Exploring the Deduction of the Category of Totality from within the Analytic of the Sublime

Con-Textos Kantianos 1 (12):381-401 (2020)
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I defend an interpretation of the first Critique’s category of totality based on Kant’s analysis of totality in the third Critique’s Analytic of the mathematical sublime. I show, firstly, that in the latter Kant delineates the category of totality — however general it may be — in relation to the essentially singular standpoint of the subject. Despite the fact that sublime and categorial totality have a significantly different scope and function, they do share such a singular baseline. Secondly, I argue that Kant’s note (in the first Critique’s metaphysical deduction) that deriving the category of totality requires a special act of the understanding can be seen as a ‘mark’ of that singular baseline. This way, my aesthetical ‘detour’ has the potential of revealing how the subjective aspects of object-constitution might be accounted for in the very system of the categories (of quantity) itself.

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Levi Haeck
University of Ghent


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