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KANT ON THE HUMAN STANDPOINT

´
In this collection of essays Beatrice Longuenesse considers three main
aspects of Kant’s philosophy, his epistemology and metaphysics of nat-
ure, his moral philosophy, and his aesthetic theory, under one unifying
principle: Kant’s conception of our capacity to form judgments. She
argues that the elements which make up our cognitive access to the
world – what Kant calls the ‘‘human standpoint’’ – have an equally
important role to play in our moral evaluations and our aesthetic judg-
ments. Her discussion ranges over Kant’s account of our representations
of space and time, his conception of the logical forms of judgments,
sufficient reason, causality, community, God, freedom, morality, and
beauty in nature and art. Her book will appeal to all who are interested
in Kant and his thought.

´
Beatrice Longuenesse is Professor of Philosophy at New York
University. Her numerous publications include Kant and the Capacity to
Judge (1998).
MODERN EUROPEAN PHILOSOPHY
General Editor
R O B E R T B . P I P P I N , University of Chicago
Advisory Board
G A R Y G U T T I N G , University of Notre Dame
R O L F - P E T E R H O R S T M A N N , Humboldt University, Berlin
M A R K S A C K S , University of Essex


Some Recent Titles
Daniel W. Conway: Nietzsche’s Dangerous Game
John P. McCormick: Carl Schmitt’s Critique of Liberalism
Frederick A. Olafson: Heidegger and the Ground of Ethics
Gunter Zoller: Fichte’s Transcendental Philosophy
¨
¨
Warren Breckman: Marx, the Young Hegelians, and the Origins of Radical
Social Theory
William Blattner: Heidegger’s Temporal Idealism
Charles Griswold: Adam Smith and the Virtues of the Enlightenment
Gary Gutting: Pragmatic Liberalism and the Critique of Modernity
Allen Wood: Kant’s Ethical Thought
Karl Ameriks: Kant and the Fate of Autonomy
Alfredo Ferrarin: Hegel and Aristotle
Cristina Lafont: Heidegger, Language, and World-Disclosure
Nicholas Wolsterstorff: Thomas Reid and the Story of Epistemology
Daniel Dahlstrom: Heidegger’s Concepts of Truth
Michelle Grier: Kant’s Doctrine of Transcendental Illusion
Henry Allison: Kant’s Theory of Taste
Allen Speight: Hegel, Literature, and the Problem of Agency
J. M. Bernstein: Adorno
Will Dudley: Hegel, Nietzsche, and Philosophy
Taylor Carman: Heidegger’s Analytic
Douglas Moggach: The Philosophy and Politics of Bruno Bauer
Rudiger Bubner: The Innovations of Idealism
¨
Jon Stewart: Kierkegaard’s Relations to Hegel Reconsidered
Michael Quante: Hegel’s Concept of Action
Wolfgang Detel: Foucault and Classical Antiquity
Robert M. Wallace: Hegel’s Philosophy of Reality, Freedom, and God
Johanna Oksala: Foucault on Freedom
Wayne M. Martin: Theories of Judgment
KANT ON THE HUMAN
STANDPOINT


´
BEATRICE LONGUENESSE
New York University
cambridge university press
Cambridge, New York, Melbourne, Madrid, Cape Town, Singapore, SĂŁo Paulo

Cambridge University Press
The Edinburgh Building, Cambridge cb2 2ru, UK
Published in the United States of America by Cambridge University Press, New York
www.cambridge.org
Information on this title: www.cambridge.org/9780521834780

© Beatrice Longuenesse 2005


This publication is in copyright. Subject to statutory exception and to the provision of
relevant collective licensing agreements, no reproduction of any part may take place
without the written permission of Cambridge University Press.

First published in print format 2005

isbn-13 978-0-511-13491-3 eBook (EBL)
isbn-10 0-511-13491-6 eBook (EBL)

isbn-13 978-0-521-83478-0 hardback
isbn-10 0-521-83478-3 hardback




Cambridge University Press has no responsibility for the persistence or accuracy of urls
for external or third-party internet websites referred to in this publication, and does not
guarantee that any content on such websites is, or will remain, accurate or appropriate.
CONTENTS




Acknowledgments page ix

Introduction 1

PART I Revisiting the capacity to judge
Kant’s categories, and the capacity to judge
1 17
Synthesis, logical forms, and the objects of our ordinary
2
experience 39
Synthesis and givenness
3 64

PART II The human standpoint in the Transcendental
Analytic
Kant on a priori concepts: the metaphysical deduction
4
of the categories 81
Kant’s deconstruction of the principle of sufficient reason
5 117
Kant on causality: what was he trying to prove?
6 143
Kant’s standpoint on the whole: disjunctive judgment,
7
community, and the Third Analogy of Experience 184

PART III The human standpoint in the critical system
The transcendental ideal, and the unity of the critical system
8 211
vii
viii CONTENTS


Moral judgment as a judgment of reason
9 236
Kant’s leading thread in the Analytic of the Beautiful
10 265

Bibliography 291
Index of citations 297
Index of subjects 300
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS




Earlier versions of chapters of this book have appeared in the following
publications:
‘‘Kant’s categories, and the capacity to judge: responses to Henry
Allison and Sally Sedgwick,’’ Inquiry, vol. 43, no. 1 (2000), pp. 91–111.
‘‘Synthesis, logical forms, and the objects of our ordinary experience:
response to Michael Friedman,’’ Archiv fu Geschichte der Philosophie,
¨r
vol. 83 (2001), pp. 199–212.
‘‘Synthese et donation. Reponse ` Michel Fichant,’’ Philosophie, no. 60
` ´ a
(1998), pp. 79–91.
‘‘Kant’s deconstruction of the principle of sufficient reason,’’ The
Harvard Review of Philosophy, ix (2001), pp. 67–87. Also in German,
under the title ‘‘Kant uber den Satz vom Grund,’’ in Kant und die
¨
Berliner Aufkla ¨rung. Akten des IX. Internationalen Kant-Kongresses, ed.
Volker Gerhardt, Rolf-Peter Horstmann, and Ralph Schumacher
(Berlin: de Gruyter, 2001), i, pp. 66–86.
‘‘Kant’s standpoint on the whole: disjunctive judgment, community,
and the Third Analogy of Experience,’’ in Ralph Schumacher and Oliver
Scholz (eds.), Idealismus als Theorie der Repra¨sentation? (Paderborn: Mentis,
2001), pp. 287–313.
‘‘The transcendental ideal, and the unity of the critical system,’’ in Hoke
Robinson (ed.), Proceedings of the VIIIth International Kant Congress, Memphis
1995 (Memphis: Marquette University Press, 1995), i–2, pp. 521–39.
ix
x ACKNOWLEDGMENTS


`
‘‘Kant et le jugement moral,’’ in Michele Cohen-Halimi (ed.), Kant. La
´
rationalite pratique (Paris: Presses Universitaires de France, 2003),
pp. 15–55.
Three chapters are slightly revised versions of essays initially commis-
sioned for the following volumes:
‘‘Kant on a priori concepts: the metaphysical deduction of the cate-
gories,’’ in Paul Guyer (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to Kant and Modern
Philosophy (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2005). I am grateful
to Paul Guyer for giving me permission to include the essay in this volume.
‘‘Kant on causality: what was he trying to prove?’’ in Christia Mercer
and Eileen O’Neill (eds.), Modern Philosophy, Ideas and Mechanism (New
York: Oxford University Press, 2005). I am grateful to Christia Mercer
and Eileen O’Neill, and to Oxford University Press, for giving me
permission to include the essay in this volume.
‘‘Kant’s leading thread in the Analytic of the Beautiful,’’ in Rebecca
Kukla (ed.), Aesthetics and Cognition in Kant’s Critical Philosophy (New York:
Cambridge University Press, 2005). I am grateful to Rebecca Kukla for
giving me permission to include the essay in this volume.
My intellectual debts during the years in which I worked first on the
essays gathered in this volume, and then on the volume itself, are
countless. My gratitude goes first to my colleagues and students in the
philosophy department at Princeton. They provided an exciting, chal-
lenging, and supportive community. I have learnt from our collective
enterprise in more ways than I could ever have dreamt was possible.
I am also grateful to my colleagues and students in the philosophy
department at New York University for the wonderful welcome they
have given me since I arrived in the spring term of 2004, and for the
exciting work we are doing together.
It is impossible to name all the individuals from whose intellectual
companionship I have benefited. Among those who were directly
involved in helping me think about the issues discussed in this book,
I must at least mention Henry Allison, Richard Aquila, Jean-Marie
Beyssade, Michelle Beyssade, Quassim Cassam, Michelle Cohen-Halimi,
Steve Engstrom, Michel Fichant, Michael Friedman, Hannah Ginsborg,
¨
Michelle Grier, Paul Guyer, Rebecca Kukla, David Martin, Jean-Claude
´
Pariente, Martine Pecharman, Sally Sedgwick, Dan Warren, Wayne
Waxman, Michael Wolff, Allen Wood.
My thanks to Zahid Zalloua and to Nicole Zimek for the fine job they
did translating from the French, respectively, the essays that became
ch. 9 and ch. 3 in this volume.
xi
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS


Colin Marshall was my research assistant in the final phase of putting
together the book. He was unfailingly reliable and helpful in his editorial
suggestions as well as in putting together the bibliography and prepar-
ing the index. But he was also much more than that. He was an excep-
tionally sharp reader whose questions saved me more than once from
unclear or inconsistent formulations. The book is better for having
benefited from his assistance. Needless to say, its remaining imperfec-
tions are entirely my responsibility. This project would never have
seen the light without the persistence, kindness, and firm mentoring of
Hilary Gaskin of Cambridge University Press. My thanks also to Hilary
Scannell, who was a superb copy-editor.
I am grateful to the Faculty of Arts and Sciences of New York
University for its generosity in granting me a leave for the academic
year 2004–5, which allowed me to complete the project of this book.
I am grateful to the Humanities Council at Princeton for granting me
financial support to translate from the French two essays in this volume.
My deepest gratitude goes to Dale for his love and support, and for
making life and philosophy such endless sources of surprise and joy.
INTRODUCTION




This volume gathers some of the papers I wrote between 1995 and 2003,
namely in the years that followed the publication of my earlier Kant book,
first in French (Kant et le pouvoir de juger, Paris: Presses Universitaires de
France, 1993, hereafter KPJ), then in its expanded English version (Kant
and the Capacity to Judge, Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1998,
hereafter KCJ). Among the essays written during that period that I did
not include in this volume are an essay on Kant and Hegel which belongs
in a separate volume devoted to my work on Hegel; essays on self-
consciousness and ‘‘I’’ which are part of a work in progress I hope to
develop further; and finally a few essays that in one way or another
overlap with those included here.
What unifies the essays selected for this volume is their relation to the
central theme of my earlier book on Kant: Kant’s conception of what he
calls our capacity to judge (Vermogen zu urteilen) and its role in our forming
¨
an objective view of the world. However, in addition to the role of our
capacity to judge in cognition, I now consider its role in moral deliberation
and in aesthetic evaluation. Some of the essays have been revised in light
of discussions I benefited from since they first appeared. Others, espe-
cially the more recent, remain mostly unchanged, except for editorial
adjustments necessary to unify references throughout the volume and
to tie the different topics together. Two of the essays are translated from
the French and appear in English for the first time in this volume.
1
KANT ON THE HUMAN STANDPOINT
2

Beyond their common theme, the essays fall into three main categories,
thus the three parts of the book. Part i (‘‘Revisiting the capacity to judge’’)
contains three essays that were written in response to comments on, and
criticisms of, KCJ. Part ii (‘‘The human standpoint in the Transcendental
Analytic’’) contains four essays that clarify some of the views I defended in
the earlier book, but also significantly expand the explanations I gave on
crucial points such as Kant’s argument in the Metaphysical Deduction
of the Categories (ch. 4), Kant’s relation to earlier German philosophy
(ch. 5), Kant’s defense of the causal principle in the Second Analogy of
Experience (ch. 6), or the argument and import of the Third Analogy
(ch. 7). Finally, part iii (‘‘The human standpoint in the critical system’’)
expands my discussion of Kant’s view of judgment beyond the
Transcendental Analytic of the Critique of Pure Reason. I analyze some
aspects of the relation between the Transcendental Analytic, the
Transcendental Dialectic of the Critique of Pure Reason, and the Critique
of Judgment (ch. 8); Kant’s view of moral judgment and its relation to the
conception of judgment expounded in the first Critique (ch. 9); and finally,
the use Kant makes of his analysis of logical forms of judgment in clari-
fying the nature of aesthetic judgments in the third Critique (ch. 10).
The chapters of this book, having initially been written as indepen-
dent essays, can be read separately and in any order that best suits the
reader’s own interests. Nevertheless, I think it may help to read them in
the order in which they are presented here – the book does have its own
systematic unity. My hope is that it will provide an easier access to some
of the central theses of my earlier book, while also developing them in
new directions, progressively unfolding Kant’s view of what I call,
borrowing the expression from Kant himself, ‘‘the human standpoint’’
(cf. Critique of Pure Reason, A26/B42).1 Part i provides the general back-
ground against which the particular arguments of part ii can best be

1
In quoting the Critique of Pure Reason I use the standard references to A and B, meaning the
first edition (1781) and the second edition (1787). All other texts of Kant are referenced in
the Akademie Ausgabe (AA), with volume and page. Standard English translations are
indicated upon first occurrence in footnotes, and in the bibliography. References to the
German edition are in the margins of all recent English translations. References to A and B
will be given in the main text, all other references will be given in the footnotes. When
I refer to titles of chapters or sections in the Critique, I use capital letters (e.g. the
Transcendental Deduction); when I refer to arguments I do not capitalize (e.g. the trans-
cendental deduction).
I sometimes say ‘‘first Critique’’ to refer to the Critique of Pure Reason, ‘‘second Critique’’
to refer to the Critique of Practical Reason, and ‘‘third Critique’’ to refer to the Critique of the
Power of Judgment. All emphases in quotations are Kant’s unless it is otherwise indicated.
INTRODUCTION 3

understood. Part ii follows the systematic order of Kant’s argument in
the Transcendental Analytic (although of course it covers only some of
its central themes). Part iii builds on the lessons of the Transcendental
Analytic to illuminate the unity of the critical system and the
relation between the different uses of our capacity to judge: theoretical,
practical, aesthetic.
‘‘The human standpoint’’ expounded in the first Critique is that stand-
point on the world which, according to Kant, is proper to human beings
as opposed to non-rational animals, on the one hand, and to what a
divine understanding might be, on the other hand. As opposed to non-
rational animals, human beings are endowed with what Kant calls ‘‘spon-
taneity,’’ namely a rule-governed capacity to acquire representations
that are not merely caused by the impingements of the world, but
actively integrated into a unified network, where the ways in which the
mind combines representations make it possible to discern when they
ought to be endorsed (as veridical) or rejected (as non-veridical). The
rules according to which representations are thus integrated are rules
for forming judgments, which themselves determine rules of reasoning.
The capacity to form judgments according to those rules is thus, accord-
ing to Kant, what is characteristic of the human mind, as opposed to
non-human animal minds.2 However, as opposed to what a divine
understanding might be, human minds are, like all other animal
minds, also passively impinged upon by a reality that is independent
of them, which they have not created. Nevertheless, even under that
essentially passive, receptive aspect, the human mind, according to
Kant, has a peculiar capacity to order in one whole the objects of the
representations thus received, and thus to anticipate further represen-
tations and the unity in which their objects might stand with the objects
of present and past representations. This ordering and locating of
individual objects of representations in one whole is made possible by
the a priori forms of our receptive capacity: space and time. From the
fact that we have such a priori modes of ordering, forms of intuition as


2
On the contrast between the cognitive capacities of human beings and of animals, see Jasche
¨
Logic, in Immanuel Kant, Lectures on Logic, ed. and trans. J. Michael Young (Cambridge:
Cambridge University Press, 1992), AAix, 65. Also Anthropology from a Pragmatic Point
of View, trans. Mary Gregor (The Hague: Nijhoff, 1974), AAviii, 154–5, 397, 411n; Critique
of Practical Reason, trans. Mary Gregor (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997),
AAv, 12; First Introduction to the Critique of the Power of Judgment, trans. Paul Guyer and
Eric Matthews, AAxx, 211. Many thanks to Wayne Waxman for having helped me with
these references.
KANT ON THE HUMAN STANDPOINT
4

well as forms of our capacity to judge (forms of judgments), Kant derives
a complex argument to the effect that we also have a priori concepts that
have their origin in the understanding alone and nevertheless are true
of all objects given to our senses: such concepts are what he calls,
borrowing the term from Aristotle, categories.3
In KCJ I argued, against standard interpretations, that in order to
understand Kant’s doctrine of the categories, and in order to under-
stand Kant’s argument to the effect that such concepts have applications
to objects of experience (i.e. that all objects of experience fall under the
categories), one needed to take seriously the origin Kant assigns to these
concepts in logical functions of judgment. In chs. 1 and 2 of the present
volume I address some of the objections that have been raised against
this claim. I have been fortunate in benefiting from the comments of
outstanding critics on the occasion of two ‘‘author meets critics’’ sessions
at meetings of the American Philosophical Association in the spring of
1999: one at the Pacific Division in Berkeley, the other at the Central
Division in New Orleans. Richard Aquila and Michael Friedman were
my critics on the first occasion, Henry Allison and Sally Sedgwick on the
second. Richard Aquila did not submit his comments for publication.
Michael Friedman published his comments in the form of an extensive
essay which appeared in Archiv fu Geschichte der Philosophie. The editors
¨r
of Archiv then offered to publish my response, which has now become
(with the addition of some developments I had to cut to respect length
limitations in Archiv) ch. 2 in this volume. Henry Allison’s and Sally
Sedgwick’s comments, as well as my response to them, were published
in one and the same issue of Inquiry, and my response has now become
ch. 1 in this volume. In both chapters I give extensive references to the
papers I respond to. But these chapters also provide an independent,
self-standing overview of what I take to be most original – and thus also,
no doubt, most controversial – about my interpretation of Kant’s views in
the first Critique.



3
I discuss in detail the contrast Kant draws between our own, discursive understanding and
what a divine, intuitive understanding might be in the paper on Kant and Hegel mentioned
at the beginning of this introduction (see above, p. 1): ‘‘Point of view of man or knowledge of
God: Kant and Hegel on concept, judgment and reason,’’ in Sally Sedgwick (ed.), Kant and
German Idealism: Fichte, Schelling, Hegel (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002).
The title of this paper inspired the title of the present volume, and the paper was to be its
concluding chapter. For reasons of length, I agreed to transfer that paper to a different
volume devoted to Hegel’s Science of Logic. The title still seemed apt for the present book.
INTRODUCTION 5

Two objections are worthy of special notice. The first, raised by Henry
Allison (discussed in ch. 1), is that by insisting as I do on their origin in
logical functions of judgment, I end up depriving Kant’s categories of
any role of their own, and instead substitute for them the corresponding
logical forms of judgment. The second, raised by Michael Friedman
(discussed in ch. 2), is that by giving as much importance as I do to
Kant’s logical forms of judgment, which are based on the traditional,
Aristotelian subject–predicate form, I end up downplaying what is most
novel about Kant’s transcendental logic – its relation to the Newtonian
model of mathematical principles of natural science – and instead tend to
attribute to Kant an ontology of nature that is fundamentally Aristotelian
in inspiration. Although the two objections were raised independently of
one another, I am struck by their convergence. Both concern the
respective weights of Aristotelianism and of the new, mathematical
science of nature in Kant’s epistemology and in his ontology (albeit an
ontology of appearances, things as they appear to us). Now in my
opinion what is most striking about Kant’s view is that he indeed
makes use of an Aristotelian subject–predicate logic, but in such a way
as to ground an ontology of appearances that is decidedly non-
Aristotelian. This is of course made possible by the appeal to the forms
of intuition as being what alone makes possible the representation of
individual objects, identified and re-identified only by way of their rela-
tions in space and time and the universal correlation between their
respective states and changes of states. Only insofar as they determine
what Kant calls the ‘‘unity of synthesis’’ according to forms of intuition do
logical functions of judgments become categories, concepts guiding the
combination of what is given to sensible intuition so that it can eventually
be thought under (empirical and mathematical) concepts, combined
according to the logical forms of judgments whose table Kant sets up
in the Transcendental Analytic of the first Critique. Both Allison’s and
Friedman’s challenges have helped me to make clearer (at least for
myself, and I hope for others as well) my interpretation of Kant’s view,
as have Sally Sedgwick’s questions concerning the ways in which one
should understand the a priori character of the categories.
Allison’s and Sedgwick’s comments also converge in an interesting
way with the questions raised by Michel Fichant, which I address in
ch. 3. In 1997 Michel Fichant published in the French journal Philosophie
the first translation into French of a text which, to my knowledge, is to this
day not translated into English: Kant’s essay, unpublished in his lifetime,
¨
‘‘Uber Kastner’s Abhandlungen,’’ ‘‘On Kastner’s articles.’’ Fichant also
¨ ¨
KANT ON THE HUMAN STANDPOINT
6

offered an extensive commentary of Kant’s essay on Kastner in the
¨
course of which he took me to task for maintaining that according to
Kant, space and time as forms of sensibility, namely as forms in which
what is given to our senses is ordered and related, depend on spontaneity,
or more precisely on what Kant called the ‘‘affection of sensibility by the
understanding.’’ In emphasizing this point, Fichant warned, I seem to
bring Kant perilously close to his German Idealist successors, who denied
any validity to the Kantian dualism of receptivity and spontaneity, of
passivity and activity, in our representational capacities. But I do not
think I in fact cross that line, although I do argue that space and time
are each represented as one only if they are brought under what Kant
calls the ‘‘unity of apperception,’’ and thus the understanding. In ch. 3,
I revisit this point and explain why it is decisive to Kant’s argument in the
Transcendental Deduction of the Categories.
The stage is thus set for part ii of the book. Here one of my goals is to
correct what I think may have been a one-sided understanding of the
view I defended in KCJ. Even the most careful readers of that book have
tended to focus their comments on what I say of the logical forms of
judgment and their role in analysis (or the process of comparison,
reflection, and abstraction by which, according to Kant, we form any
kinds of concepts) and have devoted comparatively less attention to my
interpretation of Kant’s notion of synthesis and its role in constituting
what I just described as the ‘‘human standpoint,’’ according to the
Transcendental Analytic of the Critique of Pure Reason. This imbalance
may have been due partly to the structure of KCJ: the logical forms of
judgment, and their role in analysis or reflection on the sensible given,
are expounded in great detail in part ii of the book, synthesis according
to the categories is explained only in part iii. In the present book, in
each of the four chapters of part ii, I jointly present, in connection
with a particular point of Kant’s argument in the Transcendental
Analytic, Kant’s view of general logic and the role of logical forms of
judgment, and Kant’s view of transcendental logic and the way those
logical forms, related to forms of sensibility, account for the role of a
priori concepts of the understanding in guiding the syntheses that make
possible any representation of objects.
Chapter 4 was originally written for the new edition of the Cambridge
Companion to Kant, edited by Paul Guyer. In this chapter I sketch out a
history of Kant’s question, ‘‘How do concepts that have their origin in the
workings of our minds apply to objects that are given?’’ and I explain
how Kant came to think he could find the solution to that problem in
INTRODUCTION 7

investigating the ways in which our discursive capacity (our capacity to
form concepts, which depends on spontaneity) and our intuitive capacity
(our capacity to form singular representations immediately related to
objects, which depends on sensibility or receptivity) work together.
I then closely follow the structure of Kant’s argument in ch. 1 of the
Transcendental Analytic, ‘‘the Leading Thread for the Discovery of all
Pure Concepts of the Understanding,’’ in which Kant justifies his claim
that pure concepts of the understanding have their origin in what he
calls ‘‘logical functions of judgment,’’ and prepares the ground for the
central argument of the first Critique, the Transcendental Deduction of
the Categories.
Kant’s argument in the Leading Thread depends on the relation he
lays out between analysis and synthesis: analysis of sensible, individual
representations into concepts, and of less general (‘‘lower’’) concepts into
more general (‘‘higher’’) concepts; and synthesis of individual elements
(entities or parts of entities) into wholes (what Kant calls ‘‘unified mani-
folds’’). The latter notion has been the object of much suspicion in the past
forty years, especially under the influence of Strawson’s claim that it
belongs to the ‘‘imaginary subject of transcendental psychology.’’4 For
Strawson, taking seriously the role assigned to synthesis in Kant’s
argument is endorsing the worst kind of armchair psychology and losing
track of what is truly groundbreaking in Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason: the
invention of a new kind of philosophical argument, which Strawson calls
transcendental argument, in which some general features of objects (and
thus some general concepts, or categories, under which they are thought
or known) are proved to be necessary conditions for the possibility of
ascribing one’s representations to oneself, and thus for any experience at
all. Transcendental arguments are thus a special kind of anti-skeptical
argument, in which no appeal at all needs to be made to dubious
psychological notions such as Kant’s notion of a transcendental synthesis
of imagination, supposed to condition any representation of object.
Interestingly, it is not just Kant’s notion of synthesis that Strawson
rejects. It is also Kant’s table of logical functions of judgment, which
Strawson evaluates in the light of contemporary truth-functional logic.
This being so, Strawson’s charge against Kant is really not just one of
‘‘armchair psychology.’’ For Strawson, the kind of logical argument Kant
makes in support of his doctrine of the categories (their nature, and the

4
P. F. Strawson, The Bounds of Sense: an Essay on Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason (London:
Methuen, 1966), p. 32.
KANT ON THE HUMAN STANDPOINT
8

grounds we have for asserting their relation to objects existing indepen-
dently of our minds) is also irrelevant. Indeed its results are ‘‘so meager
as to render almost pointless any critical consideration of the detail of
Kant’s derivation of the categories from the Table of Judgments.’’5
Now my own claim is that indeed Kant’s table of logical forms has
no justification at all if we read it in the light of contemporary truth-
functional logic and first-order predicate logic. Nor does the relation
Kant goes on to draw between forms of judgment as forms of analysis,
and what he calls ‘‘schemata’’ of the categories as forms of the unity of
synthesis. To understand this relation, one needs to consider the early
modern version of logic Kant is working with, and the notion of judg-
ment he has himself defined. I defended these points in KCJ. What I did
not do is provide a step-by-step analysis of the chapter in which Kant
expounds and defends the central thesis of his metaphysical deduction
of the categories: the view that logical forms of judgment provide a
‘‘leading thread’’ for the establishment of a table of categories. Such an
analysis is what I now offer in ch. 4. At the end of the chapter I also offer
some suggestions about how we might think of the relation between
Kant’s logic, and the role Kant assigns to it in his transcendental project,
and later developments in logic and natural philosophy. The same issue
is taken up again later in the book, e.g. at the end of ch. 7, where I
suggest again that Kant’s limited notion of logic (a science of the rules of
concept subordination, in which objects and their relations have no
place) is to be kept in mind if one is to understand its role in Kant’s
system and its relation to post-Fregean logic and ontology.
In ch. 5, I consider an issue that played a decisive role in the develop-
ment of Kant’s transcendental philosophy: Kant’s criticism of his ration-
alist predecessors’ ‘‘proof’’ of the ‘‘principle of sufficient reason,’’ and his
argument for his own proof of the same principle. I follow the develop-
ment of Kant’s view from the pre-critical New Elucidation of the Principles
of Metaphysical Cognition (1755) to the Critique of Pure Reason (1781). What
initially intrigued me was Kant’s statement that his argument for the
universal validity of the causal principle in the Second Analogy of
Experience provided precisely the proof of the principle of sufficient
reason that his predecessors had been unable to provide. In investigat-
ing Kant’s relation to his rationalist predecessors from the pre-critical
writings to the Critique of Pure Reason, I discovered that even in his


5
Ibid., p. 82.
INTRODUCTION 9

earliest texts what was original about Kant’s approach was his defining
the notion of reason or ground (ratio, Grund) in relation to propositions.
Whereas for his rationalist predecessors the notion of reason was pri-
marily a metaphysical one (and the principle of sufficient reason stated
that nothing is, or comes to be, or exists, without a reason or ground for
its being, or coming to be, or existing), for Kant the notion of reason or
ground is primarily a logical one. In his formulation, the principle of
sufficient reason states that no proposition is true without there being a
reason or ground for its truth.
What is characteristic of Kant’s pre-critical period is that he thinks that
this principle of sufficient reason of propositions directly maps the way
things are: just as a proposition is true only if there is a reason for its
being true (a principle for which Kant thinks he has a proof), a state of
affairs obtains, or comes to be, or a thing comes into existence, only if
there is a reason or ground for the state of affairs’ obtaining, or coming
to be, or a thing’s coming to exist. But in the critical period, what Kant
argues is that our capacity to order states of affairs and individual entities
in time depends on our capacity to relate the truth of propositions to the
reasons or grounds for their being true. So now it is not simply assumed
that logical relations (relations between propositions) perfectly map real
relations (relations between states of affairs). Rather, our discursive
ability to think logical relations, once related to the forms of our intuition
(and here, more specifically, to the form of time), allows us to introduce
into what is given according to these forms the kinds of ordering that will
allow us to recognize things, their states, and their changes of states or
alterations: to order them in time.
Chapter 6 is directly connected to the argument of ch. 5. Here I
analyze Kant’s argument in the Second Analogy of Experience. Since I
have already devoted a long chapter in KCJ to all three Analogies, one
might wonder what remains for me to say on the issue. First, I relate my
understanding of Kant’s argument to recent prominent interpretations
of the Second Analogy. Second, I refine my analysis of the relation
between Kant’s logical argument and his account of time determination.
Finally, I now offer what I believe to be a more complete account of the
ways in which Kant calls upon the unity and continuity (denseness, in
contemporary vocabulary) of time and space, as objects of our a priori
intuition, to complete his argument in the Second Analogy. If I am right
in thinking that these features of space and time play a decisive role in
completing the argument, it should come as no surprise if challenges
against Kant’s view of space and time as a priori forms of appearances
KANT ON THE HUMAN STANDPOINT
10

are generally paired with challenges against the strong version of the
causal principle I take Kant to be defending in the Second Analogy of
Experience (all events in nature are subject to strictly necessary causal
laws). This is a point that would certainly merit further investigation.
Just as in ch. 6 I revisit my account of the Second Analogy, in ch. 7
I revisit and expand my account of the Third Analogy of Experience and
of Kant’s many-faceted category of community. I argue that the category
of community, rather than that of causality, should be seen as the central
category for the whole critical system, from the Third Analogy of
Experience in the first Critique to the community of rational agents in
the second Critique and Metaphysics of Morals, to the sensus communis that
grounds aesthetic judgment in the third Critique.
This provides the transition to part iii of the book, where I consider
Kant’s view of the human standpoint in the critical system as a whole.
In ch. 8, I analyze the ‘‘principle of complete determination’’ that Kant
introduces at the beginning of the chapter on the Transcendental Ideal,
in the Transcendental Dialectic of the Critique of Pure Reason. My initial
motivation in undertaking this analysis was my surprise at the way Kant
introduces this principle. According to Kant, this principle is at work in
generating the rationalist idea of an ens realissimum (most real being)
represented as the source of all reality in finite things. One might think
that the illusion Kant denounces in the idea he also denounces in the
principle on which the idea depends. But at the beginning of the chapter
on the Transcendental Ideal, the principle is presented without any kind of
disclaimer on Kant’s part. My initial question was: is there a critical, legi-
timate version of the principle, to which Kant claims one can retreat once its
illusory, illegitimate interpretation is properly undermined on the basis of
the critical standpoint established in the Transcendental Analytic? I argue
that indeed there is. Moreover, laying out the critical version of the prin-
ciple brings to light an interesting connection between notions of systema-
ticity at work in the Transcendental Analytic, in the Transcendental
Dialectic, and in the First Introduction to the third Critique.
I argue that Kant’s claims concerning the unavoidable and epistemic-
ally indispensable character of what he calls the illusions of reason,
especially the illusion carried by the Transcendental Ideal, are not well
supported. I claim that the appendix to the Transcendental Analytic
(On the Amphiboly of Concepts of Reflection), together with the account
of systematicity in the First Introduction to the Critique of Judgment,
provide enough tools to dispel the purported inevitability of the
theological illusion expounded in the Transcendental Ideal. One way
INTRODUCTION 11

of characterizing my work in this chapter is thus to say that I defend
Kant’s ‘‘human standpoint’’ as laid out in the Transcendental Analytic of
the Critique of Pure Reason and the Critique of Judgment against what I take
to be the unnecessary concessions (however cautious and limited these
are) that Kant makes, in the Transcendental Dialectic, to a view where
the human standpoint is defined in necessary relation to (albeit also in
contrast with) divine understanding and agency.
Chapters 9 and 10 are devoted respectively to Kant’s views of moral
judgment and aesthetic judgment. For each of these chapters, my initial
question was whether the logical forms of judgment laid out in the first
Critique have any relevance at all for Kant’s investigations in the other
two Critiques. I argue that they do, and that examining how and why this
is the case yields illuminating results concerning Kant’s substantive views
of morality and aesthetic experience.
In ch. 9, I consider moral judgments. It might seem that the issue of
judgment and its forms is not especially central to Kant’s view of mor-
ality, since after all, Kant’s most insistent claim is that moral decision and
moral evaluation are a matter of the determination of the will by reason
(Vernunft). It thus seems that Kant’s view of reason is what needs to be
investigated if one’s concern is to investigate the role of human beings’
spontaneity in the moral determination of the will. However, the striking
fact is that Kant does make use of the logical forms of relation and
modality defined in his table of judgments, in characterizing the differ-
ent kinds of imperatives reason sets to itself in determining the will. It is
therefore worth asking what role these forms play in reason’s moral
determination of the will. It turns out that investigating the nature of
practical reason in this way helps us better understand how the role of
the unconditioned, categorical imperative, is to sift through the rules
depending on conditioned, hypothetical imperatives, so as to determine
which of these rules still stand (are permissible), and which of them
collapse, in the light of the unconditioned demand of the categorical
imperative. It thus appears that even in moral determination, spon-
taneity and sensibility are inseparably intertwined. That our notions of
the morally good are rationally determined means that all sensible
motivations are ordered under an original principle that is independent
of them: the unconditioned command of the categorical imperative.
There are still important differences, of course, between the theoretical
and the practical use of reason. In its theoretical use, reason depends on
sensibility and understanding for the presentation of the objects of
cognition. In its practical use, reason defines its own object: the good,
KANT ON THE HUMAN STANDPOINT
12

by its conformity to the categorical imperative. Nevertheless, this very
general characterization of the good finds itself instantiated, indeed real-
ized by us, only in relation to emotions and desires that are characteristic
of human beings as pathologically affected. My claim is thus that the very
same duality that characterizes the human standpoint in cognition also
characterizes it in moral determination. Indeed this duality is the source
of the well-known difficulties Kant encounters when it comes to answering
questions about what morality, as he defines it, commands us to do.
I examine a few of these difficulties at the end of ch. 9.
Finally, in ch. 10 I consider Kant’s view of aesthetic judgment. In
analyzing the features of our judgments of the beautiful, Kant makes
systematic use of the forms he has laid out in the first Critique. My claim
here is that the use he makes of these forms is quite unusual, in at least
two ways. First, although Kant’s initial investigation concerns a
judgment about an object (‘‘this X is beautiful’’), it turns out that the
characterization Kant gives of the logical form of that judgment seems to
address primarily not a descriptive judgment about the object, but a
prescriptive, normative judgment about the judging subjects (‘‘all
judging subjects ought to judge the object to be beautiful’’). Second,
the aesthetic judgment, with the peculiar feature I just described, is
grounded on an immediately experienced feeling, not (like theoretical
judgment) on the recognition of a synthesized intuition as falling under a
concept or (like moral judgment) on the determination of the will by an a
priori law of reason, the categorical imperative. Investigating these two
peculiar features of aesthetic judgment reveals in human beings a
sensitivity to their community as human beings, which has the same a
priori grounds as their capacity to develop an objective view of the
world, and their capacity to develop moral motivation. But what distin-
guishes aesthetic judgment from theoretical and moral judgment is its
responsiveness to feeling rather than to synthesis of sensible intuition
according to a rule, or determination of the faculty of desire according to
the categorical imperative of reason.
There is a missing link in the account I offer here of Kant’s conception of
the ‘‘human standpoint.’’ I say little about ‘‘I’’ in ‘‘I think’’ or about Kant’s
distinction between empirical and transcendental self-consciousness,
in the first Critique. Nor do I offer any comment on the distinction
between ‘‘I’’ as the subject of the categorical imperative (‘‘I ought never
to act except in such a way that I could also will the maxim of my action to
be a universal law’’) and what Kant calls, in Groundwork of the Metaphysics
of Morals and elsewhere, the ‘‘dear self.’’ I do offer some comment on the
INTRODUCTION 13

combination, in Kant’s account of aesthetic judgment, of what is most
individual (feeling) and what is universally shared, or apt to be shared:
what Kant calls sensus communis, or sense of the universal community of
human beings. But Kant’s view of ‘‘I’’ in all three areas of investigation, in
particular his account of persons in the first and second Critiques, and
what this account has to offer in light of contemporary investigations of
self-reference and personal identity, will have to be the object of another
investigation.
PART I



REVISITING THE CAPACITY TO JUDGE
1


KANT’S CATEGORIES, AND THE
CAPACITY TO JUDGE




Both Sally Sedgwick and Henry Allison focus their comments1 on the
central thesis of my book (KCJ): we should take more seriously than has
generally been done Kant’s claim that a ‘‘leading thread’’ can be found
from some elementary logical forms of judgment to a system of categories,
or ‘‘pure concepts of the understanding.’’ Both of them, however, express
the worry that in stressing the role of the logical forms of judgment in
Kant’s argument not only in the Metaphysical Deduction of the
Categories (Kant’s argument for the derivation of the categories from
logical forms of judgment) but also in the Transcendental Deduction
(Kant’s proof of the objective validity of the categories, or their a priori
applicability to all objects of experience), I end up losing track of the
categories themselves. ‘‘Where have all the categories gone?’’’ asks
Allison. And Sally Sedgwick: how is the idea that categories are ‘‘gener-
ated’’ compatible with Kant’s insistence on their apriority? Given the close
connection between their discussions, I shall not attempt to answer each of
them separately. Rather, I shall weave my way from one to the other and
back again, in considering two main issues: How should we understand


1
Henry Allison, ‘‘Where have all the categories gone? Reflections on Longuenesse’s reading
of Kant’s Transcendental Deduction,’’ Inquiry, vol. 43, no. 1 (2000), pp. 67–80. Sally
Sedgwick, ‘‘Longuenesse on Kant and the priority of the capacity to judge,’’ Inquiry, vol. 43,
no. 1 (2000), pp. 81–90.

17
REVISITING
18

the relationship between categories and logical forms of judgment? Do
the categories end up playing no role at all in my account of the two main
steps of the B Transcendental Deduction of the Categories?


Categories and logical forms of judgment
The understanding as a capacity to judge
I use the expression ‘‘capacity to judge’’ to translate the German
Vermogen zu urteilen. Kant uses this expression when he introduces his
¨
table of logical functions of judgment in the Transcendental Analytic of
the Critique of Pure Reason. There he justifies defining the understanding
as a capacity to judge in the following way. The understanding is a
capacity for concepts. But we form concepts only for use in judgments.
And all forms of judgment govern possible forms of syllogistic inference.
The understanding, then, or the intellect as a whole2 – our capacity to
form concepts, to combine them in judgments, and to infer true judg-
ment from true judgment in syllogistic inferences – is nothing other than
a ‘‘capacity to judge’’ (Vermogen zu urteilen) (A69/B94).3
¨
I want to stress several important points here. First, this Vermogen zu
¨
urteilen is different from the Urteilskraft, or power of judgment, that Kant
defines as the capacity to subsume particular instances under general
rules. Either we have the rule, and we look for instances of the rule (this
is the ‘‘determinative’’ use of the power of judgment, for which the
canonical example is of course the subsumption of given appearances
under the categories). Or we have particular objects and we look for the
rules under which they might fall (this is the ‘‘reflective’’ use of the power
of judgment, as described in the Introduction to the third Critique).4 But

2
‘‘Intellect as a whole’’ because it includes the capacity for concepts (i.e. the understanding in
the narrow sense), the capacity for subsuming objects under concepts, or power of judg-
ment (Urteilskraft), and the capacity for syllogistic inferences, or reason. These three aspects
of the exercise of the intellect, which correspond to the three main chapters in logic
textbooks of the time (1 – concepts, 2 – judgments or propositions, 3 – inferences) are all
made possible by the fact that the intellect is a capacity to judge, a capacity to form
judgments according to the elementary forms laid out in Kant’s table.
3
In translating Vermogen zu urteilen as capacity to judge, I differ from Kemp Smith (Kant’s
¨
Critique of Pure Reason, New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1965) and Guyer and Wood (Kant’s
Critique of Pure Reason, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998), who translate it as
‘‘faculty of judgment.’’ I prefer ‘‘capacity to judge’’ because it avoids the dubious faculty-
psychology and stresses instead mental capacities to act in determinate ways (in ordering
representations).
4
See AAv, p. 179; AAxx, p. 211.
KANT’S CATEGORIES 19

defining the intellect, in all its guises (concept formation, subsumption of
instances under concepts or rules, syllogistic inference) as a capacity to
judge is explaining what it is about the understanding that makes it
capable of all the functions described above, including forming rules in
the first place. According to Kant, all of these can be traced back to the
fact that the intellect is a capacity to combine concepts (universals) in the
elementary ways (according to the elementary forms) described in
Kant’s table of logical functions, or forms, of judgment.5
Allison objects to my privileging in this way Kant’s description of the
understanding as a capacity to judge. Kant, he says, defines the under-
standing in many other ways as well: as a faculty of concepts, as a faculty
of rules, as spontaneity, as apperception. I agree. I also agree that the
characterization of the understanding as a Vermogen zu urteilen belongs
¨
specifically to the context of the metaphysical deduction of the cate-
gories. But this does not make it any less important. For what it provides
is a definition of the original capacity from which all aspects of the
understanding are developed. Indeed from the argument I just
recounted it follows that concepts and rules are generated by the under-
standing as a capacity to judge. The understanding as spontaneity,
namely as the activity of producing rule-governed, reason-giving com-
binations of representations, is an activity of the Vermogen zu urteilen. And
¨
in the Transcendental Deduction – more clearly in B than in A – Kant
argues that the identity and unity of self-consciousness (ÂĽ apperception)
is the identity and unity of an act of judging, according to the forms Kant
has expounded in his table of logical functions of judgment.6 So

5
As I understand it, if there is a distinction to be made between function and form of
judgment in Kant’s usage of the terms, it should be a distinction between a rule-governed
act of combining representations (the function of judgment, or judging) and its result (the
form of judgment, namely the ways in which concepts are ordered in a judgment – a
proposition). At A70/B95, Kant writes: ‘‘If we abstract from all content of a judgment and
consider the mere form of the understanding [Verstandesform] in it, we find that the function
of thought in the judgment can be brought under four titles, each of which contains three
moments under it.’’ Cf. A68/B93: ‘‘I call function the unity of the act of ordering distinct
representations under a common representation.’’ On this point, see KCJ, p. 78. Note also
that the point I am making in emphasizing that for Kant, understanding as a whole is a
capacity to judge, is broader than the point I made in the introduction to KCJ (pp. 7–8)
according to which the Urteilskraft could be understood as the actualization of the Vermogen
¨
zu urteilen as a capacity, or an as yet unactualized potentiality to form judgments. The point
I am stressing now is that all aspects of the understanding (the early modern’s intellectus) as a
capacity, namely the capacity to form concepts, the capacity to subsume objects under
concepts, the capacity to form syllogistic inferences, are imbedded in this original char-
acterization of the understanding as a capacity to judge.
6
On this point, see KCJ, pp. 64–72.
REVISITING
20

although I would certainly not claim that characterizing the understand-
ing as a Vermogen zu urteilen is sufficient to account for all aspects of the
¨
understanding as expounded in the Critique of Pure Reason, let alone the
second and third Critiques, I am claiming that all aspects of the under-
standing, in order to be properly understood, need to be traced back to
this original capacity to form judgments.
Now, reducing the intellect to a capacity to judge (specified according to
the elementary forms described in the table) is an extraordinarily import-
ant move to make. It is Kant’s response to the classical question: are there
innate representations? For Kant, there are no innate representations, but
there are innate capacities – intellectual/discursive capacities of concept
forming and ordering, sensible/intuitive capacities of distinguishing and
ordering individuals. The cooperation of these two capacities in acts of
judging is, according to Kant, what makes us capable of recognizing the
numerical identity of individual objects through time as well as of recog-
nizing empirical objects under concepts of natural kinds. Both capacities
rest on the fact that the cooperation of the understanding, as a capacity to
judge, and sensibility, as a receptivity characterized by specific forms or
modes of ordering, generates categories according to which we can repre-
sent the numerical identity of objects and reflect them under concepts.
I will return in a moment to this issue of the ‘‘generation’’ of the categories.
In KCJ, I have analyzed in great detail Kant’s conception of logical
forms as expounded in his table of logical forms of judgment. My purpose
in doing this was to understand why he thought that just these forms of
discursive thought were minimally necessary for any recognition of objects
under concepts to occur. It is in this context that I have talked about an
‘‘objectifying function’’ of the logical forms of judgment. Allison agrees
with me on this point, and he also agrees about the caution one should
exercise in interpreting the point: it does not mean, of course, that for
Kant any judgment is true. What it does mean is that the logical form of a
judgment is what makes a judgment capable of truth or falsity, because it is
that by virtue of which the judgment expresses the relation of our repre-
sentations to independently existing objects. However, Allison also thinks
that, in my account, the forms of judgment end up ‘‘usurping the objecti-
fying function usually assigned to the categories.’’ But this is not so. What I
say – in the very passage Allison quotes in support of his claim – is that only
in the light of the objectifying function of the logical forms of judgment can
we also understand that of the categories themselves.7

7
See KCJ, p. 12, referenced in n. 2 of Henry Allison’s comments: see ‘‘Categories,’’ p. 79.
KANT’S CATEGORIES 21

What does this mean, and what is the specific ‘‘objectifying’’ function of
the categories, as distinct from that of the logical forms of judgment?
Kant answers this question in the section of the Transcendental Analytic
that immediately follows the table of logical forms of judgment and
introduces the table of categories. The same function, he says, that
gives unity to concepts in judgment also gives unity to the mere synthesis
(or combination) of representations in intuition. The categories express
just those forms of unity of synthesis of representations in intuition
(A79/B105). So the logical forms of judgment are forms of the unity of
the combination of concepts in judgment. The categories ‘‘universally
represent’’ forms of the unity of the combination of representations in
intuition. What they add to the logical forms of judgment is thus the
unity of intuitions under the latter. But they are concepts of a synthesis of
intuition achieved by the very same function that unites concepts in
judgments: the function of the understanding, namely of the capacity
to judge, Vermogen zu urteilen.
¨
The logical forms of judgment are forms of analysis, in the peculiar
sense Kant gives to this term, where analysis does not mean primarily
analysis of concepts (although it also means that), but analysis of a
sensible given in order to form concepts (cf. A76/B102). The categories,
on the other hand, express forms of synthesis of the sensible given.
There is, admittedly, something puzzling about the fact that forms of
synthesis are supposed to originate in forms of analysis. Allison
expresses just such puzzlement when he says: ‘‘I fail to see how forms
of analysis (the logical forms of judgment) might be equated with forms
of synthesis (the categories).’’8 But actually this tells only part of the story.
The whole story is this: it is insofar as they are themselves forms of
synthesis (forms of synthesis or combination of concepts) that forms of
judgment are also forms of analysis (analysis of the sensible given with a
view to forming concepts of objects to be combined – synthesized – in
judgments). This is why Kant writes in the section of the Metaphysical
Deduction cited above:
The same understanding, therefore, and indeed by means of the very
same actions through which in concepts, by means of the analytical unity,
it brought about the logical forms of a judgment, also brings, by means of
the synthetic unity of the manifold in intuition in general, a transcen-
dental content into its representations, on account of which they are


8
Allison, ‘‘Categories,’’ p. 72.
REVISITING
22

called pure concepts of the understanding that pertain to objects a priori,
a point that could not be derived from general logic. (A79/B105)

‘‘By means of analytic unity’’ means: by means of a unity reached by way
of analysis. Judgment is a synthesis (of concepts) by means of analysis (of
the sensible given). Categories are concepts of the synthesis of intuition
necessary for the analysis of this same intuition that allows concepts of
objects to be formed and synthesized in judgments. So, if you like, the full
process is: synthesis (of intuition) for analysis (into concepts) for synthesis
(of these concepts in judgment). The categories universally represent the
unity of the original synthesis of intuition for analysis for synthesis (of
concepts). I think Sally Sedgwick may be missing this point when she
attributes to me the view that ‘‘the kind of unity necessary for combining
representations in judgment [Kant] calls ‘analytic unity’’’ or again when
she says that analytic unity is ‘‘the unity which combines concepts into the
various forms of judgment,’’ as opposed to the synthetic unity that ‘‘must
be produced in the sensible manifold before any such combination of
concepts can occur.’’9 Kant’s view, as I understand it, is that the combin-
ation of concepts is itself synthetic unity. It is synthetic unity (of concepts)
obtained by means of analytic unity (namely by means of the analytic unity
of consciousness that attaches to all common concepts: see B134n).
The difficulty Allison points out when he says he ‘‘fails to see’’ the
relation between analysis and synthesis as I tried to outline it is a very
important one and has weighed heavily on the reception of Kant’s
critical philosophy. To name only one example, this difficulty motivated
Hermann Cohen, the founder of the Marburg neo-Kantian school, to
dismiss Kant’s metaphysical deduction of the categories altogether and
instead to read the Critique of Pure Reason in backward order, from the
System of Principles, and even from the Metaphysical Foundations of
Natural Science, to the table of the categories, dismissing Kant’s argument
about logical forms and categories altogether. He could make no sense at
all of the argument about synthesis and analysis, in part because he
thought that when Kant talked about ‘‘analytic unity’’ he meant analytic
judgments. Then the whole argument of the metaphysical deduction
became, indeed, incomprehensible.10 One of the first to correct the

9
See Sedgwick, ‘‘Priority,’’ pp. 81–2.
10
See Hermann Cohen, Kants Theorie der Erfahrung, 3rd edn (Berlin: Bruno Cassirer, 1918),
pp. 242–5. I have given a more detailed account and criticism of Cohen’s view in the
French version of my book: see KPJ, pp. 92–5. In the English version, the reference to
Cohen’s mistake appears only in a footnote: see KCJ, p. 86, n. 10.
KANT’S CATEGORIES 23

error was a Marburg Kantian, Klaus Reich, in his groundbreaking work,
Die Vollstandigkeit der Kantischen Urteilstafel. However, because Reich’s
¨
effort to revive Kant’s argument in the metaphysical deduction was
flawed in very serious ways, it did not gain very much influence.11
Nowadays, as neo-Kantianism is attracting renewed interest in Kant
studies, I suggest that the least we can do is try to learn from its strengths
but not repeat the errors that cost us, to this day, an absolutely central
aspect of Kant’s whole array of critical arguments.
Now, the relationship I just outlined between synthesis and analysis
(for synthesis) should help me clarify what I mean when I say that the
categories, in Kant’s account, have a role to play at both ends of the
cognitive process.


The categories ‘‘at both ends’’: synthesis and subsumption
When, in the well-known letter to Herz of February 1772, Kant raises the
difficulty of understanding how it is possible for a priori concepts to be
applicable to objects that are given, he contrasts this difficulty with the
absence of any such problem where mathematical concepts are con-
cerned. In their case, he says, no such problem occurs for they ‘‘generate
the representation of their object as magnitude, by taking the unit several
times.’’ But how could the same be done when we were dealing not just
with magnitudes but with qualitatively determined, empirical things?12 In
KCJ, I have suggested that this contrast becomes in fact part of the clue to
the solution: some way has to be found to explain how the categories, just
like geometrical or arithmetical concepts, might be concepts under the
guidance of which the very representation of the objects thought under
them might be generated. This is precisely what is indicated by their
definition, in x14 of the Transcendental Deduction, as ‘‘concepts of an
object, by means of which the intuition of the object is considered as
determined with respect to a logical function of judgment’’ (B128).

11
Cf. Klaus Reich, Die Vollstandigkeit der Kantischen Urteilstafel (Berlin: Richard Schoetz,
¨
1932); Engl. transl. J. Kneller and M. Losonsky, The Completeness of Kant’s Table of
Judgments (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1992). Reich’s book has been subjected
to close scrutiny in recent studies of Kant’s table of judgments. See Reinhard Brandt, Die
Urteilstafel. Kritik der reinen Vernunft A67–76/B92–201 (Hamburg: Felix Meiner Verlag,
1991); Engl. trans. Eric Watkins, The Table of Judgments: Critique of Pure Reason A67–76/
B92–201 (North American Kant Studies in Philosophy, 4 [1995]). And Michael Wolff, Die
Vollstandigkeit der kantischen Urteilstafel. Mit einem Essay iiber Freges ‘‘Begriffsschrift’’
¨
(Frankfurt-am-Main: Vittorio Klostermann, 1995).
12
See AAx, p. 131.
REVISITING
24

This characterization of the categories means two things. (1) To have a
category is to have a rule for ordering sensible manifolds (and for us
human beings, this means manifolds of spatiotemporal elements) in such
a way that they can be reflected under (empirical) concepts of objects
according to logical functions of judgment. For instance, to have the
category of substance is to have the rule: look for something that remains
permanent while its properties change. To have the category of cause is
to have the rule: look for something real that is such that whenever it
exists (‘‘is posited’’) something else follows. (2) To have a category is to
have a concept under which we can think an object as ‘‘in itself deter-
mined’’ with respect to a logical function of judgment.
Under the first description, categories guide synthesis. Under the
second description, objects are subsumed under them. These are the
‘‘two ends’’ of the cognitive process I mention in my book: first synthesis
(the categories are rules for synthesis); then subsumption (as any other
concept, categories are ‘‘universal and reflected representations’’ under
which objects are subsumed).
I have suggested that these two roles of the categories are apparent in
Kant’s explanation of the difference between judgments of perception and
judgments of experience, in the Prolegomena.13 Consider Kant’s example
of a judgment of perception that eventually becomes a judgment of
experience. ‘‘If the sun shines on the stone, then the stone grows warm’’
is a judgment of perception. ‘‘The sun warms the stone’’ is a judgment of
experience. How do we form judgments of perception, and how do we get
from judgments of perception to judgments of experience? Kant’s answer
is that first we perceive the repeated conjunction of light of the sun and
warmth of the stone. Then we form the hypothetical judgment: ‘‘If the sun
shines on the stone, then the stone grows warm.’’ And finally we come to
the conclusion that light of the sun and warmth of the stone are ‘‘in
themselves determined’’ with respect to the hypothetical form of judg-
ment: the connection exists not just ‘‘for me, in the present state of my
perception’’ but ‘‘for all, always.’’ It is not a ‘‘mere logical connection of
perceptions’’ but a connection in the objects themselves. We then subsume
the logical connection under the ‘‘concept of an object, by means of which
its intuition is determined with respect to the logical form of hypothetical


13
Prolegomena to any Future Metaphysics that will be able to come forward as science, ed. and trans.
Gary Hatfield (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997; rev. edn 2004). For the
distinction between judgments of perception and judgments of experience, see xx18–20,
AAiv, pp. 297–302.
KANT’S CATEGORIES 25

judgment’’ (the concept of cause) and we say: the sun warms the stone.
This is the subsumption under the category. It occurs at the end of the
process that goes through the stages just described: perception of temporal
conjunction of events, reflection of this conjunction according to the
hypothetical form of judgment, finally subsumption of the hypothetical
connection under the concept of cause.14
What about the first use, the synthesis according to the categories?
Where does it come into this picture? In the Prolegomena, Kant asks:
what is it that allows me to subsume what is initially a mere logical
connection of my perceptions under the category of cause? And he
answers: I have explained this in the Critique of Pure Reason.15 Now what
he has explained in the Critique of Pure Reason, as far as the concept of
cause is concerned, is that the very experience of an objective succession is
possible in the first place only under the supposition that there is ‘‘some-
thing upon which it follows, according to a rule.’’ In other words, the
experience of an objective succession is possible only under the presup-
position that objects are ‘‘in themselves determined with respect to the
logical function of hypothetical judgment,’’ namely subsumable under
some concept of causal connection. This is how the concept of cause –
the ‘‘concept of an object, by means of which its intuition is considered as
determined with respect to the logical form of a hypothetical judgment’’ –
guides the synthesis of our perceptions for the experience of an objective
succession. This synthesis eventually makes possible the analysis of the
repeated experience into a hypothetical judgment. If we add to the
empirically tested hypothetical judgments the anticipations made possible
by the application of mathematical methods, in the context of the unity of
experience as a whole (the unity of our experience of appearances in one
space and one time), we eventually come to the conclusion that a parti-
cular connection of empirical events is ‘‘in itself determined with respect to
the form of hypothetical judgment.’’ That is to say, an event is ‘‘in itself
determined’’ (as an empirically given event) under the antecedent, the
other is ‘‘in itself determined’’ (as an empirically given event) under the
consequent of a hypothetical judgment – and in thinking this we subsume
the connection of the two events under the concept of cause.16



14
See Prolegomena, x20 n, AAiv, p. 301.
15
See Prolegomena, x22, n. 15, AAiv, p. 305n.
16
For a detailed analysis of this process, see KCJ, ch. 7, pp. 167–80, and ch. 11, pp. 355–75.
See also ch. 2 in this volume, pp. 58–62 and ch. 6, especially pp. 172–6.
REVISITING
26

I believe there is a misunderstanding when Allison attributes to me the
view that categories play no role at all in judgments of perception (but
instead are present in them only under the guise of logical forms of
judgment). In my understanding of Kant’s view, they play the first role
outlined above (they guide the synthesis of a sensible manifold), just as
they play this role in any cognitive effort to relate representations to
objects they are the representation of. But they do not play the second
role outlined above (we do not subsume intuitions or perceptions under
them). This is because in a judgment of perception, we are not in a
position to assert that the object of intuition thought under the concepts
combined in our empirical judgment is ‘‘in itself determined’’ with respect
to the connection we are thinking, and thus subsumable under a category.
Now, in these two roles (guide for synthesis, universal representation
under which objects are subsumed) I maintain that according to Kant,
categories are generated by the combined use of our intuitive and dis-
cursive capacities. I now want to say something in response to Sedgwick’s
worries about this point.


Epigenesis
As Sally Sedgwick correctly points out, I emphasize the fact that for Kant,
not all comparison is a comparison of concepts, or even a comparison of
objects geared toward the formation of concepts. There is also a strictly
‘‘aesthetic’’ comparison, one that occurs only in sensibility.17 But even
more importantly, I insist that there is for Kant a pre-discursive act of
synthesis of sensible manifolds, which is the necessary condition of the
comparison of these manifolds, a comparison that leads to forming con-
cepts that will be combined according to the logical forms of judgment.
The synthesis is governed by rules: a priori rules that guide the syntheses
to just those forms of combinations that will make it possible to compare,
and thus reflect sensible manifolds according to logical forms of judg-
ment. Those a priori rules are the schemata of the categories. In compar-
ing sensible manifolds that have been synthesized according to those
a priori rules, we generate empirical rules for apprehension, rules that
will be thought under empirical concepts. So, for instance, we have the
a priori rule: ‘‘Look for what can be recognized as remaining one and the
same thing while its properties change’’ (this is the schema for the category

17
For further clarifications concerning the role of comparison in forming empirical judg-
ments, see KCJ, pp. 113–14.
KANT’S CATEGORIES 27

of substance). Or again, the a priori rule: ‘‘look for what can be repre-
sented by way of a successive synthesis of homogeneous units’’ (this is the
schema for the category of quantity). But in comparing empirical mani-
folds synthesized according to these a priori rules, we become aware of
common patterns of apprehension and we form empirical rules such as:
‘‘look for what can be represented by way of a synthesis that varies around:
four supporting elements (the paws), an oblong-shaped body and pointed
front part (the head), a wagging end-part, a loud sound, and so on’’ (this is
the schema for the empirical concept of dog).
I think that some of the puzzlement Sedgwick expresses comes from
the fact that she confuses what I say about empirical concepts and their
schemata, and what I say about the categories and their schemata. For
instance, she asks: ‘‘How can schemata both guide comparison and result
from comparison?’’18 Here the answer is quite simple: we are not talking
about the same schemata in both cases. The schemata that guide the
comparison are the schemata of the categories. We must have synthe-
sized according to the categories – looking for homogeneous manifolds,
looking for permanent and changing properties, looking for sequences
in which any change of states ‘‘presupposes something upon which it
follows according to a rule’’ – in order to come up with representations of
individuals that we proceed to compare in search of empirical rules for
recognition – empirical schemata.
As an example of the kind of judgment that results from the process of
comparison I have been describing, I would not choose: ‘‘the tree is a
spruce’’ (Sally Sedgwick’s example) but rather: ‘‘all things that have a
trunk, branches and leaves, are trees,’’ or perhaps: ‘‘all trees that have
leaves of such and such a shape are spruces.’’ For what I have been
describing is the process of selecting common features to form empirical
rules for recognition of kinds of things in nature. ‘‘This tree is a spruce’’
would be relevant as an example of application or instantiation of a rule
for recognition thus formed. Moreover, I do not think that an act of
comparison is needed to determine ‘‘which concept is to assume the
place of logical predicate, and which of logical subject’’ (as Sedgwick
suggests). For this is arbitrary: as Kant writes, we might say ‘‘all bodies
are divisible’’ or ‘‘some divisible things are bodies.’’ The place of a con-
cept as subject or predicate in an empirical judgment becomes con-
strained only when we think the object thought under it as ‘‘in itself


18
Sedgwick, ‘‘Priority,’’ p. 86.
REVISITING
28

determined with respect to a logical form of judgment,’’ namely sub-
sumable under a category (on this point, see B129). On the other hand,
the act of comparison is needed to determine whether the judgment to
be formed should be an affirmative or a negative judgment (expressing
the agreement or the opposition of concepts under which we represent
objects), a universal or a particular judgment (expressing the identity or
diversity of objects with respect to concepts), a categorical or a hypothe-
tical judgment (expressing a predication under an inner or an outer
condition).19
Now, what about the categories and their ‘‘acquisition’’? Sedgwick
suggests three senses in which I might be maintaining that the categories
are ‘‘generated’’ in our acts of judging: we become aware of them in our
acts of judging, they are realized in our acts of judging, their form
(universality) is generated out of acts of judging. She adds that in the
third sense there is nothing special about the categories: all concepts are
generated as to their status as universal and reflected representations by
acts of judging. I agree. I spend quite a bit of time explaining just this
point. I am not sure I would endorse either of the first two suggestions,
however: I do not think there is much sense in distinguishing between
‘‘rule’’ and (clear or obscure) ‘‘awareness of the rule’’ in the case of either
schemata or concepts, and I do not think I actually use the expression
‘‘realize the categories.’’ So, what do I mean when I talk of ‘‘generating’’
the categories, and how would I answer Sedgwick’s concern, that the
specificity of categories as a priori concepts seems to be lost if we accept
this point?
Kant himself, actually, is quite explicit about what he calls the original
acquisition of the categories. In his well-known response to Eberhard, he
explains how both space and time, as formal intuitions, and the
categories, are ‘‘originally acquired.’’ The text is worth quoting at some
length:
Impressions are always required in order first to enable the cognitive
powers to represent an object . . . Thus the formal intuition which
is called space emerges as an originally acquired representation
(the form of outer objects in general) . . . the acquisition of which long
precedes determinate concepts of things that are in accordance with this
form. The acquisition of these concepts is an acquisitio derivativa, as
it already presupposes universal transcendental concepts of the under-
standing. These likewise are acquired and not innate, but their acquisition,

19
See KCJ, ch. 6.
KANT’S CATEGORIES 29

like that of space, is originaria and presupposes nothing innate except the
subjective conditions of the spontaneity of thought (in accordance with the unity
of apperception).20 [emphases in the last sentence are mine]

The idea, then, is this: categories are acquired in that we would form
these concepts neither as rules for synthesis of manifolds in intuition, nor
as ‘‘universal and reflected representations,’’ unless impressions had
triggered our cognitive powers to launch the effort to represent objects.
But they are originally acquired in that both what the rules of synthesis,
and what the universal concepts reflecting these rules are going to be, are
a priori determined by ‘‘the subjective conditions of the spontaneity of
thought’’ (the logical functions of judgment) together with the ‘‘first
formal grounds of sensibility’’ (space and time). In the Critique, Kant
describes this a priori acquisition as an ‘‘epigenesis of pure reason,’’ and he
contrasts his ‘‘epigenetic’’ view of reason both with innatism and with the
idea of an empirical generation of the categories (B167–8). There is thus
no ambiguity at all about the notion. What makes the generation of the
categories unique is that although they are generated (both as rules for
synthesis and as discursive concepts) only under empirical conditions,
their content is determined independently of these empirical conditions
and, indeed, is an a priori condition for the generation of any represen-
tation of empirical objects at all.
What I have said so far should now help me address Henry Allison’s
questions concerning my treatment of the categories in Deduction B.


Deduction B: ‘‘Where have all the categories gone?’’
Deduction B, part one
Allison and I agree that Deduction B is one argument in two main parts.
In the first part, Kant is concerned with proving that the categories are
the intellectual conditions for the representation of an object of sensible
intuition in general. In the second part, he is concerned with show-
ing how the categories relate to the sensible conditions under which


¨
20
Uber eine Entdeckung, nach der alle neue Kritik der reinen Vernunft durch eine ¨ltere entbehrlich
a
gemacht werden soll, AAviii, p. 223; trans. Henry Allison, On a Discovery whereby any New
Critique of Pure Reason is to be made superfluous by an older one, in Theoretical Philosophy after
1781 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002). For a careful and detailed study of
the ‘‘epigenesis’’ and ‘‘original acquisition’’ of our representations of space and time
according to Kant, see Wayne Waxman, Kant’s Model of the Mind (Oxford: Oxford
University Press, 1991), ch. 7; also chs. 1 and 3.
REVISITING
30

empirical objects are given. However, Allison and I disagree about the
precise content of the argument in each part.
Concerning the first part, Allison urges that in stressing as I do the role
of the logical functions of judgment, I lose track of the categories alto-
gether. Moreover, he thinks that I read the transition from part one to
part two as a regressive argument that moves from the consideration of
discursive judgment (analyzed in x19) to its conditions in the transcen-
dental synthesis of imagination (xx24 and 26). Against this ‘‘regressive’’
reading, he urges that Deduction B is a progressive argument, from the
elucidation of purely intellectual conditions for the representation of
objects (categories as forms of intellectual synthesis) to the elucidation of
the application of the categories to our sensible intuition and, more
particularly, their role as conditions of the unity of time. Let me consider
each of these two points in turn. The second will provide me with the
transition to Allison’s criticism of my treatment of the categories in the
second part of the B Deduction.
First, do I lose the categories altogether in the first part of the argu-
ment? I do not think so, for the reasons stressed above: I do insist that
logical forms of judgment are forms of the combination of concepts,
whereas categories are universal representations of the synthesis of
intuitions. This difference is strongly present in my reading of the first
part of the B Deduction. I devote a separate chapter (ch. 3) to xx15–18 of
the B Deduction, where Kant argues (1) that any representation of an
object rests on the unity of the synthesis of a manifold in intuition (x15),
and (2) that this unity is to be referred back to the original synthetic unity
of apperception (xx16–18). Only after going through these initial steps
do I submit to close scrutiny x19, where Kant states that the logical form
of judgments is the objective unity of the apperception of the concepts
(note: of the concepts) combined therein, namely the unity by means of
which concepts are related to objects. After devoting four chapters to
analyzing what Kant might mean by this, I conclude:
Kant’s purpose in section 19 is to argue that the logical form of judgment
is the discursive form of the objective unity of apperception whose intuitive
form he described in section 18 as preceding and determining all
empirical-subjective unity of consciousness . . . This is what allows him
to conclude, in section 20, that the unity of empirical intuition, insofar as
it necessarily stands under the original synthetic unity of apperception,
also stands under the logical form of judgment, and thereby under the
categories, since the latter are nothing other than ‘‘concepts of an object,
insofar as the intuition of that object is considered as determined with
KANT’S CATEGORIES 31

respect to the logical functions of judgment’’ (section 14) or ‘‘universal
representations of synthesis’’ (section 10).21

So I do make the distinction quite explicitly, and I do stress how Kant’s
opening argument concerning the necessity, for any representation of
object, of a unity of synthesis of intuition under the unity of apperception
is what allows him to move from asserting that the manifold of intuition is
brought to the unity of apperception by way of the logical form of judg-
ment, to asserting that this manifold is subject to the categories. I admit,
however, that some of my formulations tend to blur the distinction
between logical functions of judgment and categories. This is because
I put great emphasis on the fact that absent any sensible manifold to be
synthesized, all that remains of the categories are logical functions of
judgment. And even with a manifold to be synthesized, to understand
each and every one of the categories we need to relate it to the specific
form of judgment toward which it guides the synthesis of manifolds in
intuition. This is what it means to say that a category is a ‘‘concept of an
object, by means of which the intuition of this object is considered as
determined with respect to a logical function of judgment.’’
In fact, it is precisely because I give so much importance to the relation
of categories to the synthesis of intuitions that in KCJ I indicate my
disagreement with Henry Allison’s view according to which in the first
part of the B Deduction, the object Kant is concerned with is only an
object in sensu logico, in contrast to the second part where Kant is sup-
posed (according to Allison) to be concerned with the sensible object, the
object given in the forms of our sensibility, space and time. Against this
view, I maintain that already in the first part of the Deduction, the notion
of an object is to be analyzed as involving (1) the ‘‘undetermined object of
an empirical intuition’’ (the appearance of the Transcendental
Aesthetic), (2) the object of the synthesis of appearances (cf. x17 of the
Deduction, at B137: ‘‘the object is that in the concept of which the manifold
of a given intuition is united’’ – all emphases are Kant’s), and (implicitly)
(3) the transcendental object, namely the object we presuppose as exist-
ing, and by reference to which we seek agreement among our synthe-
sized representations.22

21
KCJ, p. 185.
22
For the same reason (in addition to textual reasons), in KCJ I express doubts about Henry
Allison’s suggestion that the distinction between Objekt and Gegenstand on the one hand,
objective validity and objective reality of the categories on the other hand, is relevant to the
transition from part one to part two of the B Deduction. I think in both parts the categories
REVISITING
32

Nevertheless, I agree with Allison in maintaining that in the first part
of the Deduction, the categories are considered as pure intellectual
concepts of the unity of synthesis of any intuition, as long as the latter
is sensible (receptive, not spontaneous). The forms of our sensible intui-
tion, space and time, do not play any specific role in the argument. By
contrast, in the second part they do come into the foreground. Allison
and I also agree that for this to be a significantly new move in the
argument, part two has to be more than the specification to the case of
our sensibility, of an argument first made in the general case of all
sensibly conditioned intellect. So what is new about part two of the
argument?
In my view, the answer is this: in part one, Kant argues that the
categories, albeit originating in the understanding alone, are concepts
under the guidance of which the synthesis of any sensible intuition
achieves the kind of unity that allows it to be related to an object repre-
sented as distinct from our representation of it. In part two, he argues that
space and time themselves, the forms of our sensibility, stand under the
very same unity of apperception whose discursive forms are the logical
forms of judgment, and in which the categories thus originate as ‘‘concepts
of an object, by means of which the intuition of the object is considered as
determined with respect to a logical function of judgment.’’
Contrary to Allison, I do not think that the decisive step in part two is
x24, namely Kant’s explanation of what he calls the ‘‘figurative synthesis’’
(synthesis speciosa) or transcendental synthesis of imagination. I take x24
to be a transition section, one that is certainly extremely important in
that it introduces the notions that will be essential to the second part of
the argument: figurative synthesis, affection of inner sense by the under-
standing. But part two of the argument, properly speaking, does not
occur until x26. Kant himself states this quite explicitly, not once but
twice, each time stressing that in part two he is going to consider ‘‘the
manner in which things are given’’ (B144–5, B159).
Is such a move from part one to part two of the Deduction a regressive
argument? One may want to describe it in this way, since after all things
do need to be given before they are thought (synthesized and reflected
under concepts according to the logical forms of judgment). So my
account might be read as a regression from conditions of thought to

are related to the object of empirical intuition. However, in the first part, the argument
rests on the nature of the categories as forms of thought. In the second part, in contrast, it
rests on the nature of space and time as the a priori forms of our sensible intuition. See
KCJ, pp. 110–11, n. 14.
KANT’S CATEGORIES 33

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