Kant's Subjective Deduction

Abstract
In the transcendental deduction, the central argument of the Critique of Pure Reason, Kant seeks to secure the objective validity of our basic categories of thought. He distinguishes objective and subjective sides of this argument. The latter side, the subjective deduction, is normally understood as an investigation of our cognitive faculties. It is identified with Kant’s account of a threefold synthesis involved in our cognition of objects of experience, and it is said to precede and ground Kant’s proof of the validity of the categories in the objective deduction. I challenge this standard reading of the subjective deduction, arguing, first, that there is little textual evidence for it, and, second, that it encourages a problematic conception of how the deduction works. In its place, I present a new reading of the subjective deduction. Rather than being a broad investigation of our cognitive faculties, it should be seen as addressing a specific worry that arises in the course of the objective deduction. The latter establishes the need for a necessary connection between our capacities for thinking and being given objects, but Kant acknowledges that his readers might struggle to comprehend how these seemingly independent capacities are coordinated. Even worse, they might well believe that in asserting this necessary connection, Kant’s position amounts to an implausible subjective idealism. The subjective deduction ismeant to allay these concerns by showing that they rest on a misunderstanding of the relation between these faculties. This new reading of the subjective deduction offers a better fit with Kant’s text. It also has broader implications, for it reveals the more philosophically plausible account of our relation to the world as thinkers that Kant is defending – an account that is largely obscured by the standard reading of the subjective deduction.
Keywords Kant  subjective deduction  objective deduction  transcendental psychology  threefold synthesis
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1080/09608781003779792
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
Edit this record
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Mark as duplicate
Request removal from index
Revision history
Download options
Our Archive
Through your library
References found in this work BETA
Mind and World.John McDowell - 1994 - Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
Practical Philosophy.Immanuel Kant - 1996 - Cambridge University Press.
Empiricism and the Philosophy of Mind.Wilfrid S. Sellars - 1956 - Minnesota Studies in the Philosophy of Science 1:253-329.
Critique of Pure Reason.I. Kant - 1787/1998 - Philosophy 59 (230):555-557.

View all 31 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
A Peculiar Intuition: Kant's Conceptualist Account of Perception.Nathan Bauer - 2012 - Inquiry : An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 55 (3):215-237.
Are Kant's Concepts and Methodology Inconsistent with Scientific Change? Constitutivity and the Synthetic Method in Kant.Paul L. Franco - 2012 - Hopos: The Journal of the International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science 2 (2):321-353.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Is There a Gap in Kant's B Deduction?Stefanie Grüne - 2011 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 19 (3):465 - 490.
Kant's Non-Conceptualism, Rogue Objects, and The Gap in the B Deduction.Robert Hanna - 2011 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 19 (3):399 - 415.
The Second Step of the B‐Deduction.Frederick Rauscher - 2014 - European Journal of Philosophy 22 (3):396-419.
The Proof Structure of Kant's A-Deduction.Michael Barker - 2001 - Kant-Studien 92 (3):259-282.
Added to PP index
2010-08-11

Total downloads
401 ( #6,614 of 2,197,331 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
34 ( #4,934 of 2,197,331 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads
My notes
Sign in to use this feature