Kant's Philosophy of Time

Dissertation, Purdue University (1980)

The third chapter applies the findings of the second to several other topics in Kant's philosophy of time. The first subdivision, on Kant's theory of inner sense, deals especially with the relation between the temporal and spatial manifolds and with his implausible doctrine that the mind in itself is atemporal. The second subdivision shows that Kant upholds a distinction between time and the empirical world that occurs in time, and that he rejects attempts to reduce the former to the latter. The third subdivision tries to determine Kant's view on the now-controversial ontological statuses of the past, present, and future. It concludes that he takes for granted the validity of dividing time in this way, and that this supposition contradicts his view that the mind is atemporal. The fourth subdivision discusses Kant's frequent use of a spatial analogy to time, and concludes that the value of this analogy depends mainly on contingent facts about human psychology. ;The second chapter examines in greater detail how, on Kant's transcendental idealist theory, we have synthetic apriori knowledge about time. Topics discussed include Kant's theories of synthesis, judgment, apperception, and the unsynthesized manifold. One conclusion drawn is that Kant's idealist theory, as a theory of knowledge about time, is not obviously superior to realism. Another conclusion is that Kant's theory is of more interest and value as a theory of judgment about time. Kant's treatment of three synthetic apriori judgments about time is then examined in detail. ;The first chapter deals with Kant's arguments for his doctrine that time is transcendentally ideal. All four arguments are examined, but attention is concentrated on his claim that only if time is transcendentally ideal can we have the synthetic apriori knowledge about time that Kant assumes we have. The study concludes that Kant fails to prove this claim, that his attempt to do so is based on, and reveals important features of, his idea of a critical philosophy, and that transcendental ideality may nevertheless be one possible explanation of our synthetic apriori knowledge about time. Kant's other arguments for transcendental ideality are discussed and found unconvincing, though perhaps of some interest for what they reveal about Kant's metaphysical presuppositions and idiosyncracies. ;The aim of this dissertation is to present a critical exposition of Kant's treatment of time in the Critique of Pure Reason
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