A ground completely overgrown: Heidegger, Kant and the problem of metaphysics

Karin de Boer, Stephen Howard

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5 Citations (Scopus)


While we endorse Heidegger’s effort to reclaim Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason as a work concerned with the possibility of metaphysics, we hold, first, that his reading is less original than is often assumed and, second, that it unduly marginalizes the critical impetus of Kant’s philosophy. This article seeks to shed new light on Kant and the Problem of Metaphysics and related texts by relating Heidegger’s interpretation of Kant to, on the one hand, the epistemological approach represented by Cohen’s Kant’s Theory of Experience and, on the other, the metaphysical readings put forward by Heimsoeth, Wundt and others in the 1920s. On this basis, we argue that Heidegger’s interpretation of Kant remains indebted to the methodological distinction between ground and grounded that informed Cohen’s reading and was transferred to the problem of metaphysics by Wundt. Even if Heidegger resists a ‘foundationalist’ mode of this distinction, we argue that his focus on the notions of ground and grounding does not allow him to account for Kant’s critique of the metaphysical tradition.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)358-377
JournalBritish Journal for the History of Philosophy
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 4 Mar 2019
Externally publishedYes

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