The Importance of Kant’s Strategy in Determining His Early Method

  • Frederick P. Van De Pitte
Part of the Synthese Library book series (SYLI, volume 227)


What we have come to call ‘Kant’s strategy’ is essentially the plan of action by which he attempted to oppose certain aspects of both the empiricist tradition (as culminating in Hume) and the rationalist tradition (as exemplified by Leibniz); and to establish a firm foundation for human knowledge by providing an alternative philosophic path. Lewis Beck provided the classical formulation of this strategy.1 Briefly, he saw Hume and Leibniz as offering one-sided (and opposing) epistemological perspectives; yet agreeing on one central theme: all our knowledge is based upon a single source. Because of their opposing perspectives, they each focused on a different source: Hume appeals to experience; Leibniz to reason. But—according to Beck—one source was sufficient from the standpoint of each philosopher. Kant’s strategy, therefore, was to focus on the inadequacy of both positions in virtue of their common commitment to this basic principle.


Concept Formation Pure Reason Firm Foundation Empirical Concept True Universal 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Frederick P. Van De Pitte
    • 1
  1. 1.University of AlbertaEdmontonCanada

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