The paper "Kant's conception of Berkeley's Idealism" by G.J Mattey says that

(1) Leibnitz's argument in defense of what Kant called dogmatic Idealism in the Pölitz lectures on Metaphysics in the late 1770s, stated that "bodies are pure appearances" and "I acknowledge thinking beings of which I have an intellectual intuition, thus [dogmatic idealism] is mystical."

(2) Leibnitz's argument holds that bodies cannot be real beings, because their nature conflicts with what i known to be characteristic of reality, in this case, thinking monads. The natures of body as extended implies that they are infinitely divisible, which contradicts the simplicity of monads.

(3) The intellectual notion of monads is crucial to the argument, since there is no inherent conceptual absurdity in supposing matter to exists on the view of Leibniz expounded by Kant.

(4) For this reason the dogmatic conclusion about bodies rests on mystical premises, so that Kant could equate dogmatic and mystical idealism.

But this argument seems strange. It looks like there is no explicit reference to Leibnitzian monads when Kant expounds the dogmatic Idealism as (3) says, but we now for certain that he was well-aware of the problem of monads since he himself had worked on it previously on Physical Monadology. The paper's claim that Kant's claim that dogmatic idealism rests on mystical premises is given because of the omission of Leibnitzian monads doesn't quite fit what we already know about Kant and his writings on Newtonian vs Leibnitzian space.

The most obvious answer one has in mind is that Kant didn't consider monads because he rejected their existence, but doesn't the very same argument applies once we replace Leibnitizian monads with Kant's point-like monads?

  • 1
    Making the question more accessable for people not being that deep into pre-critic kantian philosophy, would you mind giving a proper source, like a particular section of his Metaphysical Lectures, either by section title or Ak.? I think I myself have quite a good understanding of your question, but what I actually can't possibly understand is why the paper is referring to Pölitz only :/
    – Philip Klöcking
    Sep 16 '16 at 18:41
  • 1
    I got myself an electronic copy of the original publication of Pölitz, so even the pagination of this one would be of help ;)
    – Philip Klöcking
    Sep 16 '16 at 18:48
  • 1
    So there is Leibniz's argument, Kant's argument about Leibniz's argument, and paper's argument about Kant's argument about Leibniz's argument. Does (1)-(4) summarize all three (which is which?), or just the paper's argument? In the latter case "The paper's claim that Kant's claim that dogmatic idealism rests on mystical premises is given because of the omission of Leibnitzian monads" is odd since monads are explicitly mentioned in (1)-(4). And how does the rejection of monads affect intellectual intuition, and therefore the "mystical"?
    – Conifold
    Sep 16 '16 at 18:56
  • 1
    @PhilipKlöcking This is the paper I'm talking about degruyter.com/view/j/kant.1983.74.issue-2/kant.1983.74.2.161/…
    – Gabriel
    Sep 17 '16 at 2:35

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.