Kant's Modal Metaphysics

2017.09.06 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews Nicholas F. Stang, Kant's Modal Metaphysics, Oxford University Press, 2016, 352pp., $74.00 (hbk), ISBN 9780198712626.
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2017.09.06 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews Nicholas F. Stang, Kant's Modal Metaphysics, Oxford University Press, 2016, 352pp., $74.00 (hbk), ISBN 9780198712626. Reviewed by Andrew Chignell, Cornell University The dust jacket of this book features anatomical drawings of a narwhal and a unicorn. They are Kant's own examples: he says that we can't tell just by looking at the drawings (or considering our concepts) which of these animals actually exists. We have to go and investigate. But are we able to tell, just by considering our concepts, whether narwahls or unicorns are at least possible? A "logicist," in Nicholas Stang's terminology, says yes: whether or not something is possible is entirely a function of the logical relations between the predicates contained in its concept. So if the concept <unicorn> contains a (hidden or explicit) contradiction, then unicorns are impossible. Conversely, if there is no contradiction... Read More

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