Nonconceptualism, Hume’s Problem, and the Deduction

Philosophical Studies 174 (7):1687-1698 (2017)
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Lucy Allais seeks to provide a reading of the Transcendental Deduction of the Categories which is compatible with a nonconceptualist account of Kant’s theory of intuition. According to her interpretation, the aim of the Deduction is to show that a priori concept application is required for empirical concept application. I argue that once we distinguish the application of the categories from the instantiation of the categories, we see that Allais’s reconstruction of the Deduction cannot provide an answer to Hume’s problem about our entitlement to use a priori concepts when thinking about the objects of empirical intuition. If the Deduction is to provide a response to Hume, Allais’s interpretation must be rejected.
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