Imagination and Association in Kant's Theory of Cognition

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In this paper, I provide an account of the role of the associative function of the imagination in causal cognition for Kant. I consider, first, Kant’s treatment of the imaginative faculty in the student notes to Kant’s lectures on anthropology in the 1770s, with the aim of working up a more-or-less comprehensive taxonomy of its various sub-faculties. I then turn to Kant’s account of the activity of the imagination, particularly in accordance with the law of association, in the theory of cognition presented in the notes, and show that Kant, apparently in spite of Hume, takes the result of this activity as the basis for causal cognition. I then contend that Kant’s treatment of affinity in the A edition Deduction is animated precisely by his concern to shore up his previous account of causal cognition against Hume’s sceptical challenge.
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First archival date: 2018-10-14
Latest version: 2 (2018-10-15)
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