A Conversation for The Metaphysics of Immanuel Kant

The Problem of Noumenal Causation

Post 1


The problem:

"Causation" is a catogory. Therefore, it cannot be that the noumenon causes the phenomenon.

In other words, we must first percieve the world in itself before we can understand it via the categories(one of them "causation"); but in order for the noumenal world to produce our perceptions we must say that it "causes" our perceptions. Clearly, this is a problem.

The most common solution is to interpret Kant's system as epistemological. This instantly dissolves the problem. However, according to Kenneth Westphal, "...our passive sensibility must be causally affected by non-spatiotemporal noumena." I haven't read Westphal, but apparently he claims that noumenal causation is not only coherent, but is actually *required* if one is to interpret Kantian metaphysics faithfully.

Any thoughts...?

The Problem of Noumenal Causation

Post 2

Noggin the Nog

I haven't red Westphal either, but I think I agree with the basic point. If the noumenon doesn't cause the phenomenon, then the phenomenon is either random or *entirely* internally generated.


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The Problem of Noumenal Causation

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