The Analytic of Concepts

In Sorin Baiasu & Mark Timmons (eds.), The Kantian Mind. London, UK: (forthcoming)
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The aim of the Analytic of Concepts is to derive and deduce a set of pure concepts of the understanding, the categories, which play a central role in Kant’s explanation of the possibility of synthetic a priori cognition and judgment. This chapter is structured around two questions. First, what is a pure concept of the understanding? Second, what is involved in a deduction of a pure concept of the understanding? In answering the first, we focus on how the categories differ from the pure forms of sensibility and examine whether they are known only to be the pure forms of human thinking or rather the forms of discursive cognition as such. In answering the second, we draw a distinction between the application and the exemplification of the categories and use it to identify different ways of understanding Kant’s project in the Transcendental Deduction of the Categories. These questions connect because the answer to the first determines how we should understand the kind of entitlement which is to be established in the Deduction.

Author Profiles

Andrew Stephenson
University of Southampton
Anil Gomes
Oxford University


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