Publication Date

2014

Abstract

In his review of my book, Terry Godlove raises some robust objections to the exegesis of Kant that I present in my recent book, Kant and the Creation of Freedom: a Theological Problem (Oxford/New York: Oxford University Press, 2013). I respond to these criticisms in this article. Properly to locate Godlove’s exegetical objections, I dedicate the first section to setting out the arc of the argument I trace. I then set out and treat in turn Godlove’s main objections to my exegesis: that it depends upon an interpretation of transcendental idealism which makes the doctrine ‘flatly inconsistent and probably just silly’; that I neglect the most plausible account interpretation of Kant’s various statements about transcendental idealism; and that I ‘pick and choose’ supporting texts too narrowly, leading to an unbalanced presentation, which is too convenient to my thesis. I conclude with some general methodological reflections—stimulated by Godlove, but not aimed at him—about how historical philosophical texts are often treated. I express some anxieties about the principle of charity that underlies much current exegesis, and ‘rational reconstruction’ of historical texts, and I propose a case for what might be called ‘creative decomposition’ (not of the text, but of the self).

School/Institute

Institute for Religion and Critical Inquiry

Document Type

Journal Article

Access Rights

ERA Access

Access may be restricted.

Share

COinS