Anglophone philosophers with even a passing knowledge of Kant are no doubt familiar with some of his most notable arguments and positions. His conception of the synthetic a priori, the ideality of space and time, and the connections between self-consciousness and the objectivity of representation are all well known. Even more so are Kant's negative arguments against various metaphysical views popular in his day. His critiques of a priori arguments such as the ontological argument and those concerning the nature of the soul earned him Mendelssohn's rueful moniker as the “all-crushing” (alles zermalmenden) Kant, and remain staples of philosophical discussion.

Nicholas Stang, in his new book Kant's Modal Metaphysics, presents a reading of Kant's philosophy that emphasizes the enormous significance of Kant's conception of modality for his mature “critical” philosophy. If Stang's interpretation is correct, then Kant's modal metaphysics warrants much...

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