Lecture 10

The Metaphysical Deduction                                                              (10-3-16)


The ‘Metaphysical Deduction’ and the ‘Transcendental Deduction’ name the two steps Kant takes to describe ‘representation’ in the understanding. The first sentence of §26(B159-B160), which discuss these two steps, will be looked at below.

The thought, remember, is the understanding is a unified whole, not a random grab bag of faculties like , say, a swiss army knife. Knowledge must hang together in some unified way. Therefore, the faculty of knowledge must too hang together in a unified way. Its parts cannot conflict with one another. This is an uncontroversial claim of Kant’s; it is a tradition use of ‘understanding, although Kant begins to reconceive it.

Understanding as the capacity to know by means of concepts(by thinking). If this is so, what kind of opperation is the ‘use of concepts’? That is, given that concepts are general representations. The activity of using representation is judging(or the capacity of judgment). It brings conceptual representation back down(I am guessing from the intellectual realm?) to intuitive representations. It applies a general concept to a particular representation.

Judgment brings the concept into play in order to know something, therefore knowing necessarily involves judging. This explains the relation between concepts and their instances( i.e. the problem of universals).

The function of the understanding is judging(Kant’s first move in reconceiving  ‘understanding’). Kant’s table is not much different than the tables presented by other logicians in Kant’s own day.

Categorical judgments are the most basic: ‘S(subject) is P(predicate)’ is a simple 2 concept judgment.

  • Quantity and Quality articulate the ways in which categorical judgment can be modified. ‘S’ the subject is like selecting an object, ‘P’ the predicate is like modifying ‘S’ in a particular way. The quality is determined by the copula(i.e. the ‘is’). For example:
    • All S’s is/are P
    • Some is not/are not P
    • This S is non-/are non- P
  • Hypothetical: ‘ If __, then__…’
  • Disjunctive: ‘S is either P or Q’
    • For Kant both hypothetical and disjunctive are compound Categorical judgments, they are more involved than contemporary truth functional logic understands them to be.
  • Modality is an expression of ‘strength’ of the copula: ‘is’; ‘maybe’; ‘must be’.

In General Logic space and time are ignored; in Transcendental Logic pure intuitions must be taken into account, but particular sensation is ignored. That is to say, general logic abstracts from all content, whereas transcendental logic abstracts from merely empirical content.

Manifold is opposed to unity, so we take ‘multiplicity’ ‘many’ or ‘diversity’ as applicable synonyms. As understanding is the source of unity, sensibility is the source of diversity.

(B103)Synthesis is contrasted against Analysis (‘syn’=together; ‘thesis’= to put or set)(‘Ana’= up; ‘lysis’= loosen or break)

  • Analysis gets us to general representations, to a generality. Breaking into parts, as we broke ‘tree’ apart from our sensations of ‘fir’, ‘willow’, and ‘linden’. Analysis finds what is common and ‘breaks away’ and leaves out everything else.
  • Synthesis gives rise to knowledge. It is an act of combining. The function which gives rise to the categories.

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