Longuenesse on Kant and the priority of the capacity to judge

Inquiry 43 (1):81 – 90 (2000)
Abstract
In her book Kant and the Capacity to Judge, Be ´atrice Longuenesse makes two apparently incompatible claims about the status of the categories in Kant?s Critique of Pure Reason. On the one hand, the categories, in her words, ?result from [the] activity of generating and combining concepts according to logical forms of judgment? and are thus ?in no way prior to the act of judging?. On the other, they guide the unity (the prediscursive synthesis) which must be produced in the sensible manifold before any combination of concepts into judgments can occur. Longuenesse?s strategy for rendering these two claims compatible is to draw our attention to the various roles the categories play as conditions of empirical judgment. This paper suggests that her arguments do not support the thesis that the categories themselves are generated out of acts of judging. Her insistence upon the priority of the capacity to judge may therefore claim more than is warranted.
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