Mr Terrence Thomson

Research project: Variations on Transition: A Study in Kant's Opus postumum


In this study, I provide a new way of reading Kant's unfinished drafts for his final work, now known as Opus postumum by deepening the concept of transition at play in his thinking and against the backdrop of historical confusion and infamous misunderstanding. My study sets out a broad philosophical project in which the complex twists and turns of these last drafts are navigated through the prism of both the pre-Critical and Critical philosophy. The study traces out a variety of previously unexplored transformations in Opus postumum such as the concept of architectonic, faculty, matter, force, aether, world and God via Kant's early (Universal Natural History and Physical Monadology) and middle works (Critique of Pure Reason and Metaphysical Foundations). The overarching structure of the work follows a pattern moving from method to epistemology, epistemology to ontology, ontology to cosmology and finally cosmology to theology.

            Contrary to most current research on Opus postumum I show how, in order to study the depth of the text, we must develop a radical hermeneutics of close reading in which both contradiction and accordance are allowed to emerge within the drafts themselves and in relation to Kant's other work. Developing a series of movements in the tuning of Opus postumum, this study centralizes the notion that reading the drafts is an interruption into the transitional process of thinking rather than the reception of a finalized thought. This allows Opus postumum to be used as a manual for understanding Kant, opening an untrodden path which reveals the messy, difficult and frustrating process of his thinking, but ultimately unearthing a profound experimentalist who continually dared to go beyond his own Critical bounds, a view that current scholarship has not yet come to grips with


I graduated from Central Saint Martins with a BA in Fine Art in 2010. I then worked for around seven years in a bookshop, and gained my MA in Modern European Philosophy from CRMEP in 2017.

Areas of research interest

  • Immanuel Kant
  • Opus postumum
  • 18th century continental philosophy
  • Philosophy of science
  • Natural Science
  • Theology
  • Cosmogony


  • MA in Modern European Philosophy, CRMEP, London
  • BA in Fine Art, Central Saint Martins, London

Funding or awards received



Thomson, Terrence. (2020) 'Kant, Conflict and Universal History', Philosophy Now, 140, p.19. (

Thomson, Terrence. (2020), 'Kant's Opus postumum', Philosophy Now, 136, pp. 34-5. (

Thomson, Terrence. (2019), 'A Suspicion of Architectonic in Kant's Transition Project', Angelaki, 24, vol 5, pp. 11-28. (

Thomson, Terrence (2019), 'The Understanding in Transition: Fascicles X, XI and VII of Opus postumum', Con-Textos Kantianos, 9, pp.23-48. (

Thomson, Terrence. (2017), 'Nonidentity, Materialism and Truth in Adorno's Negative Dialectics,' Cosmos and History, 13, vol 1, pp. 343-360.

Thomson, Terrence. (2017), 'What Can Kant's Concept of History Teach us Today?,' The Wednesday Magazine, Issue 9, pp. 2-4.