The institutional philosophy is, in a great part, an optical illusion because it shows as "great philosophers" some that are just average. This is the case of Bertrand Russell who, shockingly, did not understand the idealism of Kant, like almost all academics. About Kant ´s theory, Russell wrote;
«The physical object, which he calls the "thing in itself", he regards as essentially unknowable; what can be known is the object as we have it in experience, which he calls the "phenomenon". The phenomenon, being a join product of us and the thing in itself, is sure to have those characteristics which are due to us, and is therefore sure to conform to our a priori knowledge.» (Bertrand Russell, «The problems of philosophy», page 48, Oxford University Press).
The great error of Russell was to suppose that matter resides on the thing in itself (ontological realism), ignoring that Kant never sustained that the thing in itself, the noumena, is the physical or material object. About it, about matter, Kant wrote:
«The undetermined object of an empirical intuition, is called phenomenon. That which in phenomenon corresponds to sensation, I term it matter; but that which effects that the content of the phenomenon can be arranged under certain relations, I call its form. »(Kant, Critique of Pure Reason, page 21, Dover Publication Inc, New York).
«But time and space, with all phenomena therein, are not in themselves things. They are nothing but representations, and cannot exist out and apart of mind.» Kant, Critique of Pure Reason, page 278, Dover Publication Inc, New York; the bold is put by me).
This is exactly the same position of George Berkeley, ie, idealism: matter, phenomena,- ie, clouds, landscapes, houses, horses, human bodies and all empirical objects - are representations, are not real in themselves. Russell, Wittgenstein, Heidegger, Sartre, Nagel, Quine, Hessen and many others did not understand this: they thought that phenomena (fields, trees, buildings that we see and touch) are a distorted image of physical objects (the real and hidden fields, trees, buildings, etc) but this misconception on kantism is critical realism, not transcendental idealism. They should meditate the Buddhist philosophy.
© (Direitos de autor para Francisco Limpo de Faria Queiroz)