Although Kant envisaged a prominent role for logic in the argumentative structure of his Critique of pure reason, logicians and philosophers have generally judged Kant's logic negatively. What Kant called `general' or `formal' logic has been dismissed as a fairly arbitrary subsystem of first order logic, and what he called `transcendental logic' is considered to be not a logic at all: no syntax, no semantics, no definition of validity. Against this, we argue that Kant's `transcendental logic' is a logic in (...) the strict formal sense, albeit with a semantics and a definition of validity that are vastly more complex than that of first order logic. The main technical application of the formalism developed here is a formal proof that Kant's Table of Judgements in §9 of the Critique of pure reason, is indeed, as Kant claimed, complete for the kind of semantics he had in mind. This result implies that Kant's 'general' logic is after all a distinguished subsystem of first order logic, namely what is known as geometric logic. (shrink)
Traditionally transcendental logic has been set apart from formal logic. Transcendental logic had to deal with the conditions of possibility of judgements, which were presupposed by formal logic. Defined as a purely philosophical enterprise transcendental logic was considered as being a priori delivering either analytic or even synthetic a priori results. In this paper it is argued that this separation from the (empirical) cognitive sciences should be given up. Transcendental logic should be understood as focusing on specific questions. These do (...) not, as some recent analytic philosophy has it, include a refutation of scepticism. And they are not to be separated from meta-logical investigations. Transcendental logic properly understood, and redefined along these theses, should concern itself with the (formal) re-construction of the presupposed necessary conditions and rules of linguistic communication in general. It aims at universality and reflexive closure. (shrink)
En las discusiones modernas sobre la posibilidad de las proposiciones sintéticas a priori, la teoría de la definición tiene una importancia capital, porque la mayoría de las teorías sostiene que los juicios analíticos están lógicamente implicados en una definición explícita (lo que restringe los enunciados de una definición completa y precisa a juicios de este tipo). Sin embargo, para Kant -el primer autor en señalar la distinción entre proposiciones analíticas y sintéticas-muchos juicios analíticos son obtenidos mediante análisis de conceptos que (...) no precisan ser determinados previamente por una definición. Por otro lado, para él no todo conocimiento a priori es analítico. La afirmación de que no todo juicio analítico se deriva de una definición y la posibilidad del conocimiento sintético a priori indican que Kant no consideraba, contrariamente a las teorías modernas sobre el juicio analítico, que la definición sea un fundamento esencial del conocimiento. In the modern discussions about possibility of synthetic a priori propositions, the theory of definition has a fundamental importance, because the most definition's theories hold that analytic judgments are involved by explicit definition (it limits sentences of complete and precise definition to this kind of judgments). However, for Kant -first author who pointed out the distinction between analytic and synthetic propositions-many analytic judgments are made by analysis of concepts which need not first be established by definition. Moreover, for him not all a priori knowledge is analytic. The statement that not all analytic judgment is derived from definition and possibility of synthetic a priori knowledge, indicates Kant didn't believe, contrary to modern theories about analytic judgment, the definition is an essential ground of knowledge. (shrink)
Transcendental epistemology is an inquiry into conditions of human knowledge which reflect the structure of the human cognitive apparatus. The dependence thesis is the thesis that a proper investigation of such conditions must lean in important respects on the deliverances of science. I argue that Kant is right to object to the dependence thesis, but that the best objections to this thesis lead to the conclusion that the conditions of knowledge which Kant identifies are not, in any interesting sense, a (...) relection of the structure of the human cognitive apparatus. (shrink)
This book is a foray into the thorny interpretive issue of what to make of Kant's so-called "Metaphysical Deduction" of the categories. As with many of the arguments in the first Critique, the claim of the Metaphysical Deduction is easier to make out than its argument. The claim is that by some or other reference to "general logic," one may obtain a "transcendental logic," i.e., a justification (or "deduction") of the categories (of the understanding) necessary to the (very) possibility of (...) experience. But how? By, Kant says, discerning, in general logic, a "clue" to transcendental logic. But what sort of clue? And then what clue exactly? We need a meta-clue to get a clue.Herein lies the very mixed reception the .. (shrink)
The article analyses Kant’s and Fichte’s uses of the word ‘transcendental’. As a matter of fact, in both philosophers the use of the word is strongly connected with the problem of definition and foundation of philosophy. According to some commentators (first of all Norbert Hinske), Kant’s use of the word shows an oscillation (Doppeltendenz) between an old (metaphysical) and a new (epistemological-critical) meaning. This semantic oscillation means that Kant’s philosophical foundation fluctuates between the attempt to overcome traditional metaphysics and the (...) difficulty of getting rid of metaphysics. Unfortunately, Hinske does not explain which is the systematic reason why the word transcendental does not only have a new, programmatic meaning, but also maintains the old one. In my view, the Doppeltendenz of the Kantian transcendental is due to the problem of the ontological implications of Kant’s transcendental philosophy. On the one hand, the new definition of transcendental philosophy (as inquiry about a priori structures of knowledge) seems to imply a kind of Platonism, since it postulates the existence and objectivity of a priori structures. On the other hand, this Platonism seems to be contradicted by Kant’s epistemological dualism, according to which a priori concepts are void without intuitions, and therefore ontologically dependent from intuitions. In my view, Fichte’s interpretation of the transcendental is a possible solution to this problem. (shrink)
This entirely new translation of Critique of Pure Reason by Paul Guyer and Allan Wood is the most accurate and informative English translation ever produced of this epochal philosophical text. Though its simple, direct style will make it suitable for all new readers of Kant, the translation displays a philosophical and textual sophistication that will enlighten Kant scholars as well. This translation recreates as far as possible a text with the same interpretative nuances and richness as the original.
Overview -- Locke's internal sense and Kant's changing views -- Personal identity amd its problems -- Rationalalist metaphysics of mind -- Consciousness, self-consciousness, and cognition -- Strands of Argument in the Duisburg Nachlass -- A transcendental deduction for a priori concepts -- Synthesis : why and how? -- Arguing for apperception -- The power of apperception -- "I-think" as the destroyer of rational psychology -- Is Kant's theory consistent? -- The normativity objection -- Is Kant's thinker (as such) a free (...) and responsible agent? -- Kant our contemporary. (shrink)
This paper looks at the Kantian background in the development of the views on formal logic and contradiction in German Idealism. Assuming the post-Kantian view, I examine what Kant advanced and what he left unsettled, provoking thus the subsequent debate. I start by showing (§1) that already the pre-critical Kant questions the effectiveness of formal logic in philosophical discourse andclaims that the laws of identity and non-contradiction fall short of explaining change, opposition, and contradiction, all these being parts of reality. (...) Turning then to the first Critique, I discuss (§2) the introduction of transcendental logic as the (meta)logic of truth, consider how the tension between formal and transcendental logic is displayed in Kant’s exposition of the antinomy of pure reason (§3), and arrive at the conclusion (§4) that Kant, despite his criticism, and unlike the other great German Idealists, allows formal logic to dominate his exposition of transcendental logic. (shrink)
Hegel's Science of Logic has received less attention than his Phenomenology of Spirit, but Hegel himself took it to be his highest philosophical achievement and the backbone of his system. The present book focuses on this most difficult of Hegel’s published works. Béatrice Longuenesse offers a close analysis of core issues, including discussions of what Hegel means by ‘dialectical logic’, the role and meaning of ‘contradiction’ in Hegel’s philosophy, and Hegel’s justification for the provocative statement that ‘what is actual is (...) rational, what is rational is actual’. She examines both Hegel's debt and his polemical reaction to Kant, and shows in great detail how his project of a ‘dialectical’ logic can be understood only in light of its relation to Kant’s ‘transcendental’ logic. This book will appeal to anyone interested in Hegel's philosophy and its influence on contemporary philosophical discussion. (shrink)
Kant soutient qu'une table complète et systématique des catégories peut être établie selon le « fil conducteur » des fonctions logiques du jugement. La première partie de cet article est une exposition de l'argument kantien. La deuxième partie est un examen de quelques-unes des objections formulées à l'encontre du « fil conducteur » de Kant. Je conclus que l'appropriation contemporaine de la doctrine kantienne des catégories est désormais divisée entre deux problèmes distincts : celui du contenu conceptuel (ou non) de (...) la perception, et celui des structures conceptuelles présupposées par une image scientifique particulière du monde. (shrink)
At A71/B96-7 Kant explains that singular judgements are ‘special’ because they stand to the general ones as Einheit to Unendlichkeit. The reference to Einheit brings to mind the category of unity and hence raises a specter of circularity in Kant’s explanation. I aim to remove this specter by interpreting the Einheit-Unendlichkeit contrast in light of the logical distinctions among universal, particular and singular judgments shared by Kant and his logician predecessors. This interpretation has a further implication for resolving a controversy (...) over the correlation between the logical moments of quantity (universal, particular, singular) and the categorial ones (unity, plurality, totality). (shrink)
This is a lightly edited version of my comments on Brandom’s Lecture 2, as delivered in Prague at the “Prague Locke Lectures” in April, 2007. I try to say why Brandom’s proposed demarcation is significant, by placing it in a broader context of demarcation proposals from Kant to the twentieth century. I then raise some questions about the basic ingredients of Brandom’s demarcation—the notions of PP-sufficiency and VP-sufficiency—and question whether the vocabulary of conditionals, Brandom’s paradigm for logical vocabulary, can be (...) universal-LX. (shrink)
Let me start with a well-known story. Kant held that logic and conceptual analysis alone cannot account for our knowledge of arithmetic: “however we might turn and twist our concepts, we could never, by the mere analysis of them, and without the aid of intuition, discover what is the sum [7+5]” (KrV, B16). Frege took himself to have shown that Kant was wrong about this. According to Frege’s logicist thesis, every arithmetical concept can be defined in purely logical terms, and (...) every theorem of arithmetic can be proved using only the basic laws of logic. Hence, Kant was wrong to think that our grasp of arithmetical concepts and our knowledge of arithmetical truth depend on an extralogical source—the pure intuition of time (Frege 1884, §89, §109). Arithmetic, properly understood, is just a part of logic. (shrink)
The effort to fit simple logical truths–like `if it's either red or green and it's not red, then it must be green'–into Kant's account of knowledge turns up a position more subtle and intriguing than might be expected at first glance.
One of the principle aims of the B version of Kant’s transcendental deduction is to show how it is possible that the same “I think” can accompany all of my representations, which is a transcendental condition of the possibility of judgment. Contra interpreters such as A. Brook, I show that this “I think” is an a priori (reflected) self-consciousness; contra P. Keller, I show that this a priori self-consciousness is first and foremost a consciousness of one’s personal identity from a (...) first person point of view. (shrink)
In this paper I lay the foundations for an understanding of one of Fichte's most neglected and least understood texts: the late lecture course on Transcendental Logic. I situate this work in the context of Fichte's lifelong struggle with the problem of understanding the relation between logic and philosophy – a problem that I show to figure centrally both in Fichte's own revolutionary thinking and in his response to Kant's notorious denunciation of the Wissenschaftslehre. By attending to this context we (...) can understand Fichte's philosophical ambitions in the late lectures: a critique of particular doctrines of general logic; a critique of the conception of thought presupposed both by the traditional logic and by Kant himself; and a new conception of the relation between logic and the philosophical theory of experience. (shrink)
Immanuel Kant is one of the most influential philosophers in the history of Western philosophy. His contributions to metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, and aesthetics have had a profound impact on almost every philosophical movement that followed him. This portion of the Encyclopedia entry will focus on his metaphysics and epistemology in one of his most important works, The Critique of Pure Reason . (All references will be to the A (1781) and B(1787) edition pages in Werner Pluhar's translation. Indianapolis: Hackett, 1996.) (...) A large part of Kant's work addresses the question "What can we know?" The answer, if it can be stated simply, is that our knowledge is constrained to mathematics and the science of the natural, empirical world. It is impossible, Kant argues, to extend knowledge to the supersensible realm of speculative metaphysics. The reason that knowledge has these constraints, Kant argues, is that the mind plays an active role in constituting the features of experience and limiting the mind's access to the empirical realm of space and time. (shrink)
Abstract: My aim is to reconstruct Kant's argument for the principle of the synthetic unity of apperception. I reconstruct Kant's argument in stages, first showing why thinking should be conceived as an activity of synthesis (as opposed to attention), and then showing why the unity or coherence of a subject's representations should depend upon an a priori synthesis. The guiding thread of my account is Kant's conception of enlightenment: as I suggest, the philosophy of mind advanced in the Deduction belongs (...) to an enlightenment epistemology. Kant's conception of enlightenment turns on the requirement that a subject be able to recognize herself as the source of her cognitions. The argument for the apperception principle is reconstructed under the guidance of this conception of the ideal of enlightenment. (shrink)
I argue that Kant’s four Paralogistic conclusions concerning (a) substantiality; (b1) unity and (b2) immortality, in the famous “Achillesargument”; (c) personal identity; and (d) metaphysical idealism, in the first edition Critique of Pure Reason (1781), are all connectedby being grounded in a common underlying rational principle, an a priori (universal and necessary) presupposition, namely, that boththe mind and its essential attribute of thinking are immaterial and unextended, i.e., simple. Consequently, despite Kant’s predilectionfor architectonic divisions and separations, I show that in (...) fact the simplicity assumption grounds all four Paralogisms and reinforcesKant’s corresponding commitments to the principles of continuity and coherence. Further, I maintain that Kant, under the influence ofhis earlier Leibnizian and subjective idealist leanings, continued to be guided in the first edition Critique, not only in the Paralogismsbut also in certain sections of the Analytic, by emphasizing unconscious activities, which once more reinforced his commitments to aparadigm of the simplicity, unity, and identity of self-consciousness or apperception. (shrink)
In the Critique of Pure Reason, Kant uses the term “logic” in a bewildering variety of ways, at times making it close to impossible to determine whether he is referring to (among others) general logic, transcendental logic, transcendental analytic, a "special" logic relative to a specific science, a "natural" logic, a logic intended for the "learned" (Gelehrter), some hybrid of these logics, or even some still-more abstract notion that ranges over all of these uses. This paper seeks to come to (...) grips with Kant's complex use of "logic." Kant is standardly regarded as saying that since Aristotle, there need be no more concern about logic as a discipline or a field of study, and that Aristotle (with some minor embellishments, in terms of presentation) is the last word in logic. I argue here that, in spite ofHegel, Peirce, Strawson, and others, one must take into consideration Kant’s sophisticated critique of Aristotle’s logic in order to see Kant’s own conception of logic in contrast to that of Aristotle’s. In this way, Kant's strategy in the First Critique—grounded as it is in logic—becomes more plausible, defensible, and, consequently, more attractive. (shrink)
Drawing on the original conception of Kant’s synthetic a priori and the relevant related developments in philosophy, this book presents a reconstruction of the intellectual history of the conception of quantity and offers an entirely ...
I argue that §§15–20 of the B-Deduction contain two independent arguments for the applicability of a priori concepts, the first an argument from above, the second an argument from below. The core of the first argument is §16's explanation of our consciousness of subject-identity across self-attributions, while the focus of the second is §18's account of universality and necessity in our experience. I conclude that the B-Deduction comprises powerful strategies for establishing its intended conclusion, and that some assistance from empirical (...) psychology might well have produced a completely successful argument. (shrink)
Kant''s claim that the justification of transcendental philosophy is a priori is puzzling because it should be consistent with (1) his general restriction on the justification of knowledge, that intuitions must play a role in the justification of all nondegenerate knowledge, with (2) the implausibility of a priori intuitions being the only ones on which transcendental philosophy is founded, and with (3) his professed view that transcendental philosophy is not analytic. I argue that this puzzle can be solved, that according (...) to Kant transcendental philosophy is justified a priori in the sense that the only empirical information required for its justification can be derived from any possible human experience. Transcendental justification does not rely on any more particular or special observations or experiments. Philip Kitcher''s general account of apriority in Kant captures this aspect of a priori knowledge. Nevertheless, I argue that Kitcher''s account goes wrong in the link it specifies between apriority and certainty. (shrink)
Fregean predicates applied to Fregean objects are merely defined by a "timeless" deductive order of sentences. They cannot provide sufficient structure in order to explain how names can refer to objects of intuition and how predicates can express properties of substances that change in time. Therefore, the accounts of Wilson and Quine, Prior and Brandom for temporal judgments fail -- and a new reconstruction of Kant's transcendental logic, especially of the analogies of experience, is needed.
This paper argues that Kant's idea for a new kind of logic is bound up with a very specific strategy for obtaining truth criteria, where he takes Christian Wolff to have failed. While the First Critique 's argument against any universal criterion for empirical truth has almost always been treated as extraneous to the main concerns of the Transcendental Analytic, I argue that Kant inserted it at an important juncture in the text to illustrate a signal difference between traditional logics (...) and transcendental logic. Namely, while a criterion of truth as correspondence cannot be provided by traditional logics, since they cannot, in Kant's view, identify an object determinately and distinguish it from others, transcendental logic overcomes that particular barrier. The key to the improvement is to be found in how Kant modifies Wolffian order and “transcendental truth”, while still retaining them as central elements of his project. Once we have reconstructed Kant's strategy, we also gain a new perspective on Kant's puzzling assessments of his relation to Berkeley. (shrink)
This key collection of essays sheds new light on long-debated controversies surrounding Kant’s doctrine of idealism and is the first book in the English language that is exclusively dedicated to the subject. Well-known Kantians Karl Ameriks and Manfred Baum present their considered views on this most topical aspect of Kant's thought. Several essays by acclaimed Kant scholars broach a vastly neglected problem in discussions of Kant's idealism, namely the relation between his conception of logic and idealism: The standard view that (...) Kant's logic and idealism are wholly separable comes under scrutiny in these essays. A further set of articles addresses multiple facets of the notorious notion of the thing in itself, which continues to hold the attention of Kant scholars. The volume also contains an extensive discussion of the often overlooked chapter in the Critique of Pure Reason on the Transcendental Ideal. Together, the essays provide a whole new outlook on Kantian idealism. No one with a serious interest in Kant's idealism can afford to ignore this important book. Papers by Karl Ameriks, Manfred Baum, Ido Geiger, Lucy Allais, Gary Banham, Steven M. Bayne, Marcel Quarfood, Dennis Schulting, Dietmar Heidemann, Christian Onof and Jacco Verburgt. (shrink)
Here I revisit Bolzano's criticisms of Kant on the nature of logic. I argue that while Bolzano is correct in taking Kant to conceive of the traditional logic as a science of the activity of thinking rather than the content of thought, he is wrong to charge Kant with a failure to identify and examine this content itself within logic as such. This neglects Kant's own insistence that traditional logic does not exhaust logic as such, since it must be supplemented (...) by a transcendental logic that will in fact study nothing other than thought's content. Once this feature of Kant's views is brought to light, a much deeper accord emerges between the two thinkers than has hitherto been appreciated, on both the nature of the content that is at issue in logic and the sense of logic's generality and formality. (shrink)
Kant’s ‘Refutation of Idealism’ plainly has an anti-Cartesian conclusion: ‘inner experience in general is only possible through outer experience in general’ (B278). Due to wide-spread preoccupation with Cartesian skepticism, and to the anti-naturalism of early analytic philosophy, most of Kant’s recent commentators have sought to find a purely conceptual, ‘analytic’ argument in Kant’s Refutation of Idealism – and then have dismissed Kant when no such plausible argument can be reconstructed from his text. Kant’s argument supposedly cannot eliminate all relevant alternatives, (...) and so cannot justify its strong modal claims. Kant based his arguments on an inventory of our basic cognitive capacities to employ our forms of intuition and our forms of judgment. Kant provides a variety of considerations and arguments to determine what our cognitive capacities are. This involves ‘transcendental reflection’, which Kant held is absolutely crucial for judging matters a priori (A263/B319). I argue that there is a level of philosophical reflection on our own cognitive capabilities and their preconditions that is significantly richer than has been noticed by recent commentators, and that is a precondition of Kant’s transcendental reflection proper. I explicate certain thought experiments Kant proposes in order for us to recognize some our basic, characteristic cognitive capabilities, and the limits and requirements they entail for the nature and objects of human knowledge. These thought experiments involve a kind of reflection on who we as cognizant subjects are, on what our basic cognitive capabilities are. Engaging in this kind of reflection reveals that Kant’s transcendental arguments are significantly stronger and more persuasive than has been recognized in recent commentary. (shrink)
This essay explores Kant’s account of judging. In it, I argue for two central claims. First, Kant defines the act of judgment as the exercise of a particular type of authority (Befugnis). When a person makes a judgment, she makes a claim to speak for everyone, and not just herself. She puts something forward as true. Kant’s term for this discursive authority is “objectivity validity,” and he identifies this as the essential feature of judging. Second, the Categories and the Principles (...) are what authorize a person to put something forward as true. This means that the objective validity of a judgment is supplied by the rules of the understanding rather than by something outside the mind. (shrink)