Affinity, Judgement, Things in Themselves

In Andrea Rehberg & Rachel Jones (eds.), The matter of critique: readings in Kant's philosophy. Manchester [England]: Clinamen Press. pp. 202-221 (2000)
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In this paper I offer a reading of the 1790 Introduction to the Critique of Judgement intended to show that the Critique of Judgement itself attempts to make good a serious deficit in the argumentation of the Critique of Pure Reason. In effect, the conditions outlined in the Critique of Pure Reason could be fulfilled without experience being constituted. There must therefore be additional conditions for the possibility of experience. And an account of these is to be found in the Critique of Judgement, despite the repeated insistence in the text itself that its strictures operate on the level of a merely 'reflective' judgement, quite distinct from the 'determinant' judgements underwriting the time-determination of logical operations in the first Critique. The new transcendental elements for the condition of possibility of experience turn out, through an analysis of the concept of affinity, to table a novel, transcendental, conception of matter irreducible to the experiential understanding of matter and conditioning its possibility. In conclusion, I suggest that the structure of reflective judgement can itself be understood as a description of the operation of this transcendental matter in the special case of the transcendental spontaneity required by the Kantian subject to constitutive experience.

Author's Profile

Alistair Welchman
University of Texas at San Antonio


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