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Edited by Benno Erdmann. The two editions have identical pagination until p. Edited by Benno Erdmann Edited by Paul Menzer The two editions have identical pagination up to the endmatter. Edited by Paul Natorp Edited by Wilhelm Windelband Edited by Georg Wobbermin Individual introductions and notes: Edited by Paul Menzer. Edited by Heinrich Maier. Juli erschienenen Feuerkugel, ; There is no preface to the volume as a whole.

Edited by Max Heinze Edited by Paul Gedan Editor: Rudolf Reicke Because new-found correspondence was added in the 2nd edition, the pagination differs between these editions, so attention must be paid in older works as to which edition is being cited. Still further correspondence was included in vol. Notes to volumes , one additional letter , index The index includes brief biographical information. Editors: Erich Adickes vols. Introduction to the third division xviii-lxii.

The Academy edition draws on these earlier publications as well as additional material, and renumbers them all from Refl. What follows are a few essentials for getting started with the Reflections. Every reflection has a heading that identifies it, dates it, and locates it. As an example, consider Refl. The heading reads: E II Some of these phases overlap. Note that the page numbers to the 4th edition of Baumgarten are inserted into the reprinted Baumgarten text with square brackets, e.

Had the reflection been written on the inserted page facing p. Compare this with Refl. R I The new items given in this heading include:. D 32 : Manuscript 32 of Convolut D. Reicke retained these designations when he published the Reflections in his three volumes, and Adickes normally gives the folder-letter and manuscript number in the heading.

R I : This reflection was printed in Reicke, vol. Aus Kants handschriftlichen Aufzeichnungen. All other parentheses stem from Kant.

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Leipzig: Leopold Voss, Kant used this textbook in his natural law lectures [ see ]. Heidelberg: Weiss, Kant used this textbook in his logic lectures [ see ]. His annotations are printed in AA 16 nearly all of the Logic reflections come from the copy of Meier. Halle: Carl Hermann Hemmerde, , liii, pp. Kant used this textbook in his metaphysics lectures [ see ]. Adickes [, vii] describes this volume as being Kant used this textbook in his moral philosophy lectures [ see ].

It was not interleaved with blank pages. Originally published in the Altpreussischen Monatsschrift , from the years , , and Leipzig: Voss, Riga: Kant used this textbook in his natural theology lectures [ see ]. Adickes developed a dating system for these reflections a dating system for these reflections that divides them into thirty-three temporal strata, some of which overlap, leaving twenty-two distinct periods see xxxvi-xliii. A card with a key to this system used to be published along with the volumes, which is handy when working through the reflections.

Adickes responded to these criticisms in his preface to the volumes of metaphysics reflections [AA vi-x]. Preface to 1st ed. Preface to 2nd ed. Two partial volumes: Preface: v-x. They stem from various compositional periods, although most are early. They are arranged topically, rather than by date of composition.

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These notes constitute the bulk of the reflections included here, and are arranged by the paragraph in Meier on which they are commenting. The later reflections are printed in vol. A student essay is reprinted here pp. Aus Kants handschriftlichen Aufzeichnungen , 2 vols.

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Leipzig, , and in volumes of the Academy edition: x-xxiii. The earlier reflections on metaphysics are printed in vol. For instance, he learns from experience that it can rain, but cannot say how it happens […] nor indicate the causes why it rains. This would suggest, then, that for Wolff the path to genuinely philosophical truth is ultimately that of reason pursued independently of experience.

Kreimendahl Unsurprisingly, Wolff sets up his distinctive emphasis on experience and introduces his innovations in philosophical method in conscious opposition to his rationalist predecessors. Instead, Wolff recommends near the end of the German Logic that the philosopher should be trained. Cataldi Madonna Philosophy is a science of possible and actual reality.

Although there is an important sense for Wolff in which ontology is relevant for, and even necessarily grounds cosmology and the other special sciences, cosmology itself stands in a grounding relationship to physics that is, yet again, a more narrow and specialized discipline Cosm. Just as there are certain principles and certain truths established in ontology that are relevant for cosmology, there are certain principles and certain truths established in cosmology that are relevant for the more specialized science of physics. It is regarded by him to be a self-evident first principle, its truth made manifest through our inability to think in a manner contrary to it.

In the Ontologia , he writes:. We experience…[ PC ]… in the nature of our mind, in that, while it judges something to be, it is impossible at the same time to judge the same not to be….


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We recognize the fact of our own existence by recognizing the psychological impossibility of denying it. But if it were possible both to affirm and also deny our own existence simultaneously , then the experience of certitude that accompanies this cognition would thereby be undermined. Wolff contends that PC is not only for our thinking but, in defining the limits of what is conceivable or not, also serves to distinguish the possible from the impossible. So, impossibility, defined formally, is that which involves a contradiction, whereas that which does not is taken to be possible.

What is possible as a concept is simply reducible to what is possible as a thing. The realm of concepts and the ontological realm of objects converge in the Wolffian system Kuehn A possible concept, consequently, is that which corresponds to a possible object Ont. Nothing, by definition, is not thinkable or conceivable.


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  • Although existing things are included in his overall description of reality, they are not as a class of objects his primary focus. The idea that everything has a sufficient reason is presented formally by Wolff as the principle of sufficient reason. In this discussion, Wolff appears to give two separate accounts of the theoretical origin of the principle. Although prima facie , it is unclear why Wolff attempts to advance both views, it is perhaps worth pointing out the difference between 1 being able to be demonstrate the truth of a proposition and 2 knowing the truth of a proposition because it is self-evident.

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    While demonstrating the truth of a proposition yields knowledge of it, to know a proposition because it is self-evident may or may not mean the proposition is also demonstrable. There is no inconsistency, for example, in holding that one and same proposition is both self-evident and demonstrable.


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    • A proposition could be known immediately one way and yet, in another way, follow as a conclusion of a sound deductive argument. The first is that PSR is never contradicted by experience; the second is that we can recognize singular instances, or examples, of it in our experience of the world, and the third is that we have an inquisitive attitude toward our surroundings and future life Ont.

      For Wolff, these characteristics are not regarded as empirical evidence for PSR , but rather that PSR is a necessary presupposition for these characteristics to be a part of our conscious experience. Thus by simply reflecting on the nature of our understanding of the world, Wolff believes that we arrive at the manifest truth of PSR. Now according to Wolff there are at least four self-evident axiomatic principles of human thought: PC , the principle of excluded middle, the principle of certitude or principle of identity , and PSR Ont.

      Of these, only PC is indemonstrable in the sense that the truth of the principle cannot be proved to follow from a formal deductive inference. As we have seen, Wolff believes that we gain assurance of the truth of this principle by attending to the psychological experience of not being able to both affirm and deny our own existence in introspection. The remaining principles, however, are demonstrable in the strict sense and each, he believes, can be derived from PC.

      Nothing exists without a sufficient reason for why it exists rather than does not exist.

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      That is, if something is posited to exist, something must also be posited that explains why the first thing exists rather than does not exist. Let us assume that some A exists without a sufficient reason for why it exists rather than does not exist.

      here The crucial premise italicized above purports to reveal a contradiction that follows from the assumption that something exists without a sufficient reason. According to Wolff, every being is endowed with an essential nature. Possible things have natures insofar as they as are comprised of a number of non-contradictory determinations or predicates.

      Different sets of determinations, and the relationships among these determinations, serve as the principle of individualization within the realm of possible things. Hence, to provide the reason for a possible thing is simply to enumerate the determinations that make that thing the kind of possible thing that it is. If, on the other hand, the something to which a reason is provided is an actual i. Recall that for Wolff existence is simply a predicate or determination of possible things.

      GL: c. That is to say, although there is a certain set of specifiable determinations that is sufficient to pick out a given possible thing among all possible things, the total set of its determinations is not specifiable. A being, in the most general sense, is comprised of three different types of determinations: essentialia , attributes, and modes. Whereas essentialia and attributes are both necessary properties of a thing, modes are contingent or accidental properties.

      Thus to say a nominal being is indeterminate is to say that there are modes of it that may or may not be present. In the weakest sense, since existence is a mode, and nominal beings do not exist as such but are able to come into existence under certain conditions, all nominal beings are indeterminate.