Truth, knowledge, and “the pretensions of idealism”: a critical commentary on the First Part of Mendelssohn’s Morning Hours
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Citation (published version)Daniel Dahlstrom. 2018. "Truth, Knowledge, and “the Pretensions of Idealism”: A Critical Commentary on the First Part of Mendelssohn’s Morning Hours." Kant-Studien, Volume 109, Issue 2, pp. 329 - 351. https://doi.org/10.1515/kant-2018-2003
Whereas research on Moses Mendelssohn’s Morning Hours has largely focused on the proofs for the existence of God and the elaboration of a purified pantheism in the Second Part of the text, scholars have paid far less attention to the First Part where Mendelssohn details his mature epistemology and conceptions of truth. In an attempt to contribute to remedying this situation, the present article critically examines his account, in the First Part, of different types of truth, different types of knowledge, and the case against idealism. The examination stresses potential but overlooked strengths of his account (e. g., a conception of immediate knowledge that is both far broader than the sensory field and distinctive for having change as its object), questions of ambiguity if not inconsistency in his concepts of existence and substance, and the potential import of these questions for the role he assigns to common sense.