Kant’s Contradiction in Conception Test

A Causal-Teleological Version of the Logical Contradiction Interpretation

in Theoria
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  • 1 University of the Witwatersrand James.Furner@wits.ac.za
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Abstract

The contradiction in conception test (CC test) is one of two tests posed by Kant’s Formula of the Law of Nature. This article proposes a new interpretation of this test: a causal-teleological version of the Logical Contradiction Interpretation (LCI). Its distinctive feature is that it identifies causal and teleological implications in the thought of a universal law of nature. A causal-teleological version of LCI has two advantages. While the established view of the Groundwork’s applications of the CC test is a hybrid view that treats the Groundwork’s arguments as different in kind, a causal-teleological version of LCI unifies the Groundwork’s applications of the CC test. Relatedly, a causal-teleological version of LCI provides a solution to the problem of how the CC test can confirm the impermissibility of a self-directed maxim.

Contributor Notes

James Furner is a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa. He obtained his PhD from the University of Sussex, U.K. His main area of research is German political philosophy. His monograph, Interaction, Recognition and Antinomy: Marx’s Theory of Capitalism, will appear with Brill Press.

Theoria

A Journal of Social and Political Theory

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