1st Edition

Perspectives on Kant’s Opus postumum

Edited By Giovanni Pietro Basile, Ansgar Lyssy Copyright 2023

    This book offers new perspectives on the theoretical elements of the Opus postumum (OP), Kant’s project of a final work which remained unknown until eighty years after his death. The contributors read the OP as a central work in establishing the relation between Kant’s transcendental philosophy, his natural philosophy, practical philosophy, philosophy of religion, metaphysics, and his broader epistemology.

    Interpreting the OP is an important task because it helps reveal how Kant himself tried to correct and develop his critical philosophy. It also sheds light on the foundational role of the three Critiques for other philosophical inquiries, as well as the unified philosophical system that Kant sought to establish. The chapters in this volume address a range of topics relevant to the epistemological and theoretical problems raised in the OP, including the transition from the Metaphysical Foundations of Natural Science to physics as an answer to a deficiency in critical thought; the notion of ether and, more specifically, its transcendental deduction; self-affection and the self-positing of the subject; and the idea of God and the system of ideas in the highest standpoint of transcendental philosophy.

    Perspectives on Kant’s Opus postumum will be of interest to upper-level students and scholars working on Kant.



    Chapter summaries

    1. Kant’s paradoxical reception of Lavoisier

    Henny Blomme

    2. Filling out space – The ether and the dispositions of matter in Kant’s Opus Postumum

    Ansgar Lyssy

    3. Kant’s conception of physics in fascicles X/XI of the Opus postumum

    Stephen Howard

    4. The analogical use of schematism from the Critique of Pure Reason to the Opus postumum

    Lara Scaglia

    5. The Forms of ‘Composition’ and the Role of Mediating Concepts in Kant’s Opus postumum

    Gualtiero Lorini

    6. Self-affection in Kant’s Opus postumum and in the Critique of Pure Reason

    Dina Emundts

    7. A Kantian Answer to Aenesidemus: Appropriating Kant’s Doctrine of Self-Positing in the Opus postumum

    Bryan Hall

    8. Fichte or Baumgarten? On Kant’s Use of ‘Positing’ in the Selbstsetzungslehre

    Lorenzo Sala

    9. Kant’s ‘Deification’ of Reason in the Opus postumum: An Attempt at Reconciling God and Autonomy

    Anna Tomaszewska

    10. François Marty’s Interpretation of Kant’s Opus postumum

    Giovanni Pietro Basile


    Giovanni Pietro Basile is currently associate professor in the Philosophy Department of Boston College. After completing studies in physics, theology, and philosophy, he earned his PhD in philosophy at the LMU Munich, where he also received the German Habilitation. He is a member of the Reviewers Panel of the journals Gregoriamum and Kant-Studien. Among his main publications are two books—Transcendance et finitude. La synthèse transcendantale dans la Critique de la raison pure de Kant, Paris: L’Harmattan, 2005 and Kants Opus postumum und seine Rezeption, Berlin/Boston: De Gruyter, 2013—and several articles on Kant, Karl Jaspers, and Paul Ricœur.

    Ansgar Lyssy is currently researcher at the University of Heidelberg, working on a project on causality in Hegel, funded by a grant from the Thyssen Foundation. In 2020, he finished his Habilitationsschrift at LMU Munich, a yet unpublished monograph titled Humankind and Humanity in Kant. This research was funded by a research grant from the German Research Foundation. Notable publications include Kausalität und Teleologie bei G. W. Leibniz, Stuttgart: Franz-Steiner (Studia Leibnitiana, Special Issue No. 48), 2016, three anthologies on Kant and the philosophy of the eighteenth century, and several papers on Leibniz, Kant, Hegel, and other related thinkers.

    "This book deals with many issues at stake in Kant’s Opus postumum in relation to his Critical Philosophy, physics and metaphysis. It provides a new step towards elucidating Kant’s rather enigmatic last work."Ernst-Otto Onnasch, Utrecht University