Kant's categories and the capacity to judge: Responses to Henry Allison and Sally Sedgwick

Inquiry 43 (1):91 – 110 (2000)
In response to Henry Allison's and Sally Sedwick's comments on my recent book, Kant and the Capacity to Judge, I explain Kant's description of the understanding as being essentially a "capacity to judge", and his view of the relationship between the categories and the logical functions of judgment. I defend my interpretation of Kant's argument in the Transcendental Deduction of the Categories in the B edition. I conclude that, in my interpretation, Kant's notions of the "a priori" and the "given" are more complex and flexible than is generally perceived. Nevertheless, Kant maintains a strict distinction between receptivity and spontaneity, the "passive" and the "active" aspects of our representational capacities. This separates him from his German idealist successors, most notably Fichte and Hegel. Contrary to Sedgwick's and Allison's suggestions, I do not think that my interpretation tends to blur this distinction.
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DOI 10.1080/002017400321398
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