Kant's Theory of Knowledge: An Outline of One Central Argument in the Critique of Pure Reason

By Graham Bird | Go to book overview
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6
THE TRANSCENDENTAL ANALYTIC

'Pure concepts of the understanding are thus a priori possible, and in relation to experience are indeed necessary' (A 130).

'This peculiarity of our understanding, that it can produce a priori unity of apperception solely by means of the categories, and only such and so many, is as little capable of further explanation as why we have just these and no other functions of judgment (B 145-146).

SO far Kant's problem in the Analytic, referred to generally as the 'representation' problem, has been briefly indicated without any account of the way in which Kant attacks it. But without some guide to the manner in which the different sections of the Analytic contribute to the solution of this problem Kant's argument may be lost in a maze of interesting, but often perplexing, detail. The most obvious guide to this whole argument is to be found in the different relations which each of the three main sections have to the categories. The arguments of the Metaphysical Deduction, Transcendental Deduction, and the Analytic of Principles certainly overlap in a number of ways, but it is helpful, even artificially, to separate them.

Kant's problem could be expressed in terms of an enquiry, of a transcendental and not empirical kind, into the ways in which we discriminate among the items presented to our senses. The force of the claim that this is a transcendental and not empirical enquiry appears partly in the investigation's being limited only to certain special concepts, and their influence on the discriminations we

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