Cambridge Kant Reading Group—seventh session 5th of March

Today we continue our discussion of Longuenesse (2005), pp. 211-235.

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One Response to Cambridge Kant Reading Group—seventh session 5th of March

  1. Katharina Kraus says:

    In today’s session we continued with Longuenesse’s interpretation of the principle of thoroughgoing determination in Kant’s critical philosophy. We first explored the connection Longuenesse draws between this principle and the unity of apperception and the unity of experience that arises from the former, as they are presented in the Transcendental Deduction. Longuenesse seems to distinguish the following three notions of unity:
    (1) The totality of the real (i.e., what is given in sensation) in time and space (or the unity of experience or the sphere of all objects of possible experience)
    (2) The distributive unity of concepts that follow from the distributive use of the understanding in determination
    (3) The collective unity leading to the transcendental illusion (probably the systematic unity of nature)
    Now, obviously the question arises as to how these three unities relate to each other and how they relate to the unity of apperception.
    Longuenesse holds that the principles of the understanding, i.e., the conditions of the possibility of experience, which are given through the unity of apperception, determine what is given in time and space and thus make it analysable according to the logical forms of judgment. Thus, the categories, or pure principles, define the infinite sphere of a concept, i.e., the “object of possible experience” or the “object given in space and time” (p. 218). But what exactly is now added through the principle of thoroughgoing determination? Longuenesse suggests in a footnote that the latter follows from the former, but is not identical with it (fn. 10). We got stuck on this point and then turned to the concepts of reflection, which Longuenesse addresses in the second part of her paper. Our discussion centred around the more general question of how the concepts of reflection (Amphiboly) exactly relate to the categories and the pure principles (Transcendental Deduction/System of Principles). On Longuenesse’s account, it seems to be important that the former add something to the determination of concepts or assist in formatting empirical concepts that are suitable for the determination of objects.
    We had no time to discuss properly the connection of the concepts of reflection to the reflective power of judgment, as it is introduced in the Critique of Judgment. Longuenesse addresses this point in the third part.
    Thus, even two sessions were not enough to discuss the details of this paper in an adequate depth. It does seem to add important details to our previous discussions about the formation of empirical concepts, as it seems to suggest a middle ground between Geiger’s holistic account and Grier’s and Pickering’s purely regulative accounts of the principle of systematicity in the formation of empirical concepts.

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