THE TRANSCENDENTAL DEDUCTION
'To the synthesis of cause and effect there belongs a dignity which cannot be empirically expressed . . .' (B 124).
ANY short account of the Transcendental Deduction such as this must fail to do justice (even in the stern sense) to Kant's argument. This is not only because the argument branches profusely in so many different directions, but also because Kant provided rather different versions of it in the two editions of the Critique, in the Prolegomena, and in the Metaphysical Foundations of the Natural Sciences. It is, for these reasons, hard to say simply, but truthfully, what is the central issue in the argument, and impossible to cater for all its ramifications. Kant nevertheless provided a short general summary of his aim (B 116-129), saying that he intends to justify our use of certain concepts, or to establish their objective validity. Unfortunately this way of expressing his task is apt to be misunderstood, unless some qualifications are added to it.
Kant himself makes some of these qualifications clear. He insists, as we have seen (Ch. 1), that his task should be understood not as an empirical but as a transcendental enquiry into our concepts or mental powers (B 117-119, A 97). It is natural to read this rejection of Locke's procedure as a repudiation of any central interest in questions of empirical psychology, although many philosophers would claim that the argument in the Deduction is objectionably psychological. This conflict has been considered