Kant’s Idealism: The Current Debate

An Introductory Essay
Part of the The New Synthese Historical Library book series (SYNL, volume 66)


In the last century much has been written about Kant’s idealism and the problems surrounding the distinction between appearance and thing in itself. Notably, the great Kant scholar Erich Adickes dedicated a whole book to the topic, entitled Kant und das Ding an sich, published in 1924, in which all relevant passages in Kant’s entire work were canvassed that dealt, implicitly or explicitly, with idealism or the transcendental distinction between appearance and thing in itself so as to clarify the meaning of Kant’s often ambiguous language. For Adickes it was in any case beyond doubt that the notion of things in themselves referred to Kant’s commitment to a thoroughgoing realism and the mind-independence of the things that we cognize.



I want to thank Christian Onof and Cristiana Battistuzzi for their comments and suggestions. Many thanks in particular to Jacco Verburgt for his meticulous comments on this article and, in general, for our excellent collaborative work on this volume.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Philosophy, Faculty of HumanitiesUniversity of AmsterdamAmsterdamThe Netherlands

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