a1 University of Toronto
My topic is historical rather than philosophical. I want to consider what Kant aimed to achieve in the Critique of Pure Reason. In 1909 Prichard wrote, “Kant's problem is similar to Locke's. Locke states that his purpose is to inquire into the original, certainty, and extent of human knowledge.” Many have maintained that Kant's purpose was to mediate between rationalism and empiricism in epistemology. Hermann Cohen held that the aim of the Critique is to provide a theory of experience, an account of empirical knowledge. Ernst Cassirer and other neo-Kantians have held that its aim is to furnish a philosophy of science.
* Presented to the Canadian Philosophical Association, June, 1963.