Date of Award

8-3-2007

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Philosophy

First Advisor

Melissa M. Merritt - Chair

Second Advisor

Jessica Berry

Third Advisor

Sebastian Rand

Abstract

Kant attributes the power to awaken one from dogmatic slumber to skepticism and to the antinomy of pure reason; in his accounts of his own awakening and the origin of the critical philosophy, he credits the antinomy and his memory of David Hume. This essay suggests that Kant’s primary aim in the first Critique was to find a resolution to the antinomy; an examination of this resolution shows Kant’s memory of Hume critical to Kant’s enterprise. Kant’s resolution to the antinomy exploits metaphors of war, jurisprudence, slumber, and historical development, as well as his Transcendental Deduction and explanation of transcendental illusion, to unravel the riddle of metaphysics and provide for both the possibility of objective knowledge and the possibility of freedom.

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