Kant’s Account of Sensible Concepts in the Inaugural Dissertation and the Critique of Pure Reason

In Violetta L. Waibel, Margit Ruffing & David Wagner (eds.), Natur Und Freiheit. Akten des Xii. Internationalen Kant-Kongresses. De Gruyter. pp. 1015-1022 (2018)
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The present paper aims to trace back Kant’s account of the schematism of the pure understanding in the Critique of Pure Reason to the Dissertation. I do so by discussing Kant’s understanding of sensible cognition in view of his assessment of metaphysics. I argue, first, that Kant in both texts aims to defend metaphysics against skeptical attacks by discarding those of its elements he considers unwarranted and, second, that this undertaking hinges on his account of concepts that function as the sensible condition of cognition. Yet whereas Kant argues in 1770 that metaphysics must be purely intellectual, he in 1781 draws on his earlier account of sensible concepts to argue, against the Wolffians, that determining intelligible objects by purely intellectual means does not amount to cognition proper.

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