Kant's Argument for the Principle of Intensive Magnitudes

Kantian Review 18 (3):387-412 (2013)

Authors
Tim Jankowiak
Towson University
Abstract
In the first Critique, Kant attempts to prove what we can call the "Principle of Intensive Magnitudes," according to which every possible object of experience will possess a determinate "degree" of reality. Curiously, Kant argues for this principle by inferring from a psychological premise about internal sensations (they have intensive magnitudes) to a metaphysical thesis about external objects (they also have intensive magnitudes). Most commentators dismiss the argument as a failure. In this article I give a reconstruction of Kant's argument that attempts to rehabilitate the argument back into his broader transcendental theory of experience. I argue that we can make sense of the argument's central inference by appeal to Kant's theory of empirical intuition and by an analysis of the way in which Kant thinks sensory matter constitutes our most basic representations of objects.
Keywords Kant   intensive magnitude   sensation   perception   empirical intuition   transcendental idealism
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DOI 10.1017/s1369415413000162
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References found in this work BETA

Kant, Non-Conceptual Content and the Representation of Space.Lucy Allais - 2009 - Journal of the History of Philosophy 47 (3):pp. 383-413.
Was Kant a Nonconceptualist?Hannah Ginsborg - 2008 - Philosophical Studies 137 (1):65 - 77.
Kantian Non-Conceptualism.Robert Hanna - 2008 - Philosophical Studies 137 (1):41 - 64.
Noumenal Affection.Desmond Hogan - 2009 - Philosophical Review 118 (4):501-532.
Problems From Kant.James Van Cleve - 2003 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 66 (1):211-218.

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Citations of this work BETA

Sensations as Representations in Kant.Tim Jankowiak - 2014 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 22 (3):492-513.

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