments.


~Dipert on Kelley’s Kant~B

In this section I argue that the Objectivist view of illusions and Dr. Kelley’s diagnosis of a fundamental error in philosophy of perception, are incorrect. I shall assess Kelley’s resistance to representational and computational accounts of perception. I’ll assess further Dipert’s criticisms of Kelley on philosophy of perception and Kelley on Kant. I’ll compare the concept of a percept with Kant’s concept of a sensory intuition.


~Seddon on Kelley’s Kant

I expect to argue in this section that Seddon’s criticisms of Kelley’s and Rand’s representations of Kant are mostly correct. However, Seddon proclaims too much likeness between Kant and Rand in theoretical philosophy by analysis that is too coarse-grained. Kelley and Rand misidentified the profound difference between Rand and Kant due to a misinterpretation of Kant, but contra Seddon, when the true differences between Rand’s theoretical philosophy and Kant’s are carefully uncovered, the difference is staggering.

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