Global Humanities Junior Fellow at Freie Universitaet Berlin
July 2015 - February 2016
The Power to Constitute an Object?: The Role of Reason in Kant's Theoretical Philosophy
The dissertation provides a novel interpretation of the development of Kant’s philosophy from the Critique of Pure Reason (1781) to the Opus Postumum (1796-1803). Michel Davidoff proposes that this development is illuminated by focusing in particular on the changing function Kant allots to the faculty of reason. While in the CPR reason is a source of illusion, at most capable of contributing to knowledge in a merely regulative way, by the end of his life Kant came to think of this faculty as playing a constitutive role for all knowledge. Michel Davidoff defends the claim that Kant’s later view emerges out of tensions that are already latently present in CPR and which progressively come to light more explicitly in Kant’s subsequent works, especially in the 1786 Metaphysical Foundations of Natural Science (MF) and the 1790 Critique of Judgment (CJ).
Michel Davidoff is a Doctoral Student at Johns Hopkins University. He received his Bachelor of Arts from Oberlin College in Political Theory, Studio Art and Philosophy in 2009. He completed the Master of Arts Program in the Humanities at the University of Chicago in 2011 with the thesis “The Thing as Object: Kant’s theory of experience through Heidegger’s eyes” under direction of Dr. Robert B. Pippin.