. 3
( 10)


and reflected representations™™), that they are sensible (a form or mode of
ordering according to which we receive ˜˜inner™™ and ˜˜outer™™ impres-
sions) and not intellectual (a function by which we produce concepts).
The further point that singular representations of space and time, sen-
sible though they may be, depend on a synthesis speciosa, that is, a trans-
cendental synthesis of imagination, is not important to the specific
argument of the Aesthetic. Nor could Kant have argued for this point,
had he wanted to. For at that stage in the Critique he had none of the tools
necessary for explaining the nature of the synthesis speciosa, since the

Ernst Cassirer, ˜˜Kant und die moderne Mathematik,™™ in Kantstudien, no. 12 (1907), p. 35.
Cited by Fichant, ˜˜˜L™Espace™,™™ p. 24, n. 11.

latter depends on a ˜˜transcendental unity of self-consciousness™™ whose
status is explained and justified only in the Transcendental Deduction of
the Categories. It is also in the latter that the distinction between form of
intuition and formal intuition, and along with this distinction, what I
have called a ˜˜re-reading™™ of the Transcendental Aesthetic, come into
play. Contrary to what Fichant seems to believe, according to me this
re-reading is neither a correction of the Aesthetic™s content, nor a rectifica-
tion of its place within the Critique. Rather, it is an added explanation: the
explanation of the relation of space and time to the unity of self-
consciousness, an explanation that can be provided only in the context
of the Transcendental Deduction of the Categories.
It is on this last point that there remains a significant disagreement
between Fichant and myself. Michel Fichant thinks I am wrong to
believe that the argument in the second part of the Transcendental
Deduction leads Kant to affirm that the forms of intuition or pure
intuitions, described in the Aesthetic “ whether we are talking about
space or about time “ are forms of a sensibility affected by the under-
standing. This is why he refuses the identification I am proposing
between ˜˜form of intuition™™ “ at least in one of its meanings, which, in
my view, is that of most of its occurrences in the Transcendental
Aesthetic “ and ˜˜formal intuition.™™

Form of intuition and formal intuition
Michel Fichant asserts that ˜˜no textual evidence™™ supports the identity
I suggest that Kant intends to maintain between the form of intuition (or
pure intuition) of the Transcendental Aesthetic, and the formal intuition
of the Transcendental Deduction of the Categories.6 And yet he himself
cites (although relegating them to a footnote) two texts, quoted in my
book, in which Kant ˜˜expressly identifies form of intuition and formal
intuition.™™7 So much for ˜˜no textual evidence.™™ But this is not what is
essential for my purpose. What is essential lies in x26 of the
Transcendental Deduction and its footnote, which lend support to my
interpretation of the two instances of ˜˜express identification™™ acknowl-
edged by Fichant. Here is the passage from x26, and its footnote:

Fichant, ˜˜˜L™Espace™,™™ p. 35.
Ibid., p. 37, n. 32; cf. KCJ, pp. 221“2. The texts cited are B457, and On a Discovery, AAviii,
pp. 222“3.

But space and time are represented a priori not merely as forms of
sensible intuition, but also as intuitions themselves (which contain a
manifold), and thus with the determination of the unity of this manifold
in them (see the Transcendental Aesthetic).*
*Space, represented as object (as is really required in geometry), con-
tains more than the mere form of intuition, namely the comprehension of
the manifold given in accordance with the form of sensibility in an
intuitive representation, so that the form of intuition merely gives the
manifold, but the formal intuition gives unity of the representation. In
the Aesthetic I ascribed this unity merely to sensibility, only in order to
note that it precedes all concepts, though to be sure it presupposes a
synthesis, which does not belong to the senses but through which all
concepts of space and time first become possible. For since through it (as
the understanding determines the sensibility) space or time are first
given as intuitions, the unity of this a priori intuition belongs to space
and time, and not to the concept of the understanding. (B160 and

As we can see, Kant expressly states here that the same unity of
intuition that he had attributed, in the Transcendental Aesthetic, to
sensibility alone because it is anterior to all concepts must now be held
to suppose a synthesis by which ˜˜space and time are first given as intui-
tions.™™ Michel Fichant probably thinks that the unity in question here is
the unity of particular figures in space, resulting from the construction
of geometrical concepts.8 But the text, it seems to me, does not allow this
interpretation, since it expressly states that the unity in question pre-
cedes all concepts. What is in question here is space as one whole, and
time as one whole, within which all particular figures and durations are
delineated. How can space and time as a whole nevertheless result from
an ˜˜affection of sensibility by the understanding?™™ In my view, this is
because the understanding in question is none other than the ˜˜trans-
cendental unity of apperception,™™ which, Kant explains in the

Cf. ˜˜Presentation,™™ p. 11, where Fichant cites the following sentence from Kant™s essay on
Kastner™s articles: ˜˜Objectively given space is always finite™™ (AAxx, p. 420, cf. Fichant™s
translation, p. 18). Fichant concludes this sentence in his own way, writing: ˜˜since it is only
attained by the construction which subordinates it to the concept in order to make of it a
formal intuition.™™ Yet Kant does not use the term ˜˜formal intuition™™ in this text. Kant opposes
the finite space resulting from construction under concepts to the infinite space of the
metaphysician, which the geometrician must presuppose. This space, he says, is a ˜˜pure
form of the subject™s sensible mode of representation as a priori intuition.™™ We must therefore
ask ourselves which of the two descriptions of space (finite space constructed under concepts
or the infinite space presupposed by this construction) corresponds to what is described, in
the note to x26, as a ˜˜formal intuition,™™ which, Kant specifies, ˜˜precedes all concepts.™™

arguments of the Metaphysical Deduction and the Transcendental
Deduction of the Categories, is the source of a synthesis of what is
given in sensibility prior to any analysis (and thus prior to any concept).
To describe this, I have used the expression ˜˜pre-discursive understand-
ing,™™ and I have proposed the idea that our ˜˜capacity to judge™™ (Vermogen
zu urteilen, to be distinguished from the power of judgment, or
Urteilskraft), determining our sensibility (the expression is Kant™s: see
the text quoted above), generates the representation in imagination of
one, undivided space and one, undivided time, within which all spatial
or temporal extension is to be delineated.
I cannot restate here the whole exposition and defense of the point I
make in KCJ. I would like simply to emphasize this: my interpretation
has the advantage of taking into account not only all of Kant™s formula-
tions in the footnote cited above but also the function of this text in the
general structure of Kant™s argument in the Transcendental Deduction.
In the main text to which the footnote is appended, Kant expressly states
that what he now intends to do is to consider ˜˜whatever comes before our
senses,™™ in order to comprehend how appearances can fall under the
laws of the understanding. The interpretation I am proposing for Kant™s
answer to this question differs both from Heidegger™s response, assert-
ing that imagination is the ˜˜common root™™ of sensibility and the under-
standing, and from Cassirer™s response, intellectualizing sensibility.
What I am proposing is that by ˜˜affecting sensibility,™™ spontaneity, or
the mere ˜˜capacity to judge,™™ even before producing the least concept
and thus the least judgment, promotes space and time, originally the
mere forms of manifoldness (Mannigfaltigkeit, which translates the Latin
multitudo), to forms of the unity of the manifold within which schemata
for the categories can be delineated and the subsumption of appearances
under the categories or ˜˜universal representations of pure synthesis™™ is
thus made possible.
Fichant thinks that I ˜˜entirely make up™™ the idea of a ˜˜mere poten-
tiality of form,™™ as one of the meanings of the expression ˜˜form of
intuition.™™9 In KCJ I acknowledge that the expression ˜˜potentiality of
form™™ is my coinage, and I explain why I offer it. I relate it back to the
theme of epigenesis, which is not at all made up by me.10 In any case, the
fact that the term ˜˜form of intuition™™ has several meanings seems to me

Fichant, ˜˜˜L™Espace™,™™ p. 36.
See Longuenesse, KCJ, pp. 221“2, n. 17. Epigenesis is discussed in this volume, ch. 1,
pp. 26“9, and ch. 2, pp. 42“3.

to be uncontroversial. In his 1790 discussion with Eberhard, Kant dis-
tinguishes the ˜˜mere formal ground™™ of sensibility, i.e. the form of space
(and we may suppose, the form of time as well) as the form proper to the
mere capacity to receive impressions, from the ˜˜form of external objects
in general™™ or formal intuition, generated when sensible impressions
provoke the activity (the term is Kant™s) of the mind and thus ˜˜the
original acquisition™™ of the representation of space as pure intuition.
Kant specifies, as he did in x26 of the Transcendental Deduction, that the
original acquisition of this intuition ˜˜precedes by far the determined
concept of things which are adequate to this form.™™11 I do not agree
with Fichant when he claims that the formal intuition of the footnote to
x26, unlike that of the response to Eberhard, is a product of a ˜˜derivative
acquisition™™ in which ˜˜the pure concepts of the understanding play a
part.™™12 Kant, as we just saw in the text quoted above, explicitly states the
opposite: the formal intuition of x26 ˜˜precedes all concepts.™™
The lesson I take from On a Discovery is thus the following: the ˜˜first
formal ground of sensibility™™ is what I have called ˜˜mere potentiality of
form™™ (which Kant also calls simply ˜˜form™™: I will return to this point in a
moment). The ˜˜formal intuition™™ or ˜˜pure intuition™™ or ˜˜form of external
objects™™ (appearances) is in my view the form of intuition or pure intui-
tion of the Transcendental Aesthetic, the formal intuition of the
Transcendental Deduction, and the ˜˜form of intuition or formal intui-
tion™™ of the note to the Transcendental Dialectic cited above. I would not
say that ˜˜all distinctions between the three terms are erased™™ in the
interpretation I propose. In fact I devote several pages to elucidating
the meaning and function of their distinction.13 However, it is true that
in my view, these different terms serve primarily to distinguish different
aspects under which one and the same referent is considered: this
referent is the space presupposed by geometry and whose nature meta-
physicians endeavor to explain (as Kant says in his remarks on Kastner)¨
rather than the figures in space that the geometrician constructs, or the
position and spatial figures in space of the empirical objects studied by
the natural sciences, both of which presuppose the formal intuition of
space as one space in which geometrical figures are constructed and
empirical objects are located and related to each other.

On a Discovery, AAviii, pp. 222“3. Cf. KCJ, p. 252.
Fichant, ˜˜˜L™Espace™,™™ p. 37, n. 32.
Ibid., p. 35; Longuenesse, KCJ, pp. 216“19. The three terms in question are ˜˜form of
intuition,™™ ˜˜pure intuition,™™ and ˜˜formal intuition.™™

I would not say either that I ˜˜reject any intrinsic difference between
form of intuition and formal intuition.™™14 It is true that I think the
expression ˜˜form of intuition™™ in one of its uses, and the expression
˜˜formal intuition™™ have the same referent, although Kant uses one
expression or the other depending on the context. But in addition, I
do maintain a difference not only relative to the aspect and context in
which one and the same referent is considered, but even in referent,
between form of intuition as ˜˜first formal ground™™ of sensibility, and
formal intuition. This is because in my interpretation, the form of intui-
tion as ˜˜first formal ground of sensibility™™ (in On a Discovery) is different
from the form of intuition as the form of appearances, i.e. (I maintain)
formal intuition.15
Michel Fichant thinks he can draw an argument against my position
from x38 of the Prolegomena, where Kant explains:
That which determines space to assume the form of a circle, or the
figures of a cone and a sphere is the understanding, so far as it contains
the ground of the unity of their constructions. The mere universal form
of intuition, called space, must therefore be the substratum of all intui-
tions determinable to particular objects; and in it, of course, the condi-
tion of possibility and of the variety of these intuitions lies. But the unity
of the objects is entirely determined by the understanding.

Fichant comments in a footnote:
This text invalidates one of the arguments by which Beatrice
Longuenesse rejects any intrinsic difference between form of intuition
and formal intuition: form being by definition the determination with
respect to the matter which is the determinable, attempting to determine
by concept the forms of intuition in order to make them into formal
intuitions would be to ˜˜misinterpret the very notion of form (which
would in that case, paradox of paradoxes, be characterized as that

˜˜˜L™Espace™,™™ p. 38, n. 34.
The ˜˜first formal ground of sensibility™™ of On a Discovery seems to me to be the same as what
Kant calls ˜˜subjective condition regarding form™™ in the Transcendental Aesthetic (cf. A48/
B65) or form of ˜˜synopsis™™ (cf. A94“5). This ˜˜form™™ or ˜˜first formal ground™™ is a form for
the ˜˜matter™™ that are sensations. The ˜˜form of intuition™™ as ˜˜formal intuition™™ is a form for
the ˜˜matter™™ that are appearances. The two meanings of the term ˜˜matter™™ (sensation and
appearances), and the two meanings of ˜˜form™™ can be found, it seems to me, in this passage
of the Amphiboly of Concepts of Reflection, in the Critique of Pure Reason: ˜˜the form of
intuition (as a subjective constitution of sensibility [form (i)]) precedes all matter (the
sensations), thus space and time [form (ii)] precede all appearances and all data of appear-
ances™™ (A267/B323).

which is undetermined!)™™ (op.cit., p. 248). If anyone has produced a
misinterpretation, it would be, as the text of the Prolegomena shows,
Kant himself, yet another paradox!16

I have just explained why I do not take myself to ˜˜reject any intrinsic
difference™™ between form of intuition and formal intuition, as Fichant
supposes I do. I now would like to clarify just what it is I denounce as a
˜˜misinterpretation.™™ I do not say or think that it would be a misinterpre-
tation to believe that the form of intuition can be determined by
concepts. What I do say is that in considering the relation between ˜˜form
of intuition™™ and ˜˜formal intuition,™™ it would be paradoxical to interpret
the term ˜˜form™™ in ˜˜form of intuition™™ as meaning ˜˜undetermined,™™ and
˜˜formal intuition™™ as that which is ˜˜determined™™ (by concepts). In making
this remark, I am opposing a thesis defended by Henry Allison,
mentioned in a footnote.17 But I should have been more precise. This
is what I mean to say: form is always form for a matter, which it deter-
mines or orders. The form of intuition as ˜˜first formal ground of intui-
tion™™ is the form for a matter, sensations. When unified under the
transcendental unity of apperception, before any concept, the form of
intuition is again the form for a matter, the appearance or ˜˜indetermi-
nate object of empirical intuition™™; this form, considered independently
of any matter, is ˜˜pure intuition™™ or ˜˜formal intuition™™ (the space ˜˜that is
needed in geometry™™). Pure intuition is determined by concepts when
figures are constructed in space, when spatial configurations and posi-
tions of empirical objects are schematized and recognized, and when the
mathematical constructions of concepts are applied in a mathematical
science of nature. Space and time are then forms for a matter, phenom-
ena, objects of empirical intuition determined by concepts.
It is worth noticing that Kant does not use the expression ˜˜formal
intuition™™ in the passage from x38 of the Prolegomena quoted above,
which concerns the determination of the sensible form by concepts in
the construction of figures in space. It remains Fichant™s task, then, to
account for the fact that in the texts where Kant does make use of the
expression “ the footnote to x26 as well as On a Discovery “ Kant says that
the formal intuition precedes all concepts.

See Prolegomena, x38. Fichant, ˜˜˜L™Espace™,™™ p. 38, n. 34. The page reference in the citation
from Fichant is to KPJ. Cf. KCJ, p. 223.
Longuenesse, KCJ, n. 18, p. 222. Cf. Henry Allison, Kant™s Transcendental Idealism: An
Interpretation and Defense, rev. enlarged edn (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2004),
pp. 112“16.

Fichant thinks one should not give too much weight to the footnote to
the Transcendental Dialectic in which form of intuition and formal
intuition are expressly identified (B457). For, he says, Kant specifies in
this note that space, as a form of intuition or formal intuition, ˜˜is not an
object that can be intuited.™™ I suppose Fichant means that one cannot
therefore identify the formal intuition mentioned here with the space
˜˜represented as object (as is really required in geometry)™™ mentioned in
the footnote to x26. But in fact, what Kant says in the footnote to the
Transcendental Dialectic is that ˜˜space is merely the form of outer
intuition (formal intuition), but not a real object that can be outwardly
intuited [kein wirklicher Gegenstand, der ¨ußerlich angeschaut werden kann].™™
This is in agreement with the idea I am defending and Fichant is
opposing, that space, as one and infinite, is an ens imaginarium, a being
of imagination. That is to say, it is not empirically given but on the
contrary imagined, and as such, it is the condition for any intuition
of an object in space. The representation of space as one, and as infinite,
is a representation of the imagination. And indeed, what else could it
be? Is it not clear that it cannot be a perception? Nevertheless, it is the
condition for any situation and configuration of objects in space, and
once represented as a system of relations of the latter, it is the form of
phenomena. Only thus does space (as does time) acquire empirical
I will be quicker with the two further points I announced at the
beginning: space as ens imaginarium, and space as quantum infinitum.
For there the nature of our disagreement is for the most part clarified,
I think, by the two points I just discussed.

Space as ens imaginarium
In the extraordinary ˜˜table of nothing™™ which closes the Transcendental
Analytic, Kant defines ˜˜empty intuition, without an object,™™ as an ens
imaginarium (A292/B348), for which he gives as an example, space.
Michel Fichant suggests that this representation of space as imaginarium,
obtained when abstracting from any object given in it, should not be
associated with the exercise of imagination that Kant calls synthesis
It would be a mistake to interpret this description of space as an imagin-
ary being as if it made the pure intuition of space a product of an act of
transcendental imagination determining sensibility. As an originary and

given representation, this representation cannot be the product of spon-
taneity: in the characterization of space without an object as ens imaginar-
ium, the role of the imagination has to do with ˜˜without an object™™ and
not with space itself; in other words, what is an effect of the imagination
is the thought-experiment which expels things from space and so
discovers space itself as the ineliminable condition of all exercise of
the imagination.18

According to Fichant, in maintaining on the contrary that the ens
imaginarium mentioned at A292/B348 is the product of a synthesis of
the imagination, I am led to maintain also that the original quanta that
are space and time are subjected to the categories of quantity. This is not
what I take myself to be doing. But before considering this point (see
below), I would like to point out that Fichant himself cites, in a note to his
translation of Kant™s text on Kastner, a text from On a Discovery in which
the meaning given to the idea of ens imaginarium seems closer to my
interpretation than to his. There the ens imaginarium appears to be, not
the result of a process of abstraction “ which, strictly speaking, would fall
more under the authority of discursive understanding “ but rather, an
anticipation by imagination of the one space and the one time within
which all compositions and all Dichtungen (fictions) are generated:
Space and time are mere thought-entities [Gedankendinge] and beings of
imagination, not as if they were fictitiously manufactured [gedichtet] by
imagination, but because imagination must ground on them [my emphasis] all
its compositions and all its fictions.19

To say that space and time are ˜˜beings of imagination™™ is not to say that
they are fictions (Dichtungen) of imagination. It is to say, however, that
the imagination forms no imaginary representation without forming a
representation of space and time. But it is also to say that the ima-
gination generates no construction in pure intuition (˜˜composition™™,
Zusammensetzung) without laying as their ground (zum Grunde legen) the
intuition of space and time, represented as one space and one time. This
intuition is in itself a mere ˜˜being of imagination,™™ one that has, however,
empirical reality as the form of appearances.
Fichant might oppose to the interpretation I offer for the role of the
imagination in the representation of space and time (projecting space
and time as one whole rather than abstracting the representation of

Fichant, ˜˜˜L™Espace™,™™ p. 30, main text and n. 21.
AAviii, pp. 202“3, quoted by Fichant, ˜˜˜L™Espace™,™™ p. 19.

spaces and times from the representations of empirical objects) a passage
shortly preceding the one just cited, in which Kant speaks of ˜˜the abstract
space of geometry,™™ which he opposes to ˜˜the concrete space™™ of appear-
ances and describes as a ˜˜being of imagination [ein Wesen der
Einbildung].™™20 But I do not deny that a process of abstraction allows
one to isolate pure space and pure time. On the other hand, when Kant
says that what is thus isolated is a ˜˜being of imagination,™™ in my view he
can only mean that it is the imagination which makes space and time
present to us: although it does not produce them by a process of Dichten
or Zusammensetzen (as it does for imaginary representations and
geometrical figures), it grounds on them all its Dichtungen and
Zusammensetzungen. It is also worth noting that if one considers the
sentence in full, one finds in it a duality similar to that found in the
note to x26 of the Transcendental Deduction. For the sentence quoted
continues as follows: ˜˜for they [space and time] are the essential form of
our sensibility and of the receptivity of intuitions, by which objects are
generally given to us [ . . . ]™™21 In my view, space and time as ˜˜beings of
imagination,™™ on which the imagination ˜˜must ground all its composi-
tions and fictions,™™ are the formal intuitions of the note to x26 in the
Transcendental Deduction. Space and time as ˜˜the essential form of our
sensibility and of the receptivity of the intuitions™™ are the ˜˜first formal
ground of sensibility™™ from On a Discovery and the ˜˜form of intuition™™
from the footnote to x26. The two are of course inseparable: that the
forms of our sensibility or receptivity are space and time is what leads the
imagination to ˜˜ground on them [as formal intuitions] all its composi-
tions and fictions.™™
One of the arguments Fichant opposes to my thesis that space and
time, as pure intuitions (¼ formal intuitions), must be understood as the
product of synthesis speciosa, is that ˜˜while it is easily understood that all
figures are produced in space, one wonders what could possibly be the
˜figure™ of space itself.™™22 I explain this point in KCJ: the main reason I
retain the expression synthesis speciosa rather than figurative synthesis
(figurliche Synthesis in German) is that using the original Latin expression
emphasizes the semantic relation between this synthesis and the formae
seu sensibilium species, ˜˜forms or figures of things sensible,™™ that are,
according to the Inaugural Dissertation, space and time. In my view,

AAviii, p. 202.
Ibid., p. 203.
Fichant, ˜˜˜L™Espace™,™™ p. 36.

we must relate the synthesis speciosa primarily to these species, and only
secondarily to the construction of particular figures in space. It is also
these species that Kant calls ˜˜pure images of all magnitudes™™ just before
laying out the schemata of quantity (A142/B182). I am happy to grant
that this notion of ˜˜pure image™™ is itself enigmatic. But the enigma lies
with Kant. I did not invent it. And for my part I think that it has a
solution if one admits that the projection by the imagination of space
as one and time as one is the necessary condition for the representation
of all figures and durations, as well as the necessary condition of all
quantitative syntheses in space and in time.
This brings me to my fourth and last point: space as a quantum

Quantum and quantitas
According to Michel Fichant, in maintaining that space and time are
products of the synthesis speciosa of imagination, I am committed to
maintaining also that space and time, as original quanta (magnitudes)
are represented under the categories of quantitas, quantity. According to
him, this amounts to ˜˜subordinating the Aesthetic to the Logic.™™23 Now the
distinction between quantum and quantitas is one that I discuss at length,
and I insist there on the fact that the representation of space and time, as
quanta, precedes and conditions the generation of schemata and the
application of categories of quantity.24 About Kant™s distinction between
quantum and quantitas, and the two notions of infinity (the actual infinity
of metaphysical space, presupposed by geometry, where the whole pre-
cedes the parts rather than being the product of a synthesis of parts; and
the potential infinity, or indefiniteness, of any successively synthesized
series of units), I believe we are in complete agreement. But I think “ and
here we certainly disagree “ that according to Kant, representing space
(or time) as quantum infinitum datum, infinite given magnitude, is already
the effect of ˜˜the affection of inner sense by the understanding,™™
although this affection precedes all concepts, indeed precedes all sche-
matization guided by the logical-discursive functions that lead to concept

Ibid., p. 29, n. 21.
On the distinction between quantum and quantitas, see KCJ, pp. 263“71. A quantum is an
entity that is represented as one entity, and represented in such a way that quantitative
determinations can be applied to it. The quantitative determination of a quantum is its
quantitas. For a further discussion of these issues, see ch. 2 in this volume, pp. 43“52.

What, in the end, is our disagreement about? It is about the extent to
which, according to Kant, our intuitions and concepts respectively
depend on the passive and the active aspects of our representational
capacities. Kant™s thesis, as I understand it, is that a merely passive
subject would not have available to her the spatiotemporal unity (˜˜repre-
sented as an infinite given magnitude™™) in which to organize her intui-
tions. I think this thesis is the foundation of the solution Kant proposes to
the problem of the transcendental deduction of the categories: although
the unity of space and time in which appearances are given is not a unity
determined by the categories, the synthesis speciosa or ˜˜effect of the under-
standing on sensibility™™ which generates this unity is also what generates
the particular syntheses by virtue of which appearances become suscep-
tible to being reflected under concepts in accordance with the logical
forms of judgment, and consequently reflected under categories. In the
end, our disagreement cannot be resolved through a consideration
of the Transcendental Aesthetic alone. It calls for a consideration of
the argument in the course of which, and for the benefit of which the
distinction under discussion comes into play: the argument of the
Transcendental Deduction of the Categories.
I do not want to conclude this discussion without noting the many
points of agreement between Michel Fichant and myself. Here are just a
few of those points, listed in the order in which they appear in Fichant™s
article: the novelty of the Kantian theory of modalities and its relation to
Kant™s view of the forms of intuition (Fichant, p. 9; Longuenesse,
pp. 187“8); the novelty of the Kantian treatment of the category of
reality and its relation to the critique of the idea of a whole of reality “
totum realitatis “ in the Transcendental Ideal, in the Critique of Pure Reason
(Fichant, p. 15; Longuenesse, pp. 341“53); the relation between ˜˜mat-
ter™™ and ˜˜form™™ of sensibility and the concepts of matter and form as they
are analyzed in the appendix to the Transcendental Analytic, On the
Amphiboly of Concepts of Reflection (Fichant, p. 23; Longuenesse,
pp. 197“200); the primacy of form over matter of sensibility (ibid.); the
distinction between quantitas and quantum, and the twofold meaning of
the German term Große, translated in French by grandeur (and in English
by magnitude) (Fichant, p. 26; Longuenesse, pp. 298“307); the fact that
space, as the ˜˜pure image of all magnitudes,™™ is a quantum and not a
quantitas, and that as a quantum it precedes the application of any cat-
egory of quantitas (Fichant, p. 34; Longuenesse, pp. 301“4); the import-
ance, to clarify this point, of Kant™s text on Kastner™s articles, a point only
briefly mentioned in my book (p. 303) and on which Fichant™s essay

brings unprecedented light.25 I have learnt a great deal from Fichant™s
meticulous analysis of Kant™s interpretation/appropriation of Kastner™s
articles. I do not believe I have resolved our disagreement, but I hope to
have helped identify and clarify its grounds.

Page references to Longuenesse are in KPJ. Corresponding pages in KCJ are respectively:
pp. 148“9 (modality), pp. 298“310 (reality), pp. 156“7 (matter and form in the
Amphiboly), pp. 263“71 (quantitas and quantum), pp. 266“8 (space as a quantum), p. 268
(reference to Kant on Kastner).



In chapter 1 of the Transcendental Analytic, in the Critique of Pure Reason,
Kant establishes a table of the categories, or pure concepts of the under-
standing, according to the ˜˜leading thread™™ of a table of the logical forms
of judgment. He proclaims that this achievement takes after and improves
upon Aristotle™s own endeavor in offering a list of categories, which
Aristotle took to define the most general kinds of being. Kant claims that
his table is superior to Aristotle™s list in that it is grounded on a systematic
principle.1 This principle is also what will eventually ground, in the
Transcendental Deduction, the a priori justification of the objective valid-
ity of the categories: a justification of the claim that all objects (as long as
they are objects of a possible experience) do fall under those categories.
Kant™s self-proclaimed achievement is the second main step in his effort
to answer the question: ˜˜how are synthetic a priori judgments possible™™?
The first step was the argument offered in the Transcendental Aesthetic,
to the effect that space and time are a priori forms of intuition. As such,
Kant argued, they make possible judgments (propositions) whose claim to
truth is justified a priori by the universal features of our intuitions. Such

What allows Kant to make a claim to the completeness and systematic unity of the table of
categories is the demonstration that the latter have their origin in the understanding as a
˜˜capacity to judge.™™ This point will be expounded and analyzed in the third section of this


propositions are thus both synthetic and a priori. They are synthetic in
that their truth does not rest on the mere analysis of the subject-concept of
the proposition. They are a priori in that their justification does not
depend on experience but on a priori features of our intuitions that
make possible any and all experience. However, space and time, as forms
of intuition, do not suffice on their own to account for the content of any
judgment at all, much less for our forming or entertaining such judgments.
Kant™s second step in answering the question, ˜˜how are synthetic a priori
judgments possible?™™ consists in showing that conceptual contents for
judgments about objects of experience are provided only if categories
guide the ordering of our representations of those objects so that we can
form concepts of them and combine those concepts in judgments.
The two aspects of Kant™s view (we have a priori forms of intuition, we
have a priori concepts whose table can be systematically established accord-
ing to one and the same principle) gradually took shape during three
decades of Kant™s painstaking reflections on issues of natural philosophy
and ontology. His questions about natural philosophy include for instance
the following: how can we reconcile the idea that the reality of the world
must be reducible to some ultimate components, and the idea that space is
infinitely divisible? Are there any real interactions between physical things,
and if so, what is the nature of those interactions? Such questions call upon
the resources of an ontology, where Kant struggles with questions such as:
what is the nature of space and time? How does the reality of space and
time relate to the reality of things? Do we have any warrant for asserting
the universal validity of the causal principle? Is the causal principle just a
variation on the principle of sufficient reason and if so, what is the warrant
for the latter principle?
Kant™s argument for his table of the categories (what he calls, in the
second edition of the Critique of Pure Reason, the ˜˜metaphysical deduc-
tion of the categories™™ [B159]) is one element in his answer to these
questions, as far as the contribution of pure concepts of the understand-
ing is concerned. Further elements will be the transcendental deduction
of the categories, in which Kant argues that the categories whose table he
has set up do have objective validity; and the system of principles of pure
understanding, where Kant shows, for each and every one of the cate-
gories, how it conditions any representation of an object of experience
and is thus legitimately predicated of such objects. From these proofs it
follows, as Kant maintains in the concluding chapter of the Analytic of
Principles, that ˜˜the proud name of an ontology, which presumes to
offer synthetic a priori cognitions of things in general in a systematic

doctrine . . . must give way to the more modest one of a mere analytic of
the pure understanding™™ (A247/B303). In other words, where the ontology
of Aristotelian inspiration defended by Kant™s immediate predecessors
in German school-philosophy purported to expound, by a priori argu-
ments, universal features of things as they are in themselves, Kant™s
more modest goal is to argue that our understanding is so constituted
that it could not come up with any objective representation of things as
they present themselves in experience, unless it made use of the con-
cepts expounded in his table of the categories.
It would be futile to try to summarize even briefly the stages through
which Kant™s view progressed before reaching its mature formulation in
the Critique of Pure Reason. Nevertheless, it will be useful for a proper
understanding of the reversal Kant imposes on the ambitions of tradi-
tional ontology to recall a few of the early formulations of the problems he
tries to address in the metaphysical deduction of the categories.

Historical background
In the 1755 New Elucidation of the First Principles of Metaphysical
Cognition, Kant offered a ˜˜proof™™ of the principle of sufficient reason
(or rather, as he defined it, of the principle of determining reason)
understood inseparably as a logical and an ontological principle, as
were also the principle of identity and the principle of contradiction.2
From this general ˜˜proof™™ he then derived a proof of the principle of
determining reason of every contingent existence (i.e. of every existing
thing that might as well have existed as not existed). He also derived a
proof of the ˜˜principle of succession™™ (there is a sufficient reason for any
change of state of a substance) and a ˜˜principle of coexistence™™ (the
relations between finite substances do not result from their mere coex-
istence, but must have been instituted by a special act of God).3 Although
these proofs differed from those provided by Christian Wolff and his
followers, they nevertheless had the same general inspiration. They
rested on a similar assumption that logical principles (defining the rela-
tions between concepts or propositions) are also ontological principles

See Principiorum primorum cognitionis metaphysicae nova dilucidatio, AAi, pp. 388“94, ed. and
trans. David Walford and Ralf Meerbote, A New Elucidation of the First Principles of
Metaphysical Cognition, in Theoretical Philosophy, 1755“1770 (Cambridge: Cambridge
University Press, 1992). On Kant™s pre-critical defense of the principle of sufficient reason,
see ch. 5 of this book.
AAi, pp. 396“8, 410“16.

(defining the relations between existing things and states of affairs), and
that one can derive the latter from the former.
In his lectures on metaphysics from the early 1760s, as well as in the
published works of the same period, Kant expresses doubts on precisely
this point. In the 1763 Attempt to Introduce the Concept of Negative Magnitudes
into Philosophy, he distinguishes between logical relations and real rela-
tions. And he formulates the question that he will later describe, in the
preface to the Prolegomena, as ˜˜Hume™s problem™™: how are we to under-
stand a relation where ˜˜if something is posited, something else also is
posited™™?4 It is important to note that the question is formulated in the
vocabulary of the school logic in which Kant was trained. The relation
between something™s ˜˜being posited™™ and something else™s ˜˜being posited™™
is just the logical relation of modus ponens, according to which if the
antecedent of a hypothetical judgment is posited, then the consequent
should also be posited. In his Lectures on Metaphysics of the 1760s, Kant
notes that the logical ratio ponens or tollens is analytic, but the real ratio
ponens or tollens is synthetic: empirical. By this he means that in an
empirical hypothetical judgment, the relation between the antecedent
and consequent of the judgment is synthetic: the consequent is not
conceptually contained in the antecedent. Kant™s question follows: what,
in such a case, grounds the connection between antecedent and consequent
and thus the possibility of concluding from the antecedent™s being posited
that the consequent should also be posited.5

See Prolegomena, AAiv, p. 257. Cf. Attempt to Introduce the Concept of Negative Magnitudes in
Philosophy, AAii, pp. 202“4, in Theoretical Philosophy, 1755“1770.
See Metaphysics Herder, AAxxviii“1, p. 12; Negative Magnitudes, AAi, pp. 202“3. Note that
Kant™s hypothetical judgment thus differs from our material conditional: for the modus
ponens Kant mentions here has to be grounded on a connection, which Kant, like his
contemporaries, calls consequentia (in Latin) or Konsequenz (in German) between antecedent
and consequent (on this point see also the fifth section of this chapter). Kant™s question is: in
cases where the consequent in the hypothetical judgment is not conceptually contained in
the antecedent, and so the relation between antecedent and consequent is synthetic, what is
the nature of the connection? To my knowledge, the passage from Metaphysics Herder
characterizing causal connection in terms of a synthetic ratio ponens is the first mention we
find of the distinction between analytic and synthetic judgments which will become so
prominent in the critical period. It is interesting that it should occur in the context of
what will become, in Kant™s terms, ˜˜Hume™s problem,™™ and thus in considering a kind of
judgment which is not of the form ˜˜S is P™™ but ˜˜If S is P, then Q is R™™ (a hypothetical
judgment). Contrary to a widely held view and pace the characterization given in
the Introduction to the Critique of Pure Reason (A6“10/B10“14), Kant does not restrict the
distinction between analytic and synthetic judgments to categorical judgments. On the
relation between Kant™s hypothetical judgment and Kant™s understanding of the concept of
cause, see ch. 6, pp. 151“6; and ch. 7, pp. 188“90.

During the same period of the 1760s, Kant also becomes interested in
the difference between the method of metaphysics and the method of
mathematics. Metaphysics, he says, proceeds by analysis of confused and
obscure concepts. Mathematics, in contrast, proceeds by synthesis of clear,
simple concepts. In the same breath, Kant expresses skepticism with
respect to the Leibnizian project of solving metaphysical problems by
way of a universal combinatoric. This would be possible, Kant says, if we
were in a position to completely analyze our metaphysical concepts. But
they are far too complex and obscure for that to be possible.6
Note that the notions of analysis and synthesis by way of which Kant
contrasts the respective methods of metaphysics and mathematics are not
the same as the notions of analytic and synthetic connections at work in the
reflections on ratio ponens and tollens mentioned earlier. The latter describe
a relation of concepts in a (hypothetical) proposition. The former charac-
terize a method. Nevertheless, the two uses of the notions are of course
related. Just as mathematics proceeds by synthesis in that it proceeds by
combining concepts that were not contained in one another, similarly a
synthetic ratio ponens is a relation between antecedent and consequent that
does not rest on the fact that the concepts combined in the latter are
contained in the concepts combined in the former (as, for instance, in ˜˜if
God wills, then the world exists™™ or ˜˜if the wind blows from the West, then
rain clouds appear™™).7 Just as metaphysics proceeds by analysis in that it
proceeds by clarifying what is contained, or thought, in an initially obscure
concept, similarly an analytic ratio ponens is a relation between antecedent
and consequent that rests on the fact that the concepts combined in the
latter are contained in the concepts combined in the former. It is also worth
noting that in both cases, analysis and synthesis, and respectively analytic
and synthetic connection, are defined with respect to concepts. There is no
mention of the distinction between two kinds of representations (intuitions
and concepts) that will play such an important role in the critical period.
That distinction is introduced in the 1770 Inaugural Dissertation, On
the Form and Principles of the Sensible and Intelligible World.8 There Kant
maintains that all representations of spatiotemporal properties and rela-
tions of empirical objects depend on an original intuition of space, and

Inquiry Concerning the Distinctness of the Principles of Natural Theology and Morality, Being an
Answer to the Question Proposed for Consideration by the Berlin Royal Academy of Sciences for the
year 1763, AAii, pp. 276“91, especially p. 283; trans. in Theoretical Philosophy, 1755“1770.
Cf. Negative Magnitudes, AAii, pp. 202“3.
On the Form and Principles of the Sensible and the Intelligible World, AAii, pp. 385“419. trans. in
Theoretical Philosophy, 1755“1770 (henceforth: Inaugural Dissertation).

an intuition of time, in which particular objects can be presented and
related to one another. These objects are themselves objects of particular
intuitions. All intuitions differ from concepts in that they are singular:
they are representations of individuals or, we might say in the case of
particular intuitions, they are the representational counterparts of
demonstratives. And they are immediate: they do not require the medi-
ation of other representations to relate to individual objects. Concepts,
in contrast, are general: they are representations of properties common
to several objects. And they are mediate or reflected: they relate to
individual objects only through the mediation of other representations,
i.e. intuitions. In saying that space and time are intuitions, Kant is saying
that they are representations of individual wholes (the representation of
one space in which all particular spaces and spatial positions are
included and related, and the representation of one time in which all
particular durations and temporal positions are included and related)
that are prior to, and a condition for, the acquisition of any concepts of
spatial and temporal properties and relations. And this in turn allows
him to distinguish two kinds of synthesis: the classically accepted synth-
esis of concepts; and the synthesis of intuitive representations of things,
and parts of things, individually represented in space and in time.9
The Dissertation thus has the resources for solving many of the pro-
blems that occupied Kant over the preceding twenty years. In particular,
because space and time are characterized not only as intuitions, but as
intuitions proper to our own sensibility or ability to receive representa-
tions from the way we are affected by things, their property of infinite
divisibility makes it the case that things as they appear to us can be
represented as susceptible to division ad infinitum. But from this, one
need not conclude that there are no ultimate components of the world as
a world of purely intelligible things, things independent of their repre-
sentation in our sensibility.10

In the Inaugural Dissertation, the distinguishing feature of intuitions, in contrast with
concepts, is their singularity: see Inaugural Dissertation, AAii, pp. 399, 402. Immediacy is
not explicitly mentioned. Moreover, the contrast between intuitions and concepts is not
firmly fixed: Kant also calls intuitions ˜˜singular concepts™™ (ibid., p. 397). In the Critique of
Pure Reason, Kant emphasizes not only the singularity, but also the immediacy of intui-
tions: see A19/B33. For a discussion of these two features of intuition in the critical period,
see Charles Parsons, ˜˜The Transcendental Aesthetic,™™ in Paul Guyer (ed.), The Cambridge
Companion to Kant (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1992), p. 64. On the two
kinds of synthesis in the Inaugural Dissertation, see AAii, pp. 387“8.
Inaugural Dissertation, AAii, pp. 415“16.

Moreover, Kant asserts that in addition to space and time as forms of
our sensibility, i.e. original intuitions in which things given to our senses
are related to one another, we also have concepts ˜˜born from laws innate
to the mind™™ that apply universally to objects. Among such concepts, he
cites those of cause, substance, necessity, possibility, existence.11 It is our
use of such concepts that allows us to think the kinds of connections that
befuddled Kant in the 1760s. For instance, in applying the concept of
cause to objects, whether given to our senses or merely thought, we
come up with the kind of synthetic modus ponens Kant wondered about in
the essay on Negative Quantities and the related lectures on metaphysics.
However, in a well-known letter to Marcus Herz of February 1772,
Kant puts this last point into question: how can concepts that have their
origin in our minds be applied to objects that are given? This difficulty
concerns both our knowledge of the sensible world and our knowledge
of the intelligible world. For in both cases, things on the one hand, and
our concepts of them on the other hand, are supposed to be radically
independent of one another. Having thus radically divided them, how
can we hope to put them back together? In that same letter, Kant
announces that he has found a solution to this quandary, and that it
will take him no more than three months to lay it out.12 In fact, it took
him almost a decade. The result of that effort is the Critique of Pure
Reason, its metaphysical deduction of the categories and the two related
components in Kant™s solution to the problem laid out in the letter
to Herz: the transcendental deduction of the categories, and the proofs
of the principles of pure understanding (see Critique of Pure Reason,
Of these three components, the first “ the metaphysical deduction
of the categories, i.e. the establishment of their table according to a
systematic principle “ has always been the least popular with Kant™s
readers. In the final section of this chapter, I shall consider some of the
objections that have been raised against it, from the time the Critique
first appeared to more recent times. Whatever the fate of those objections,
it is important to keep in mind that the key terms and themes at work in
the metaphysical deduction “ the relation between logic and ontology,
the distinction between analysis and synthesis, between synthesis of
concepts and synthesis of intuitions “ are all part of Kant™s effort to

Ibid., p. 395.
Letter to Herz of February 21, 1772, AAxi, p. 132; ed. and trans. Arnulf Zweig,
Philosophical Correspondence 1759“1799 (Chicago: Chicago University Press, 1967), p. 73.

find the correct formulation for questions that have preoccupied him
since the earliest years of his philosophical development.

Kant™s view of logic
The metaphysical deduction of the categories is expounded in chapter 1 of
the Transcendental Analytic in the Critique of Pure Reason, entitled ˜˜On
the Clue to the Discovery of All Pure Concepts of the Understanding™™
(A66/B92).13 This chapter is preceded by a fairly long introduction to
the Transcendental Analytic as a whole, where Kant explains what he
means by ˜˜logic.™™ This is worth noticing. For as we saw, one main issue in
his pre-critical investigations was that of the relation between logic and
ontology, and the capacity of logic to capture fundamental features of the
world. But now Kant puts forward a completely new distinction, that
between ˜˜general pure logic™™ (which he also sometimes calls ˜˜formal
logic™™, e.g. A131/B170) and ˜˜transcendental logic™™ (A50/B74“A57/B81).
In putting forward this distinction, Kant intends both to debunk
Leibnizian-Wolffian direct mapping of forms of thought upon forms of
being, and to redefine, on new grounds, the grip our intellect can have on
the structural features of the world. As we shall see, establishing a new
relation between logic and ontology is also what guides his ˜˜metaphysical
deduction of the categories,™™ namely his suggestion that a complete
and systematic table of a priori concepts of the understanding, whose
applicability to objects given in experience is impervious to empirical
verification or falsification, can be established according to the ˜˜leading
thread™™ of logical forms of judgment.
Kant™s primary tool for his twofold enterprise, first prying apart logic
and ontology, but then finding new grounds for the grip our intellect has
on the world, is the distinction between two kinds of access that we have
to reality: our being affected by it or being ˜˜receptive™™ to it, and our
thinking it or forming concepts of it. Each of these two kinds of access, he
says, depends on a specific capacity: our acquiring representations
by way of being affected depends on ˜˜receptivity™™ or sensibility, our
acquiring concepts depends on ˜˜spontaneity™™ or understanding. Kant

Here as elsewhere I am following the translation by Paul Guyer and Allen Wood. ˜˜Clue™™ is
their choice for translating Kant™s Leitfaden. It is certainly correct, but I prefer ˜˜leading
thread™™ which captures better what Kant is doing: following the lead of logical forms of
judgment to establish his table of the categories. In citations I will follow Guyer and Wood,
but in the main text I will adopt ˜˜leading thread.™™ The reader should be aware that both
words translate the German Leitfaden.

differentiates these capacities primarily by way of the contrast just men-
tioned, between receiving (through sensibility) and thinking (through
understanding). But they are also distinguished by the kinds of represen-
tations they offer, and by the ways in which they order and relate to one
another these representations. Sensibility offers intuitions (singular and
immediate representations), understanding offers concepts (general and
reflected representations). As beings endowed with sensibility or receptiv-
ity, we relate our intuitions to one another in one and the same intuition of
space and of time. As beings endowed with understanding, we relate
concepts to one another in judgments and inferences. These modes of
ordering representations are what Kant calls the ˜˜forms™™ of each capacity:
space and time are forms of sensibility, the logical forms of judgment are
forms of the understanding (cf. A19“21/B33“5; A50“2/B74“6).
These initial distinctions have important consequences for Kant™s char-
acterization of logic. Logic, he says, is ˜˜the science of the rules of the
understanding in general,™™ to be distinguished from aesthetic as ˜˜the
science of the rules of sensibility™™ (A52/B76). Characterizing logic in this
way is surprising for a contemporary reader. We are used to characteriz-
ing logic in a more objective way, as a science of the relations of implication
that hold between propositions. Learning logic is of course learning to
make use of these patterns of implication in the right way for deriving true
proposition from true proposition, or for detecting the flaw in a given
argument. But that is not what the proper object of logic is, or what logic is
about.14 Now, Kant™s more psychological characterization of logic is one
he shares with all early modern logicians, influenced by Antoine Arnauld
and Pierre Nicole™s Logic or the Art of Thinking, also known as the Port-
Royal Logic. However, as the very title of Arnauld™s and Nicole™s book
shows, even their logic is not just preoccupied with the way we happen to
think, but establishes norms for thinking well.15 But Kant is more explicit

On this point, see Gilbert Harman, ˜˜Internal critique: a logic is not a theory of reasoning
and a theory of reasoning is not a logic,™™ in Studies in Logic and Practical Reasoning, i (2002).
On the contrast between Kantian and Fregean logic with respect to this point (i.e. does
logic have anything to do with the way we think or even ought to think?), see John
MacFarlane, ˜˜Frege, Kant, and the logic in logicism,™™ Philosophical Review, no. 111
(2002), pp. 32“3.
Antoine Arnauld and Pierre Nicole, La Logique ou l™art de penser, ed. P. Clair and F. Girbal
(Paris: Librairie philosophique Vrin, 1981); trans. Jill Vance Buroker, Logic or the Art of
Thinking (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996). The full title contains, after the
subtitle (˜˜or the Art of Thinking™™) the further precision: ˜˜containing, in addition to the
common rules, several new observations proper to form judgment™™ (propres ` former le a

than they are about the normative character of logic: logic, he says, does
not concern the way we think but the way we ought to think. It ˜˜derives
nothing from psychology™™ (A54/B78).16 More precisely, logic so consid-
ered is what Kant calls ˜˜pure™™ logic, which he distinguishes from ˜˜applied™™
logic where one takes into account ˜˜the empirical conditions under which
our understanding is exercised, e.g. the influence of imagination, the laws
of memory, the power of habit, inclination, and so on™™ (A53/B77). Logic
properly speaking or ˜˜pure™™ logic has no need to take these psychological
factors into account. Rather, its job is to consider the patterns of com-
bination of concepts in judgments that are possible by virtue of the mere
form of concepts, i.e. their universality; and the patterns of inference
that are possible by virtue of the mere forms of judgments.
The idea of taking into account the ˜˜mere form™™ of concepts, judg-
ments, and inferences rests in turn on another distinction, that between
logic of the ˜˜general use™™ and logic of the ˜˜particular use™™ of the under-
standing. A logic of the particular use of the understanding is a science of
the rules the understanding must follow in drawing inferences in con-
nection with a particular content of knowledge “ each science, in this
way, has its particular ˜˜logic.™™17 But logic of the general use of the
understanding is a logic of the rules presupposed in all use of the under-
standing, whatever its particular domain of investigation.
Kant has thus identified ˜˜general pure™™ logic: a logic that, as ˜˜pure,™™
does not derive anything from psychology; and as ˜˜general,™™ defines the
most elementary rules of thought, rules that any use of the understand-
ing must follow. Now, that he also defines this logic as formal is where his
radical parting of ways with his Leibnizian-Wolffian rationalist prede-
cessors is most apparent. For the latter “ just as for the early Kant of the
1760s “ the most general principles of logic also defined the most general
structural features of being. But as we saw, ever since he distinguished
relations of concepts and relations of existence (in his metaphysical
essays of the early 1760s), Kant has not taken the identity of logical
and real connections for granted. This being so, forms of thought
are just this: forms of thought. And the question arises: just what is

Cf. also Logik, AAix, p. 14; ed. and trans. J. Michael Young, The Jasche Logic, in Lectures on
Logic (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1992).
Kant was quite aware, for instance, that mathematical proof has rules of its own: see
A716“18/B744“6. Similarly, the mathematical science of nature has to combine the con-
structive methods of mathematics, the inductive methods of empirical inquiry, and the
deductive methods of syllogistic inference.

their relation to forms of being, or to the way things are? Logic, as
˜˜general and pure,™™ is thus only formal.18
On the other hand, the distinction between forms of sensibility and
forms of understanding helps delineate the domain for a logic that is just
as pure as formal logic, because it does not derive its rules from empirical-
psychological considerations of the kind described above, but that is not
as general as formal logic, in that the rules it considers are specified by
the content of thought they are relevant for. They are the rules for
combining representations given in sensibility, whatever the empirical
(sensory) content of these representations may be. Those rules are thus
not merely formal (concerning only the forms of thought in combining
concepts and judgment for arriving at valid inferences) but they concern
the way a content for thought is formed by ordering manifolds in intui-
tion (multiplicities of qualitatively determined spatial and temporal
parts). These rules are the rules of ˜˜transcendental™™ logic.
I now turn to Kant™s argument for his table of the logical forms of
judgment, in section one of the chapter on the ˜˜Leading Thread for the
Discovery of all Pure Concepts of the Understanding™™ (A67“9/B92“4),
and to the table itself, expounded in section two (A70“6/B95“101)

The Leading Thread: Kant™s view of judgment, and the table
of logical forms of judgment
In the Inaugural Dissertation, Kant distinguished what he called the
˜˜logical use™™ and the ˜˜real use™™ of the understanding. In the real use, he
said, concepts of things and of relations are given ˜˜by the very nature of
the understanding.™™19 In the logical use, ˜˜the concepts, no matter
whence they are given, are merely subordinated to each other, the
lower, namely, to the higher concepts (common characteristic marks)
and compared with one another in accordance with the principle of

Michael Wolff notes that Kant is not the first to make use of the expression ˜˜formal logic.™™
He cites Joachim Jungius™ Logica Hamburgensis (Hamburg, 1638) as an earlier source for
this expression. See Michael Wolff, Die Vollstandigkeit der Kantischen Urteilstafel. Mit einem
Essay ¨ ber Freges ˜˜Begriffsschrift™™ (Frankfurt-am-Main: Vittorio Klostermann, 1995),
p. 203n. He is right. Nevertheless, Kant™s emphasis on the idea that ˜˜general pure logic™™
is merely formal, as opposed to the various ˜˜logics of the special use of the understanding™™
(including transcendental logic) which are specified by the particular content of thought
they take into consideration, seems to be proper to him and certainly does not play
anywhere else the groundbreaking role it plays in Kant™s critical philosophy. On this
point, see again John MacFarlane, ˜˜Frege, Kant, and the logic in logicism,™™ pp. 44“57.
Inaugural Dissertation, section 2, x5, AAii, p. 393.

contradiction.™™20 The real use is what we saw Kant put into question in
the letter to Herz of February 1772: how could concepts that have their
origin in the laws of our understanding be applicable to objects inde-
pendent of our understanding?21 But the logical use remained
unscathed, and it is precisely what Kant describes again in section one
of the Leitfaden chapter under the title: ˜˜On the logical use of the under-
standing in general™™ (A67/B92). By ˜˜logical use of the understanding,™™ it
is thus clear we should not understand the use of understanding in logic “
whatever that might mean. Rather, it is the use we make of the under-
standing according to the rules of logic when we subsume sensible
intuitions under concepts and subordinate lower concepts to higher
concepts, in accordance with the principle of contradiction, thus forming
judgments and inferences. As we shall see, Kant argues that considering
precisely this ˜˜logical use of the understanding™™ gives him the clue or
leading thread (Leitfaden) he needs for a solution to the problem he
raised about its ˜˜real use.™™ For the very acts of judging by way of which
we subsume intuitions under concepts and subordinate lower concepts
to higher concepts also provide rules for ordering manifolds in intuition
and thus eventually for subsuming objects of sensible intuition under the
categories. Or so Kant will argue in section three of the Leitfaden chapter.
But before we reach that point, we need to consider the ˜˜logical use™™ in
more detail, to see how Kant thinks he can derive from it his table of the
logical forms of judgment.
The key term, in Kant™s exposition of the ˜˜logical use of the under-
standing,™™ is the term function:

All intuitions, as sensible, rest on affections, concepts therefore on func-
tions [Begriffe also auf Funktionen]. By a function, however, I understand
the unity of the action of ordering different representations under a
common one. (A68/B93)

The term ˜˜function™™ belongs to the vocabulary of biology and the
description of organisms. Kant talks of the ˜˜function™™ of mental capa-
cities as he would talk of the ˜˜function™™ of an organ. In this very general
sense, sensibility too has a ˜˜function.™™ Indeed, in the introduction to the
Transcendental Logic Kant writes:

AAx, p. 125.

The two capacities or abilities [Beide Vermogen oder Fahigkeiten] cannot
¨ ¨
exchange their functions. The understanding is not capable of intuiting
anything, and the senses are not capable of thinking anything. (A51/B76)

However, in the present context, Kant employs ˜˜function™™ in a more
restricted sense. Concepts, he says, rest on functions, as opposed to
intuitions which, as sensible, rest on affections. More precisely: because
intuitions rest on affections or depend on receptivity, concepts have to
rest on functions, namely they depend on our unifying representations
(intuitions) that are given in a dispersed, random order, in sensibility. In
this context, function is (as quoted above) the ˜˜unity of the action of
ordering different representations under a common representation.™™
Another ancestor for the notion of function in this context, besides the
biological one, is then the notion of a mathematical function. The ˜˜func-
tion™™ we are talking about here would map given representations “
intuitions “ on to combinations of concepts in specific judgments.22
The ˜˜action™™ mentioned in the citation given above should not be
understood as a temporally determined psychological event.23 What
Kant is describing are universal modes of ordering our representations,
whatever the empirically determined processes by way of which those
orderings occur. They consist in subsuming individuals under concepts,
and subordinating lower (less general) concepts under higher (more
general) concepts. These subsumptions and subordinations are them-
selves structured in determinate ways, and each specific way in which
they are structured constitutes a specification of the ˜˜function™™ defined
above. Interestingly, introducing the term ˜˜function™™ in section one of

For a fascinating historical survey of the term ˜˜function,™™ its twofold meaning (biological
and mathematical) for Leibniz, for Kant™s immediate predecessors, and finally for Kant
himself, see Peter Schulthess, Relation und Funktion. Eine systematische und entwicklungs-
geschichtliche Untersuchung zur theoretischen Philosophie Kants (Berlin: De Gruyter, 1981),
pp. 217“47.
Michael Wolff maintains that according to Kant, the functions are not temporal, but the
actions (Handlungen) are (see Vollstandigkeit, p. 22). I do not think that is correct. To say
that the actions by way of which representations are unified are temporal would be to say
that they are events in time. But surely this is not what Kant means. When he talks of
actions of the understanding what he means to point out is that the unity of representa-
tions is not given with them but depends on the thinking subject™s spontaneity. What
particular events and states of affairs in time might be the empirical manifestations of that
spontaneity are not questions he is concerned with. I would add that the actions in
question are no more noumenal than they are phenomenal: the concept ˜˜action™™ here
does not describe a property or relation of things, but only the status we can grant to the
unity of our representations: the latter is not ˜˜given™™ but ˜˜made™™ or it is the contribution of
the representing subject to the structuring of the contents of her representations.

the Leitfaden chapter to describe the logical employment of the under-
standing is already making space for what will be the core argument of
the metaphysical deduction of the categories:
The same function, that gives unity to different representations in a
judgment, also gives unity to the mere synthesis of different representa-
tions in an intuition, which, expressed universally, is called the pure
concept of the understanding. (A79/B104“5)

I will return to this point in a moment
The ˜˜function™™ in question is from the outset characterized as a func-
tion of judging. This is because we can make no other use of concepts
than subsuming individuals under them, or subordinating lower con-
cepts under higher concepts, namely forming (thinking) judgments.
This being so, the ˜˜unity of the action™™ or function by way of which we
acquire concepts results in judgments that have a determinate form
(a determinate way of combining the concepts they unite).
There is thus an exact correspondence between the functions (˜˜unity
of the action of ordering different representations™™) the understanding
exercises in judging, and the forms of the judgments that result from the
functions. Unlike the functions, the forms are manifest in the linguistic
expression of the judgments.24
In section one of the ˜˜Leading Thread,™™ Kant makes use of two
examples of actual judgments to further elucidate the function of judg-
ing. The first is ˜˜All bodies are divisible.™™ He insists that in this example,
the concept of ˜˜divisible™™ is related to the concept of ˜˜body™™ (or the latter
is subordinated to the former) and by way of this relation, the concept
˜˜divisible™™ is related to all objects thought under the concept ˜˜body™™ (or
all objects thought under the concept ˜˜body™™ are subsumed under the
concept ˜˜divisible™™). A similar point is made again later in the paragraph,

Both Michael Wolff and Reinhart Brandt have drawn attention to the fact that for Kant,
there is no thought without language (see Wolff, Vollstandigkeit, pp. 23“4; Brandt,
Urteilstafel, pp. 42, 110. In the Jasche Logic, Kant opposes the distinction that is usual in
logic textbooks of his time, between judgments and propositions, according to which
judgments are mere thoughts whereas propositions are thoughts expressed in language.
Such a distinction is wrong, he says, for without words ˜˜one simply could not judge at all™™
(AAix, p. 109). Instead he distinguishes judgment and proposition as problematic versus
assertoric judgment (ibid.). But in fact, with a few exceptions Kant uses the term ˜˜judg-
ment™™ to refer to all three kinds of modally qualified judgments (problematic, assertoric,
apodeictic). Note also that in his usage, ˜˜judgment™™ refers on the one hand to the act of
judging, on the other hand to the content of the act (what we would call the proposition).
This is consistent with the fact that the function of judging finds expression in a form of
judgment (inseparably belonging to thought and language).

when Kant explains that the concept ˜˜body™™ means something, for
instance ˜˜metal,™™ which thus can be known by way of the concept
˜˜body.™™ In other words, in saying ˜˜Metal is a body™™ I express some
knowledge about what it is to be a metal, and thus also a knowledge
about everything that falls under the concept ˜˜metal.™™ The two examples
jointly show that whatever position a concept occupies in a judgment
(the position of subject or the position of predicate, in a judgment of the
general form ˜˜S is P™™), in its use in judging a concept is always, ultimately,
a predicate of individual objects falling under the subject-concept of the
judgment. This in turn makes every judgment the major premise of an
implicit syllogistic inference whose conclusion asserts the subsumption,
under the predicate-concept, of some object falling under the subject-
concept (e.g. the judgment ˜˜all bodies are divisible™™ is the implicit pre-
mise of a syllogistic inference such as: ˜˜all bodies are divisible; this X is a
body; so, this X is divisible.™™ Or again: ˜˜All bodies are divisible; metal is a
body; so, metal is divisible; now, this is metal; so, this is a body; so, this is
divisible.™™ And so on). If it is true to say that we make use of concepts only
in judgments, it is equally true to say that the function of syllogistic
inference is already present in any judgment by virtue of its form. For
asserting a predicate of a subject is also asserting it of every object falling
under the subject-concept.
This is why, as Kant maintains in what is undoubtedly the decisive
thesis of this section, and perhaps of the whole Leitfaden chapter:
We can, however, trace all acts of the understanding back to judgments,
so that the understanding in general can be represented as a capacity to
judge [ein Vermogen zu urteilen]. (A69/B94)

By ˜˜understanding™™ he means here the intellectual capacity as a whole,
what he has described as spontaneity as opposed to the receptivity or
passivity of sensibility. In agreement with a quite standard presentation
of the structure of intellect in early modern logic textbooks, Kant divides
the understanding into the capacity to form concepts (or understanding
in the narrow sense), the capacity to subsume objects under concepts
and subordinate lower concepts to higher concepts (the power of judg-
ment, Urteilskraft) and the capacity to form inferences (reason, Vernunft).
He is now telling us that all of these come down to one capacity, the
capacity to judge. The latter is not the same as the power of judgment
(Urteilskraft). One way to present the relation between the two would be
to say that the Urteilskraft is an actualization of the Vermogen zu urteilen.
But for that matter, so are the two other components of understanding.

So the Vermogen zu urteilen is that structured, spontaneous, self-regulating
capacity characteristic of human minds, that makes them capable of
making use of concepts in judgments, of deriving judgments from
other judgments in syllogistic inferences, and of systematically unifying
all of these judgments and inferences in one system of thought.25
This explains why Kant concludes section one with this sentence: ˜˜The
functions of the understanding can therefore all be found if we can
completely present the functions of unity in judgments™™ (A69/B94). If
the understanding as a whole is nothing but a Vermogen zu urteilen, then
identifying the totality of functions (˜˜unities of the act™™) of the under-
standing amounts to nothing more and nothing less than identifying the
totality of functions present in judging, which in turn are manifest by
way of linguistically explicit forms of judgments. Kant adds: ˜˜That this
can easily be accomplished will be shown in the next section.™™ The ˜˜next
section™™ is the section that expounds (as its title indicates) ˜˜the logical
function of understanding in judgments,™™ by laying out a table of logical
forms of judgments.
But of course, even if we grant Kant that he has justified his statement
that ˜˜the understanding as a whole is a capacity to judge,™™ this by itself
does not suffice to justify the table he presents. How is the table itself
Kant™s explanation of the function of judging decisively illuminates
the table he then goes on to set up. First, if the canonical form of
judgment is a subordination of concepts (as in the two examples ana-
lyzed above) then this subordination can be such that either all or part of
the extension of the subject-concept is included in the extension of the
predicate-concept: this gives us the quantity of judgments, specified as
universal or particular. Moreover, the extension of the subject can be
included in or excluded from the extension of the predicate-concept.
This gives us the title of quality, specified as affirmative or negative
judgment. The combination of these two titles and their specifications
provides the classical Aristotelian ˜˜square of opposites™™: universal affir-
mative, universal negative, particular affirmative, particular negative
Within each of these first two titles, however, Kant adds a third
specification, which does not belong in the Aristotelian square of

Above I have translated Vermogen zu urteilen as capacity to judge. Guyer and Wood have
translated it as faculty of judging. On this difference, see ch. 1, n. 3, p. 18. See also KCJ,
pp. 7“8. On judgments and inferences, see ibid., pp. 90“3.

opposites: singular judgment under the title of quantity, ˜˜infinite™™ judg-
ment under the title of quality. In both cases he explains that these
additions would not belong in a ˜˜general pure logic™™ strictly speaking.
For as far as the forms of judgment relevant to forms of syllogistic
inference are concerned, a singular judgment can be treated as a uni-
versal judgment, where the totality of the extension of the subject-
concept is included in the extension of the predicate-concept. Similarly,
an infinite judgment (in Kant™s sense: a judgment in which the predicate
is prefixed by a negation) is from the logical point of view an affirmative
judgment (there is no negation appended to the copula). But those two
forms do belong in a table geared toward laying out the ways in which
our understanding comes up with knowledge of objects. In this context
there is all the difference in the world between a judgment by way of
which we assert knowledge of just one thing (singular judgment) and a
judgment by way of which we assert knowledge of a complete set of
things (universal judgment). Similarly, there is all the difference in the
world between including the extension of a subject-concept in that of a
determinate predicate-concept, and locating the extension of a subject-
concept in the indeterminate sphere which is outside the limited sphere
of a given predicate (see A72“3/B97“8, where Kant distinguishes the
infinite judgments from both the affirmative and the negative judg-
ments). Now it is significant that Kant should thus add, for the benefit
of his transcendental inquiry, the two forms of singular and ˜˜infinite™™
judgment to the forms making up the classical square of opposites. It
shows that if the logical forms serve as a ˜˜leading thread™™ for the table of
categories, conversely the goal of coming up with a table of categories
determines the shape of the table of logical forms.
This is even more apparent, I suggest, if we consider the third title,
that of relation. It should first be noted that this title does not exist in any
of the lists of judgments presented in the logic textbooks Kant was
familiar with.26 On the other hand, the three kinds of relation in judg-
ments (relation between a predicate and a subject in a categorical

Early modern logicians typically distinguish between simple and composite propositions,
and their list of composite propositions includes many more besides Kant™s hypothetical
and disjunctive judgments. More importantly, the distinction between ˜˜simple™™ and
˜˜composite™™ propositions puts Kant™s categorical judgment on one side, and Kant™s
hypothetical and disjunctive judgments on the other side of the divide. Only Kant includes
categorical, hypothetical, disjunctive judgments under one and the same title, that of
relation. For more details about early modern lists of propositions see KCJ, p. 98, n. 44.
Note that Kant mostly uses the term ˜˜judgment™™ to refer to the content of the act
of judging (an act which is also called ˜˜judgment™™) but he sometimes insists that when

judgment, relation between a consequent and an antecedent in a
hypothetical judgment, relation between the mutually exclusive specifi-
cations of a concept and that concept in a disjunctive judgment) deter-
mine the three main kinds of inferences, from a categorical, a
hypothetical, or a disjunctive major premise. This is in keeping with
what emerged as the most important thesis of section one: the under-
standing as a whole was characterized as a Vermogen zu urteilen because in
the function of judging as such were contained the other two functions of
the understanding: acquiring and using concepts, and forming infer-
ences. This being so, it is natural to include in a table of logical forms of
judgment meant to expound the features of the function of judging the
three forms of relation that govern the three main forms of syllogistic
Still, as many commentators have noted, it is somewhat surprising to
see Kant include as equally representative of forms of judgment that
govern forms of inference, the categorical form that is the almost exclu-
sive concern of Aristotelian syllogistic, and the hypothetical and disjunc-
tive forms that find prominence only with the Stoics. Does this not
contradict Kant™s (admittedly shocking) statement that logic ˜˜has been
unable to make a single step forward™™ since Aristotle (Bviii)?
I think there are two answers to this question. The first is historical: the
forms of hypothetical and disjunctive inference (modus ponens and tollens,
modus ponendo tollens and tollendo ponens) are actually briefly mentioned
by Aristotle, developed by his followers (especially Galen and Alexander
of Aphrodisias), and present in the Aristotelian tradition as Kant knows
it.27 The second answer is systematic: it takes us back to the remark I
made earlier. Kant™s table is not just a table of logical forms. It is a table of
logical forms motivated by the initial analysis of the function of judging
and by the goal of laying out which aspects of the ˜˜unity of the act™™ (the
function) are relevant to our eventually coming up with knowledge of
objects. In this regard it is certainly striking that Kant should have
developed the view that in the ˜˜mediate knowledge of an object™™ that is
judgment, we not only predicate a concept of another concept and thus
of all objects falling under the latter (categorical judgment), but we also
predicate a concept of another concept and thus of all objects falling
under the latter, under the added condition that some other predication
be satisfied (hypothetical judgment); and we think both categorical and
the judgment is assertoric, it should be called a proposition. See Logic, xx30“3, AAix,
pp. 109, 604“5.
See Wolff, Vollstandigkeit, p. 232.

hypothetical predications in the context of a unified and, as much as
possible, specified conceptual space (expressed in a disjunctive judg-
ment). These added conditions for predication (and thus for knowing
objects under concepts) find their full import when related to the corres-
ponding categories, as we shall see in a moment.
The fourth title in the table is that of modality. Kant explains that this
title ˜˜contributes nothing to the content of the judgment (for besides
quantity, quality and relation there is nothing more that constitutes the
content of a judgment), but rather concerns only the value of the copula
in relation to thinking in general™™ (A74/B100). The formulation is some-
what surprising, since after all none of the other titles was supposed to
have anything to do with content either: they were supposed merely to
characterize the form of judgments, or the ways in which concepts were
combined in judgments, whatever the contents of these concepts. But
what Kant probably means here is that modality does not characterize
anything further even with respect to that form. Once the form of a
judgment is completely specified as to its quantity, quality, relation, the
judgment can still be specified as to its modality. But this specification
concerns not the judgment individually, but rather its relation to other
judgments, within the systematic unity of ˜˜thinking in general.™™ Thus a
judgment is problematic if it belongs, as antecedent or consequent, in a
hypothetical judgment; or if it expresses one of the divisions of a concept
in a disjunctive judgment. It is assertoric if it functions as the minor
premise in a hypothetical or disjunctive inference. It is apodeictic (but
only conditionally so) as the conclusion of a hypothetical or disjunctive
inference. Such a characterization of modality is strikingly anti-
Leibnizian, since for Leibniz the modality of a judgment would have
entirely depended on the content of the judgment itself: whether its
predicate is asserted of its subject by virtue of a finite or an infinite
analysis of the latter. Note, therefore, that Kant™s characterization of
modality from the standpoint of ˜˜general pure™™ logic confirms that the
latter is concerned only with the form of thought, not with the particular
content of any judgment or inference.
So the table, in the end, is fairly simple: it is a table of forms of concept
subordination (quantity and quality) where, to the classical distinctions
(universal and particular, affirmative and negative), is added under each
title a form that allows special consideration of individual objects
(singular judgment) and their relation to a conceptual space that is
indefinitely determinable (infinite judgment). And it is a table where
judgments are taken to be possible premises for inferences (relation)

and are taken to derive their modality from their relation to other
judgments or their place in inferences (modality).
Kant™s claim that the table is systematic and complete is not supported
by any explicit argument. Efforts have been made by recent commenta-
tors to extract such an argument from the first section of the Leitfaden
chapter, the most systematic effort being Michael Wolff™s. Even he,
however, recognizes that the full justification of Kant™s table of logical
forms comes only with the transcendental deduction.28 Indeed, in its
details the table can have emerged only from Kant™s painstaking reflec-
tions about the relation between the forms according to which we relate
concepts to other concepts, and thus to objects (forms of judgment), and
the forms according to which we combine manifolds in intuition so that
they fall under these concepts. It is a striking fact that the first mature
version of Kant™s table of logical forms appeared not in his reflections on
logic, but in his reflections on metaphysics. This seems to indicate that
the search for a systematic list of the categories and a justification of their
relation to objects determined the establishment of the table of logical
forms of judgment just as much as the latter served as a leading thread
for the former.29
I now turn to the culminating point of this whole argument: Kant™s
argument for the relation between logical forms of judgment and cate-
gories, and his table of the categories.

Kant™s argument for the table of the categories
I said earlier that the fundamental thesis of section one of the Leitfaden
chapter is ˜˜Understanding as a whole is a capacity to judge.™™ I might now
add that the fundamental thesis of section three (˜˜On the pure concepts of
the understanding or categories™™) is that judgments presuppose synthesis.

Ibid., pp. 45“195, esp. p. 181.
The Logik Blomberg (1771) and the Logik Philippi (1772) give a presentation of judgments
that remains closer to Meier™s textbook, which Kant used for his lectures on logic, than to
the systematic presentation of the first Critique. See AAxxiv“1, pp. 273“9 and 461“5;
Logic Blomberg, in Lectures on Logic, pp. 220“5. For an occurrence of the two tables in
Lectures on Metaphysics of the late 1770s, see Metaphysik L1, AAxxviii“1, p. 187. But
see also Reflexion 3063 (1776“8), in Reflexionen zur Logik, AAxvi, pp. 636“8. For a more
complete account of the origins of Kant™s table, see Tonelli, ˜˜Die Voraussetzungen zur
Kantischen Urteilstafel in der Logik des 18. Jahrhunderts,™™ in Friedrich Kaulbach and
Joachim Ritter (eds.), Kritik und Metaphysik. Heinz Heimsoeth zum achtzigsten Geburtstag
(Berlin: De Gruyter, 1966). Also Schulthess, Relation und Funktion, pp. 11“12;
Longuenesse, KCJ, p. 77, n. 8; p. 98, n. 44.

In a way, this statement is a truism. After all, ˜˜synthesis™™ means noth-
ing more than ˜˜positing together™™ or ˜˜combination,™™ and it is obvious
that any judgment of the traditional Aristotelian form ˜˜S is P™™ is a
positing together or combination of concepts. Indeed Aristotle defined
it in just this way, and the Aristotelian tradition followed suit all the way
down to Kant, including Port-Royal™s logic of ideas.30 What is new,
however, in Kant™s notion of synthesis, is that it does not mean only or
even primarily a combination of concepts. As far as concepts of objects
given in sensibility are concerned, the combining (synthesis) of those
concepts in judgments can occur only under the condition that a com-
bining of parts and aspects of the objects given in sensibility and poten-
tially thought under concepts also occurs. The rules for these
combinings is what transcendental logic is concerned with.
But why should there be syntheses of parts and aspects of objects
presented to our sensibility? Why should it not be the case that empiri-
cally given objects just do present themselves as spatiotemporal, qualita-
tively determined wholes that have their own presented boundaries?
Kant does not really justify the point in section three of the Leitfaden
chapter. The furthest he goes in that direction is to explain that in order
for analysis of sensible intuitions into concepts to be possible, synthesis of
these same intuitions (or of the ˜˜manifold [of intuition], whether it be
given empirically or a priori™™ [A77/B102]) must have occurred. The
former operation, as we saw from section one of the Leitfaden chapter,
obeys the rules of the logical employment of the understanding. The
latter operation must present the sensible manifold in such a way that it
can be analyzed into concepts susceptible to being bound together in
judgments according to the rules of the logical employment of the

See Aristotle, De interpretatione, 16a11; Arnauld and Nicole, Art of Thinking, part ii, ch. 3. As
we saw in the previous section, Kant nevertheless gives new meaning to the idea of
judgment as a combination of concepts, since in his view the activity of judging determines
the formation of concepts, so that the unity of judgment is strictly speaking prior to what it
unites, namely concepts. Note also that in the main text I write that ˜˜synthesis™™ means
positing together as well as combination. In saying this I would like to emphasize the fact
that as with all of Kant™s terms pertaining to representation, one should give ˜˜synthesis™™
the sense of the act of synthesizing as much as that of the result of the act. Similarly,
˜˜combination™™ means combining as much as the result thereof. Depending on the context,
it is sometimes helpful to use the term expressly connoting the action of the mind rather
than the term connoting the result or intentional correlate of the action. In any event, both


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