Colloquium: Nov 23rd 18

Speaker: Dr. Thomas Land, University of Victoria

Title: Epistemic Agency and the Self-Knowledge of Reason: On the Contemporary Relevance of Kant’s Method of Faculty Analysis

Friday, November 23rd at 2:30pm CLE A303



Each of Kant’s three Critiques offers an account of the nature of a mental faculty and arrives at this account by means of a procedure I call Faculty Analysis. Faculty Analysis is often regarded as among the least defensible aspects of Kant’s position; as a consequence, philosophers seeking to inherit Kantian ideas tend to transpose them into a different methodological context. I argue that this is a mistake: in fact Faculty Analysis is a live option for philosophical inquiry today. My argument is as follows: Faculty Analysis is a live option for certain kinds of philosophical theories if so-called “agentialist” views about the nature of belief are correct. There are good reasons for thinking that such views are correct. So Faculty Analysis should not be dismissed out of hand. Since the first premise in this argument bears a lot of weight, a large part of the paper is devoted to clarifying and defending it, in part by arguing that Kant himself holds a version of agentialism about belief.