Abstract for Andrew Chignell

Knowledge and Ignorance in Kant

At some point during the decade leading up to the publication of the first Critique, Kant came to think that a necessary condition on knowing a proposition is that we be able to establish that the items it refers to are either really possible or really impossible. Substantive claims about the positive, specific features of things-in-themselves, in turns out, cannot meet this condition, and this (I argue) is what motivates Kant’s famous ‘noumenal ignorance’ doctrine. Here I discuss the condition in detail, Kant’s central arguments for it, and why it should be regarded, in contemporary terms, as a broadly ‘coherentist’ constraint on knowledge.