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Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie

Ed. by Horn, Christoph / Serck-Hanssen, Camilla

Together with Mercer, Christia

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‘An Almost Single Inference’ – Kant's Deduction of the Categories Reconsidered

Konstantin Pollok1

1Columbia, SC

Citation Information: Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie. Volume 90, Issue 3, Pages 323–345, ISSN (Online) 1613-0650, ISSN (Print) 0003-9101, DOI: 10.1515/AGPH.2008.013, May 2009

Publication History

Published Online:
2009-05-12

Abstract

By taking into account some texts published between the first and the second edition of the Critique of Pure Reason that have been neglected by most of those who have dealt with the deduction of the categories, I argue that the core of the deduction is to be identified as the ‘almost single inference from the precisely determined definition of a judgment in general’, which Kant adumbrates in the Metaphysical Foundations in order to ‘make up for the deficiency’ of the A-deduction. Whereas the first step of the B-deduction is an attempt to show that the manifold of an intuition belongs to the ‘necessary unity of self-consciousness’ by means of the synthesis of the understanding, the second step has the task of showing that the very same synthesis is responsible for the spatio-temporal unity of the manifold. Thus, Kant's ‘answer to Hume’ is that no spatio-temporal objects of experience at all are merely ‘given’, independently of the conceptual activities of the understanding. Against the established view I substantiate the claim that with this ‘almost single inference’ of the second proof step the distinction between judgments of perception and judgments of experience consequently vanished from Kant's thinking.

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