CFP: Special Issue 2023 of the Journal of Transcendental Philosophy: Kant and the Role(s) of Doctrines of Method

Submission deadline: April 1, 2022

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Journal of Transcendental Philosophy

Call for Papers for the Special Issue 2023: Kant and the Role(s) of Doctrines of Method 

guest edited by Andrew Chignell (Princeton University) and Gabriele Gava (University of Turin)

Each of Kant’s three Critiques includes a ‘doctrine of method’. There is a ‘Transcendental Doctrine of Method’ in the Critique of Pure Reason (1781/1787), a ‘Doctrine of Method of Pure Practical Reason’ in the Critique of Practical Reason (1788) and a ‘Doctrine of Method of the Teleological Power of Judgment’ in the Critique of the Power of Judgment (1790). Additionally, there is an ‘Ethical Doctrine of Method’ in the Doctrine of Virtue, which is the second book of the Metaphysics of Morals (1797).

These doctrines of method have been comparatively neglected by Kant scholars. In part this is no doubt because these chapters come at the end of very long and complicated books.  In part, this is due to the false assumption that Kant only included these sections to adhere to a traditional architectonic division of philosophical works (see Kemp Smith 1918: 563).

Recently, however, there has been a wave of studies that show that Kant’s doctrines of method contain materials that were important to Kant and relevant to debates among Kant scholars as well as to some contemporary discussions. For example, consider the distinction between the methods of philosophy and of mathematics that Kant discusses in the ‘Discipline of Pure Reason’ chapter in the Doctrine of Method of the first Critique. The past thirty years has witnessed a series of important interpretations that appreciate the relevance of this distinction (see Wolff-Metternich 1995; De Jong 1995; Carson 1999; Shabel 2003; Sutherland 2004; Dunlop 2014), especially in relation to Kant’s philosophy of mathematics.

Another group of scholars have highlighted the significance of the ‘Architectonic of Pure Reason’ chapter (also in the first Critique) to understanding Kant’s effort to generate a scientific metaphysics (see La Rocca 2003; Manchester 2003 and 2006; Sturm 2009; Gava 2014; Ferrarin 2015). More recently, the ‘Canon of Pure Reason’ chapter has attracted the most attention -- in particular the last section, wherein Kant develops a sophisticated account of different types of ‘taking-to-be-true’ (Fürwahrhalten).  Among these are ‘opinion’ (Meinung), ‘belief’ (Glaube), ‘conviction’ (Überzeugung), persuasion (Überredung), and ‘knowledge’ (Wissen) (see Stevenson 2003; Chignell 2007a, 2007b, forthcoming 2022; Pasternack 2011 and 2014; Höwing 2016; Willaschek 2016; Gava 2019). Still other works have investigated what is peculiar to the ‘practical’ doctrines of method contained in Kant’s practical works (see Bacin 2002 and 2010).

Despite this recent and growing interest in Kant’s doctrines of method, there is much about them that remains unclear. For one thing, in addition to ongoing debates and remaining questions regarding the issues that have already attracted scholarly attention, large sections of Kant’s doctrines of method are comparatively neglected. We welcome contributions that seek to refine our understanding of the familiar issues as well as those that explore new territory.

Second, there are outstanding questions about what a doctrine of method is exactly, and what unifies the various doctrines of method found in Kant’s works. While the first and third Critiques connect their doctrines of method to the issue of whether a body of cognition can be considered a science, Kant explicitly denies that the ‘practical’ doctrines of method play this role (see 5:151). Therefore, one question that urgently needs discussion is just: what do ‘theoretical’ and ‘practical’ doctrines of method’ have in common that justifies their sharing a name? But even focus just on the ‘theoretical’ doctrines of method: how do their different components belong to a common project and contribute to showing that a body of cognition is a science (Wissenschaft)? We welcome contributions that seek to answer these unifying questions, as well as those that connect Kant’s doctrines of method to previous or subsequent methodological discussions (e.g. in the German rationalist, German idealist or pragmatist traditions).


Papers should be submitted by April 1st 2022, using the journal’s submission site: Upon submitting your manuscript, please specify in your cover letter that the manuscript is meant for this special issue, so that it can be assigned to the appropriate guest editors. Papers must be no longer than 10.000 words, including notes and references, and be prepared for blind review, removing all self-identifying references. The formatting of the submission is up to the author; accepted papers will be asked to adhere to journal style (see the journal’s website for further information: No more than one submission per author is accepted.


We will organize and fund a workshop with the authors of the accepted papers at Princeton University in October 2022. The workshop will give authors the opportunity to receive additional feedback from other authors and various distinguished auditors before they submit final versions of their contributions. Participation in the workshop is mandatory for inclusion in the volume.


Bacin, S. 2002. ‘Sul rapporto tra riflessione e vita morale in Kant: Le Dottrine del metodo nella filosofia pratica’. Studi Kantiani 15: 65–91.

Bacin, S. 2010. ‘The Meaning of the “Critique of Practical Reason” for Moral Beings: The Doctrine of Method of Pure Practical Reason’. In Kant’s Critique of Practical Reason: A Critical Guide, edited by Andrews Reath and Jens Timmermann, 197–215. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Carson, E.1999. ‘Kant on the Method of Mathematics’. Journal of the History of Philosophy 37: 629-52.

Chignell, A. 2007a. ‘Kant’s Concepts of Justification’. Nous 41: 33–63

Chignell, A. 2007b. ‘Belief in Kant’. Philosophical Review 116: 323–360.

Chignell, A. forthcoming 2022. Knowledge and Belief in Kant: Making Room for Practical Metaphysics. Oxford: Oxford University Press.  

De Jong, W. 1995. ‘How is Metaphysics as a Science Possible? Kant on the Distinction between Philosophical and Mathematical Method’. Review of Metaphysics 49: 235-74.

Dunlop, K. 2014. ‘Arbitrary Combination and the Use of Signs in Mathematics: Kant’s 1763 Prize Essay and Its Wolffian Background’. Canadian Journal of Philosophy 44: 658–85.

Ferrarin, A. 2015. The Powers of Pure Reason. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Gava, G. 2014. ‘Kant’s Definition of Science in the Architectonic of Pure Reason and the Essential Ends of Reason’. Kant-Studien 105: 372–393.

Gava, G. 2019. ‘Kant and Crusius on Belief and Practical Justification’. Kantian Review 24: 53–75.  

Höwing, T. 2016. ‘Kant on Opinion, Belief, and Knowledge’. In The Highest Good in Kant’s Philosophy, edited by Thomas Höwing, 201–222. Berlin: De Gruyter.

Kemp Smith, N. 1918. A Commentary to Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason. London: Macmillan.

La Rocca, C. 2003. Soggetto e mondo. Studi su Kant. Venezia: Marsilio.

Manchester, P. 2003. ‘Kant’s Conception of Architectonic in Its Historical Context’. Journal of the History of Philosophy 41 (2): 187–207. 

Manchester, P. 2008. ‘Kant’s Conception of Architectonic in Its Philosophical Context’. Kant-Studien 99 (2): 133–151. 

Pasternack, L. 2011. ‘The Development and Scope of Kantian Belief: The Highest Good, The Practical Postulates and The Fact of Reason’. Kant-Studien 102: 290–315. 

Pasternack, L. 2014. ‘Kant on Opinion: Assent, Hypothesis, and the Norms of General Applied Logic’. Kant-Studien 105: 41–82. 

Shabel, L. 2003. Mathematics in Kant’s Critical Philosophy: Reflections on Mathematical Practice. New York: Routledge.

Stevenson, Leslie. 2003. ‘Opinion, Belief or Faith, and Knowledge’. Kantian Review 7: 72–101. 

Sturm, T. 2009. Kant und die Wissenschaften vom Menschen. Paderborn: mentis.

Sutherland, D. 2010. ‘Philosophy, Geometry, and Logic in Leibniz, Wolff, and the Early Kant’. In Mary Domsky and Michael Dickson (eds.), Discourse on a New Method: Reinvigorating the Marriage of History and Philosophy of Science, 155–192. Chicago and La Salle: Open Court.

Willaschek, M. 2016. ‘Must We Believe in the Realizability of Our Ends? On a Premise of Kant’s Argument for the Postulates of Pure Practical Reason’. In The Highest Good in Kant’s Philosophy, edited by Thomas Höwing, 223–244. Berlin: De Gruyter.

Wolff-Metternich, B.-S. von. 1995. Die Überwindung des mathematischen Erkenntnisideals: Kants Grenzbestimmung von Mathematik und Philosophie. Berlin: De Gruyter.          

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