Kant and the “awakening” from the rationalist principle of sufficient reason





antinomy, causal maxim, dogmatic slumber, Hume, Spinoza


The paper inspects Anderson’s central thesis that Kant’s dogmatic slumber was interrupted by Hume’s critique of metaphysics (rational theology) in his Enquiry concerning Human Understanding, namely, by his critique of the rationalist principle of sufficient reason, which lies at the heart of dogmatic proofs of God’s existence. I recreate the meaning of “Hume’s objection,” define the larger role the principle of sufficient reason plays in Kant’s philosophy, and evaluate the explanatory potential of Anderson’s interpretation in view of Kant’s early and critical texts, as well as his other autobiographical statements (such as his famous letter to Garve). Although Anderson’s hypothesis seems well-founded and even explicates the hidden connection between the entire critical project and the refutation of Spinozism, I argue it is almost impossible to reconcile it with the current research in Kant’s Entwicklungsgeschichte.

Author Biography

Victor Chorny, National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy

undergraduate student


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How to Cite

Chorny, V. (2020). Kant and the “awakening” from the rationalist principle of sufficient reason. Sententiae, 39(2), 104–123. https://doi.org/10.31649/sent39.02.104






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