03.06 Alejandro Sandoval

Join us March 6th for “Fixing Kant’s Monstrosity: Schopenhauer on the Intuitive Understanding”

The German & Russian Colloquium Series is proud to present:

“Fixing Kant’s Monstrosity: Schopenhauer on the Intuitive Understanding”

Alejandro Sandoval, Assistant Professor of Philosophy, UC Davis

March 6, 3:00 pm, 912 Sproul


Schopenhauer is an ambivalent reader of the Kantian philosophy – at times, he presents himself as a studious follower of Kant and a loyal defender of his doctrines; at others, he is a fierce critic of Kantian orthodoxy and a vocal proponent of the heterodoxy. The complicated relation between Kant and Schopenhauer has been most closely studied in relation to their metaphysical systems. The present paper concerns a neglected aspect of Schopenhauer’s mature thought which is similarly influenced by Kant’s critical philosophy, namely, his philosophy of mind and the distinction between the faculties of sensibility, the understanding, and the intellect.

Schopenhauer claims “the failure to distinguish between abstract, discursive cognition, and intuitive cognition” (WWR 503) to be Kant’s “monstrous” and “major and fundamental mistake.” I reconstruct Schopenhauer’s account of the tight relation between the cognitive faculties, with an eye to how it departs from Kantian orthodoxy. A clear and substantive disagreement between Schopenhauer and Kant emerges: contra Kant, Schopenhauer holds that there is a distinctive kind of experience of causation which is irreducibly sensible and whose explanatory structure is not intelligible.

Professor Sandoval is an assistant professor in the Philosophy Department at University of California, Davis. His main research concerns the history of the philosophy of mind and psychology in 17th and 18th century European thought. In addition to his historical work, Professor Sandoval has research interests in the philosophy of race and social ontology.


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03.06 Alejandro Sandoval