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

By Graham Bird | Go to book overview

9
THE TRANSCENDENTAL DEDUCTION (continued)

'For appearances can certainly be given in intuition independently of functions of the understanding' (B 122).

'Consequently the manifold in a given intuition is necessarily subject to categories' (B 143).

THE path to be followed here has been already marked out in the previous chapter. What has in general to be done is to examine those arguments which elucidate the notion of apperception, and so make the notion of a category intelligible. Kant employs a tentative distinction between an empirical and a transcendental treatment of his problem (in A), and it is useful to follow this procedure. In this way Kant's highly general problem about the conditions for a possible experience can be introduced in the simpler terms of what is admittedly true of our experience. The argument involves an account of the linguistic unity indicated in the idea of apperception; of the personal unity connected with the same idea; and of Kant's classification of judgments.


(i) LANGUAGE AND EXPERIENCE

Kant's opening argument in the second edition account of apperception indicates at once its dual reference both to persons and concepts. The point is expressed with a somewhat baffling economy at B 131: 'It must be possible for the "I think" to accompany all my representations; for otherwise something would be represented in me, which could not be thought at all, and that is

-126-

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