Kant's Subjective Deduction


Authors
Nathan Bauer
Rowan University
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
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
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 47 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.
Kant’s Transcendental Functionalism.Chong-Fuk Lau - 2014 - Review of Metaphysics 68 (2):371-394.
Kant's Subjective Deduction: A Reappraisal.Ryan S. Kemp - 2018 - European Journal of Philosophy 26 (3):945-957.

View all 8 citations / 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.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2010-08-11

Total views
620 ( #6,626 of 2,285,628 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
34 ( #26,920 of 2,285,628 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes

Sign in to use this feature