Andrews Reath

Mentor: Dr. John Biro
College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
 
"I got involved in with research in order to study and explore topics in philosophy outside the regular curriculum offered, here, at UF."

Major

Philosophy, English, and Linguistics

Minor

N/A

Research Interests

  • Modern Philosophy, especially Kant
  • Philosophy of Language
  • Free Will and Moral Responsibility

Academic Awards

  • Florida Academic Scholars Award, Fall 2012 - Present
  • Dean's List, Spring 2013 - Spring 2015
  • University Scholars Program, Fall 2015 - Present

Organizations

  • Undergraduate Philosophy Society
  • UF Kickboxing
  • Shakespeare in the Park

Volunteer

  • Habitat for Humanity (Volunteer)
  • Center for the Humanities and the Public Sphere (Representative)

Hobbies and Interests

  • Philosophizing with a hammer
  • Muay Thai/Western Boxing
  • Leathercrafting
  • Cooking

Research Description

Kant's Transcendental Idealism and the Problem of Affection
This study examines the status of Kant’s doctrine of transcendental idealism. In particular, I want to examine its status with regard to one of the most prominent objections to the doctrine: the problem of affection. Kant, in his first Critique, asserts that appearances must somehow be produced by the subject's being affected by things in themselves, things which according to the doctrine are unknowable. And yet, it is only with reference to a spatiotemporal framework, i.e., the empirical, that one can talk intelligibly about affection. Critics argue that Kant is here at odds with his own principles – specifically, the principle of significance. Indeed, he states quite clearly that the categories “allow only of empirical employment and have no meaning whatsoever when not applied to objects of possible experience, that is, to the world of sense.” This has led some, notably, P. F Strawson, to conclude that the doctrine of transcendental idealism is ultimately incoherent and that it should be scrapped altogether. I want to avoid this radical conclusion, since it is clear that the doctrine is essential for Kant to explain the possibility of human experience. Thus, it will be the aim of this project to develop a solution to the problem of affection, one that does not entail the abandonment of transcendental idealism and additionally, one that has foundation in the text. In the course of this study, I will rely on, in addition to the Critique, a number of secondary sources, most important among them: Strawson’s Bounds of Sense, Paul Guyer’s Kant and the Claims of Knowledge, Graham Bird’s Theory of Knowledge and Henry Allison’s Kant’s Transcendental Idealism.