‘Reason’s Sympathy’ and its Foundations in Productive Imagination

Kantian Review 26 (3):455–474. (2021)
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Abstract

This paper argues that Kant endorses a distinction between rational and natural sympathy, and it presents an interpretation of rational sympathy as a power of voluntary a posteriori productive imagination. In rational sympathy we draw on the imagination’s voluntary powers to subjectively unify the contents of intuition, in order to imaginatively put ourselves in others’ places, and to associate imagined intuitional contents with the concepts others use to convey their feelings, in such a way that those contents prompt feelings in us that are like their feelings.

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Benjamin Vilhauer
City College of New York (CUNY)

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