Numero Completo


CTK

CTK

Con-Textos Kantianos

nº 6 Diciembre 2017 ISSN 2386-7655

nº 6 Diciembre 2017 ISSN 2386-7655

International Journal of Philosophy

CON-TEXTOS KANTIANOS.

International Journal of Philosophy

N.o 6, Diciembre 2017, pp. i-iii

ISSN: 2386-7655


Equipo editorial / Editorial Team


Editor Principal / Main Editor

Equipo editorial / Editorial Team


Editor Principal / Main Editor


Roberto R. Aramayo, Instituto de Filosofía, CSIC, España


Secretaria de redacción / Executive Secretary


Nuria Sánchez Madrid, UCM, España


Editores Asociados / Associated Editors

Editores Asociados / Associated Editors



Maria Julia Bertomeu, Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas / Universidad de La Plata, Argentina

Catalina González, Universidad de Los Andes, Colombia

Eduardo Molina, Univ. Alberto Hurtado, Chile

Efraín Lazos, IIF-UNAM, México


Maria Julia Bertomeu, Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas / Universidad de La Plata, Argentina

Catalina González, Universidad de Los Andes, Colombia

Eduardo Molina, Univ. Alberto Hurtado, Chile

Efraín Lazos, IIF-UNAM, México


Editores de reseñas / Book Review Editors

Editores de reseñas / Book Review Editors



Pablo Muchnik, Emerson College, Estados Unidos

Margit Ruffing, Universidad de Mainz, Alemania

Ileana Beade, Universidad Nacional del Rosario, Argentina Marceline Morais, Cégep Saint Laurent, Montréal, Canadá Antonino Falduto, Univ. de Halle, Alemania

Cinara Nahra, UFRN, Brasil


Pablo Muchnik, Emerson College, Estados Unidos

Margit Ruffing, Universidad de Mainz, Alemania

Ileana Beade, Universidad Nacional del Rosario, Argentina Marceline Morais, Cégep Saint Laurent, Montréal, Canadá Antonino Falduto, Univ. de Halle, Alemania

Cinara Nahra, UFRN, Brasil

Editora de noticias / Newsletter Editor


Ana-Carolina Gutiérrez-Xivillé, Philipps-Universität Marburg / Universidad de Barcelona, España


Consejo Editorial / Editorial Board

Consejo Editorial / Editorial Board


Juan Arana, Universidad de Sevilla, España

Rodolfo Arango, Universidad de los Andes, Colombia Sorin Baiasu, Universidad de Keele, Reino Unido Aylton Barbieri Durao, UFSC, Brasil

Ileana Beade, Universidad Nacional del Rosario, Argentina Giorgia Cecchinato, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais,Brasil Angelo Cicatello, Università di Palermo, Italia

Alix A. Cohen, Universidad de Edimburgo, Reino Unido

Vadim Chaly, Univ. Federal Báltica I. Kant, Federación de Rusia Silvia Del Luján Di Sanza, Universidad de San Martín,Argentina Francesca Fantasia, Univ. de Palermo/Univ. de Halle, Italia


i


CTK 6


Luca Fonnesu, Universidad de Pavía, Italia

Roe Fremstedal, University of Tromsø – The Arctic University of Norway, Noruega

Jesús González Fisac, Universidad de Cádiz, España

Caroline Guibet-Lafaye, CNRS, Francia

Ricardo Gutiérrez Aguilar, IFS-CSIC, España

Ana-Carolina Gutiérrez-Xivillé, Philipps-Universität Marburg / Universidad de Barcelona, España

Claudia Jáuregui, Universidad de Buenos Aires, Argentina

Mai Lequan, Universidad de Lyon III, Francia

Reidar Maliks, Universitetet i Oslo, Noruega

Macarena Marey, Universidad de Buenos Aires, Argentina Pablo Muchnik, Emerson College, Estados Unidos Faustino Oncina, Universidad de Valencia, España

Pablo Oyarzún, Universidad de Chile, Chile

Ricardo Parellada, UCM, España

Alice Pinheiro Walla, Trinity College Dublin, Irlanda Hernán Pringe, Universidad de Buenos Aires, Argentina Faviola Rivera, IIF-UNAM, México

Concha Roldán, IFS-CSIC, España

Rogelio Rovira, UCM, España

Konstantinos Sargentis, University of Crete, Grecia

Manuel Sánchez Rodríguez, Universidad de Granada, España Thomas Sturm, Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona, España Pedro Jesús Teruel, Universidad de Valencia, España Gabriele Tomasi, Universidad de Padua, Italia

Marcos Thisted, Universidad de Buenos Aires, Argentina

Salvi Turró, Universidad de Barcelona, España

Milla Vaha, Univ. of Turku, Finlandia

Astrid Wagner, TU-Berlín, Alemania

Sandra Zakutna, Univ. de PreŠov, Eslovaquia


Consejo Asesor / Advisory Board

Consejo Asesor / Advisory Board


Lubomir Bélas, Univ. de PreŠov, Eslovaquia

Reinhard Brandt, Universidad de Marburgo, Alemania

Juan Adolfo Bonaccini, Universidad Federal de Pernambuco, Brasil

Mario Caimi, Universidad de Buenos Aires, Argentina Monique Castillo, Universidad de París XII-Créteil, Francia Jesús Conill, Universidad de Valencia, España

Adela Cortina, Universidad de Valencia, España

María José Callejo, UCM, España

Robinson dos Santos, Universidad Federal de Pelotas, Brasil

Vicente Durán, Pontificia Universidad Javeriana de Bogotá, Colombia

Bernd Dörflinger, Universidad de Trier, Alemania Jean Ferrari, Universidad de Bourgogne, Francia Miguel Giusti, PUPC, Perú

Wilson Herrera, Universidad del Rosario, Colombia Luís Eduardo Hoyos, Universidad Nacional, Colombia Claudio La Rocca, Universidad de Genova, Italia Heiner Klemme, Universidad de Mainz, Alemania

Andrey Krouglov, Universidad Estatal de Moscú, Federación de Rusia

Salvador Mas, UNED, España

Javier Muguerza, UNED, España

Lisímaco Parra, Universidad Nacional, Colombia

Antonio Pérez Quintana, Universidad de La Laguna, España Carlos Pereda, UNAM, México

Alessandro Pinzani, UFSC, Brasil

Lubomir Bélas, Univ. de PreŠov, Eslovaquia

Reinhard Brandt, Universidad de Marburgo, Alemania

Juan Adolfo Bonaccini, Universidad Federal de Pernambuco, Brasil

Mario Caimi, Universidad de Buenos Aires, Argentina Monique Castillo, Universidad de París XII-Créteil, Francia Jesús Conill, Universidad de Valencia, España

Adela Cortina, Universidad de Valencia, España

María José Callejo, UCM, España

Robinson dos Santos, Universidad Federal de Pelotas, Brasil

Vicente Durán, Pontificia Universidad Javeriana de Bogotá, Colombia

Bernd Dörflinger, Universidad de Trier, Alemania Jean Ferrari, Universidad de Bourgogne, Francia Miguel Giusti, PUPC, Perú

Wilson Herrera, Universidad del Rosario, Colombia Luís Eduardo Hoyos, Universidad Nacional, Colombia Claudio La Rocca, Universidad de Genova, Italia Heiner Klemme, Universidad de Mainz, Alemania

Andrey Krouglov, Universidad Estatal de Moscú, Federación de Rusia

Salvador Mas, UNED, España

Javier Muguerza, UNED, España

Lisímaco Parra, Universidad Nacional, Colombia

Antonio Pérez Quintana, Universidad de La Laguna, España Carlos Pereda, UNAM, México

Alessandro Pinzani, UFSC, Brasil

CON-TEXTOS KANTIANOS

ii International Journal of Philosophy

N.o 6, Diciembre 2017, pp. i-iii

ISSN: 2386-7655

Equipo editor / Editorial Team


Jacinto Rivera de Rosales, UNED, España

Pedro Ribas, UAM, España

Begoña Román, Universidad de Barcelona, España Margit Ruffing, Universidad de Mainz, Alemania Pedro Stepanenko, IIF, UNAM, México

Sergio Sevilla, Universidad de Valencia, España

Ricardo Terra, USP, Brasil

María Jesús Vázquez Lobeiras, Universidad de Santiago de Compostela, España

Alberto Vanzo, University of Warwick, Reino Unido

José Luis Villacañas, UCM, España

Jacinto Rivera de Rosales, UNED, España

Pedro Ribas, UAM, España

Begoña Román, Universidad de Barcelona, España Margit Ruffing, Universidad de Mainz, Alemania Pedro Stepanenko, IIF, UNAM, México

Sergio Sevilla, Universidad de Valencia, España

Ricardo Terra, USP, Brasil

María Jesús Vázquez Lobeiras, Universidad de Santiago de Compostela, España

Alberto Vanzo, University of Warwick, Reino Unido

José Luis Villacañas, UCM, España


CON-TEXTOS KANTIANOS

International Journal of Philosophy

N.o 6, Diciembre 2017, pp. i-iii ISSN: 2386-7655


iii

CON-TEXTOS KANTIANOS.

International Journal of Philosophy

N.o 6, Diciembre 2017, pp. 1-5

ISSN: 2386-7655


SUMARIO / TABLE OF CONTENTS


[ES / EN] «Equipo editor» / «Editorial Team» pp. i-iii


[ES / EN] «Sumario» / «Table of contents» pp. 1-5


[ES] «Editorial de CTK 6», Roberto R. Aramayo (Instituto de Filosofia / CSIC, España)

p. 6


[EN] «CTK 6 Editorial Note», Roberto R. Aramayo (Institute of Philosophy / CSIC, Spain)

p. 7


ENTREVISTA / INTERVIEW


[PT] «Entrevista com Maria Lourdes Alves Borges, Presidenta da Sociedade Kant Brasileira» (Univ. Federal de Santa Caterina, Brasil), Cinara Nahra (Univ. Federal de Rio Grande do Norte, Brasil)

pp. 8-12


NÚMERO MONOGRÁFICO / MONOGRAPHIC ISSUE:

Kant in Current Philosophy of Mind and Epistemology (Sofia Miguens and Paulo Tunhas editors, University of Porto)


[EN] «Presentation of the Editors», Sofia Miguens and Paulo Tunhas (Univ. of Porto, Portugal)

pp. 13-17


[EN] « Analytic Kantianism: Sellars and McDowell on Sensory Consciousness», Johannes Haag (Univ. of Potsdam, Germany)

pp. 18-41


CTK 6


[EN] «Kant, Causal Judgment & Locating the Purloined Letter», Kenneth R. Westphal

(Univ. Bogaziçi, Turkey) pp. 42-78


[EN] «Apperception or Environment. J. McDowell and Ch.Travis on the nature of perceptual judgement», Sofia Miguens (Univ. of Porto, Portugal)

pp. 79-92


[ES] «El (no)-conceptualismo de Kant y los juicios de gusto», Matías Oroño (Univ. de Buenos Aires/CONICET, Argentina)

pp. 93-105


[ES] «La epistemología kantiana y el contenido no conceptual», Juan Rosales (Univ. Yachay Tech, Ecuador)

pp. 106-120


[PT] «A interpretação heideggeriana da Crítica da Razão Pura: a questão da imaginação»,

Sílvia Bento (Univ. do Porto, Portugal) pp. 121-137


[EN] «The Case for Absolute Spontaneity in Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason», Addison Ellis (Univ. of Urbana-Champaign, USA)

pp. 138-164


[ES] «¿Por qué la psicología empírica no es una ciencia natural? Una lectura del “Prólogo” a los Primeros principios metafísicos de la ciencia de la naturaleza de Kant», Martín Arias-Albisu (CONICET, Argentina)

pp. 165-185


[FR] «La fonction épistémologique du jugement réfléchissant chez Kant», Eric Beauron

(Univ. Paris I-Sorbonne, France) pp. 186-206


[PT] «Frege sobre Kant: uma motivação filosófica do logicismo», Manuela Teles (Univ. do Porto, Portugal)

pp. 207-236


[PT] «Da afinidade à acção», Paulo Tunhas (Univ. do Porto, Portugal) pp. 237-255


CON-TEXTOS KANTIANOS

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N.o 6, Diciembre 2017, pp. 1-5

ISSN: 2386-7655

Sumario / Table of Contents



DOSSIER / DOSSIER:

Kant on Grace (Editors: Pablo Muchnik, Emerson College, USA and Lawrence Pasternack, Okhlahoma State Univ., USA)


[EN] «A Guide to Kant’s Treatment of Grace», Pablo Muchnik (Emerson College, USA) and Lawrence Pasternack (Okhlahoma State Univ., USA)

pp. 256-271


[EN] «Why Is Kant Noncommittal About Grace?», Robert Gressis (California State University, USA)

pp. 272-284


[EN] «Kantian Grace as Ethical Gymnastics», Dennis Vanden Auweele (RU Groningen (Netherlands) and KU Leuven (Belgium)

pp. 285-301


[EN] «Kant’s Robust Theory of Grace», Jacqueline Mariña (Purdue University, USA) pp. 302-320


NOTAS Y DISCUSIONES / NOTES AND DISCUSSIONS:

Discussion on Robert Hanna’s article “Exiting the State and Debunking the State of Nature”, published in CTK 5


[EN] «Why Even Kantian Angels Need the State: Comments on Robert Hanna’s “Exiting the State and Debunking the State of Nature”», Anne Margaret Baxley (Washington University, USA)

pp. 321-328


[EN] «Why The Better Angels of Our Nature Must Hate the State», Robert Hanna

(Independent Researcher, USA) pp. 329-334


DOCUMENTOS / DOCUMENTS


[ES] «Julius Ebbinghaus y la filosofía del derecho de Kant», Óscar Cubo Ugarte

(Universitat de València, España) pp. 335-354


[ES] «La ley de la humanidad y los límites del poder estatal», Julius Ebbinghaus (Univ. de Marburgo, Alemania), traducción del alemán por Cristina Gómez Baggethun (Universidad de Oslo, Noruega) y Óscar Cubo Ugarte (Universitat de València, España)

pp. 355-365

CON-TEXTOS KANTIANOS

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N.o 6, Diciembre 2017, pp. 1-5 3

ISSN: 2386-7655


CTK 6


CONVERSANDO SOBRE KANT CON… / TALKING ABOUT KANT WITH…


[ES] «Conversación con Roberto R. Aramayo con motivo de su 60 cumpleaños», Ileana P. Beade (Univ. Nacional de Rosario, Argentina)

pp. 366-380


CRÍTICA DE LIBROS / REVIEWS


[ES] «Kant y la política», Luciana Martínez (Univ. de Buenos Aires/CONICET, Argentina). Reseña de: A. Faggion, A. Pinzani, N. Sánchez Madrid (eds.), Kant and Social Policies, Cham: Palgrave Macmillan, 2016

pp. 381-383


[ES] «A propósito del dualismo cognitivo de Kant. Un análisis no-conceptualista de la heterogeneidad entre sensibilidad y entendimiento en la Crítica de la razón pura», Marcos Thisted (Univ. de Buenos Aires/CONICET, Argentina). Reseña de: M. Birrer, Kant und die Heterogeneität der Erkenntnisquellen, Boston/Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 2017

pp. 384-389


[ES] «El fin último aristotélico y el sumo bien kantiano: Una visión comparada», César Casimiro Elena (Universidad Cardenal Herrera - CEU València, España). Reseña de: J. Aufderheide & R.B. Bader (ed.): The Highest Good in Aristotle &Kant, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015

pp. 390-396


[ES] «Una nueva colección de ensayos sobre la Doctrina del derecho», Fiorella Tomassini (Univ. Buenos Aires/CONICET, Argentina). Reseña de: J. Ormeño Karzulovic/M. Vatter, (eds.), Forzados a ser libres. Kant y la teoría republicana del derecho, Santiago de Chile,

Fondo de Cultura Económica, 2017 pp. 397-400


[EN] «The functions of cognition and the unity of the Kantian system», Lara Scaglia (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, España). Reseña de: M. Bunte, Erkenntnis und Funktion. Zur Vollstandigkeit der Urteilstafel und Einheit des Kantischen Systems, Berlin,

De Gruyter, 2016

pp. 401-403


[ES] «La posibilidad de la unidad de la razón o el abismo infranqueable a través de las categorías de la libertad», Laura Herrero Olivera (Universidad Complutense de Madrid, España). Reseña de: S. Zimmermann (Hrsg.), Die Kategorien der Freiheit in Kants Praktischer Philosophie, Boston/New York, Walter de Gruyter, 2016

pp. 404-409

CON-TEXTOS KANTIANOS

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ISSN: 2386-7655

Sumario / Table of Contents


[ES] «Lo genético y lo trascendental: a propósito del problema del lenguaje en la filosofía kantiana», Alba Jiménez (Universidad Complutense de Madrid, España). Reseña de: R.

Ehrsam, Le problème du Langage chez Kant, Paris: Vrin, 2016 pp. 410-414


[ES] «El fenómeno y el reenvío. Sobre el fundamento kantiano de la finitud de la razón humana», Leonardo Mattana (Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, España). Reseña de: G. Goria, Il fenomeno e il rimando. Sul fondamento kantiano della finitezza della ragione umana, ETS, Pisa, 2014

pp. 415-420


[ES] «Sobre la teoría de la biología de Kant», Matías Oroño (Univ. de Buenos Aires/CONICET, Argentina. Reseña de: I. Goy, Kants Theorie der Biologie. Ein Kommentar. Eine Lesart. Eine historische Einordnung, Berlin/Boston, Walter de Gruyter, 2017

pp. 421-426


[ES] «Contextualizando el pensamiento jurídico de Kant», Nuria Sánchez Madrid (Universidad Complutense de Madrid, España). Reseña de: R. Maliks, Kant’s Politics in Context, Oxford: Oxford U.P., 2014

pp. 427-430


Normas editoriales / Editorial Policy


pp. 431-434


Listado de evaluadores / Reviewers List


p. 435



CON-TEXTOS KANTIANOS

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CON-TEXTOS KANTIANOS.

International Journal of Philosophy

N.o 6, Diciembre 2017, p. 6

ISSN: 2386-7655


Editorial de CTK6


CTK6 publica una sustanciosa parte monográfica dedicada a Kant in Current Philosophy of Mind and Epistemology, que han coordinado Sofia Mingues y Paulo Tunhas de la Universidad de Oporto. Esta sección monográfica incluye once trabajos provenientes de Argentina, Alemania, Francia, Portugal, Turquía, USA y Ecuador. CTK6 recoge también un Dossier sobre Kant on Grace, preparado por Pablo Muchnik (Emerson College) y Lawrence Pasternack (Oklahoma State Univ.), que cuenta con colaboraciones de Bélgica y USA. E igualmente incluye una Discusión mantenida con un artículo de, investigador independiente Robert Hanna que apareció en CTK5.

La sección Documentos rescata del olvido un texto de Julius Ebbinghaus, titulado “La ley de la humanidad y la filosofía del derecho de Kant”, que han traducido al español Cristina Gómez Baggethum (Univ. de Oslo) y Óscar Cubo Ugarte (Univ. de València), quien es responsable asimismo de una presentación al texto traducido. La Crítica de libros muestra una buena panorámica de los estudios kantianos aparecidos en alemán, español, francés, inglés italiano. De las Entrevistas que teníamos comprometidas nos ha llegado la que Cinara Nahra (UFRN, Brasil) ha hecho a Maria Lourdes Alves Borges, actual presidenta de la Sociedade Kant Brasileira, y la sección Conversaciones, inaugurada en CTK5, incluye aquí una que Ileana Paula Beade (Univ. Nacional de Rosario) mantiene con el editor principal de CTK. Por primera vez no se incluye la traducción de un texto kantiano, pero siempre fuimos conscientes de que no siempre habría colaboraciones para todas las secciones de la revista, al igual que por el contrario han ido abriéndose otras y los sumarios se han ido adaptando a esa circunstancia con la apertura de nuevos apartados.

De otro lado, la Biblioteca Digital de Estudios Kantianos que se halla asociada a nuestra revista, y que se llama CTK E-Books, acaba de publicar el segundo título de su serie Hemeneutica Kantiana1 y también ha suscrito su primer contrato de coedición, en este caso con la UNALCO y la UNAM. Se trata de un volumen colectivo sobre La filosofía práctica de Kant.

Roberto R. Aramayo

Editor principal de CTK

Berlín, 30 de Noviembre de 2017



1 https://www.con-textoskantianos.net/index.php/revista/pages/view/hermeneutica

CON-TEXTOS KANTIANOS.

International Journal of Philosophy

N.o 6, Diciembre 2017, p. 7

ISSN: 2386-7655


CTK6 Editorial Note


CTK6 hosts a large monographic issue devoted to the subject Kant in Current Philosophy of Mind and Epistemology, coordinated by the colleagues Sofia Mingues y Paulo Tunhas from the University of Porto. The issue includes 11 papers by authors from Argentina, Germany, France, Portugal, Turkey, USA and Ecuador. This CTK6 issue also includes a Dossier with the title Kant on Grace, coordinated by Pablo Muchnik from the Emerson College, and Lawrence Pasternack, from the Oklahoma State University, with contributions from Kant scholars from Belgium and USA.

It contains also a Discussion section with an article that the independent researcher Robert Hanna published in CTK 5. The section Documents rescues from oblivion a text on Kant’s juridical writings by Julius Ebbinghaus, with the title “The Law of Humanity and Kant’s Philosophy of Right”, translated into Spanish by Cristina Gómez Baggethum (Univ. of Oslo) and Óscar Cubo Ugarte (Univ. of Valencia). The latter introduces and displays the context of the translated text for the Spanish speaker audience. The Books reviews furnish a wide overview of recent Kant-related publications released in German, Spanish, French, English and Italian.

We have the honour to publish the Interview that Cinara Nahra, from the UFRN (Brazil), made to Maria Lourdes Alves Borges, current President of the Sociedade Kant Brasileira. The new section Conversations, appeared for first time in CTK5, brings a dialogue between Ileana Paula Beade, from the National Univ. of Rosario (Argentina) with CTK main editor. Despite the editorial team expected to be able to schedule a translation of a Kant’s text in every issue, this time this section remains without content. In the meanwhile some other new sections were created in the journal, giving it its own mark.

Moreover, the Digital Library of Kantian Studies, associated to our journal under the name of CTK E-Books, has released the second volume of the series Hemeneutica Kantiana 1. This electronic publishing house has also signed its first coedition contract with the UNALCO and the UNAM publishing houses. The supported collective volume will have the title Kant’s practical philosophy.

Roberto R. Aramayo (CTK Editor-In-Chief), Berlin, 30th November 2017



1 https://www.con-textoskantianos.net/index.php/revista/pages/view/hermeneutica

CON-TEXTOS KANTIANOS.

International Journal of Philosophy

N.o 6, Diciembre 2017, pp. 8-12

ISSN: 2386-7655

Doi: 10.5281/zenodo.1092747


Entrevista com Maria de Lourdes Alves Borges

Interview with Maria de Lourdes Alves Borges


CINARA NAHRA

Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina, Brasil


A Professora Maria de Lourdes Alves Borges é a atual presidente da Sociedade Brasileira de Kant sendo uma renomada pesquisadora da obra kantiana. Maria de Lourdes estuda há muito tempo o papel das emoções em Kant sendo uma das pioneiras na pesquisa desta temática com a publicação do artigo “What Can Kant Teach us about Emotions”, no The Journal of Philosophy em 2004. Atualmente tem se dedicado a pesquisa sobre o mal e a religião na filosofia Kantiana. Maria de Lourdes é também uma feminista e tenta fazer um resgate contemporâneo da filosofia kantiana no que se refere a temas relacionados ao sexo feminino. Escreveu também sobre o amor e temas diversos na área da ética.


  1. Maria Borges, nos conte sobre a sua experiência à frente da SBK

    A Sociedade Kant Brasileira é talvez a sociedade mais antiga dedicada a um filósofo no Brasil. Sua primeira diretoria data de 1988 e foi composta de nomes importantes na constituição da filosofia no Brasil e sua consolidação pós -ditadura militar, como Zeliko Loparic, Ricardo Terra e Balthazar Barbosa Filho. Essa diretoria da SBK foi depois encabeçada pelo Prof. Valério Rodem, que permanece na direção da sociedade até 2006.

    Nossa diretoria atua num momento em que várias outras sociedades filosóficas já foram criadas e estão consolidadas. A SBK passa a dedicar - se mais ao próprio Kant, articulando os vários grupos e seções que existem no Brasil dedicadas ao estudo desse autor.


    Entrevista com Maria de Lourdes Alves Borges



    Uma das novidades da nossa diretoria é que ela é composta majoritariamente por mulheres, o que é uma mudança significativa nos estudos kantianos. Eu sou a Presidente, Sílvia Altman é vice Presidente, Monique Hulshof é tesoureira e Andreia Fagione é Secretaria Geral, além de Joel Klein. Acredito que esse tipo de composição acentua mais a importância de um grupo, ao invés de nomes individuais. Queremos ressaltar a existência de um grupo brasileiro de filósofos e filósofas que discutem Kant com alto conhecimento e grande criatividade.


  2. Como você vê a evolução dos estudos e da pesquisa sobre Kant aqui no Brasil do tempo em que você era estudante de filosofia na graduação até agora.


    Os estudos kantianos eram mais voltados à exegese estrita de textos. Até hoje penso que essa é uma característica da filosofia brasileira. Atualmente porém há uma abertura maior e enfoca-se mais questões filosóficas do que propriamente a exegese, ainda que essa seja uma marca positiva da filosofia kantiana brasileira.

    Houve nos últimos anos um deslocamento de uma exegese de texto e de uma influência quase que exclusivamente de comentadores alemães e franceses para os comentários americanos. Três membros da nossa diretoria, eu incluída, fizeram pós-doutoramento em universidades americanas.

    Há também uma liberdade de análise maior, um pouco mais descolada dos textos, unida a um escopo mais amplo de textos kantianos considerados relevantes, que incluem, por exemplo, a Antropologia do ponto de vista pragmático.

    A produção kantiana aumentou exponencialmente nos últimos 20 anos no Brasil. Se nos anos 80, época da minha graduação, tínhamos 3 ou 4 especialistas de Kant reconhecidos no Brasil, hoje esse número é 5 ou 6 vezes maior. As referências kantianas no Brasil também encontram-se em universidades fora do eixo Rio, São Paulo, abrangendo pesquisadores do nordeste ao sul do país, o que inclui a minha universidade, Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina.


  3. Você é professora da Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina (UFSC) e a UFSC é sede do CIK, Centro de Investigações Kantianas. Fale um pouco sobre as atividades que o Centro vem desenvolvendo


    O CIK foi criado por um grupo de Kantianos da UFSC e tinha como proposta fomentar a discussão e pesquisa sobre Kant. Temos uma biblioteca própria e organizamos periodicamente eventos para a discussão de temas da filosofia kantiana. Esses colóquios, unidos a uma biblioteca especializada, fomenta a produção kantiana, tanto de professores, quanto de alunos, tendo como consequencia um grande número de dissertações e teses de doutorado sobre Kant.


  4. Fale um pouco sobre as principais revistas dedicadas aos estudos de Kant no Brasil hoje.


    CON-TEXTOS KANTIANOS

    International Journal of Philosophy

    N.o 6, Diciembre 2017, pp. 8-12 9

    ISSN: 2386-7655

    Doi: 10.5281/zenodo.1092747


    Cinara Nahra


    Temos tem 3 revistas principais dedicadas ao estudo de Kant no Brasil. A primeira é a Revista da Sociedade Kant Brasileira, a Studia Kantiana. Desde seu primeiro número, em 1998, reúne a produção de filosofia nacional de Kant, bem como produção de nomes relevantes do cenário internacional.

    Temos a Kant e-prints, primeira revista eletrônica dedicada aos estudos kantianos no Brasil. Ligada à seção de Campinas da SKB, inicialmente dedicou - se à escola semântica de análise de Kant. A partir de 2000, passa a abarcar uma grande produção kantiana nacional e internacional.

    Mais recentemente foi criada a Estudos Kantianos, ligada ao Centro de Estudos Kantianos Valério Rodhen da UNESP. Essa revista tem como editor o Prof. Ubirajara Rancan, que promove vários encontros sobre Kant.


  5. Como você vê a questão da internacionalização da pesquisa sobre Kant atualmente? Fale um pouco sobre as iniciativas que existem neste sentido.


    A pesquisa sobre Kant no Brasil, principalmente depois do Congresso da SKB de 97, buscou cada vez mais uma maior internacionalização. Hoje temos a iniciativa dos Colóquios Multilaterais, que congregam pesquisadores de vários países e que têm uma periodicidade anual. Os Colóquios Multilaterais foram uma iniciativa do então Presidente da SKB, professor Ubirajara Rancan, que continua muito ativo na busca da internacionalização dos estudos kantianos.


  6. Como você vê o futuro das pesquisas sobre Kant no mundo?


    Sem dúvida, Kant é um dos filósofos da tradição mais estudado internacionalmente. Penso que isso se deve ao fato dele ser atual e abrangente. Podemos encontrar em Kant conceitos que ainda são atuais para pensar a ética, a política, a teoria do conhecimento, a estética. Kant não foi superado historicamente, o que nos leva a uma previsão de um estudo cada vez maior de sua filosofia, abarcando não somente o ocidente, mas também o oriente. Vejo que a filosofia kantiana tem-se desenvolvido na China e no Japão, para citar alguns exemplos dessa expansão.


  7. Além de presidente da SBK você é também secretária de cultura da UFSC. Explique as atividades que você exerce neste cargo e até que ponto ser uma pesquisadora e estudiosa de Kant lhe auxilia no exercício desta função.


    Eu sou responsável pelas atividades culturais e artísticas da UFSC, é uma Secretaria que tem status de Pro-Reitoria. Foi criada a partir de uma separação da Pro-Reitoria de Extensão, que é onde normalmente se situa a arte e cultura nas universidades. Como kantiana, tento organizar também debates sobre estética, além das atividades de música, teatro e cinema.


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    Entrevista com Maria de Lourdes Alves Borges



    O que eu levo de Kant para essas atividades culturais é a ideia de que a arte não tem uma finalidade, mas deve valer pelo próprio gozo estético. Penso também que a educação estética pode contribuir para a destinação ou desenvolvimento humano em geral.


  8. Se você tivesse que dar um conselho aos jovens estudantes de filosofia da graduação que estão iniciando nos estudos kantianos aqui no Brasil, que conselho você daria?


    Estude com dedicação os textos kantianos, lembrando-se sempre que Kant estava tentando resolver problemas filosóficos. A leitura exegética sem a compreensão dos problemas filosóficos é cega, assim como apenas a compreensão dos problemas filosóficos em questão, sem a devida atenção ao texto é vazia.


  9. Recentemente, como sabemos, uma tragédia se abateu sobre a UFSC e sobre todas as universidades brasileiras, com o suicídio do Reitor da UFSC, o já saudoso professor Luiz Carlos Cancellier. Voce gostaria de prestar uma última homenagem a ele explicando à comunidade acadêmica internacional as circunstâncias que levaram a morte do Cau, como ele era conhecido por todos?


A Universidade brasileira vive hoje sobre uma ferida aberta: a morte de um Reitor. Por quase dois anos, sob a liderança do Reitor Prof. Luiz Carlos Cancellier de Olivo, a UFSC floresceu na arte, na ciência e na tecnologia, apesar das dificuldades econômicas. A convivência tornou-se mais pacífica, pois os adversários não eram considerados inimigos e todos eram convidados a sentar na mesa e na sala do Reitor. Essa harmonia desaparece numa operação denominada Ouvidos Moucos, que prende o Reitor, sob a alegação de obstrução de justiça, relativa a uma suposta irregularidade no programa de Ensino à Distância. Não havia julgamento, nem processo, só um inquérito inicial, onde apenas um lado fora ouvido. Uma operação de 100 homens é montada para invadir a universidade, apreender documentos e prender 5 professores e o Reitor. Sem julgamento prévio, nem direito à defesa. Na prisão, Cancellier é despido, sujeito à revista íntima, algemado e acorrentado. Depois de solto, é impedido de entrar na Universidade, na qual foi um Reitor eleito e aclamado, elogiado até mesmo pelos seus adversários, pelo seu espírito conciliador. Devido ao terrível sofrimento acarretado pela injustiça e humilhação moral, suicida-se em 2 de outubro de 2017.

Hoje assistimos no Brasil a um fanatismo punitivista que, na sua ânsia de “punir os corruptos e passar o país a limpo”, acaba por destruir as bases do Estado de Direito. O que vemos atualmente é o avesso do Direito, que coloca como sua base a pena, a prisão e a utilização indiscriminada de medidas cautelares de restrição de liberdade, sem levar em consideração o princípio fundamental da pressuposição de inocência.

Soma-se à prioridade da pena desse Avesso do Direito, um lado sombrio da natureza humana, que humilha ao mesmo tempo que condena. O relato do Reitor despido e acorrentado na prisão nos faz lembrar as terríveis fotos do campo de concentração de


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Dachau, onde os judeus eram despidos e humilhados antes da solução final. O lado diabólico e monstruoso da natureza humana torna-se ainda menos aceitável quando se transforma naquilo que Hannah Arendt denominou de banalidade do mal. Assim, aqueles que friamente justificam seus atos bárbaros através da lei, cuja vaidade é alimentada pelos holofotes da mídia, sem nenhuma reflexão sobre a moralidade desses, remetem a Eichmann justificando suas atrocidades por que estava seguindo a lei do Terceiro Reich. Segundo Hannah Arendt, em Eichmann em Jerusalem: “Assim era a situação, essa era a nova lei do país, baseada na ordem do Fuhrer. O que ele fizera, ele fizera, tanto quanto podia ver, como cidadão temente a lei. Cumprira seu dever, conforme repetiu diversas vezes à polícia e à Corte; não obedecia apenas ordens, mas também à lei.”1

O exemplo de Eichmann nos leva a questionar a utilização da lei sem nenhum julgamento moral sobre essa. Estaria conforme ao Direito a lei ou a regra que permite a prisão sem defesa prévia? Estaria conforme o Direito o tratamento desumano dado nas prisões?

A partir do Tribunal de Nuremberg, que julgou os crimes da Segunda Guerra Mundial, foi criada uma Carta de Nuremberg, que instituía alguns princípios proibindo, entre outros, o tratamento desumano e alertava, no artigo 8, que “o fato do acusado ter obedecido ordens do seu governo ou de um superior não o exonerará de reponsabilidade”. Em 1948, a ONU promulga a Declaração Universal dos Direitos do Homem, incorporando os princípios de Nuremberg. No artigo 5, pode-se ler: “Ninguém deve ser submetido a tortura, ou submetido à tratamento ou punição cruel, desumana ou degradante”.

Que essa ferida, a morte de um Reitor condenado sem julgamento, sujeito a um tratamento desumano na prisão, tratamento rejeitado até pela Carta de Nuremberg, jamais seja esquecida. Que continue aberta e não cicatrize até que tenhamos um Estado Democrático de Direito no Brasil.



1 Hannah Arendt, Eichmann em Jerusalem, um relato sobre a Banalidade do mal (São Paulo: Diagrama, 1983), p. 148.

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Kant in Current Philosophy of Mind and Epistemology


Kant en la filosofía de la mente y la epistemología actuales


SOFIA MIGUENS

University of Porto, Portugal

PAULO TUNHAS

University of Porto, Portugal


Abstract


In this text we present the articles contained in issue 6 of Con-Textos Kantianos, which is dedicated to the relation between Kant’s philosophy and current discussions in philosophy of mind and epistemology. The articles are organized in three sections, dedicated respectively to sensory consciousness and judgement, spontaneity and Kantianism and science.

Keywords


sensory consciousness, perceptual judgement, spontaneity, Kantianism and science.


This present issue of Con-Textos Kantianos is dedicated to the relation between Kant’s philosophy and current discussions in philosophy of mind and epistemology. It contains contributions by Kant scholars and other philosophers on themes such as self- consciousness and self-knowledge, judgement and perception, perception and givenness and conceptualism and nonconceptualism about experience. More generally, Kant’s perspective on nature, perception, experience and science is brought to bear on ongoing research.


 Professor at the Institute of Philosophy of the Univ. Of Porto. E-mail for contact: [email protected]


[Recibido: 4 de noviembre de 2017

Aceptado: 20 de noviembre de 2017]


Sofia Míguens / Paulo Tunhas


The articles are organized the following way. The first section is devoted to consciousness and judgement; the articles included in it explore topics ranging from sensory consciousness, causal-perceptual judgement and perceptual judgement to aesthetic judgement.

In Analytic Kantianism: Sellars and McDowell on Sensory Consciousness Johannes Haag (Potsdam Universität, Germany) focuses on Wilfrid Sellars and John McDowell as proponents of so-called Analytic Kantianism. He analyses how their accounts of sensory consciousness differ in important ways. In particular, he is interested in McDowell’s criticism of Sellars, both as a reading of Kant and on its own merits. The article offers a detailed analysis of such criticism as well as a defense of Sellars’ position. At the background is the attempt to spell out what transcendental philosophy means as methodology.

In Kant, Causal Judgment & Locating the Purloined Letter Kenneth R. Westphal (Univ. Boğaziçi, Turkey) goes after Kant’s subtle and complex account of cognitive judgment, which he believes is far more illuminating (namely for contemporary discussions) than is often appreciated. The analysis of Kant’s account of causal- perceptual judgment leads him to highlight one central philosophical achievement: Kant’s finding that, to understand and investigate empirical knowledge we must distinguish between predication as a grammatical form of sentences, statements or (candidate) judgments, and predication as a (proto-)cognitive act of ascribing some characteristic(s) to some localised particular(s). Kant’s account of perceptual judgment thus accords with – and indeed justifies – a central and sound point regarding language, thought and reference advocated by apparently unlikely philosophical comrades such as Stoic logicians, Kant, Hegel, Frege, Austin, Donnellan, Evans, Kripke, Kaplan, Travis and Wettstein (these are all authors whose approaches stand in contrast to ‘description theories’ of reference, to Quine’s notion of ‘ontological commitment’ and to much of recently regenerated ‘analytic metaphysics’).

In Apperception or Environment: J. McDowell and Ch.Travis on the nature of perceptual judgement Sofia Miguens (University of Porto, Portugal) compares and contrasts John McDowell’s Kantian view of perceptual judgement with Charles Travis Fregean approach to the same topic. By analysing the clash between Travis’ idea of the silence of the senses and McDowell’s idea of intuitional content, the author aims to characterize the core of their divergence regarding the nature of perceptual judgement. The article also aims at presenting their engagement as a reformulated version of the debate around conceptual and nonconceptual content of perception, bringing forth some of its stakes. Such reformulated version of the debate makes it possible to bring out what a Kantian position on representation, consciousness and appearances ultimately amounts to, as well as to identify a particular angle of criticism to it.

Also Matías Oroño (University of Buenos Aires/CONICET, Argentina) in El (no)- conceptualismo de Kant y los juicios de gusto (Kant’s (non)-conceptualism and judgments

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of taste) focuses on judgement, but this time on aesthetic judgement. He believes there is a tendency within the conceptualism–nonconceptualism debate to overlook Kant’s aesthetics. The main goal of the article is to put forward an analysis of D. H. Heidemann’s non-conceptualist interpretation of Kant’s view of judgement of taste. The author begins by considering Heidemann’s analysis of the cognitive character of judgements of taste. Then he assesses the supposed nonconceptualism involved in aesthetic experience. Finally he puts forward an alternative explanation of the connections between Kant’s position on the aesthetics of beauty and the conceptualism–nonconceptualism debate. The author’s thesis is that even if judgements of taste do not possess cognitive value they allow us to understand central aspects of the Kantian theory of knowledge.

In La epistemología kantiana y el contenido no conceptual (Kantian Epistemology and Non-Conceptual Content) Juan Rosales (Universidad Yachay Tech, Ecuador) analyses John McDowell’s contention that the content of experience is fully conceptual; hence anything like nonconceptual content would simply not be possible. The article starts from a direct reading of Kant’s Lessons of Logic and an indirect reading of Concerning the Ultimate Ground of the Differentiation of Directions in Space. The author argues in favor of an interpretation of skills and practices as possible expressions of non-conceptual content in Kant’s epistemology.

We believe a liberal interpretation of the import of Kant on epistemology and philosophy of mind can be illuminating, so we did not restrict the selection of articles to analytic philosophy, or Analytic Kantianism. When a question such as e.g. spontaneity, and what Kant means by it in his approach to subjectivity, is at stake, it may be useful to search beyond analytic philosophy. This the case in the first article of the second section, dedicated to spontaneity.

In Heidegger’s interpretation of the Critique of Pure Reason: the question of imagination (A interpretação heideggeriana da Crítica da Razão Pura: a questão da imaginação) Sílvia Bento (University of Porto, Portugal) focuses on the Heidegger’s controversial interpretation of the Critique of Pure Reason in Kant and problem of metaphysics, searching for a perspective on Kant’s views on subjectivity, spontaneity and imagination. Withholding her critical stance on Heidegger, the author analyses her interpretation of the first edition of the Critique, presented as an ontological interpretation of Kantian transcendental subjectivity, with imagination as its core.

In The Case for Absolute Spontaneity in Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason Addison Ellis (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA) also focuses on the topic of spontaneity. He tries to assess Kant’s claim in the Critique of Pure Reason according to which the understanding is a faculty of spontaneity, while the sensibility is a faculty of receptivity. While the terms ‘spontaneity’ and ‘receptivity’, and their relation, are often taken for granted in Kant scholarship, the author inspects them carefully. He argues for he conclusion that the thesis of relative spontaneity (RS) (according to which thought is self-


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determined according to a conditioned inner principle) is wrong. If RS were the correct way to understand our self-determination in thought, then we would have to understand representational unity as the unity of an aggregate. But we do not have to understand it this way, for reasons the authors spells out. He concludes that this means that we must make sense of how thought can be self-determined in an unconditioned way.

In this collection of articles we took epistemology in a broader sense, so as to include a Kantian conception of science and scientific thinking. Thus the third section if dedicated to Kantianism and science.

In ¿Por qué la psicología empírica no es una ciencia natural? Una lectura del “Prólogo” a los Primeros principios metafísicos de la ciencia de la naturaleza de Kant (Why is Empirical Psychology not a Natural Science? A Reading of the “Preface” to Kant’s Metaphysical Foundations of Natural Science) Martín Arias-Albisu analyses the “Preface” to the Metaphysical Foundations of Natural Science. There Kant holds that empirical psychology, in contrast to mathematical physics and phlogistic chemistry, is not a natural science. The article aims to offer an interpretation of the reasons why Kant assigns such status to empirical psychology. The author purports to show, on the one hand, that empirical psychology does not have a proper scientific character like mathematical physics since inner phenomena cannot be presented a priori like movements in space. On the other hand, psychology does not have an improper scientific character, such as that of phlogistic chemistry, because it is not possible to conduct experiments nor make rigorous observations in the domain of inner sense. The outcome is that empirical psychology is a mere systematic and classificatory natural description of the phenomena of inner sense.

In La fonction épistémologique du jugement réfléchissant chez Kant (The epistemological function of reflective judgement in Kant's theory of knowledge) Eric Beauron (University of Paris I - Sorbonne) analyses the epistemological function of reflective judgement, whose principle is brought out in the two introductions of the Critique of Judgement. The analysis of § 62 of the Critique of Judgement, in conjunction with the § 38 of the Prolegomena and the Appendix to the Transcendental Dialectic, reveals the heuristic role of the principle of formal purposiveness and the affinity in scientific procedures, especially in the Newtonian invention of the law of universal gravitation. The aim of the article is to explore how reflective judgement works in epistemological contexts in which the functions of the understanding can no longer operate, since the empirical data escape the transcendental principles of the Analytic of Principles. The functioning of an epistemological ‘as if’ is brought to light to create the architectonical link between the technique of nature and its mechanical necessity.

In Frege sobre Kant: uma motivação filosófica do logicismo (Frege on Kant: a philosophical motivation of logicism) Manuela Teles (University of Porto – Portugal) analyses the way Frege always had Kant in mind when formulating his position in philosophy of logics and mathematics. Frege defends the thesis according to which one can


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only reach knowledge of numbers and of basic arithmetic operations if one accepts that determining what concepts and objects are is not a task for psychology (taken in a broad sense as a research into representations (Vorstellungen), whether they be empirical or a priori). Determining what concepts and objects are is rather a task for logic, to which a non-psychologistic philosophy may be associated. According to the autor, Frege defends the thesis that the agglutinating force of concept largely surpasses the unifying capacity of synthetic apperception.


Finally in Da afinidade à acção (From affinity to action) Paulo Tunhas (University of Porto, Portugal) analyses the work of Portuguese philosopher Fernando Gil, which was much influenced by Kant. From the very beginning of his philosophical work Fernando Gil looked for a harmony between the Kantian project and certain pre-Kantian modes of thinking, such as the Leibnizian. In his later work he also searched for harmony with the post-Kantian philosophy of Fichte. Such is the double origin of his deeply original philosophy of knowledge, which the author analyzes.

We believe we have gathered in the presente issue of Contextos Kantianos very interesting and diverse materials (also geographically diverse, since the authors whose work we present in this issue come from countries such as Germany, Portugal, Spain, the US, Turkey, Argentina and Venezuela); we hope the result presented is of some value for all those involved in philosophical research which owes to Kant its orientation or inspiration.


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Analytic Kantianism:

Sellars and McDowell on Sensory Consciousness


Kantismo analítico: Sellars y McDowell sobre la conciencia sensorial

JOHANNES HAAG

Universität Potsdam, Germany


Abstract


Wilfrid Sellars and John McDowell can both be read as proponents of Analytic Kantianism. However, their accounts differ in important detail. In particular, McDowell has criticized Sellars’s account of sensory consciousness in a number of papers (most notably in LFI and SC), both as a reading of Kant and on its systematic merits. The present paper offers a detailed analysis of this criticism and a defense of Sellars’s position against the background of a methodology of transcendental philosophy.


Keywords


Kant, Sellars, McDowell, Transcendental Philosophy, perception, intuition, judgment


  1. Analytic Kantianism & Transcendental Philosophy


    ‘Analytic Kantianism’ is not a well-defined term. It is mostly used very loosely to group philosophers who engage with Kant’s writings in a systematic, philosophical spirit and who themselves have a background in Analytical Philosophy, broadly conceived. If we look back in the history of discussions of Kant in Analytic Philosophy, Peter Strawson and Wilfrid Sellars probably first come to mind. Any list of important contemporary authors would have to include Robert Brandom, Michael Friedman, Hannah Ginsborg, Beatrice Longuenesse, Barry Stroud – and certainly John McDowell.



    [Recibido: 10 de octubre de 2017

    Aceptado: 20 de octubre de 2017]

    Analytic Kantianism



    But can Analytic Kantianism be described in an at least somewhat less loose and superficial way? I think it is possible both with respect to its subjects and the specific form in which they are addressed – at least for the field of theoretical philosophy I will concentrate on in what follows. John McDowell, whom I take to be one of the leading contemporary representatives of Analytic Kantianism, in one place writes:

    “If we understood Kant’s theoretical philosophy, we would understand how to think about the limits of intelligibility – the bounds of sense, in one interpretation of P.F. Strawson’s intentionally ambiguous title. That would put us within reach of the insight only glimpsed, I think, by Kant himself that those limits are not well-conceived as a boundary, enclosing a territory by leaving other territory outside it. But we can approach that connection with the theme of boundaries and limits only by dealing with the details of the first Critique, and some of that is all I will be doing here.” (SC1 108).

    In this quote, we find a number of features common to what I take to be characteristic for philosophers that could be subsumed under the label ‘Analytic Kantianism’: Most prominently, maybe, there is the vocalization of a deep reverence for Kantian thought, a reverence that Sellars once famously expressed by talking about philosophy being on a “slow climb ‘back to Kant’ which is still underway” (SM 29). Then we find the theme – a philosophical topos one might call it, by no means restricted to Kant – of a great philosopher apparently not being able to understand the depth and dimensions of his or her own thought in the way we today can understand his or her thought: As dwarfs on the shoulders of giants we ca see farther.

    But most importantly, there is the emphasis of the subject of ‘limits of intelligibility’, and with it, we might add, the nature of intelligibility itself that we supposedly are in a better position to understand if we engage in the understanding of Kantian philosophy. It is the latter subject, I would like to suggest, that gives us a grip on a more substantial characterization of Analytic Kantianism.

    What does this subject of intelligibility and its limits and boundaries consist in? Something’s being intelligible always, it seems, implies that it is intelligible as something of one kind or another for some kind of intelligent or rational being. Consequently, something is intelligible if and only if a rational being can intentionally refer to it as something.

    The topic of ‘limits and boundaries’ of intelligibility is thus closely connected to, and indeed: turns out to be only another perspective on, the subject of the possibility of intentional reference and the limits and boundaries of such a reference for rational beings. ‘To be intelligible’ just means ‘to be the potential object of intentional reference by beings of a certain kind’. Thinking about intelligibility and its limits and boundaries, consequently, means thinking about intentional reference and its limits and boundaries. I


    1 For a list of the abbreviations used for the works of Immanuel Kant, John McDowell and Wilfrid Sellars cf. the end of this paper.

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    would like to suggest that this topic of intentional reference and its limits is indeed characteristic for the thought of the authors that can be classified as exponents of Analytic Kantianism.

    However, it should be obvious that not any arbitrary way of asking (and answering) this question should make a philosopher an exponent of this philosophical family. More, certainly, is required to distinguish a way of analytic engagement with questions of intentional reference (even if they include its limits and boundaries) as a specific Kantian way of engagement. Let me, in a first step, try to specify the kind of questions which do make the inquiry a specific Kantian inquiry.

    It seems clear that in this connection the limits and boundaries of an intelligibility for beings that are like us in the relevant way is of special (if not of the only) interest for us. Ultimately, what we want to understand first and foremost is what is intelligible for us – and how that can be the case. But this question can be asked in very different ways, as Kant reminds us when he distinguishes questions of fact from questions of justification (cf. CPR A84/B116).

    What Kant understood was that a pure, even true description of an epistemic process could never amount to a justification of the epistemic ends of the process in question. While questions of fact are concerned with the description of epistemic processes, questions of justification are concerned with the normative nature of the epistemic purport of our representative acts: Justification is, as Sellars often points out, “a higher- order thinking” (Sellars, SK 325/6). In turning from the question “What is intelligible?” to the question “Why are we justified in believing something to be intelligible?” we thus leave the object- level of matter-of-factual truth and ascend to the meta-level where we reflect upon the question what makes a truth the truth it is – what accounts for its epistemic purport. Analytic Kantianism, in first approximation, is concerned with questions of the later kind.

    But, again, not any question about the epistemic purport of intentional reference makes the questioner an exponent of Analytic Kantianism. More, still, is needed to justify this classification. Fortunately this difference is not the only difference in a possible understanding of the question of what the boundaries of intelligibility consist in for beings who are like us in the relevant way. At least two further specifications are possible: One concerning the claim of exclusiveness of any satisfying answer to the question, the other concerning the level of generality or abstraction of the question itself.

    Let me first turn to the claim of exclusiveness: Questions concerning the objective purport of intentional reference can be (and often are) answered by indicating how we factually justify the claim to successful intentional reference. And these factual claims are often amenable to interesting philosophical answers as well – answers that certainly can shed some light on the issues in question. Those answers, however, will be restricted to the (albeit highly abstract) description of the facts in question or rather the factual causes and


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    reasons for it. But this kind of pure description is not that what a question in truly Kantian spirit is aiming at. They are asked as questions after the conditions that need to be fulfilled in general so that we could possibly justify the claim to successful reference. The modality that is involved proves to be decisive: This way of putting the question indicates a lack of conceptually possible alternatives that is characteristic of the philosophical level of abstraction at which it is properly located. A satisfying answer to questions of that kind has to explain, why something has to be the case and cannot be otherwise. Philosophically substantial claims that are this demanding are characteristic for what we following Kant we call Transcendental Philosophy. The proper methodological framework for questions of this kind – indeed the proper methodological framework for Analytic Kantianism in general – therefore has to be the framework of Transcendental Philosophy.

    What amounts to Transcendental Philosophy, of course, is a matter of dispute. It has often been connected to the question of the possibility of transcendental arguments. I would instead suggest to sidestep this hotly contested issue and give an alternative characterization of the issues involved.2 In order to do this in a first step it has to be specified what is meant by the answer lacking alternatives. It certainly cannot mean that the answer is somehow logically necessary. That this is not the case is shown by the fact that we ordinarily can think alternative answers without committing ourselves to any inconsistencies. However, those merely logical alternatives are no alternatives for us, i.e. they aren’t alternatives that can be given a determined content by us.

    This determination of content always has to be a determination of thought with respect to its object: as soon as the possibility of this kind of determination is missing, the theory in question only gives us a purely formal analysis of thought. But this is not the kind of answer we expect where we are concerned with the properties of our intentional reference to intelligible objects. For, questions aiming at these properties are questions after the intentional reference to a world of which we conceive ourselves to be a part, i.e. the intentional reference to a certain reality and ourselves as a part of this very reality. The analysis of this reference necessarily has to be neglected in a purely formal analysis of the sort envisaged.

    What the alternatives are that can be thought with a determined content is dependent on the factual limits and boundaries that constrain the space of possibilities of our intentional reference to the world. The starting point of the requested thinking of intentional reference therefore has to be the reflexive reference to our own intentionality: There simply is no alternative starting point for the investigation of the conditions of possibility of intentional reference. In this sense our actual presuppositions with respect to this reference are a necessary element of the analysis of its conditions of possibility. They are the starting point



    2 Parts of the following characterization of Transcendental Philosophy are taken from my “Personhood, Bodily Self-Ascription, and Resurrection: A Kantian Approach” (Haag 2010, p. 130/1). More detailed discussions of the subject can be found in Haag, J. 2007, ch. 1 and Haag 2012.

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    of a reflection on which of these actual presuppositions really are necessary in the sense elucidated.

    However, unlike the analysis of our actual or factual employment of concepts, i.e. classical analysis of concepts, the analysis of the conditions of possibility implies the impossibility of alternatives to those conditions under the so descriptively specified presuppositions.

    The question of intentional reference and its limits and boundaries, understood as a question of Analytic Kantianism, consequently needs to be concerned with necessities that result from the analysis of concepts we have to use, if we can use concepts at all – i.e. if we can intentionally refer to anything at all. Accordingly the answering of those questions is to be conceived of as an analysis of the conditions of possibility of our way of ascription in the transcendental-philosophic sense: It is concerned with the most general conditions of the intentional relation to a world of which we conceive ourselves to be a part. The results of such a transcendental analysis are only justified if they are – under the preconditions thus specified – without an alternative that can be thought with a determined content. I would suggest it to be a defining feature of Analytic Kantianism proper that it shapes the question of intentional reference to intelligible objects as a question that aims at the conditions of the possibility of this kind of reference.


  2. Levels of Abstraction


    I already hinted at yet a further differentiation that is necessary to fully understand the question of intentional reference as a question of Analytic Kantianism – this time not to distinguish Analytic Kantianism from alternative positions, but to differentiate questions within Analytic Kantianism and thereby putting into perspective the scope of the question Analytic Kantians are asking.

    In order to further differentiate our understanding of the question for the intentional reference to intelligible objects, we have to pay attention to the fact that the phrase ‚beings like us in the relevant way‘ is a placeholder that is far from philosophically innocent. It requires (and allows for) distinctions with respect to the ways relevant to certain features of intelligibility and intentional reference: Features that can and should be ordered according to the degree of abstraction from our own human ways of understanding – an abstraction that starts with the limits of intelligibility for human beings and reaches its own boundary only when it tries to abstract even from those features that are part of what is needed for every possible epistemic subject in order to generate knowledge of a world to which itself belongs. In Sellars’s words: it is thus as „to rule out the possibility that there could be empirical knowledge not implicitly of the form ‘such and such a state of affairs belongs to a coherent system of states of affairs of which my perceptual experience is a part’…” (KTE 635).



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    An epistemic subject of this kind needs to be finite – otherwise it could not be a (proper) part of the world it wants to generate knowledge of. Furthermore, it needs to be rational – otherwise it could not be interested in intelligibility of something in the first place. Furthermore, for Kant any finite rational being, not being able to spontaneously generating the objects of its knowledge, needs to be receptively given some material in order to subsume it under concepts. In other words, beings like us in the relevant way cannot cognize intuitively, but only discursively.3

    We consequently could describe the most abstract level of philosophical reflection on the limits of intelligibility as the level where we reflect on the limits of intelligibility for every possible finite rational, and hence discursive being that conceives of itself as part of the world (broadly conceived) it tries to understand. The most concrete level would be a level at which we were concerned with the limit of intelligibility for specifically human ways of intentionally referring to objects – a level that, for instance, clearly involves the specifically human forms of intuitive knowledge, i.e. space and time.

    In fact, Kant himself ties what I referred to as different levels of abstraction to the philosophical problem of intentionality as it occurs in transcendental philosophy. The differentiation in question is focussed by Kant as the question of what we do and of what we do not justifiedly presuppose with respect to the objects our intentional representations appear to be referring to. The close connection of this question to the famous question of a letter to Marcus Herz in 1772 concerning the relation between representations and their objects is obvious:

    “What is the ground of the relation of that in us which we call ‘representation’ to the object?” (Kant AA 10:130)

    In order to answer this question, Kant insists that transcendental philosophy is “not concerned with objects at all” (Kant Metaphysik Mongrovius AA 29:756). Its subject- matter, instead, is the possibility of epistemic or, more general, intentional reference to intelligible objects about whose existence nothing may be presupposed in advance. This is the only way, Kant insists, we can work out the conditions of the possibility of epistemic or intentional reference to objects. One could, therefore, describe the ideal aim of transcendental philosophy as making explicit the presuppositions of our thinking or our discourse about objects.

    There are questions on the possibility of reference even at the highest level of abstraction. Transcendental logic, being concerned with intentional reference to intelligible objects begins its reflection on a level of abstraction at which nothing whatsoever is presupposed about those putative objects of reference.


    3 For the important difference between discursive and intuitive understanding cf. Förster 2012, ch. 6 und Haag 2014.

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    Kant marks this unprecedented level of abstraction in thinking about reference to objects by introducing a specific technical term, the concept of a ‘Gegenstand überhaupt’. (The natural English translation ‘object in general’ has the serious drawback that it invites confusion with the (equally technical) Kantian term ‘Objekt überhaupt’.) The term ‘Gegenstand überhaupt’ serves, as Eckart Förster writes, as an “accusative of this relation (of a thought) ... without already presupposing a specific object as actual or even as merely possible.” (Förster 2012, 4/5.)

    But transcendental philosophy must not stop its investigation at this most abstract level: it can only succeed by lifting this abstraction step by step and thus progressing to the insights that can properly labelled to be transcendental philosophical – given that insights of this kind can be achieved at all. It can treat everything which has been shown to be a condition of the possibility of reference to objects at this level as explicitly presupposed at the next (lower) level of abstraction. Thus, after discerning the conditions of possibility of reference to ‘Gegenstände überhaupt’ it has to descend to the next level of abstraction internal to the transcendental hierarchy of these levels: that is, to the level at which the transcendental philosopher discusses the conditions of possibility of ‘Objekte überhaupt’. And from there he finally descends to thinking about the conditions of possibility of objects of experience (Gegenstände der Erfahrung), that is, spatio-temporally located objects.

    Incidentally, these lower levels of abstraction turn out to coincide with the differentiation between the relevant classes of ‘beings like us’ adumbrated above. Thus, if it is possible to substantiate the above distinction with respect to the distinction of Objekte überhaupt and objects of experience just introduced, we will have made considerable progress.

    A very helpful description of the means we have at our hands at each level of abstraction that helps us along these lines can be found in Wilfrid Sellars’s writings on Kant: He discerns the different steps of abstraction by showing that each of these steps involves a different use of the Kantian categories broadly conceived. (I say ‘broadly conceived’ because, at the highest level, categories are, strictly speaking, not yet in the play as categories.) Here is the quote from Sellars:

    “The categories are in first instance simply identical with the forms of judgment ... . These forms of thought would be involved in thinking about any subject-matter from perceptual objects to metaphysics and mathematics.The so-called pure categories are these forms of thought specialized to thought about objects (matter-of-factual systems) in general. Such objects need not be spatio-temporal, as are the objects of human experience. The full- blooded categories ... are the pure categories specialized in their turn to thought about spatio-temporal objects.” (Sellars IKTE §44/5)

    The full-blooded categories are, as Sellars makes clear, the schematized categories which are the result of the Schematism of the pure concepts of the understanding. He therefore closes by adding:


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    “The relation of the forms of thought to the pure categories is that of genera to species, as is the relation of the pure categories to schematized categories.” (Sellars IKTE §45.)

    Sellars is very clear about how the categories, at whichever level, are spared the fate of traditional ontological thinking – whose possibility, remember, it is, among other things, what is at stake. Categories are not treated as names for obscure abstract entities.

    “Medieval logicians began the process of reinterpreting the categories that culminated in Kant’s Critique, by recognizing that certain statements (thus ‘Man is a species’) which seem to be about queer entities in the world are actually statements that classify constituents of conceptual acts.” (Sellars KTE 641)

    This development culminated in a treatment of the categories as “grammatical classifications”:

    “And, of course, Kant’s categories are grammatical classifications. They classify the grammatical structures and functions of Mentalese. Thus the category of substance- attribute is the structure ‘S is P’, the form of subject-attribute judgment. The category of causality is the form ‘X implies Y’. The category of actuality is the form ‘that-p is true’. More accurately, the categories are these forms or functions specialized to thought about spatio-temporal object.” (Sellars IKTE §§ 39/40)

    What these distinctions, together with the distinctions concerning the respective accusative of the referential relation in question, give us is an outline of the internal structure of the justificatory or transcendental levels of abstraction: The internal structure is threefold, starting, at the highest level of abstraction, with theorizing about the conditions of possibility of thinking about ‚Gegenstände überhaupt‘ – objects in general writ large – in terms of the most general forms of judgement; turning at the next level to the possibility of our reference to objects in general, i.e. objects thought under the condition of an ‘intuition in general’ which does not have to be an intuition subject to our specific human forms of sensibility; and adding, at its last level, spatio-temporal structure, that is, the categories adapted to our specific human forms of intuition and thus scrutinizing the conditions of possibility of reference to spatio-temporal objects.

    This internal structure is characterizing the higher level in a just two-leveled hierarchy of levels of abstraction whose defining feature is whether it does or whether it does not presuppose the possibility of reference to objects.

    But we have yet to add an essential ingredient to our picture of levels of abstraction. We have to be more perspicuous about what we do when we think about the conditions of possibility of our reference to objects. Kant (according to the lecture-transcript Metaphysik Mongrovius) puts it in the following way:

    “In transcendental philosophy we consider not objects, but reason itself ... One could therefore also call transcendental philosophy transcendental logic ... Transcendental logic


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    abstracts from all this, it is a kind of self-knowledge (Selbst Erkenntniß).” (Kant AA 29:752, 756; quote Förster 2012, 4.)

    We already heard Sellars referring to the categories – at every of the aforementioned internal levels of abstraction – as classifying the structures and constituents of conceptual acts. What we therefore have to add is a distinction between grammatical classifications which do and classifications which do not add to the kind of self-knowledge Kant refers to in this remark. Otherwise we would have to include any old quality and every relation, since every quality and every relation may serve as characterizing a concept or object. And every concept is, on Kant’s and Sellars’s view, a rule for the classification of ideas.

    Which kinds of classification of conceptual acts, then, are the proper subject-matter of transcendental philosophy? It is exactly those kinds that are necessary for an understanding of the ‘ground of the relation of that in us which we call ‘representation’ to the object’. In other words, it is exactly those kinds that are the conditions of possibility of an intentional relation between us as thinkers and the world of intelligible objects, i.e. the conditions of the possibility of intentionality.


  3. Givenness, Guidance, and Sensory Consciousness


    With these methodological observations in place, let me turn to some of the central topics in connection with the question of intentionality as it is addressed in Analytic Kantianism. The common denominator of these topics is their connection with an account of the role of sensory consciousness in a Kantian conception of intentionality. I will unfold these topics by discussing the respective takes of Wilfrid Sellars and John McDowell, two of the foremost representatives of Analytic Kantianism, and relating them to each other. Kant’s original account of these topics will serve as the backdrop for this discussion.

    In Science and Metaphysics (1968) Sellars observes:

    The [manifold of intuitions; J.H.] has the interesting feature that its existence is postulated on general epistemological or, as Kant would say, transcendental grounds, after reflection on the concept of human knowledge as based on, though not constituted by, the impact of independent reality. (Sellars SM 9; my emphasis)

    This impact of an independent reality corresponds to the ‘guidedness’ of our perceptual content Sellars shows himself so impressed by in the opening pages of Science and Metaphysics. 4 This guidedness, for Sellars, is an ultimately phenomenological fact grounded in the passivity of our experience. Kant, throughout his critical writings, emphasizes this passivity with respect to the content of our experience.5 There has to be


    4 Cf. Sellars, SM 16. Robert Pippin discusses these remarks in his Kant’s Theory of Form (1982, 46-51).

    5 Cf. e.g. Kant, CPR A 50 / B 74; Kant, GMS 4:452; Kant, Anthropologie, 7:141.


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    something that explains the basic phenomenological fact that we are passive with respect to the actual content of our experience.6

    This guidance is the joint effect of independent reality and the sense-impressions brought about by its impact – Sellars’s ‘sheer receptivity’7. The independent reality is the Kantian thing in itself, guiding us from without via the impressions of sheer receptivity. Only the latter are immediately accessible for the working of our spontaneity.

    Even this immediate contact with sense-impressions is, however, guidance from without the conceptual order in the sense that these impressions are not given as what they are in themselves, but for both Kant and Sellars are always synthesized by the synthesis of the imagination. (It is in this context that Sellars in his later writings introduces the concept of an image-model. Cf. below sec. 5.)

    This fact, in turn, connects the subject of guidance to another important philosophical subject in connection with our intentional reference to a world that exists independently of us: the repudiation of the Myth of the Given. This Myth in its “most basic form” (Sellars, FMPP, I § 44) consists in the following principle:

    „If a person is directly aware of an item which has categorical status C, then the person is aware of it as having categorical status C.“ (ibd.)

    And he adds:

    „To reject the Myth of the Given is to reject the idea that the categorial structure of the world – if it has such a structure – imposes itself on the mind as a seal imposes an image on melted wax.“ (ibd.)

    The rejection of the Myth therefore involves a rejection of every form of direct or immediate awareness of something with a certain categorial structure as having this very categorial structure unless one already developed a conceptual framework, which forms the background of this direct awareness.8

    The connection to the subject of guidance via the synthesis of the receptively given sense- impressions should be obvious. It can be summarized in the following question: In sensory consciousness, are we immediately aware of the receptively given sense-impressions guiding us as what they are in themselves? In answering this question, everything depends on how the imagination in its synthesizing activity transforms what is receptively given.

    McDowell chooses a completely different approach to sensory consciousness and declares himself an intentionalist in the treatment of sensation.9 Intentionalism concerning sensation


    6 Although Sellars thought himself in disagreement with Kant in this respect, I tried to show on another occasion that for both authors this guidance has to be strictly ‘from without’ the conceptual order. Cf. Haag 2014.

    7 Cf. for example Sellars, ibd.

    8 Cf. Rosenberg 2007, 285-289.

    9 Cf. McDowell, SC 119 n. 22.


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    is the position that sensations themselves are or can become intentional states. 10 For a Sellarsian, this is something like a philosophical fall from grace: In countless places Sellars criticizes this position which he considers to be one of the paradigmatic forms of the Myth of the Given.11

    I will not take issue with McDowell’s systematic position directly, but with his understanding of Kant as an intentionalist about sensation. What McDowell suggests as a reading of Kant, is a sophisticated attempt to bring together the two stems of knowledge in a way that does not picture their respective outputs as two “components” (McDowell, SC

    124) of experiences, but as the sensory output of a sensibility already “informed” (ibd.) by the understanding.

    “[T]he intentionality of intuitions is accounted for by the fact that in intuitions sensory consciousness itself is informed by the higher faculty. The thinkings that provide for the intentionality of perceptual cognitions are not guided by sensory consciousness, as it were from without. They are sensory consciousness, suitably informed.” (ibd. 119)

    This technical concept of informed sensory consciousness is important, but at the same time difficult to elucidate. As it is introduced it clearly is brought into play to provide an alternative to Sellars’s concept of guidance from without through sheer receptivity; but it seems that the two conceptions of informed sensory consciousness and guidance from without are not mutually exclusive. To show that will be part of the burden of my argument.

    What is meant by the concept of informed (or conceptually shaped 12 ) sensory consciousness? In a first approximation, sensory consciousness being informed must include not being neatly separable in an intentional and a sensory (or conceptual and sensible, or spontaneous and receptive) component, as McDowell insists.13

    It seems further safe to maintain that informing in this technical sense has to amount to more than simply the (new) arrangement of given sensory input by the understanding. Otherwise there would hardly be any difference in this respect between McDowell’s and Sellars’s reading of Kant: Sellars acknowledges that the sensory material is (re)structured by the synthetic activity of productive imagination. The latter is guided itself not only from without, but also from within by concepts which provide the recipes for this activity.14 In order to count as informed the sensory consciousness itself has to somehow become spontaneous through this interaction with the higher-faculty – otherwise we would be


    10 The cautious amendment “or can become” is meant to incorporate positions, which are prepared to admit that “sensibility alone does not yield cognition” (McDowell, SC 119), but insist that sensory states “informed by the higher faculty” (ibd.) can. McDowell subscribes to such a view.

    11 Cf.. e.g. Sellars, BBK, 46; Sellars, SRLG 335/6; Sellars, EPM 132-4, 154-6.

    12 Cf. McDowell, LFI 34.

    13 Cf. ibd., 124.

    14 Cf. Sellars, IKTE § 28. McDowell explicitly seems to grant as much in a reversal of his earlier criticism in the Woodbridge-Lectures. Cf. ibd. 114 f. I will discuss some of the details of this process and the concepts involved below.


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    restricted to merely associatively connected representations, that do not amount to cognition.

    Informed sensory consciousness should not only be merely a formal (re)arrangement of the receptive input. Moreover, it seems necessary that there should not be an unformed sensory element that can be identified as present in the more sophisticated products of mental activity, be they image-model or the even intuition. Otherwise this element would not have been sufficiently transformed by the higher-faculty in the way just adumbrated.

    I would like to point out, though, that the concept of informed sensory consciousness does not seem to imply that a conceptual representation which directly refers to informed sensory consciousness, cannot be distinguished from the representations so informed. There seems to be some philosophical wriggling room here, that will prove important in what follows.

    Nevertheless, some of McDowell’s remarks indicate that he seems to take this implication largely for granted, for instance by writing that in his picture “what provides for an intuition, say, to belong to sensory consciousness is not apportioned to an item other than one whose characteristics provide for the intuition to be of an object, as in Sellars’s picture” (McDowell, SC 118/9).

    But intentionalism in the treatment of sensations does not need to amount to making intuitions themselves sensory items – although it seems McDowell has exactly this in mind. In the dimension of our thinking that concerns intuitive content it could still make sense to separate a concept of an item that is a conceptual tool for direct, demonstrative reference from an item that supplies intuitive thinking with informed sensory consciousness.

    Even if one (like McDowell) rules out an account along these lines, this leaves the possibility that there could still be a purely sensory component that feeds into our mental activity that cannot in any meaningful way be identified in synthesized experience, and yet might prove indispensable for different reasons. In his critical remarks on Sellars, McDowell seems to allow for at least the conceptual possibility of this sort of sensory component, notwithstanding his own rejection of any such sensory items as superfluous.

    According to the picture to be developed, Sellarsian sheer receptivity would operate ‘below the line’, thereby guiding the informing of sensory consciousness above the line from without in Sellars’s use of this term; while in a second step the results of this operation would be sufficiently transformed by spontaneity to justify the classification of the resulting sensory consciousness as informed.

    Notice that in this case, there ultimately will exist not one, but two different kinds of sensation in a complete account of sensory consciousness: The first kind of sensibility would belong completely to receptivity (‘below the line’), while the second would be permeated with spontaneity from the very beginning (‘above the line’).


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    This possibility of a concept of informed sensory consciousness compatible with a conception of a sensory level ‘below the line’15 that separates the receptivity of sense from the spontaneity of understanding, will prove of vital importance for assessing the true extent of disagreement between Sellars’s and McDowell’s Analytic Kantianism with respect to the role of sensory consciousness in intentionality.


  4. The very same function of unity?


    McDowell, in discussing Sellars’s conception of sensory consciousness in connection with his reading of Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason frequently comes back to a key-statement of the first chapter of Kant’s Transcendental Analytics of the Critique of Pure Reason, called “On the Clue to the Discovery of all Pure Concepts of the Understanding”:

    “The very same function that gives unity to the different representations in a judgment also gives unity to the mere synthesis of different representations in an intuition which, expressed generally, is called the pure concept of understanding.” (Kant CPR A 79 / B 104/5)

    This statement is the central sentence of the so-called ‘Metaphysical Deduction’ whose purpose it is to give us the pure concepts of the understanding. It is at the same time the first whole-hearted expression of the intimate connection of the logic of judgment with the logic of intuition – but, unfortunately, it is not one of Kant’s clearest expressions of this relationship. McDowell interprets this statement as follows.

    „We can recast the remark from the ‘Clue’ to say: the function that gives unity to the various representations in an ostensible seeing is the same as the function that gives unity to the mere synthesis of various representations in an intuition.” (LFI 31)

    In order to assess this interpretation it is important to first explain the usage of the technical term ‘ostensible seeing (OS)’. McDowell in this usage follows Sellars who uses it as a term for representations that purport to be instances of visual perceptions which, in the veridical case (unlike in the subjectively indistinguishable case of illusion or hallucination) they indeed are. OS are not the result of a spontaneous commitment of the subject but are involuntary reactions to external stimuli. That these reactions are involuntary does, however, not preclude them from being thoroughly conceptual:

    „Sellars shows us how to understand visual experiences as ostensible seeings, occurrences in a subject's life that ‘contain’ claims about an ostensibly visible region of objective



    15 To borrow an illuminating metaphor from McDowell’s Woodbridge-Lectures. Cf. McDowell, SPE 5. (I consequently do not share Jay Rosenberg’s criticism of this metaphor: Rosenberg thinks that „McDowell’s reification of Sellars’s references to ‚sheer receptivity’ [is] unfortunate“ (Rosenberg 2007, 279). The reason for this criticism seems to that sense-impressions below the line are the material for the conceptually guided synthetic construction of image-models above the line. My analysis of the role of sense-impressions in this construction will implicitly address this point. Cf. section 5.


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    reality. That they ‘contain’ claims is the same fact as that they are conceptual occurrences, actualizations of conceptual capacities with a suitable ‘logical’ togetherness. In that respect they are like judgments. But they are unlike judgments in the way in which they ‘contain’ their claims. Judgments are free exercises of conceptual capacities [...]. But in an ostensible seeing whose content includes that of a given judgment, the same conceptual capacities are actualized [...] in a way that is ostensibly necessitated by the objective reality that is ostensibly seen. A visual experience is a case of being under the visual impression that things are thus-and-so in the ostensibly visible environment.” (McDowell, IR 44)

    OS have or contain the same content as the corresponding judgments that are not the result of an involuntary reaction to stimuli. Consequently, they truly are conceptual shapings of sensory consciousness (cf. LFI 33). That these shapings have to be of the same ‘logical togetherness’ is a nod to the fact that we have to exercise a number of different conceptual abilities in order to see something as e.g. a pink ice-cube: ascribing a color, a form, a material etc. (cf. SPE 1 f.). But the connection to the corresponding judgment, according to McDowell, is even closer: OS do have the same content in the same (i.e. propositional) structure. An OS is an (ostensible) seeing-that with direct object-reference (cf. LFI 32). Hence, OS are mental states with propositional content that – unlike judgements – are not the result of a decision. In an OS we see that something is the case without judging, i.e. committing ourselves, that it is. They are distinguished from the corresponding judgment only in that they are not affirmations. McDowell later (in AMG 269) admits that it is indeed hard to deny them the status of judgments. His official doctrine, however, from the Woodbridge-Lectures onwards is that OS are ceteris paribus authorizing the corresponding judgment without being identical to it.

    This makes plausible the replacement of ‚judgment’ with OS in his paraphrase of the statement from the ‘Clue’. After all, the connection Kant is after has to be particularly salient in the relation between intuitions and the corresponding judgments of perception. And since commitment seems to be irrelevant with respect to the logical unity Kant is interested in, it makes perfect sense to switch to OS, thus focusing on the question of conceptual structure.

    Intuiton, unlike OS, does have the task of presenting the object of experience ore perception itself. Intuitions qua immediate representations of an object are themselves not mere products of sensibility but require the involvement of the understanding that is able to guarantee in their synthesis the same kind of logical structure that characterizes judgments. McDowell affirmatively quotes Sellars’s calling intuitions ‘this-suches’. If an OS has the content that there is a pink ice-cube, the corresponding intuition is an intuition of this pink ice-cube over there, thanks to the involvement of the very same conceptual abilities in both cases:

    “If an ostensible seeing is a seeing, then the conceptual shaping of visual consciousness that constitutes it, those very conceptual capacities actualized in visual consciousness with


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    that very »logical« togetherness, constitute – looked at, as it were, from a different angle – an intuition: an immediate presentness of an object to sense. [...] This seeing that..., in describing which we explicitly place an expression for the concept in question in a predicative position, is the very same conceptual occurrence – an actualization of the same conceptual capacities with the same »logical« togetherness – as the intuition.” (LFI 33f.)

    This should not be misunderstood as implying that intuitions somehow ‚give’ us an object that the OS then refers to in a second step. McDowell’s view is the more radical one that intuitions and OS are, indeed, two sides of the same coin: “Visual intuitions of objects simply are seeings that..., looked at as it were from a different angle.” (LFI 34) It is in order to facilitate this that both need to have the same judgeable content (cf. LFI 35). “In fact, visual intuitions just are the actualizations of conceptual capacities, with the requisite togetherness, that constitute those ostensible seeings that are seeings.” (IR 45f.) This, for McDowell, in the Woodbridge-Lectures constitutes the core of the insight that Kant voiced in the key-passage from the ‘Clue’ about the ‘very same function that gives unity’ to an judgment and an intuition.

    It seems clear that McDowell’s interpretation of Kant offers a reading that is compatible with this statement. How, on the other hand, is a Sellarsian reading of this pivotal statement even possible given his conception of sensory consciousness sketched above? In order to make this plausible, we have to take a deeper look at Sellars’s theory of conceptually shaped sensory consciousness as it is developed in his concept of an image- model, in particular. I will introduce this important Sellarsian concept as it were through the lens of McDowell’s discussion of this concept. This will allow me in what follows to develop the opposing views of Sellars and McDowell in the form of a critical investigation of McDowell’s interpretation of Sellars’s Kantian conception of sensory consciousness.


  5. Image-Models and Intuition


    The concept of an image-model (IM) does not appear in Science and Metaphysiscs (based on his 1964/5 Locke-Lectures). It is officially introduced no earlier than in the late paper “The Role of Imagination in Kant’s Theory of Experience” (IKTE, 1978), though there is a number of remarks, starting from “Kant’s Theory if Experience” (KTE, 1967) 16 that foreshadow this decisive twist in Sellars’s conception of sensory consciousness.


    16 “This difficult doctrine requires that the logical powers of the concept cube involve not only the inferential powers characteristic of its role as predicate of full-fledged judgment, but also the powers involved in “constructing” or “drawing” determinate “this-cube”-representings in accordance with a rule, and knowing that this is what one is doing.” (KTE 643) Though some of the important elements of the IM-conception are already in place, it not yet the IM-terminology, of course, that Sellars is using here and, in particular, the relation of these ‚drawings’ to intuitions is not clarified in this context.

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    Concluding from some of McDowell’s remarks in the Preface to Having the World in View (2009) IKTE seems to have contributed to a correction of his Sellars-interpretation that then is developed for the first time in his paper on “Sensory Consciousness in Kant and Sellars” (SC, 2008; reprinted in 2009; all references are to the later edition):

    “When I wrote [the Woodbridge-Lectures; JH], I thought Sellars’s picture included this informing of sensory consciousness by capacities that belong to the understanding, and that he added external constraint, by what he calls “sheer receptivity”, as a distinct further role of sensibility. I retract that reading in [SC; JH].“ (HWV vii)

    A reading along these lines would have made Sellars’s account of what happens ‚above the line’ that separates the intentional realm from the non-intentional very similar to McDowell’s own conception of sensory consciousness (and, of course, his interpretation of Kant’s theory), while it would mark the difference between the two accounts as a difference concerning mostly what happens ‘below the line’. Instead he now opts for an interpretation that, in fact, distances Sellars from his own conception in a crucial detail:

    “[M]y question had a false presupposition. Sellars comes close to Kant in saying experiences contain claims. [1] But all he can make of the idea is that experiences are composites, with claim-containing items accounting for their intentionality and sensations accounting for their sensory character. And this reflects his not arriving at what I take to be the authentically Kantian view. [2] Sellars does not envisage claim-containing occurrences that are themselves shapings of sensory consciousness.“ (SC 122; emphasis and numbering JH)

    The discussion in SC makes clear that responsible for this change was McDowell’s integration of the Sellarsian IMs in his picture of Sellars.17

    In the remaining parts of this paper I will be mainly concerned with showing that McDowell is correct in high-lighting the introduction of this concept and the importance of the conception of synthesis of imagination that Sellars develops in this context. However, I will argue that, nevertheless, McDowell misunderstands the function of this concept when he ascribes to Sellars (cf. remark [1] of the quote above) an understanding of experience as a composite of non-conceptual and conceptual elements. This precludes him from seeing the real affinity of Sellars’ position to his own.

    On the other hand, it will be seen that McDowell is, in fact, correct with respect to his claim that “Sellars does not envisage claim-containing occurrences that are themselves shapings of sensory consciousness” (SC 122; remark [2] above). This claim, however, if true, will turn out to point to a less dramatic difference between the two accounts – especially given the modification that McDowell’s own conception seems to undergo in his


    17 There is a brief footnote in the Woodbridge-Lectures where McDowell mentions IMs in passing. Vgl. LFI 26/7 n. 7.

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    later AMG where he himself seems to commit to the view that experiences do not contain claims.18

    The upshot of McDowell’s criticism of Sellars’s concept of IMs is this: “What the productive imagination generates is a unity involving both sensibility and understanding – not an amalgam, however intimately bound together, of components that belong severally to sensibility and understanding.“ (SC 124) What McDowell is describing as an ‚amalgam’ here is the result of Sellars’s division of the activity of the productive power of imagination in (a) the production of the OS’s this-suches and (b) the IMs as the descriptive core of perception.

    While McDowell acknowledges that IMs cannot be produced without the cooperation of the understanding that provides the ‘recipes’ necessary for their construction, he emphasizes that it is still a construction in sensibility: a construction according to conceptual recipes out of sensible material which, consequently, should indeed be seen as an ‘amalgam’ from sensory and conceptual components (cf. SC 117). This clearly is not conceptually informed sensory consciousness in McDowell’s sense.

    But is it an adequate representation of what Sellars’s IMs are? This clearly depends on the exact role of the sensory material in this process. Given that we must distinguish between the construction of IMs and the taking up of the items so construed into perceptual consciousness in an intuition, and given, furthermore, that the productive imagination is somehow responsible for both, there are indeed two distinguishable acts of this capacity in play in experience. However, it does certainly not go without saying that in the construction of IMs the imagination simply arranges the receptively given sense- impressions into structured aggregates of impressions which would belong to the conceptual order simply because they are thus ordered.

    Yet this seems to be what McDowell has in mind: He insists that according to Sellars it is solely due to the participation of the understanding that provides the ‘recipes’ for the construction in question, that the receptivity of sense-impressions gets conceptually enriched (cf. SC 114/5). The IMs, consequently, now are the elements in our perceptual engagement with the world that provide the guidance that proved so important for Sellars’s epistemology – a guidance that cannot be a guidance ‘from without’ anymore as McDowell notices, implicitly retracting his criticism of Sellars’s insistence on a guidance ‘from without’ (cf. SC 115 n. 14).

    This change in Sellars’s position, given the importance he gives to the conception of a guidedness ‘from without’, would indicate a dramatic change. But it strikes me as premature to ascribe it to him on the basis of the introduction of the concept of the IMs. It seems to rest on a wrong understanding on McDowell’s side of what IMs are and what is their task in Sellars’s account of sensory consciousness.


    18 Cf. below sec. 7


    34


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    IMs, for Sellars, are not simply structured aggregates of sensory material. Sense impressions are modifications or states of a perceiving subject. In IMs they are now represented as properties of imagined three-dimensional models of objects, imagined from any given perspective of a perceiving subject (and, hence, essentially perspectival).19

    In being so represented they are already essentially modified. The pinkness of a pink sense-impression (i.e. of a mental state) must be very different from the pinkness of an imagined pink three-dimensional object. In the very act of arranging sense-impressions according to recipes the productive imagination is transforming the sense-impressions themselves and not just ordering them into patterns, as McDowell implies in remark [1].

    What is at stake here is what Sellars in another place calls “in a sense most difficult to analyze, a thinking in color about colored objects” (SK 305). The emphasis here is on ‘thinking’ – and the ‘thinking in ccolor’, of course, has to be supplemented by a ‘thinking in shape’ (and a ‘thinking in’ every other kind of sensibly given properties).20 Another way to make essentially the same point is that, unlike the sense-impressions of ‘sheer receptivity’, IMs are already subjected to a structuring synthesis guided by the (mathematical) categories of quantity and quality.

    The dynamical categories of relation and modality on the other hand come into the picture only when the essentially perspectival IMs are conceived of as objects of experience with causal and dispositional properties that we refer to in intuitions and the corresponding OS and judgments. It is, in other words, not the (essentially perspectival) IM itself that is the sensibly given object we refer to in perception, as McDowell seems to think (cf. SC 224). Instead, we refer to objects of experience whose sensible properties we conceptualize on the basis of IMs. IMs qua arrangements of categorially transposed sense-impressions contribute the aspect of sensible presence that is necessary for the demonstrative reference being truly perceptual or intuitive. But the reference to object of experience in addition to these sensible properties has to ascribe to them at least some causal and dispositional properties that make them objects of experience in the first place, i.e. empirical objects existing independently of their being perceived by us.

    In as much as McDowell’s criticism depends on their being two distinct elements in perceptual reference – a sensibly represented object and an intuitive reference to that very object – McDowell is correct. But this distinct sensible element, although it accounts for the sensible presence of an object in experience, is itself not an element that incorporates sense-impressions from ‘below the line’. In being subjected to the activity of productive imagination it is transformed into an element that clearly belongs ‘above the line’: Sense- impressions are conceptualized through and through as perceptible properties of these objects of experience.


    19 For an extensive discussion of IMs in Sellars’s theory cf. Haag 2007 ch. 7 and Haag 2013, 67-71.

    20 McDowell, though quoting this remark, largely ignores it and goes on to discuss IMs, “Sellars’s most sophisticated treatment of the relation” (SC 114), thereby missing the opportunity to do justice to the relevance of this remark for the proper understanding of IMs.

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    McDowell, for his part, thinks that the resulting conception introduces guidance ‘from without’ through the backdoor. And this cannot be right since the “thinkings that provide for the intentionality of perceptual cognitions are not guided by sensory consciousness, as it were from without”, but are “sensory consciousness, suitably informed” (SC 119).

    Somewhat ironically, Sellars could subscribe to this statement without submitting to McDowell’s position: First, he would insist that it is not sensory consciousness that guides us from without. This task would fall to the sense-impressions of ‘sheer receptivity’ that are never apperceived (cf. Sellars, SM 10). This has been his position for a long time and Sellars does not change it in IKTE. Second, the objects of experience we refer to in perception indeed are conceptually informed sensory representations. In a sense that certainly differs from what McDowell has in mind, these objects of experience supply our perceptual representations with the required intentionality by serving as objects of reference that are thought and experienced at the same time.


  6. Guidance and Phenomenalism


    Consequently, it is at least possible to read Sellars as subscribing to a conception of “sensibility ... that is informed by conceptual capacities in the experience of rational subjects“ (HWV, Preface vii). At the same time, sense-impressions and the concept of guidance ‘from without’ remains firmly in place. If this is right, McDowell’s critical question from the Woodbridge-Lectures – i.e. why does Sellars even need a level of ‘sheer receptivity’ and a guidance from without? – contrary to what McDowell thinks (cf. SC 122), would still be left unanswered. For McDowell, this additional layer is just superfluous.

    It might be helpful to address this deep point of disagreement in connection with the criticism expressed in McDowell’s second remark above: Sellars, he correctly insists,

    „does not envisage claim-containing occurrences that are themselves shapings of sensory consciousness“ (SC 114). For neither do this-suches contain sensible elements nor do IMs or objects of experience contain claims. And this is a very serious point for McDowell, since it not only makes Sellars’s account ultimately incompatible with his own conception that insists that “thinkings of a pink cube can include items that are sensory consciousness informed by the higher faculty” (SC 123); it furthermore is a consequence of a feature of the account of sensory consciousness in question that allows Sellars, but not himself to make sense of a critical point in Kant’s philosophy: a ‘brute fact about the shape of our subjectivity’ (cf. SC 102) that Kant introduces into his account through the specifically human forms of intuition, space and time. This-suches as such cannot do justice to this ‘brute fact’. Hence, as we will see, McDowell with respect to this aspect of a theory of sensory consciousness realizes that he has to give up not only Sellars but Kant as well and


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    ultimately side with Hegel. This point is closely connected with McDowell’s criticism of Sellars’s (and Kant’s) phenomenalism.

    McDowell’s own position concerning sensory consciousness (which he believes to be at least compatible with Kant’s own approach until HIRK) as developed in the Woodbridge- Lectures and SC is indeed ontologically sparse and philosophically less demanding than Sellars’s conception. Through a methodology of indirect characterization and abstraction he is able to develop a detailed account of sensory consciousness, 21 which – though closer to Sellars’s account than he believes it to be – yet consistently abstains from all attempts to characterize the sensible elements of perception more directly or substantially.

    For Sellars’s phenomenalist account of perception this direct characterization is not only possible, but unavoidable. 22 (Sellars to this end develops a methodology of analogical concept formation. Cf. SM ch. 1.) There is no explanation on the basis of the conceptual framework provided by the categories alone of the spatio-temporal constitution of the objects of our experience. This is solely dependent on our specific forms of qualitative- sensory access to the world. In his sense-impression inference he concludes from this fact to the phenomenality of the empirical reality or manifest image of the world.

    While McDowell in “Self-Determining Subjectivity and External Constraint” (SDS; originally 2005) still sounds somewhat optimistic about his own common-sense realistic reading of Kant, in “Hegel’s Idealism as a Radicalization of Kant” (HI; originally 2007) he acknowledges the element of radical subjectivity in Kant’s theory of experience – notwithstanding some moves in the right direction that could be found in the B-Deduction in particular:

    “A Kantian conception of empirical intuitions – intelligibility of objects by virtue of exemplifying unities of the kind characteristic of judgment – almost succeeds in showing how the very idea of objective purport can be understood in terms of free intellectual activity. … What spoils things is that when we widen the picture to take in transcendental idealism, it turns out that the “objects” that we have contrived to see empirical intuitions as immediately of … are after all, in respect of their spatiality and temporality, mere reflections of another aspect of our subjectivity, one that is independent of apperceptive spontaneity.” (HI 81)

    McDowell now understands Hegel’s position as the result of a critical examination of Kant’s account. Following Hegel, he endorses all-encompassing objectivity of apperceptive spontaneity as opposed to the phenomenalist subjectivity of sensory consciousness of the Kant/Sellars kind. This is why, for him, the perceived objects themselves can guide us as what they are in themselves – without guiding us ‘from without’ in any but the most innocent sense.


    21 Cf. SC 119-122 and 124.

    22 I have argued in some detail for this claim in Haag 2016.

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  7. A revision in McDowell’s theory of intuition


This important and deep difference between their respective accounts concerning the role of sensory consciousness in intentionality that underlies McDowell’s remark [2] about Sellars not “envisaging claim-containing occurrences that are themselves shapings of sensory conscioussness“ (SC 122) does remain in place even if we take into account one of McDowell’s most recent developments of his own conception of sensory consciousness.

In AMG McDowell surprisingly seems to revise his position that intuitions contain claims: “What we need is an idea of content that is not propositional but intuitional, in what I take to be the Kantian sense.” (AMG 260) Since conceptual content is always oriented towards judgment as the paradigmatic product of discursive activity, an elaboration of this idea cannot be easy. Since intuitions do not have discursive content we must ask ourselves whether they have conceptual content nevertheless. Charles Travis denies just that, but for McDowell this amounts to a lapse back into the Myth of the Given: Intuitions would be completely alien to the conceptual order and would provide reasons from without this order. For this reason, intuitive content has to be another form of conceptual content. “The conceptual conent that allows us to avoid the myth is intuitional.” (AMG 269) Intuitional content, unlike discursive content, is not “articulated” (AMG 262), but nevertheless can serve as a foundation for the ‘carving out’ (cf. AMG 263) of the articulation of our discursive capacities: “The unity of intuitional content is given, not a result of our putting significances together.” (AMG 263) It is conceptual in its own right precisely because discursive content can thus be ‘carved out’: „The content of an intuition is such that its subject can analyze it into significances of discursive practices.” (AMG 264) Its content is “in the intuition in a form in which one could make it, that very content, figure in discursive activity” (AMG 265). However, this content is constrained to general categorial classification on the one hand and the sensibilia on the other, including their location in space and time, which can be supplemented in a judgment on the basis of our knowledge about causal and dispositional properties of the intuited objects (cf. AMG 265/6).

As indicated, the resulting view is closer to Sellars’s own account of sensory consciousness concerning some of the details of the process, though not concerning the overarching repudiation of his phenomenalism. Now the function of intuitions in McDowell is mainly “to bring particular objects before the mind for its consideration” (Sellars, IKTE §48). But McDowellian intuitions now they have lost their propositional content are much leaner than Sellarsian intuitions: For Sellars the this-suches (linguistically represented as complex demonstrative phrases) that are the intuitions have the same complete, though merely implicit content as the potential judgments that make this content explicit – including the causal and dispositional properties we ascribe to the objects of our experience we refer to in intuition. That these properties should be included, in large part constituted the difference between the (perspectival) IMs and their conception as independently existing in objects of experience.


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Even very complex demonstrative phrases (or, for that matter, their corresponding intuitions) will not be able to encompass the rich content that intuitive representations of objects as a matter of phenomenological fact have (cf. AMG 263). It is this richness that motivated the change in McDowell’s position in the first place in his discussion of Travis. Sellarsian intuitions, McDowell claims, rather than having truly intuitive content, seem to have merely fragmentary discursive content (cf. AMG 270).

But on closer looks, this does not pose a serious problem for Sellars. The demonstrative phrase gets its content from its reference to the intuitively present object of experience. Its content, consequently, is as rich as the involved sensory-cum-conceptual representation of this object. Sellars’s conception of intuition can only be understood in its relation to the object of experience. That is why in intuition the activity of the understanding (in its guise as the productive imagination) the is not the same as in judgment: “If we think of a taking as a special case of believing, it is best to think of it as ‘believing in’ rather than ‘believing that’.” (SM 18/9)

Once again, it is Sellars’s conception of IMs that underlies this account of the richness of intuitive content. Whatever one ultimately might want to say about the question of a guidance from without and the connected subject of phenomenalism with respect to Sellars’s view of intentionality, his conception of sensory consciousness seems to be remarkably resilient to McDowell’s criticism.


Literature


Kant’s works are quoted in the usual manner as after Kants gesammelte Schriften, vols. I- XXII ed. Preußischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, Berlin 1902 ff., vol. XXIII ed. Deutschen Akademie der Wissenschaften, Berlin, 1956, vols. XXIV-XXIX ed. Akademie der Wissenschaften zu Göttingen, Berlin 1966 ff. The translation mostly follows the Cambridge Edition of the Works of Immanuel Kant, eds. P. Guyer and Allen

W. Wood.


Works by Wilfrid Sellars:

BBK“Being and Being Known,” in: Sellars, W. Science, Perception and Reality. London (1963), 41-59.

EPM “Empiricism and the Philosophy of Mind”, in Sellars, W. Science, Perception and Reality. London (1963), 127-196.

FMPP “Foundations for a Metaphysics of Pure Process” (The Carus Lectures) The Monist

64 (1981) 3-90.

KTE “Some Remarks on Kant's Theory of Experience” Journal of Philosophy 64 (1967) 633-647.

KTI “Kant’s Transcendental Idealism” Collections of Philosophy 6 (1976) 165-181.



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IKTE “The Role of Imagination in Kant’s Theory of Experience” (The Dotterer Lecture) in: Johnstone, H. (Hrsg.) Categories: A Colloquium. Pennsylvania State University Press (1978) 231-245.

SK “The Structure of Knowledge” (The Matchette Foundation Lectures for 1971 at the University of Texas) in: Castañeda, H.-N. (Hrsg.) Action, Knowledge, and Reality: Studies in Honor of Wilfrid Sellars. Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill (1975) 295-347.

SM Science and Metaphysics. Variations on Kantian Themes. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul (1968)

SRLG “Some Reflections on Language Games”, in Sellars, W. Science, Perception and Reality. London (1963), 321-358.


Works by John McDowell:

AMG “Avoiding the Myth of the Given” in HWV 256-272.

HI “Hegel’s Idealism as a Radicalization of Kant” in HWV 69-89.

HWV Having the World in View. Essays in Kant, Hegel, and Sellars. Cambridge, Ma.: Harvard University Press (2009)

IR “Intentionality as a Relation” in HWV 44-65.

LFI “The Logical Form of an Intuition” in HWV 23-43.

SC “Sensory Consciousness in Kant and Sellars” in HWV 108-126.

SDS “Self-Determining Subjectivity and External Constraint” in HWV 90-107. SPE “Sellars on Perceptual Experience” in HWV 3-22.

Förster, E. 2012 The Twenty-Five Years of Philosophy, Cambridge, Ma.: Harvard University Press.

Haag, J. 2007 Erfahrung und Gegenstand. Das Verhältnis von Sinnlichkeit und Verstand.

Frankfurt a.M.: Klostermann.

Haag, J. 2010 “Personhood, Bodily Self-Ascription, and Resurrection: A Kantian Approach“ in: G. Gasser (ed.) Personal Identity and Resurrection. How Do We Survive Our Death?, Farnham: Ashgate, 127-143.

Haag, J. 2012 “Philosophische Abstraktionsebenen” in: Barth, C. & Sturm, H. (eds.) Robert Brandoms Expressive Vernunft. Historische und Systematische Untersuchungen, Paderborn: mentis, 261-285.

Haag, J. 2013 „Kant on Imagination and the Natural Sources of the Conceptual“ in: Lenz,

M. & Waldow, A. (Hrsg.) Contemporary Perspectives on Early Modern Philosophy: Nature and Norms in Thought. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science 29. Dordrecht: Springer, 65-85.

Haag, J. 2014 “Faculties in Kant and German Idealism” in: Perler, D. (ed.) Faculties.

Oxford Philosophical Concepts. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 198-246.


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Haag, J, 2016 “A Kantian Critique of Sellars’s Transcendental Realism” in: Reider, P. (ed.) Wilfrid Sellars, Idealism and Realism: Understanding Psychological Nominalism. London: Bloomsbury, 149-171.

Pippin, R. Kant’s Theory of Form. An Essay on the Critique of Pure Reason, New Haven: Yale University Press 1982, 46-51.

Rosenberg, J. “Divergent Intuitions: McDowell’s Kant and Sellars’s Kant” in: Rosenberg,

  1. Wilfrid Sellars. Fusing the Images. Oxford: Oxford University Press 2007, 266- 290.


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    Kant, Causal Judgment & Locating the Purloined Letter

    Kant, el juicio causal y la localización de la carta robada


    Kenneth R. WESTPHAL

    Boğaziçi Üniversitesi, Turkey


    Abstract


    Kant’s account of cognitive judgment is sophisticated, sound and philosophically far more illuminating than is often appreciated. Key features of Kant’s account of cognitive judgment are widely dispersed amongst various sections of the Critique of Pure Reason, whilst common philosophical proclivities have confounded these interpretive difficulties. This paper characterises Kant’s account of causal-perceptual judgment concisely to highlight one central philosophical achievement: Kant’s finding that, to understand and investigate empirical knowledge we must distinguish between predication as a grammatical form of sentences, statements or (candidate) judgments, and predication as a (proto-

    )cognitive act of ascribing some characteristic(s) to some localised particular(s). With Kant’s finding in view, I then elucidate how we have occluded his achievement. My results are not merely interpretive, but philosophical, because they show that Kant’s account of perceptual judgment accords with – and indeed justifies – a central and sound point regarding language, thought and reference advocated by apparently unlikely philosophical comrades. These finding highlight some methodological cautions which require re- emphasis today.


    Keywords


    Kant; causal judgment, perceptual judgment, cognitive judgment


    [email protected]


    [Recibido: 20 de octubre 2017

    Aceptado: 30 de octubre 2017]

    Kant, Causal Judgment & Locating the Purloined Letter



    For Paul Guyer, in admiration and gratitude


    1. INTRODUCTION.

      Kant’s account of cognitive judgment is sophisticated, sound and philosophically far more illuminating than is often appreciated. Key features of Kant’s account of cognitive judgment are widely dispersed amongst various sections of the Critique of Pure Reason, whilst common philosophical proclivities have confounded these interpretive difficulties. This paper aims to characterise Kant’s account of causal-perceptual judgment concisely and accurately, to highlight one of his central philosophical achievements: Kant’s demonstration that, to understand and to investigate empirical knowledge we must distinguish between predication as a grammatical form of sentences, statements or (candidate) judgments, and predication as a (proto-)cognitive act of ascribing some characteristic(s) or feature(s) to some localised particular(s). With Kant’s result in hand, I then elucidate how we have occluded his insight. My results are not merely interpretive, but philosophical, because they show that Kant’s account of perceptual judgment accords with – and indeed justifies – a central and sound point regarding language, thought and reference advocated by apparently unlikely philosophical comrades: Stoic logicians, Kant, Hegel, Frege, Austin, Donnellan, Evans, Kripke, Kaplan, Travis and Wettstein – in contrast to ‘descriptions theories’ of reference, to Quine’s notion of ‘ontological commitment’ and to much of recently regenerated ‘analytic metaphysics’. These finding underscore some methodological precautions which require re-emphasis today.

      One obstacle to appreciating Kant’s achievement regarding cognitive judgment is his claim to justify some synthetic propositions a priori, by some sort of ‘transcendental’ analysis or proof, which itself requires, Kant argued, transcendental idealism (KdrV Bxvi–xix, A369–70). About this requirement, I have argued elsewhere, Kant was mistaken.1 Here we may also set aside Kant’s aim to justify some synthetic principles a priori. Instead, we may focus on Kant’s recognition that Hume’s scepticism about causality and about substance (‘body’ or physical objects) only addressed two central cases of a host of related conceptual, cognitive and judgmental issues (KdrV B19–20, 127–9, A745–6, 760/B773–4, 788; Prol 4:260; Caird 1889, 1:202). Prompted

      in part by empiricist scepticism, Kant adopted Tetens’ (1775) use of the term ‘realisieren’ (KdrV A146–7/B185–7) to underscore how demonstrating that we can use any concept (especially any a priori concept) legitimately in any cognitive judgment requires demonstrating that we can locate actual particulars to which we can correctly


      1Westphal (2004). I stake my case on a strictly internal critique of Kant’s transcendental idealism, and argue en detail that it is refuted by some of Kant’s most important and successful analyses in the Transcendental Analytic. It is disappointing to find critics and reviewers repeatedly rejecting my account by merely assuming as a premiss Kant’s quadruple distinction between empirical and transcendental senses of ‘real’ and ‘ideal’. To the contrary, Kant clearly recognised that he is entitled to that set of distinctions only by his positive arguments for his transcendental idealism. What my critics assume as a premiss, Kant recognised could only be justified as a result. My critique of Kant’s transcendental idealism directly address Kant’s attempt to justify that result.

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      apply that concept, or which properly instantiate that concept. 2 Kant also calls this demonstrating the ‘objective reality’ of a concept or principle (KdrV B288, 300–3, 314), or likewise its ‘real possibility’ (Bxxvi n., B302–3). Kant advocates the converse as well: showing that some concept is such that we cannot provide it any objective reality, or that we cannot ‘realise’ it by localising and designating any of its specific instances, shows that the concept in question is cognitively transcendent: we are incapable of using that concept in any legitimate, justifiable cognitive judgment. Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason develops a profoundly simple, specifically cognitive semantics of singular reference, which achieves one central aim of verification empiricism, yet without invoking verification empiricism, meaning empiricism or concept empiricism.3

    2. FIVE LESSONS FROM HUME.

      Developing Kant’s specifically cognitive semantics requires learning five central points from Hume’s empiricism.

      1. First, Hume recognised that we have and use a range of what may be called merely determinable concepts, as well as linguistic tags for various concepts. Hume’s official ‘copy theory’ of sensory impressions and ideas, together with his three official principles of psychological association (resemblance, contiguity and 1:1 correlation, presumed to be causal) can account only for determinate, specific classificatory concepts of sensed qualities, as fine-grained as one can regularly discriminate. All such concepts are empirical concepts. According to concept empiricism, any genuine or legitimate concept is either a logical term, a name for a simple sensed quality, or can be exhaustively defined by conjunctions (perhaps also disjunctions) of these two types of term. Hume’s official mechanisms of the mind may suffice, e.g., for various colour concepts, such as ‘blue’, ‘royal blue’ or ‘dusty Periwinkle blue’. Those mechanisms cannot account for merely determinable concepts. The scope and significance of merely determinable concepts must be specified – determined – in context; these concepts include those of ‘space’, ‘region of space’, ‘time’, ‘period of time’, ‘cause’, ‘substance’, ‘number’, ‘colour’ or ‘word’, and also linguistic tags (names), in contrast to flatus vocii (insignificant – meaningless – vocables). For these merely determinable concepts and for words, only Hume’s ever-capacious ‘imagination’ can account. However, for the imagination and its manifold, prodigious activities and results Hume can provide altogether no specifically empiricist account. Hume’s specifically empiricist principles are exhausted by his official copy theory of impressions and ideas, and his three principles of psychological association (Westphal 2013a).

      2. Second, in explaining our ineradicable though unjustifiable belief in the existence of physical objects in our surroundings (‘body’), Hume rightly found that his official


        2Tetens (1775), 38, 44–6, 48–9/(1913), 29, 34, 36, 37–8.

        3Kant’s semantics is much more sophisticated than Coffa (1991) recognised; see Melnick (1989), Westphal (2004), Bird (2006) and Haag (2007). Melnick’s unjustly neglected (1989) first made Kant’s semantics evident to me, including Kant’s understanding of the pitfalls of both causal and descriptions theories of reference.

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        empiricist mechanisms required three additional ‘propensities’ of the mind to form various beliefs in response to various repeated kinds of sequences of sensory impressions. Hume’s focus on the (purported) occasioning causes of these beliefs occludes how these beliefs each require concepts which cannot be defined in accord with concept empiricism; if they could be so defined, no further mental propensities would be required. These propensities are (1): to believe that any unchanging impression, which occurs during any other sequence of impressions, is a physical object;

        (2) to believe that any series of qualitatively closely resembling impressions is an experience of some one physical object; and (3) to believe that any closely resembling series of impressions which occur in different, non-continuous periods of time, are experiences of some one physical object which continues to exist during the (apparent) interruption(s) in our experience(s) of it. The conceptual content of each of these beliefs defies concept empiricism, and can only result (on Hume’s view) from our febrile imaginations. (One way to put this point is that Hume provides, so to speak, an ‘error theory’ of our belief in perceptible bodies, but we can only make that error – or rather, that set of errors – if we posses and use concepts which cannot be defined or learned in accord with concept empiricism, and hence count as a priori concepts, however officially illicit may be our use of them.)

      3. Third, the concept ‘cause’, even as mere 1:1 contiguity, can be neither learned nor defined on the basis of our typically human experiences, because – as Hume recognised

        – we so very often experience either a purported cause or a purported effect without its purported (causal) partner. Consequently, by the official empiricist mechanisms of the copy theory and the three principles of psychological association, we should only form very few, very weak beliefs (if any) in particular causal relations, which cannot suffice to define, to learn, or even to prompt the thought of (much less, any belief in) the general concept of cause invoked in the general causal principle, ‘every event has a cause’ (KdrV A195–6/B240–1; Beck 1975, 121–9). Any sorting of our experiences to select only those favourable cases in which we happen to observe both the purported cause and its purported effect presupposes the concept of cause as 1:1 contiguity, which is required to form even the merest expectation that we should meet with such patterns of contiguity in whatever series of impressions happen upon us, or likewise that we should sort our impression-experiences to select only the relevant paired instances. Hence the concept of ‘cause’ as 1:1 correlation is a priori.

      4. Fourth, when sitting before the fire in his study, Hume received a letter hand- delivered by porter (T 1.4.2.20–25). This delivery requires the continued existence of the stairs Hume no longer perceives, so that the porter can reach the door of Hume’s apartment. Hume’s recognising the knock at the door requires his believing in the continued existence of that door, and in the very likely existence of some person outside knocking upon the door. Neither the content nor the justification of any of these beliefs can be accounted for by Hume’s official empiricist principles: the copy theory and the three forms of association. Yet without the belief in the continuing, mind-independent existence of physical objects, our commonsense beliefs lose all coherence, as Hume


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        acknowledged.

      5. Fifth, Hume also recognised a key problem regarding the synchronic identity of perceptible objects at any one time: Any physical object has a variety of characteristics or properties, although it is one single object. This identity, however, is not simply quantitative: Neither ‘unity’ nor ‘plurality’, as numerical concepts, suffice to define the singularity of any one physical object with its manifold characteristics (T 1.4.3). By rigorously developing the implications of his official concept empiricism and verification empiricism, together with the sensory atomism apparently endorsed by his predecessors, Hume verged upon recognising a core problem running through the Modern ‘new way of ideas’ and the sense data tradition, which analytic epistemologists only recognised ca. 2000 (cf. Cleremanns 2003): the host of problems now known as ‘the binding problem’.

        Kant recognised these problems about how any plurality of sensations becomes integrated into some one percept of some single object; and likewise, how any plurality of sensory information about the characteristics of any one sensed object become integrated into their identification as characteristics or features of some one perceived, recognised object. These problems arise both synchronically and diachronically, and they arise both within and across each of our sensory modalities. Kant recognised that none of these problems can be solved simply by adding further sensations to any such series or concurrent plurality of sensations: sensations do not, as it were, bind themselves together into percepts, nor do percepts bind themselves together into perceptual episodes. The integration of sensations into percepts at any time, and the integration of a series of percepts over time into the continuing perception of any object or event requires non-sensory functions guided by relevant principles. This point holds generally; it requires neither sensory atomism, nor that sensations themselves be objects of our self-conscious (apperceptive) awareness.

        Insofar as we perceive our surroundings via our sensory channels, it is obvious that we can sense and perceive physical objects and events. However, we can sense neither space nor time as such (KdrV A172–3, 188, 214, 487/B214, 231, 261, 515). Consequently, we cannot localise physical objects or events simply by sensing the region each occupies. Our sensory experiences are always successive, yet no mere succession of sensations, nor of sensory percepts, nor of perceptions – qua successive sequence(s) – suffices to determine (discriminate) whether the features of objects or events so sensed are themselves sequential, or instead exist concurrently (though they be sensed sequentially). This Hume failed to note, except to the (insufficient) extent that the porter temporarily imposed upon his studied repose in his empiricist habits of mind.

    3. DESCRIPTION, ASCRIPTION & LOCALISATION.

    One important, elementary point Kant makes is that the use of concepts, principles or classifications in knowledge requires judgment to ascribe relevant characteristics to particular objects or events, by subsuming that (or those) particular(s) under the


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    conceptual classifications used in our judgments to identify their features. This remains the case no matter how specific our rules, principles or classifications may be, so far as concerns knowledge in non-formal domains (KdrV A133–5/B172–4). Conversely, Kant points out that our mere possession or use of a priori concepts or principles does not suffice for knowledge using those concepts or principles. Knowledge requires applying those concepts or principles to particulars which purportedly instantiate them. In our human case, localising such particulars and subsuming them under our classifications or principles (be they a priori or empirical; both are involved in any empirical judgment, according to Kant) are localisable only via sensation, whether directly by sensory perception or by using observational instruments. This marks Kant’s decisive semantic and epistemological critique of pre-Critical metaphysics: The mere fact that we possess a priori concepts shows not at all that we are able to use them legitimately in justifiable cognitive judgments. The lingering worry that Kant’s ‘synthetic a priori ’ would open the door to transcendent metaphysics is mistaken. That lesson Kant learned from Tetens. Kant’s critics in this particular have yet to learn this lesson.

    Avant la lettre, Kant’s semantics of singular cognitive reference incorporates Gareth Evans’ thesis about predication, which Kant embeds within a much richer epistemological analysis. Against Quine, Evans argued for this conclusion:

    … the line tracing the area of [ascriptive] relevance delimits that area in relation to which one or the other, but not both, of a pair of contradictory predicates may be chosen. And that is what it is for a line to be a boundary, marking something off from other things. (Evans 1975, rpt.: 1985, 36, cf. 34–7)

    Evans’ point is that specifying the relevant boundary for the use of either member of a pair (or set) of contrary (mutually exclusive, though not necessarily ‘contradictory’) predicates (KdrV A73–4/B98–9) is only possible by specifying the region relevant to the manifest characteristic in question, and vice versa, and (for reasons Evans provides, concerning the mastery of the relevant predicates of a language) this region will be either co-extensive with or included within the spatio-temporal region occupied by some particular object, event, structure or natural phenomenon. More generally, predication requires conjointly specifying the relevant spatio-temporal region and some manifest characteristics of any particular we self-consciously experience or identify. These conjoint specifications may be approximate; the key point is that spatio-temporal localisation and ascription of manifest characteristics are conjoint, mutually interdependent cognitive achievements (KdrV B162).

    This conjoint designation of the region occupied by a particular and at least some of its manifest characteristics requires thorough integration of sensibility and understanding: Sensibility is required (though not sufficient) for sensing various manifest characteristics of the sensed particular, and in directing us to its location; Understanding is required (though not sufficient) for explicitly delineating its region and identifying its manifest characteristics as its characteristics, thus enabling Someone to


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    be self-consciously aware of this particular.


    1. SINGULAR, SPECIFICALLY COGNITIVE REFERENCE.

      The previous point about predication as a proto-cognitive achievement (not merely a grammatical or judgmental form; §3) is justified by Kant’s semantics of singular, specifically cognitive reference. 4 ‘Cognitive’ reference concerns our reference to (putatively) known individuals, as instances of our (putatively cognitive) judgments or assertions. Kant’s point is that knowledge, justified belief, error or indeed experience (whether veridical or not) of or about particulars require satisfying further conditions of reference (further ‘constraints’, if one will) than those implicit or explicit within conceptual content or linguistic meaning (intension) alone. According to Kant, concepts have ‘meaning’ or content as predicates of possible judgments (intension, classificatory content), though no concept has specifically cognitive significance unless and until it is incorporated into a candidate cognitive judgment which Someone refers to some actual particular(s) S/he has localised within space and time (at least presumptively). The relevant particulars are located within space and time; I use the term ‘localised’ to stress that S identifies (at least approximately) where and when (putatively) known or experienced particulars are located. Kant analyses the first stage of conceptual meaning (intension) in the derivation of the Table of Categories from the Table of Judgments and in the Schematism of the Categories; he analyses the second stage of cognitive significance in the Transcendental Aesthetic, the Amphiboly of the Concepts of Reflection and in the Analytic of Principles. To have any possible significance for theoretical cognition (i.e., for empirical knowledge), the categories – and likewise for all of our concepts – require applicability to particulars we can experience. (This is the task of Kant’s Schematism, augmented in the Analytic of Principles.) However, to have actual cognitive significance, the categories and our other concepts must be ‘applied to objects’ which we experience. (In making such discriminatory judgments, Kant expressly notes, we cannot possibly refer in any specific, determinate way whatever to any transcendent (‘foreign’) cause of the sorts alleged by occasionalists; KdrV A206/B251–2.)

      Through his critique of Leibniz (in the Amphiboly of the Concepts of Reflection, in his Appendix to the Analytic of Principles), Kant identified the cognitive and epistemological insufficiency of descriptions theories of reference. According to descriptions theories of reference, our statements refer to whatever is described when we analyse the meanings of our concepts, terms or statements into explicit descriptions. The problem with this approach within epistemology is that, no matter how specific or extensive a description may be, no description by itself determines whether it is (logically) empty, determinate or ambiguous because it describes no, only one or instead several individuals. Which may be the case is not simply a function of the description: it is equally a function of what there is. The inclusion of definite pronouns (such as ‘the’


      4Westphal (2004), esp. §§7–9, 33, 62–63.2.


      48


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      or ‘the one and only’) within an attributive phrase does not, because it cannot, settle this issue because no definite article insures that the phrase in which it occurs is neither empty nor ambiguous; this was Russell’s problem (ca. 1905) about ‘the present King of France’. As for Quine’s typical example of a definite referring expression, ‘the shortest spy’, it too may fail to pick out any one particular person, because the shortest spies may be twins or triplets, identical in stature and in profession, though distinct (secret) agents nonetheless. Alternatively, ‘that than which none greater can be conceived’ may not secure monotheism, perhaps not even reference at all; likewise, e.g., for Leibniz’s metaphysical principle of plentitude or David Lewis’s merely possible worlds.

      To know any one spatio-temporal particular (even putatively) requires both correctly ascribing characteristics to it and localising it within space and time. Integrating both of these is required for predicative ascription, and also for knowledge of (or even error about) that individual: predication (even putative predication), as the ascription of characteristics to some individual(s), is a cognitive achievement; it is not merely a grammatical or judgmental form. Only through singular sensory presentation and competent use of conceptions of ‘time’, ‘times’, ‘space’, ‘spaces’, ‘individual’ and ‘individuation’, Kant argues, can we localise any object, event, structure or natural phenomenon (of whatever scale) in space and time (even putatively). Only through ostensive designation can we ascribe the predicates used in our judgment or (perhaps implicit) description to any one (or more) putatively known particular(s). Therefore, predicative ascription is required for singular, specifically cognitive reference to any spatio-temporal particular(s). Only through predication as this kind of cognitive achievement can anyone specify (even approximately) the relevant spatio-temporal region (putatively) containing the particular(s) one purports to designate ostensively – by specifying its occupant(s), the (putatively) known particular(s). Only in this way can one note, specify or determine precisely which spatio-temporal region to designate, in order to grasp this (intended, ostended, presented) particular, and to ascribe to it any manifest characteristics, all of which is required to achieve any knowledge (whether presumptive or actual) of that particular (KdrV B162). (The case is parallel for designating any plurality of particulars or structures of whatever scale.)

      Kant argues for these points directly, against Leibniz’s doctrine of complete individual concepts, which (allegedly) by divine providence of maximal diversity amongst individuals, affords de facto individuation of any and every actual individual solely by each individual’s complete and unique concept – an intension, explicable in principle, if in actu only by the divinity, as a complete and unique description. Against Leibniz, Kant illustrates the spatio-temporal requirements for individuating any (putatively) known particulars using a homely example of two drops of rain, identical in size, shape and in all their qualities, though they are nevertheless two distinct individuals insofar as they occupy distinct regions of space (KdrV A263–4/B319–20), or time, we may add.



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      Thus, in brief, does Kant show that determinate cognitive judgments are possible for us only through conjoint spatio-temporal designation of, and predicative ascription of characteristics to, any experienced particular(s).5 As important as predication is to philosophy of language, analysing the meanings of our terms or the contents of our concepts, descriptive phrases or psychological ‘attitudes’ does not because it cannot suffice for epistemology (KdrV A727–30/ B755–8). Kant’s semantic thesis can be formulated in terms of claims, beliefs, statements, assertions or judgments. Put in terms of judgments, this is

      KANTS THESIS OF SINGULAR COGNITIVE REFERENCE: Terms or phrases have ‘meaning’, and concepts have (classificatory) content, as predicates of possible judgments (intension), though (in non-formal, substantive domains) none of these has specifically cognitive significance unless and until it is incorporated into a candidate cognitive judgment which is referred to some actual particular(s) localised (at least putatively) by the presumptive judge, S, within space and time. Cognitive reference, so defined, is required for cognitive status (even as merely putative knowledge) in any non-formal, substantive domain.

      (The restriction to non-formal domains is discussed below, §§6, 7.)


      Kant’s cognitive semantics secures the key aim of meaning verificationism, without invoking meaning verificationism! Kant’s point holds regardless of whether the concepts we use in cognitive judgments (in non-formal, substantive domains) are a priori, a posteriori or mixed. His cognitive-semantic point is that, whatever may be the conceptual content or linguistic meaning (intension) of our claims, judgments, statements or propositions, they have no cognitive status unless and until they are referred to particulars we have (presumptively) localised within space and time. This requirement is a necessary condition for the truth-evaluability of our claims (etc.), and it is a necessary condition for us to know enough about our claims and whatever about which we make those claims to discover and thereby to determine their truth value, their accuracy or their adequate approximation. This requirement is also necessary (though not sufficient) for our assessing the cognitive justification of our claims about those particulars. This is the nerve of Kant’s critique of prior, cognitively transcendent metaphysics.6 Kant’s a priori justification of some central synthetic claims provides no solace for transcendent, rationalist metaphysics – nor for its contemporary echos within analytical metaphysics.

    2. LOCALISING PARTICULARS BY CAUSAL-PERCEPTUAL DISCRIMINATION.

    Having reached these central points of Kant’s cognitive semantics, we must consider


    5Kant’s semantics of singular cognitive reference provides for scientific reference to indirectly observed entities or forces, e.g., the magnetism of the loadstone responsible for the stone’s observed effects upon iron filings (KdrV B273). The details of this provision cannot, and need not, be summarised here.

    6Kant’s epistemology is (in these regards) sound; see Westphal (2004), cf. Hanna (2001), Rosenberg (2005), Bird (2006), Haag (2007).

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    core features of his account of differentiating and identifying spatio-temporal individuals. Any ascription of characteristics to any individual(s) sufficiently accurate and warranted to count as reasonable belief (and all the more so for such ascription to count as knowledge), we must achieve sufficient presumption to have identified an individual as an object, process, structure or event which occupies some specifiable region of space and time and which manifests some plurality of characteristics within that region. Any of these identifications requires distinguishing that individual (or those individuals) from our perceptions of them. As Kant repeatedly stressed, our experiential, sensory intake is always successive, but whether any succession apparent in our perceptions tracks an objective succession within some event or process, or instead successively reveals concurrently existing features of any one (relatively) stable, persisting object in principle cannot be determined (specified) merely by our experiential, perceptual, sensory sequences (KdrV A194/B239–40). This crucial point Hume neglected almost entirely, except when the porter delivered his letter to his upper storey apartment; it has been altogether neglected by the sense-data tradition.

    In both the Second and in the Third Analogies of Experience, Kant highlights – briefly, though incisively – the contrast between our own perceptual activity and whatever objects or events we may happen to perceive. Our perceptual activity is not merely mental, and no mere matter of attention, but also includes our bodily comportment (Melnick 1989), including how we direct our gaze: whether first to the roof or to the foundation of a building, or to its ‘left’ or its ‘right’ facing side (KdrV B162); or towards the river when the ship is upstream, then glance away, then glance again at the river, wherein the ship is now further downstream (KdrV A192/ B237); or instead first to the moon, then to the earth’s horizon and then back to the moon; or first to the earth’s horizon and then to the moon and back to the earth (KdrV B257).

    Kant’s semantics of singular cognitive reference underscores that empirical knowledge is discriminatory, insofar as it involves discriminating particulars both spatio-temporally and by their manifest or measurable characteristics. The discriminatory character of our empirical knowledge is greatly augmented and underscored by Kant’s analysis of the basic principles of causal judgment in the ‘Analogies of Experience’.

    For too long, discussion of Kant’s Analogies focussed almost exclusively upon the Second, where Kant was supposed to have answered Hume’s causal scepticism. Kant’s reply to Hume cannot lie there, for as Beck (1975, 149n.) noted, in the Second Analogy Kant’s model of causality is Leibnizian. That is correct only to this extent: Kant’s Second Analogy only concerns rule-governed causal changes of state within any one substance, whereas Hume’s scepticism concerns causal relations between two or more particulars.7 Kant’s First Analogy concerns the persistence of any one substance through


    7Melnick (1973, 96) neglected Beck’s observation and its significance, and so wrongly regarded ‘the separation of the argument into two sections, the Second Analogy and the Third Analogy’ as ‘artificial

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    causal changes of its states. Only in the Third Analogy does Kant defend a principle of causal judgment regarding causal interactions between any two or more substances. Recent literature has paid more attention to Kant’s Third Analogy, yet even leading research on Kant’s Analogies of Experience neglects how Kant’s principles of causal judgment in the Analogies form an integrated set, because no one of these principles can be used without conjoint use of the other two.

    Indeed, Kant’s three principles of causal judgment provide an integrated, incremental justification of judgments about transeunt causal interactions. A cause is ‘transeunt’ if it extends beyond any one substance in order to effect a change in another (O.E.D.). Kant’s main examples in the Third Analogy are astronomical, but his analysis is general and holds of all forms of causal interaction between physical particulars, of whatever kinds, at whatever scale. As Caird and Paton noted, Kant’s defence of causal interaction counters Leibniz as well as Hume.8

    The three Analogies present and defend a tightly integrated set of mutually supporting principles regulating our discriminatory causal-perceptual judgments. The empirical criterion of succession is lack of reversibility of the type of sequence of appearances produced by one or more objects; the empirical criterion of co-existence is the reversibility of the type of sequence of appearances produced by one or more objects. Determining whether either co-existence or succession occurs requires determining that the other does not, where both determinations require that we identify objects which persist through both the real and the apparent changes involved in the relevant sequence of appearances. We directly perceive neither time nor space as such, whilst the mere order in which we apprehend (take in) appearances determines (specifies, indicates) no objective order of objects or events: our ever-successive perceptions may be perceptions of concurrently co-existing particulars or features of some one particular. Consequently, the only condition under which we can determine which states of affairs precede, and which coexist with, which others is if there are enduring perceptible substances which interact causally, thereby producing changes of state in one another, including changes in location or motion (including orientation). Perceiving and discriminating enduring substances are necessary for us to determine any variety of spatial locations, to determine changes of place, and to determine non-spatial changes of state objects may undergo. To ascertain whether a change of appearances is a function of one object, previously in view, moving out of view when displaced by another; or instead is a function of one object rotating to reveal a different aspect; or



    and forced’. Melnick (2004, 114) corrects this oversight, though Melnick (2006) altogether omits the Third Analogy.

    8Watkins (2005) claims that Kant does not seek to answer Hume’s causal scepticism. However, his responses to Manfred Kuehn’s comments at an ‘Author meets Critics’ at the Pacific Division meeting of the American Philosophical Association (2005), and to questions from the floor, clearly demonstrated insufficient command of Hume’s texts and issues to substantiate his denial that Kant sought to respond to Hume’s causal scepticism.

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    instead is a function of one spatially stable object undergoing a non-spatial change of state, requires that we are able to – and do – identify places, changes of state, and objects which change place or state, and that we are able to – and do – discriminate amongst these different kinds of causal scenario. To identify any one such scenario requires conjoint, discriminatory use of all three principles of causal judgment defended in the Analogies of Experience (KdrV B223, 231, 256). The principles of causal judgment defended in the Analogies all stand together, or not at all. Defending transeunt causality is thus central to Kant’s Analogies as a whole, and not only to the Third Analogy. The valid use of Kant’s Analogies of Experience requires that changes in material substances we identify are produced, directly or indirectly (via their ‘relatively inner’ determinations), by external transeunt causes.

    We human beings can only discriminate and identify causally interacting, perceptible spatio-temporal substances, events or structures. Identifying any one such particular requires discriminating it from its – and from our own – surroundings within space and time, by identifying some of its manifest characteristics, including some of its causal characteristics, whether those responsible for the relative stability of its concurrent – including its concurrently perceptible – characteristics, or those responsible for some of its changes in spatial location or orientation, or for some of its causal transformations (exchange of characteristics or states) (cf. Harper 1984).

    In connection with his example of perceiving successively the concurrently existing features of a building – a house – Kant expressly notes, ‘I draw, as it were, its form’ (KdrV B162),9 thus noting – drawing, identifying, discriminating – its (approximate) spatial boundary. These points about causal-perceptual discrimination of particulars hold generally, not merely in the case of a porter climbing the stairs of the staircase to our flat, which we – now comfortably at home, seated before the fire – do not perceive out in the stairwell. These points, too, belong to Kant’s incisive generalisation of Hume’s sceptical problems. These points also mark Kant’s incorporation of Evans’ analysis of predicative ascription within a richer epistemological analysis. We can only distinguish appearances of particulars by discriminating particulars, and thereby discriminate which features of our perceptual experiences are due to those particulars and their characteristics from other features of our perceptual experiences which are due to our own bodily comportment.

    This capacity to discriminate features of sensory appearances due to the environment from those due to a creature’s own bodily motions involves ‘sensory reafference’. This very basic sensory-perceptual function is required to perceive any objective environment; it is found even in very simple invertebrates, including, e.g., drosophila (Brembs 2011). It is very much to Kant’s credit that he noted this perceptual phenomenon, and its fundamental importance to perceiving one’s surroundings. It is also to Kant’s credit that he used this point as part of his subtle and cogent justification


    9Kant states: „ich zeichne gleichsam seine Gestalt …“; all translations are the author’s.

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    of mental content externalism (Westphal 2006, 2007).


    Kant’s cognitive semantics does not rule out second-hand ‘knowledge by description’ based upon reliable testimony or written reports; instead it establishes basic cognitive conditions upon the acquisition of empirical knowledge, by identifying basic conditions under which alone synthetic statements have specifically cognitive status within any non-formal domain. Kant’s cognitive semantics founds an important quadruple distinction between description (intension, classification), ascription i.e., attribution of the predicates contained in S’s description to some particular(s) localised by S (predication), sufficiently accurate or true ascription, and sufficiently (cognitively) justified accurate or true description. Only the latter can count as empirical knowledge. Consequently, Kant’s analysis of specifically cognitive reference shows why philosophy of language or philosophy of mind may augment epistemology, but cannot supplant it, insofar as neither cognitive justification nor singular cognitive reference can be reduced to, nor substituted by, analysis of linguistic meaning nor of mental content.10

    6 THE IRRELEVANCE OF INFALLIBILISM TO NON-FORMAL DOMAINS.

    Kant’s cognitive semantics also shows that justificatory infallibilism is in principle irrelevant to the non-formal domain of empirical knowledge. Strictly speaking, formal domains are those which involve no existence postulates. Strictly speaking, the one purely formal domain is a careful reconstruction of Aristotle’s Square of Opposition (Wolff 1995, 2000, 2009, 2012). All further logical or mathematical domains involve various existence postulates, including semantic postulates. We may define ‘formal domains’ more broadly to include all formally defined logistic systems (Lewis 1930; rpt.: 1970, 10). Whether we construe formal domains narrowly or broadly, deduction suffices for justification within any formal domain because deduction constitutes justification within any formal domain. Indeed, a domain is a formal domain only insofar as deduction constitutes justification within it. Only within formal domains is justification constituted by provability.

    The relevance of any such logistic system to any non-formal, substantive domain rests, however, not upon formal considerations alone, but also upon substantive considerations of how useful a specific logistic system may be within a non-formal, substantive domain (Lewis 1929, 298; cf. Carnap 1950a). The use of any specified logistic system within any non-formal domain does not suffice for justification within that domain; justification within that domain also requires assessment of the adequacy, accuracy and specific use of, inter alia, the semantic and existence postulates which partially constitute and delimit that domain. Consequently, within any substantive domain, fallibilism is no sceptical capitulation, not because infallibilist standards of justification are too stringent, but because in principle they are inappropriate – i.e., they


    10These important features of Kant’s semantics of singular cognitive reference, and indeed of Evans’ analysis of predication, are neglected by McDowell; see Westphal (2008b). On McDowell’s recent re- assertion of perceptual infallibilism, see Westphal (2017a), §107.

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    are irrelevant – to any and all substantive domains. Conversely, within any substantive domain, a mere logical possibility as such has no cognitive status and so cannot serve to ‘defeat’ or to undermine (refute) an otherwise well-grounded line of justificatory reasoning within that domain. The domain of (putative) empirical knowledge includes spatio-temporal objects and events; accordingly, empirical knowledge is a non-formal domain. Consequently, Kant’s analysis of singular cognitive reference rules out the ideal of infallible justification (post-1277 scientia) within the entire non-formal domain of empirical knowledge. Recognising that only fallibilist accounts of justification are tenable within the non-formal domain of empirical knowledge concedes nothing to scepticism (Westphal 2013b, 2016b).

    In view of Kant’s critique of cognitive judgment, including his cognitive semantics of singular reference, we must distinguish between the literal and full meaning of his causal principles as formulated (their intension), and the legitimate, justifiable cognitive significance of any judgments we can make using those principles. This accords with Kant’s calling his analyses and justification of these principles ‘Analogies’, insofar as these causal principles regulate our causal judgments by guiding our identifying efficient causes of observed spatio-temporal events. How fully or precisely we may identify causes and effects is a matter for empirical inquiry, whether commonsense, diagnostic, forensic or natural-scientific (cf. Harper 1984). Because our causal judgments are discriminatory (in the ways indicated above), we are only able to discriminate apparent from real changes of objects’ states, locations or motions insofar as we identify – sufficiently to recognise them at all – other physical events which cause those changes, so as to distinguish those objective, physical changes from merely apparent changes which result from our contingent observations, including our bodily comportment.

    Making such discriminatory, perceptual-causal judgments to identify particulars in our surroundings requires anticipation and imagination to consider, not any and all logically possible alternatives to an apparently perceived causal scenario, but to consider relevant causally possible alternatives to an apparently perceived causal scenario. Yes, already in 1787 Kant developed a very sophisticated, profoundly anti- Cartesian, ‘relevant alternatives’ epistemology (cp. Milmed 1969; Strawson 1974, 1979; Sellars 1978; Westphal 2004, 2007).

    1. CRITICAL PHILOSOPHY & PHILOSOPHICAL SELF-CRITICISM.

      The points made above about the necessarily conjoint, discriminatory use of all three of Kant’s causal principles, expounded and justified in the Analogies of Experience, are not new findings: They were established by Guyer (1987),11 and have been restated, augmented and highlighted in my own subsequent research several times. Yet Kant’s


      11Guyer (1987), 168, 212–14, 224–25, 228, 239, 246, 274–75.

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      commentators continue to disregard the integrity of Kant’s Analogies of Experience.12 I surmise this results from several habits of thought, all over-due for Critical reconsideration.

      1. Kant’s Analytic Commentators. The infallibilist presumption that nothing short of provability suffices for justification has two fatal consequences: conceptual analysis is the sole legitimate method of philosophy, and mere conceivability of an alternative suffices for refutation. This infallibilist orthodoxy is demonstrably Mediaeval, proclaimed by Étienne Tempier, Bishop of Paris, in condemning 220 neo-Aristotelian heresies in 1277 (Piché 1999, Boulter 2011).

        Frege was highly critical of ‘psychologism’ – of mistaking psychological considerations of how we think or judge for philosophically central, indeed for much more fundamental issues of how we ought to think or judge. Recently I had occasion to read widely in latter 19th-century theory of knowledge, including neo-Kantianism, and found myself confronted with the target of Frege’s critique across the range of European and North American philosophical writings. Carnap and the logical empiricists radicalised Frege’s rejection of psychologism, eschewing even logical analysis of judgment in favour of focussing upon propositions, their proper formulation and use, and their evidence bases (cf. Carnap 1950b, §11). Only that which we can state explicitly, clearly and accurately can we rationally assess and, when warranted, accept – and only that which we can state explicitly, clearly and accurately can we analyse using the resources of modern logical techniques. This focus upon the use of logical techniques, so far as possible, within philosophy was further promoted by Quine, Davidson and Fodor, very much at the expense of ordinary language philosophy (cf. Tanney 2013) – and at the expense of neglecting Carnap’s (1932–33, 1932–33, 177–80;

        1942, §5; 1963, 923, 925–7) repeated insistence that his formalised syntax and semantics are not self-sufficient, but require for their actual use their proper complement: a ‘descriptive semantics’ which identifies observation statements made by natural scientists ‘of our cultural circle’.

        In accord with analytical focus upon propositions, and in view of Hume’s formulation of issues about causality, Kant’s commentators strongly tend to focus on Kant’s three principles of causal judgment in the Analogies of Experience as nothing more than three (mutually independent) propositions, and on ‘causality’ only as ‘event causation’, where ‘event causation’ is conceived only as a sequence of one happening and then another happening; these may be of repeatedly paired instances of kinds, but no consideration is given to how they come about, nor to how we can localise and identify either the (purported) cause or the (purported) event. By focussing too much upon mere principles and not enough upon their use in (putative) cognitive judgments,


        12Allison’s (2004, 260–274) second edition includes a new discussion of Kant’s Third Analogy, and considers Guyer’s views of the Third Analogy, yet Allison neglects Guyer’s finding about the integrity of the Three Analogies, as does Melnick (2004, 2006).

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        Kant’s commentators thus neglect the importance of Kant’s point – prefigured by Hume’s encounter with the porter – that the always successive order in which we merely take in appearances in principle cannot distinguish between objective succession and objective co-existence (successively perceived). As a result, these commentators continue to mis-read Kant’s Second Analogy as concerning Humean, merely statistical correlations of distinct events; whereas (Beck noted) Kant’s Second Analogy only concerns successive states of any one substance. Nevertheless, Beck neglected three important consequences of this fact: (1) Kant only defends transeunt causality between distinct substances in connection with the Third Analogy; (2) therefore, competent, cognizant use of all three causal principles is required to identify any one causal sequence or process we identify, by distinguishing it from its causally possible alternatives (which would instantiate either of the other two principles of causal judgment); (3) we can only make such discriminatory causal judgments in regard to spatio-temporal, causally interacting perceptible substances. In Kant’s view, this is not a general truth about knowledge as such, nor about causal concepts or principles as such, nor about causality as such; instead it is general truth about human knowledge using our actual cognitive capacities within our actual environment. As Kant noted, ‘that something occurs, i.e., that something or a state begins to exist, which was not heretofore, cannot be empirically perceived where there is no prior appearance which does not contain this state’ (KdrV A291–2/B236–7). The initial event beloved of Humean causal theorists must itself first be identified as occurring, which requires us to have identified prior circumstances, which requires that we have already differentiated those concurrent and persisting circumstances from our always-successive experiences of them. Kant’s key point about causal judgment turns on the causal discriminations involved in distinguishing those sequences in our experiences which are produced by events surrounding us, from those sequences which instead only reflect our changing perceptual activity as we experience perduring, perceptible circumstances surrounding us (KdrV A292/B237). We don’t first perceive an event, and then – knowing nothing other than that – inquire into the cause of its occurrence; identifying any new appearance as an event in the world, and not merely an apparent change induced by our changing our viewpoint already involves – if implicitly, sub-personally – discriminating that new event within our surroundings, which involves causal discrimination and localisation (however approximate) of relevant particulars and some of their apparent features. Humean causal scepticism is a direct consequence of Cartesian internalism.

        These oversights by recent analytic commentators are highlighted by the general neglect of P.F. Strawson’s later, highly Kantian essays and his later essays on Kant. Strawson recognised deficiencies in The Bounds of Sense (1966) regarding both Kant’s Critique and the core philosophical issues, upon which he improved significantly in ‘Kant’s New Foundations of Metaphysics’ (1997a), ‘The Problem of Realism and the A Priori ’ (1997b), ‘Imagination and Perception’ (1974) and ‘Perception and its Objects’ (1979). These latter two concern central issues of perceptual judgment; their Kantian


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        credentials are apparent when compared to Milmed (1969) and Sellars (1978).13

        Long-standing rejection of issues about cognitive judgment within analytic epistemology resulted in part from the aim to avoid ‘psychologism’ (of whatever varieties), though also in part by the implicit though fundamentally Cartesian aspiration to refute the epistemological nightmare of global perceptual scepticism. It is significant that all of Gettier’s (1963) infamous counter-examples centrally involve what soon became known as ‘externalist’ factors bearing upon the justificatory status of Someone’s beliefs, factors such that S/he neither was, nor could easily become, aware by simple reflection. These may be environmental, or they may concern features of S’s neurophysiology of perception, or S’s inference patterns. Sceptics remain impressed by the fact that all of our experiences and beliefs could be as they are, even though as a simple matter of logic they could all be false (Stroud 1994, 241–2, 245). What this fact demonstrates is rather that cognitive justification is not reducible to logical deduction. Kant recognised this in his distinction between general logic and a specifically ‘transcendental logic’ (KdrV A131/B170), which considers the various possible and necessary roles of a priori concepts and principles within human experience and knowledge, their respective domains, and the conditions under which their use can be legitimate (or not). Kant understood that understanding human knowledge requires understanding how knowledge is possible for beings constited as we are. So doing requires a basic inventory of our characteristically human cognitive capacities; Kant deserves credit for having provided the necessary minimum inventory.

        To inventory our most basic cognitive capacities Kant pursued this insight:


        Now it is indeed very illuminating: that whatever I must presuppose in order at all to know an object, cannot itself be known as [an] object …. (KdrV A402)


        Pace Nietzsche,14 Kant did not neglect the question, ‘How is Immanuel Kant possible?’

        i.e., how can any philosopher investigate, assay, assess and compose a credible, cogent Critique of Pure Reason? Kant recognised that no critique of pure reason can be conducted by Cartesian reflection, nor within the constraints of Hume’s fork (only logically necessary truths or falsehoods can be known a priori as mere relations of ideas, whilst any synthetic proposition can be known, if at all, only on the basis of empirical evidence regarding matters of fact), nor by mere conceptual analysis. Against Leibniz, Kant noted, e.g., that no causal relation can be established by mere conceptual analysis, nor can any other synthetic propositions be justified a priori merely by conceptual analysis (KdrV B13, A216–8/B263–5, cf. A716, 717–8/B744, 745–6). The entire effort to identify in (or through) Kant’s texts a purely analytical refutation of scepticism by valid ‘analytic transcendental argument’ (cf. Strawson 1966, Bieri et al


        13Also worth studying in this connection is R.P. Wolff (1960).

        14Cf. Morgenröte, Vorrede §3.


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        1979, Stern 1999) was ill-conceived and ill-fated from the start; nor is weakening the aspirations of (allegedly) transcendental analysis to mere belief (Stern 2000) any avail. The key shortcomings with that approach was its focus upon concept possession and its reliance upon conceptual analysis, whereas Kant had learnt from Tetens that the key issues concern justifiable use of concepts, the necessary a priori conditions of which use require conceptual explication informed by transcendental reflection upon what is possible for beings with our logically contingent cognitive capacities (12 basic forms of judgment; 2 forms of sensory intake). Neither doxography nor doxology can serve as – nor substitute for – sound epistemology.

        Kant is right that we need a fundamentally ‘altered method of thinking’ (KdrV Bxviii, cf. A270, 676/B326, 704). Kant’s method of transcendental reflection is subtle, sophisticated and cannot be summarised here.15 Some of its key features may, however, be indicated. The first point is anti-Cartesian and anti-empiricist: Only due to the structure and proper functioning of sub-personal cognitive processes can we be at all conscious of our surroundings (perception), or be self-aware in and through our consciousness of our surroundings (apperception). Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason is still one of the most incisive and profoundly anti-Cartesian works in all philosophy; his methods as well as his substantive analyses invoke important and pervasive aspects of what is now called ‘externalism’. Consider in this regard that Gettier (1963) made the case against infallibilism – a preconception central to the issue of global perceptual scepticism, including Stroud’s – and for both fallibilism and externalism in epistemology. In so doing, however, Gettier’s analysis echoed Carnap’s distinction, made explicit in 1950, though central to his philosophy from at least 1928, between the methods of conceptual analysis and conceptual explication. Less familiar still is that Carnap’s (1950b, 1–18) distinction between these two methods marks the same distinction, in the same terms, and for very much the same reasons as did Kant (KdrV A727–30/B755–8).

        Devotés of empiricism, internalism or infallibilism generally concurred with Strawson’s (1966, 32) castigation of Kant’s account of sub-personal cognitive functions and processes as an entirely ‘imaginary subject’ of ‘transcendental psychology’. Guyer (1989) showed that Kant’s analysis of the sub-personal cognitive processing effected by transcendental power of imagination is necessary for any cognisant being who synthesises sensory information over time (in response to stimulation by spatio-temporal objects and events; cf. KdrV A139/B178, B298). In reply, Strawson (1989, 77) retracted his ‘somewhat rude’ castigation of Kant’s transcendental psychology. As noted above, in subsequent articles Strawson had greatly improved both the philosophical and the exegetical calibre of his Kantian account of perception. Andrew Brook (1994, 2016) has shown how very prescient Kant’s cognitive psychology is, by showing how very well it serves functionalist cognitive psychology and allied efforts in artificial intelligence.


        15See Wolff (1995, 2017), Longuenesse (1998), Westphal (2004), (2016b).

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        None of these epistemological advances or insights can result from conceptual analysis pure and simple. Instead, as both Kant and Carnap recognized, within non- formal domains we can at best aspire to cogent conceptual explication, where our conceptual explications (explicanda) must not only clarify their explicata; they must also improve upon their explicata within their original contexts of use. Ineluctably this invokes important elements of semantic as well as justificatory externalism. Because explicanda cannot be provided necessary and sufficient conditions for their correct use, they are in principle incomplete (or at least not known to be complete), and they are corrigible and revisable. Consequently, explicanda must be assessed in possible contexts of their actual use, not within merely imaginary contexts of their logically possible use! This, too, is part of realising our concepts and principles, to demonstrate that they have a legitimate use and meaning. Talk is cheap; cogent philosophical explication and justification must be earned.

        The ever-ready question from audiences or readers today, ‘But couldn’t s/he say

        …?’, in principle cannot count as a cogent critical question, unless and until so saying is shown to have a significant role within a cogent philosophical account of whatever topic is at issue. Yes, careful attention to what is stated, and what is not, is crucial, as is attention to valid and sound inference. However, these skills and strategies cannot suffice for cogent philosophising, which also requires probing and thinking through philosophical issues and problems systematically and in detail. Logical inferences alone do not constitute justificatory relations; we must also know which statements are to serve as premises for which others, and why. It should not be necessary to state so basic a point, but for the fact that it is ever more commonly ignored by ‘scholars’, ‘commentators’ and their ‘students’.

      2. Kant’s Phenomenological Commentators. Kant’s phenomenological commentators recognise much more readily Kant’s points about how our experiences and cognitive judgments are context- and occasion-specific. However, they tend to loose the specificity and the justificatory achievements of Kant’s analysis by engaging in purely descriptive – hence non-explanatory, non-justificatory – phenomenology; or by uncovering further (allegedly) necessary structures and conditions of our capacity to judge. Buchdahl (1992) realised that Kant meant something significant by using the term ‘realisieren’ (to realise), but mistakenly assimilated it to a broadly Husserlian framework of ontological reduction and realisation (Westphal 1998).

    Though Husserl comments at length both on Hume’s and on Kant’s theories of perceptual knowledge, he is antecedently so convinced that he has gained profound new insights into human knowledge and its a priori transcendental principles and basis, that his purported „Phänomenologische Studie über Hume’s Abstractionstheorie“ – as he titles chapter 5 of his second logical investigation (Husserl 1901, §§32–39, + Anhang: 205–13) – is no phenomenological study of Hume’s views at all, but rather recites Husserl’s disagreements based upon his presumed greater insight into the relevant


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    cognitive-experiential phenomena and their structure and character. Rather than phenomenological examination, the reader is offered a lengthy rejection by petitio principii. The same approach is taken in Husserl’s Formale und transzendentale Logik (1929), which concludes its sixth chapter (§§62, 99–100) by returning ‘from this historical-critical excursus to our main theme’ (1929, 235). His approach and attitude towards Hume, Kant and other predecessors is typified by his article ‘Phenomenology’ for the Encyclopaedia Britannica (14th ed.; Husserl 1927–28); and also by the same approach and attitude of his doctoral student, C.V. Salmon (1929), who wrote his dissertation on Book I of Hume’s Treatise, purporting to disclose The Central Problem of David Hume’s Philosophy.16

    Husserl’s expositors continue to cite Husserl’s discussions of, e.g., Hume or Kant, referring to the master’s extended „Auseinandersetzungen“ with them in countless volumes of Husserliana, but take as little note as he of the cardinal distinction between a philosophical Auseinandersetzung and mere petitio principii. Husserl’s so-called ‘criticism’ of Kant’s or Hume’s views document Husserl’s dissatisfactions with them, his rejection of them and his differences with them. Nonetheless, all of his ‘critical’ remarks remain entirely external and as supremely self-confident as anything Quine wrote from his lofty extensionalist point of view (Westphal 2015). This is evident throughout the most detailed examination of Husserl’s relations to Kant, Kern’s (1964) Husserl und Kant (see esp. §§10–11). Even so sensitive and sensible a commentator as Dan Zahavi (2003, 108) neglects Kant’s rooting our discriminatory causal judgments (in part) in our bodily comportment, as does Smith (2003), though Smith’s Husserl and the Cartesian Meditations is exoteric and critical as well as expository, and pays rather better attention to Hume.

    In sharp contrast to such discussions stand Meinong’s (1878, 1882) studies of Hume’s nominalism and theory of relations in Book I of the Treatise. Meinong’s massive articles – together, they are tantamount to a detailed monograph – belong to the very best scholarship on Hume’s theories of ideas and of relations. Regrettably, he neglects Hume’s porter, and devoted no comparable study to Kant’s theory of perceptual experience and knowledge.17

    Gurwitsch (2009–10, 1:107–30; 2:140–7, 175–7) devotes significant attention to Hume’s theory of perception and of the identity of perceptible things, and notes some genuine difficulties with Hume’s account. Gurwitsch focusses on Hume’s model of the mind as a bundle of continually successive perceptions, but is more concerned with how those perceptions model the human mind and our experience of temporality, and neglects the problems they raise for Hume’s official empiricism (the Copy Theory,



    16The much briefer doctoral dissertation by Sauer (1926) is no different in this regard, but merits no further attention here. Husserl’s (1902–03) lectures on epistemology do not improve on the situation documented here from his published writings.

    17I have found none, and none is mentioned or suggested by Chrudzimski (2007).

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    Concept Empiricism and the three ‘laws’ of psychological association). Consequently, Gurwitsch’s criticisms are less penetrating than Meinong’s, and likewise fail to capitalise upon Hume’s perplexing porter, and upon Kant’s reanalysis of those problems. Gurwitsch (2009–10, 2:172, 315–6) mistakenly ascribes to Kant a Humean view of sensory data, thus disregarding Kant’s sensationist account of sensations.18 He also neglects Kant’s discriminatory analysis of perceptual-causal judgments. These points are not improved in Gurwitsch (1957) or (1959), although in both he discusses the example of a house, his own study within it, and its location within its surrounding neighbourhood, yet he neglects Hume’s discoveries within his own study about his surroundings and the porter’s arrival, and also neglects Kant’s example of perceiving a house, in contrast to a ship sailing in a river.19 Gurwitsch (1990, 128–32) focuses solely upon Kant’s Second Analogy, and contends that Kant’s analysis fails to address the problems involved in any plurality of persons identifying one and the same spatio- temporal causal sequence or process, because Kant lacks an account of intentionality.

    It must be said instead that Gurwitsch, too, failed to identify the integrity of the sole use of Kant’s three causal principles in the Analogies of Experience (per Guyer), and that only in connection with the Third Analogy do Kant’s principles of causal judgment refer – solely – to spatio-temporal objects, events, processes and phenomena. (On Kant’s account of intentionality, see Haag 2007.) In part this appears to result from Gurwitsch’s focus upon the Leibnizian backdrop to Kant’s account of transcendental unity of apperception, and a consequent, if perhaps inadvertent, emphasis upon Kant’s transcendental idealism to the neglect of Kant’s empirical realism. Perhaps Kant identified necessary, though insufficient a priori transcendental conditions of perceptual experience, judgment and knowledge (in particular, by not examining their transcendental, formal though material conditions), yet it is remarkable how Husserl, Gurwitsch and other phenomenological expositors fail to appreciate Hume’s and Kant’s insights and achievements, however incomplete they may have been.20

    Heidegger’s engagement with Hume is early and indirect, mostly cast in terms of Hume’s later-day philosophical representatives (characteristic is Heidegger 1912). His interests are already differently focussed, towards what becomes his observation that the scandal of philosophy consists, not in the lack of proof of the external world (KdrV Bxxxix note), but in the continuing search for one (S&Z, §43a./205). In these years prior to Sein und Zeit (1927), Heidegger’s central concern is with standard philosophical


    18According to sensationism (about sensations), sensations typically are components of acts of perceptual awareness of something in one’s surroundings, and only rarely are themselves objects of one’s self- conscious awareness. (Chisholm’s adverbial account of appearing is similar.)

    19Gurwitsch’s example of perceiving a house: (1957 [2009–10, v. 3]), 495, 499; (1959), 421, 423–4, 431,

    435. His editors, too, neglect Kant’s and Hume’s perceptive precedents.

    20Sherover (1971) is centrally concerned with Kant’s central concern with temporality, but mentions Kant’s Analogies of Experience and Refutation of Idealism only in passing, and so neglects Kant’s detailed account of the causal judgments by which alone we are able to be aware of our own existence as determined in time.

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    language, and its tendency to lull us into assuming that once we have the right concepts and theories, and the methods for using and justifying them, we can disregard the experiential circumstances out of which these philosophical resources grow and on which they continue tacitly to depend. Husserl’s constant concern with properly posing ‘the’ fundamental question of philosophy by discovering and devising ‘the’ best concepts, principles and domain of (allegedly transcendental) phenomena surely prompted Heidegger to ponder and probe the underpinnings of whatever problematic philosophers explicitly formulate and address. Early on, Heidegger characterised philosophical hermeneutics as not itself a philosophy, but rather as solely concerned with this question: „In welche führende Hinsicht ist das Gegenstandsfeld der Philosophie gestellt?“ (1923, 40)21; ‘In what leading regard is the domain and objective of philosophy posed and characterised?’. In this regard, Hume’s psychological treatment of ‘cause’ is more interesting to Heidegger for how Hume struggles to do justice to how this idea is used – as if relations between strictly (1:1) correlated impressions really were connections – within the dictates of Cartesian preconceptions about our human form of mindedness, our experience and the world we inhabit.22 Hume’s struggles are reiterated though not remedied by the turn-of-the-century Humeans Heidegger (1912) lists. Heidegger’s lectures on Kant’s Kritik der reinen Vernunft don’t examine Kant’s Principles of causal judgment closely (e.g.: 1935–36, §27), and so neglect what Guyer noted.

    Analytical, phenomenological and historical-scholarly commentators chronically miss, and continue to miss, what Kant takes over from Tetens about ‘realising’ our concepts or principles by demonstrating that we can and do locate relevant instantiations of them; nor do they understand why Kant took over this concern.23 Consequently, they also typically err about what Kant means by the ‘real possibility’ of a concept, which is not that there might be such a thing as (e.g.) a purple guitar, though there was none when F.L. Will (1969, rpt.: 1997, 12–13) used this example; so far as this writer knows, only when the performer known as Prince ordered and purchased a flamboyantly purple guitar did the concept ‘purple guitar’ come to have ‘real possibility’ in Kant’s sense of this designation. Kant’s sense of ‘real possibility’ accords entirely with his use of Teten’s sense of realisiren and with his own sense of ‘objective validity’; each requires that we can in fact localise at least one relevant instance of the concept or principle in question (Bxxvi n., A137–8/B176–7, B301–2, B302–3, A581–2/B609–10). Kant

    expressly warns against inferring from the logical possibility of a concept (its logical consistency) that this concept is also really possible (A596/B624n., A602/B630, cf. A720/B748).


    21Cf. Heidegger (1923), 19–20, 49, 58–60; (1998), 15–16, 39, 46–8.

    22These remarks on Heidegger result from correspondence with Bob Scharff, and some formulations come directly from his. Thanks again, Bob!

    23My sole point here concerns an important oversight; I do not dismiss these authors’ positive

    contributions (cf., e.g., Zahavi 2009).

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    8 PHILOSOPHICAL SPECIALISATION & PHILOSOPHICAL OVERSIGHT.

    This pervasive neglect (§7) of core issues and features of Kant’s account of discriminatory causal-perceptual judgment, and of Guyer’s (1987) landmark examination and defence of Kant’s account in those regards, apparently results from scholars thinking about what is said or written, without thinking through the problems addressed by those writings, in part by attending only to one formulation of them. In this important methodological and substantive regard, Nietzsche was right both about perception and about philosophical thinking:

    There is only a perspective seeing, only a perspective ‘knowing’; and the more affects we allow to speak about one thing, the more eyes, various eyes, we know how to use observe the same thing, the more complete will our ‘concept’ of this thing, our ‘objectivity,’ be. (GM 3:12; cf. FW §295; EH 1:9)

    Accordingly Nietzsche recommends training oneself to adopt a variety of perspectives:


    … to see differently in the [vedantic or Kantian] way for once, to want to see differently, is no small training and preparation of the intellect for its eventual ‘objectivity’ – the latter understood not as ‘disinterested contemplation’ (which is absurd nonsense), but as the capacity to control one’s pro and contra and to shift them in and out, so that one knows how to make the diversity of perspectives and affective interpretations useful for knowing. (GM 3:12; cf. EH 1:1)24

    No one philosopher, no one period, no one style or tradition of philosophy has a monopoly on any core philosophical issue. Serious study of contrasting or opposing analyses, approaches, methods or formulations is invaluable – as invaluable as it is ever more rare in a field that has fragmented itself into a myriad of (supposedly) mutually independent sub-specialties, schools, movements, problem-domains, their ever more specialised journals and their increasing mutual irrelevance. The consequences of these developments are ever more apparent in the growing cleft, in both quality and quantity, between the best philosophical research and that which is most topical – i.e., most discussed. For example, J.L. Austin, now widely regarded as a narrow philosopher of language, thought and wrote so cogently about philosophy of language because he advocated and himself pursued comprehensive study of philosophy and allied fields. (This I have learnt recently from one of his tutees, Graham Bird.)

    The slogan that ‘sense determines reference’ has echoed down analytical folklore with undue consequences. Once detached from Frege’s own view of Sinne, and having rescinded aconceptual ‘knowledge by acquaintance’, the notion that ‘sense determines reference’ has lived on, explicitly or (much more often) implicitly as a descriptions theory of reference: a crucial enthymeme in Kuhn’s (1996, 101–2) strongest argument for paradigm incommensurability, and the target of Kripke’s (1980) withering criticism.


    24Nietzsche’s perspectivist cognitivism is examined in Westphal (1984a, b).

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    It is fine to use an explicit, fully articulated description to explicate the content of a sentence, statement, proposition or perhaps even an attitude. However, no such fully articulated description alone is either sufficient, nor necessary, to specify what any specific person said or thought on any particular occasion. Specifying his or her statement or thought requires specifying the particulars about which S/he thought or spoke on that occasion in those circumstances. As Donnellan (1966) noted, an inaccurate – hence a false – definite description can nevertheless be used successfully to refer to one or another particular, such as the teatotaller standing in the corner drinking water from a martini glass, whom the speaker successfully though incorrectly designates as ‘the man in the corner drinking a martini’. Frege (1892a, b) distinguished not only between ‘concept’ and ‘object’, but also between them both and any Sinn as a ‘mode of presentation’ (Art des Gegebenseins). His famous example of ‘the morning star’ and ‘the evening star’, by their linguistic designations, indicate perceptual circumstances in which Earthlings can regularly and reliably see one and the same heavenly body: Venus. Throughout his career, Quine remained committed to naïve set theory, neglecting its paradoxes, in order to maintain his naïve confidence that intension and extension – as the classificatory content of predicates and their possible instances (respectively) – suffice for any referential purposes required by his extensionalist point of view (delimited to purported ‘ontological comittement’). To the contrary, careful scrutiny of Quine’s semantics demonstrates that the one sentence the truth-value of which he refused to reconsider – the thesis of extensionalism itself – is false (Westphal 2015). Kant’s point against Leibniz’s ‘individual concepts’ also holds against Quine: whatever particular instances our predicates may possibly classify – and in this sense alone, which they may possibly designate – does not suffice for any actual reference to any actual individuals, much less does it suffice for our localising any individuals which happen to instantiate the predicate(s) used in our claims, propositions or attitudes so as to be able to judge or to know anything about them. Localising particulars requires specifying in context the determinable concepts ‘space’, ‘time’ and ‘individual’, so as to delimit (sufficiently, if approximately) the region(s) occupied by those particulars (or by that particular). Exactly in this regard Kaplan argued that it belongs to the ‘character’ of our use of demonstrative expressions to map a designated region or individual into the context and content of what S/omeone says or thinks. In just these semantic and cognitive regards Kant’s Thesis of Singular Cognitive Reference joins philosophical forces with Austin (1950), Donnellan, Evans, Kripke, Travis (2000, 2006, 2008, 2013), Wettstein (2004) – and Hegel (1807), who argued for Kant’s Thesis of Singular Cognitive Reference by strictly internal reductio ad absurdum of both aconceptual ‘knowledge by acquaintance’ and of reference to particulars merely by description in the first chapter of his Phenomenology of Spirit – with no appeal to Kant’s transcendental idealism, nor to any comparable view (Westphal 2010b). By working out the cognitive-semantic conditions we must satisfy in order to ‘realise’ any of our concepts (in Tetens’ sense), Kant established that mere conceivability – i.e., mere logical consistency – establishes no more than a conceptual possibility, though not even


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    a candidate cognition. In this way, Kant achieved the key aim of verificationism, on cognitive-semantic (referential) grounds, without invoking meaning- or concept- verificationism. (This decisive, incisive way of determining (specifying) which of our thoughts or ideas are candidate cognitions, or instead are cognitive empty, is neglected both by Unger 2014 and by Williamson 2015.)

    In re-thinking Hume’s problem about understanding his own beliefs about the porter who delivered him a letter in his upper-storey apartment (T 1.2.4.2), Kant recognised the transcendental significance – the transcendental presuppositions – of making the kinds of causal discriminations Hume obviously made in situ, in fact, and in truth – which he reported accurately, but could not understand on the basis of his own empiricist principles (cf. R.P. Wolff 1960). 25 Understanding Kant’s Kritik der reinen Vernuft requires carefully distinguishing what we can experience, think, judge and say within our ordinary self-conscious experience of the world, from what we can think, judge and determine in transcendental reflection about the a priori necessary conceptual and intuitive (sensory) conditions which alone enable us to experience any of the world apperceptively (self-consciously). Nevertheless, Kant’s guides to transcendental reflection are the structures of our worldly experience; he expressly links the empirical and the transcendental levels of analysis in the Second Analogy (B253–6).26 We can understand, appreciate and assess Kant’s analysis, and especially his analysis and arguments in the Analogies of Experience, by taking very seriously Beck’s (1975, 24) observation that ‘the necessary conditions for what Hume knows are the sufficient conditions for what Kant knows’ – centrally: what Hume knows about sorting out sequences within his experiences from the sequences of the events and objects he experienced, and his de facto capacity to identify the later when prompted by the former, as when the porter delivered his letter, is sufficient to show that Hume’s official empiricist principles are insufficient to account for our commonsense capacity to judge what we experience accurately and justifiedly, and to show that Kant’s analysis of our discriminatory causal judgments is correct (at least to this extent). To understand and to assess Kant’s analysis requires integrating both his principled analysis and his realisation of his analysis in concreto in our typical and typically reliable capacities to distinguish and to identify – that is, to discriminate – various kinds of causal sequences



    25I do not claim Kant read this section of Hume’s Treatise; rather, Kant recognised that in principle any strictly empiricist account of sense impressions can provide no basis for distinguishing between the

    always-successive order of sensory, experiential intake and any (putatively) objective order of (relatively) stable states of affairs and changes in locations or features of (relatively) stable perceptible objects.

    26In this passage, he also links the transcendental level of his analysis to transcendental idealism; this, I have argued in detail in my (2004), he did not need to do. Husserl contends that Kant was mired in psychologism. I submit that Husserl failed to understand Kant’s very sophisticated, parallel analyses of our transcendental power of judgment and the a priori transcendental conditions which must be satisfied for us to use our fundamental concepts and principles in actual (if putative) cognitive judgments about spatio-temporal particulars. (Yes, I submit that my (2004) understands Kant’s Kritik der reinen Vernunft better than Husserl did.)

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    and processes amongst the perceptible, causally interacting particulars surrounding us. This is central to understanding the dual status of Kant’s integrated principles of causal judgment in the Analogies of Experience, that they regulate our causal judgments, and were it so to happen that we could make no such causal discriminations and identifications accurately and justifiedly, we would altogether lack apperception of our own existence ‘as determined in time’, i.e., as it merely appearing to us that some events appear to occur before, during or after others. That is the constitutive point in Kant’s Analogies of Experience. 27 These cognitive-semantic points have far-reaching implications, not only for philosophy of language and epistemology, but also for philosophy of mind and for theory of action (Westphal 2016c, 2017b, 2017c). Outside pure axiomatics, conceptual clarity is necessary, though not at all sufficient for any real cognitive use, nor for substantive philosophical results. In precisely this regard, much of contemporary analytic metaphysics rejoins pre-Critical rationalist metaphysics, as no more than ‘mere groping, and worst of all, amongst mere concepts’ (KdrV Bxv).

    Needless controversy about whether Kant aimed to respond to Hume’s problem of induction persists today (cf. De Pierris and Friedman, 2013, §2). Yes, Kant argues (soundly, I argue in my 2004) that any world in which we can be so much as aware that some appearances to us seem to occur before, during or after others, is a world exhibiting a sufficient minimum of perceptibly identifiable causal interaction amongst individuals so that we can identify some of them and distinguish them from ourselves. Kant further argues that causal relations hold amongst individuals belonging to types. Those demonstrations, however, by design entail nothing about whether, how often nor for how long any type of causal relation recurs within nature, nor within our experience(s). They also entail nothing about our knowledge, justified belief or surmise about any specific types of causal relations or causal laws. As for ‘knowledge of the future’, this is a misnomer: expectations we have aplenty, but there is nothing to be known – neither is there anything about which to err – unless and until it occurs. This basic constraint on any empirical knowledge is justified by Kant’s semantics of cognitive reference. That Kant claims to have solved ‘the Humean problem’ regarding our ‘entire capacity of of pure reason’ (Prol., GS 4:260) neither states nor requires that this domain includes the problem of induction; indeed, in principle it cannot be so included because it is no issue of pure reason. The following three principles concern causality and causal relations:

    ‘Each event has a (sufficient, total) cause’.

    ‘Each specific kind of event has its specific kind of (sufficient, total) cause’. ‘Some specific kinds of (sufficient) causal relations are instantiated repeatedly’.

    None of those causal principles, individually or conjointly, can or does address the following epistemological or empirical claims:

    ‘We can (or do) know that each event has a (sufficient, total) cause’.


    27For concise discussion, see Westphal (2016a, b).

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    ‘We can (or do) know that some specific kinds of event each has its specific kind of (sufficient, total) cause’.

    ‘Some specific kinds of (sufficient) causal relations are instantiated repeatedly within human experience’.

    ‘We can (or do) know that some specific kinds of causal relations are instantiated repeatedly’.

    ‘We can (or do) know that some specific kinds of causal relations which evidently have been instantiated repeatedly shall continue to be so instantiated indefinitely into the future’. Hume’s ‘problem of induction’ is epistemological, not causal; ‘causal’ relations may be (causally) necessary, exceptionless causal laws – but their existence, instantiation or occurrence does not underwrite our beliefs about them in any way which justifies our claiming to know, demonstratively or justifiedly, that they are exceptionless causal necessities or causal laws in whatever (im)precise form they are formulated by us. For sound Critical reasons Kant was a fallibilist about cognitive justification across the empirical domain, regarding instances, classifications (kinds) and natural laws. More directly: causal and classificatory principles are used to formulate (candidate) cognitive claims, but the cognitive significance of such principles so used pertains to those instances or classes of individuals so judged. The intension of the principles we use may be unrestrictedly universal, but their intension alone cannot and does not determine (specify) the scope of any knowledge we may acquire by using those principles in cognitive judgments. These are direct corollaries to Kant’s semantics of singular cognitive reference (above, §4). Perhaps the nature of nature – or the natures of chemicals – may not change over time; nothing we can know suffices to justify the judgment (nor the surmise) that the nature of nature, or the natures of chemicals, cannot change over time. This no sceptical conclusion; it is merely sceptical about mistaking the scope of mere conceptual intension for the scope of cognitive reference, and so of empirical knowledge. Understanding empirical knowledge requires distinguishing the unrestricted scope of mere conceptual intension (classificatory content) from the actual scope of knowledge of those particulars or kinds (including processes and causal relations) known to humankind. In principle, epistemology requires richer resources than are provided by the analysis of propositions, mental content or philosophy of language. These latter studies may augment epistemology, but cannot substitute for it

    (cf. Westphal 2016c, 2017c).


    9 CONCLUSION.

    When I met Sir Peter Strawson in 1999, well after his further development of Kant’s epistemological insights noted above, he emphatically re-affirmed his original assessment of Kant’s contributions to epistemology:

    … the Transcendental Deduction, the Analogies, and the Refutation [of Idealism] together establish important general conclusions. … the fulfilment of the fundamental conditions of the possibility of self-consciousness, of self-ascription of experiences, seems to be necessary to any concept of experience which can be of interest to us, …


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    Kant’s genius nowhere shows itself more clearly than in his identification of the most fundamental of these conditions in its most general form: viz., the possibility of distinguishing between a temporal order of subjective perceptions and an order and arrangement which objects of those perceptions independently possess – a unified and enduring framework of relations between constituents of an objective world. … These are very great and novel gains in epistemology, so great and so novel that, nearly two hundred years after they were made, they still have not been fully absorbed into the philosophical consciousness. (Strawson 1966, 28–9).


    To achieve his insights Kant developed ‘a changed method of thinking’ (KdrV Bxviii, cf. A270, 676/B326, 704; cf. Rosenberg 2005, Bird 2006). Kant is right that our typical Cartesian-empiricist presumptions require fundamental overhaul and replacement; to this Watson (1881) remains germane. By design I have cited almost no recent literature; Kant’s texts and insights, and those of his most able commentators – none of their letters purloined – have been open to public view and review, occluded only by the misleading habits and expectations of his readers. Innovations and insights can only be identified, and can only be assessed, by comprehending what our predecessors and contemporaries have achieved. As Kant noted regarding romantic genius (KdU §50), the problem with ‘originality’ is that it may be original nonsense. The dearth of methodological care and critical self-assessment now accepted in the field does us no credit.28

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Apperception or Environment.

J. McDowell and Ch.Travis on the nature of perceptual judgement


Apercepción o ambiente.

    1. cDowell y Ch. Travis sobre la naturaleza del juicio perceptivo


      SOFIA MIGUENS


      University of Porto, Portugal


      Abstract


      Within current philosophy of perception John McDowell has for quite some time been defending a view inspired by Kant (McDowell 1994, McDowell 2009, McDowell 2013). Charles Travis opposes such view and counters it with his own, Frege-inspired, approach (Travis 2013, Travis 2014, Travis forthcoming). By analysing the clash between Travis’ idea of the silence of the senses and McDowell’s idea of intuitional content, the present article aims to characterize the core of their divergence regarding the nature of perceptual judgement. It also aims at presenting their engagement as a reformulated version of the debate around conceptual and nonconceptual content of perception, bringing forth some of its stakes. Such reformulated version of the debate makes it possible to bring out what a Kantian position on representation, consciousness and appearances ultimately amounts to, as well as to identify a particular angle of criticism to it.


      Keywords

      McDowell, Travis, Kant, Frege, judgement, perception.


      1. Triangulating the McDowell-Travis debate




        [Recibido: 14 de octubre 2017

        Aceptado: 28 de octubre de 2017]


        Sofia Míguens


        Much in current analytic philosophy of perception turns on the question whether perceptual experience has representational content (see e.g. Brogaaard 2014 for an overview). In such circumstances one might expect explicit discussions of the nature of representation to be always on the table. Yet the fact is the discussion within the philosophy of perception leaves the question relatively untouched. More often than not philosophers of perception exercize arguments on the ‘good’ and the ‘bad’ cases, i.e. veridical perceptions on the one hand and illusions and hallucinations on the other, simply leaving assumptions about representation implicit. Discussions then tend towards a certain rigidity. Such rigidity is, I believe, absent from the debate that I analyse in what follows, the McDowell-Travis debate on perception and representation. One crucial point of interest of the debate is that it does concern the nature of representation directly. Another is that it brings forth what being a Kantian might arguably amount to, in such context – namely that it amounts to attributing a specific a role to consciousness in judgement –, as well as the form that a general opposition to such position might take.

        Although in what follows I contrast John McDowell’s and Charles Travis’ respective positions on perception, and stress their disagreement, I want to begin by calling attention to how much they have in common in the way they regard the job of philosophy of perception, and the nature of philosophy in general. In this they both contrast with much work in current philosophy of perception, which may be very close to – in fact almost conflated with – cognitive science of perception. Even in the case of philosophers one would not tend to immediately associate with cognitive science one very often comes across a lack of distinction between cognitive science of perception and philosophy, which might, of course, be supported by argument (see e.g. Burge 2010). This is, anyway, a conception of the job of philosophy of perception which neither McDowell nor Travis accept. For neither of them are the problems of philosophy of perception and the problems of cognitive science of perception to be conflated. Such stance bears on the discussion of the nature of representation, and translates e.g. in the fact that for neither of them is it legitimate (although this is quite widerspread in both cognitive science and philosophy) to speak of perceivers’ sub-personal states (such as brain states) as being representations proper. For both of them while the scientific work on perception is underway, the philosophical work on the nature of perception and representation is still to be done.

        Because the McDowell-Travis debate takes place over a background of wide philosophical agreement it is hard to clearly identify the source of their divergences. This is why a triangulation is called for. In this article I will use Kant and Frege in order to pursue such triangulation – more specifically, I will refer to their respective views of judgement as I compare and contrast McDowell’s and Travis’ proposals on perception and representation. This is almost too obvious a choice since a reading of Kant pervades McDowell’s representationalism regarding perceptual experience, whereas Frege is the (current) central reference for Travis’ claim that perceptual experiences do not have


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        representational content1. What might add some interest to this triangulation is the fact that McDowell is not Kant, as Travis is not Frege: their readings of Kant and Frege are in fact quite controversial. They highlight and hide aspects of Kant and Frege, and this in itself is revealing of McDowell and Travis’ own positions and of the differences between them.

        Another cautionary note is called for before starting the triangulation. If we were to set out to simply compare Kant and Frege on judgement (i.e. not having McDowell and Travis in view) there clearly would be a lot at stake from the viewpoint of the history of philosophy and the history of logic. Questions regarding the nature and structure of judgements and propositions would be at stake, as well as the key notion of analyticity (a notion which completely changes shape from the hands of Kant to the hands of Frege2). But there is also something else, and in what follows I am going after that something else – this is what in my title appears as ‘apperception or environment’. As I will be presenting things, apperception is McDowell’s Kantian touchstone for judgement whereas environment is Travis’ Fregean touchstone. That is what I am mostly interested in in this article.


      2. Representation and ‘shared form’


        We know one thing from the start: in spite of background agreement, namely on the (negative) idea that a perceiver’s sub-personal cognitive states can not yet being thought of as representations proper, McDowell’s representationalist conception of perceptual experiencings (i.e. the idea that perceptual experiences themselves represent things as being a certain way) is simply at odds with Travis silence of the senses view of perception. But how can this disagreement be spelled out and better understood?

        Both McDowell and Travis address the question of perception as part of the general question of conceptual capacities of agents, i.e. the question of what being a thinker amounts to. Here is an example of McDowell doing it in his article “Conceptual capacities in perception”:


        «A zebra can be described, but that is no reason to suppose that the zebra itself has a form it shares with a description, or with the thought a description expresses.» (McDowell 2009b : 142)


        In order to understand this excerpt one has to have in mind the fact that some critics accuse McDowell of idealism precisely because they attribute to him the idea of a sharing of a form (the same form in world and thought); they see this as a ‘projection of subjectivity’. In this particular passage McDowell is denying such reading, by refusing that his view implies that a wordly object (a zebra) partakes of the form (in the quoted passage he is, by the way, discussing criticisms of his view by Michael Ayers). But if it is not a



        1 J.L.Austin was the main reference at the time of Travis’ 2004 Mind article The Silence of the Senses (Travis 2004/2013). This is the article most often cited as the locus of Travis’ position on perception (the position I will refer to as the ‘silence of the senses view of perception’).

        2 See Boyle forthcoming.

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        sharing of a form that he proposes, what is it then? Here is McDowell on perceptual experiencing. My visually experiencing this:


        or this…


        … is a taking-to-be, which then is (or not) endorsed by judgement. According to McDowell, perceivings (seemings) are claim-like, i.e they are claims-which-are-not yet- judgements. Now ‘claim’ is a term of Wilfrid Sellars, a term which McDowell thinks is ‘wrong in the letter but right in spirit’ – this is how he puts it in his article Avoiding the Myth of the Given (McDowell 2009a: 267). He uses the term to speak of experiences as intuitions. Here it is important to keep in mind that McDowell’s approach to perception is generally considered to have a dominating epistemological purpose. In the words of French philosopher Jocelyn Benoist, McDowell’s approach to perception has in fact an all too dominating epistemological purpose. Benoist speaks of ‘La misère du theoreticisme’, and describes it as ‘confondre perception et connaissance perceptive’ (Benoist 2013: 9) – conflating perception and perceptual knowledge. For McDowell, anyway, an account of perceptual experiencing is key in an account of knowledge in that we cannot understand the relations in virtue of which any judgement is warranted except as relations within the space of concepts (this is a core thesis of his 1994 book Mind & World). Only representations enter such relations, so the fact that perceptual experiences are representational is crucial for knowledge. But it is also the case that McDowell has reformulated his Mind and World position, the position according to which such representational content was propositional content. He is no longer commited to the idea of propositional content of experience; his article Avoiding the Myth of the Given is a particularly clear expression of the shift in his position (McDowell 2009a). He does not claim anymore that perceptual seemings have propositional content; he thinks that only judgements and assertions have propositional content. Yet he still claims that perceptual experiences have content: they have what he calls intuitional content. Now McDowell’s intuitional content is as an interpretation of Kant’s Anschauung. It is in fact the German word Anschauung that McDowell translates as a ‘having in view’ (McDowell 2009: 260). His current claim is that perceptual experiences have intuitional content; that is why they are representational.



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        Before the more recent exchanges and reformulations, McDowell representationalism had been a target for Travis, namely in his 2004 Mind article The silence of the senses (Travis 2004/2013). What Travis targeted then was the representationalists’ commitment to the determinateness of seemings. According to him such commitment necessarily came with representationalism concerning perceptual experience (McDowell was not the sole target of such criticism: so were e.g. Christopher Peacocke, Gilbert Harman, John Searle, Michael Tye or Colin McGinn). Yet for Travis (as McDowell himself put it once(and he is very good at formulating the opponent’s theses), if a rock might look like a crouching animal and also look like a rock this better not all be the content of the same perceptual experience (McDowell 2013b). In The silence of the senses what supported the objection to the representationalist’s commitment to the determinatness of seemings was, in a very Austinian vein, a linguistic analysis, i.e. an analysis of our ways of speaking of looks, seemings and appearances. The conclusion of the analysis was that there simply is not one single sense of looks available which would serve the purpose of the representationalist regarding perceptual experiences3. There are many senses of looks, or seemings, i.e. we speak of looks or appearances in many senses. In particular, there are (in Travis’ most recent 2013 terminology 4 ) perceptual (e.g. visual) appearances and conceptual appearances. Imagine that we say ‘The upper line looks longer’ as we look at the Müller-Lyer lines above. And then contrast it with the case where we say, watching TV on the night of the last French presidential election, and before knowing the full results: ‘It looks like Macron is going to win the election’. Travis point is that these are totally different phenomena, which should not be conflated. Yet a conflation of the many senses of looks and seemings is what Travis thinks is bound to happen when we speak of a perceptual experience as a particular seeming. We do as if there was one thing which is the one and one only way thinks look in a particular perceptual experience.

        Of course one might counter: but isn’t there really such a thing, at least sometimes? Let us consider again the Muller-Lyer illusion I introduced above. Should we not think that there is a look here (one and one only)? (A look which is not a conceptual look, but one objective visual look). Here is Benoist, quoting Merleau-Ponty, saying why we need not think that way:


        «dans l’illusion de Muller-Lyer les segments ne sont ni égaux ni non-égaux, c’est dans le monde objectif que cette alternative s’impose» (La Phenomenologie de la perception, in Le bruit du sensible, 92)


        According to Benoist, Merleau-Ponty means that in the objective world only (and thus with judgement) is there such an alternative. This is a position Benoist attributes to Travis (and agrees with). Anyway one point of Travis in The silence of the senses is that the variety of senses of looks and seemings precludes what the representationalist needs to get his case off the ground. Sticking to the non-determinateness of what one is presented


        3 Aimed against many representationalists, not just McDowell, who is special being a disjunctivist.

        4 Travis 2013 includes a rewritten version of the 2004 Mind article.

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        with, and thus to the idea that perception basically puts things in view is his suggestion; this is (part of what) the ‘silence of the senses’ view proposes. In other words, according to Travis, seeing is essentially unarticulated. But of course for McDowell this is The Myth of the Given. The interesting question for me here is how much does McDowell’s contrasting conviction (the conviction that seeing is essentially articulated) owe to Kant.


      3. McDowell’s Kant

        So I want to look at McDowell’s Kant, a reading which was very much influenced by Willfrid Sellars. Let us consider the Kant-inspired formulation of what constitutes the Myth of the Given: we succumb to the Myth of the Given by not acknowledging that the understanding is at play in sensibility itself. But what is it in Kant that interests McDowell, and what does it have to do with judgement?

        Although McDowell may care about transcendental arguments (see e.g. his “The disjunctive conception of experience as material for a transcendental argument”, in Engaged Intellect) (McDowell 2009d), and one might trace transcendental arguments to Kant, he does not care about Kant’s global transcendental framework, or his view of subjectivity as it includes, say, the difference between understanding and reason, or the topic of synthesis, or the Critique of Pure Reason inventory of the forms of propositional unity (i.e. the categories)). What he cares about is unity, the unity of judgement as it relates to intuition, hence the recurrent quote from the Critique of Pure Reason is


        «The same function which gives unity to the various representations in a judgement also gives unity to the mere synthesis of various representations in an intuition; and this unity in its most general expression, we entitle the pure concept of the understanding» (I. Kant, Critique of Pure Reason A 79/B104-105, § 10 Transcendental Analytics).


        We fall prey to the Myth of the Given by not acknowledging that only the unity of (content) of judgement could make for unity of content of intuitions.

        Notice that for Kant himself, judgement is in a very strong sense synthesis: a judgement is a mental act of synthesis, under a logical form, i.e. a form of discoursive synthesis (a category), which relates to the synthesis of Mannigfaltigkeit in intuition (Anschauung). It is because this mental act of judging is so crucial that we may e.g. defend (this is e.g. the thesis of Béatrice Longuenesse in her 1995 book on Kant and the capacity to judge5) that the capacity to judge (Vermögen zu urteilen) takes precedence over the categories as a fixed ‘table’ of forms (deduced from that of judgements). This (synthetic function of unity) is in fact decisive in Kant’s own framework not least because it is the link to the relation between judgement and consciousness. In §19 of the Transcendental Analytics we have Kant saying that a judgement is the way given Erkenntnisse, cognitions, are brought to the subjective unity of apperception, so to consciousness (die Art gegeben Erkentnisse zur objective Einheit der Apperzeption zu bringen, in his own words).


        5 Longuenesse 1995.


        84


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        Now McDowell’s own (officially, Kantian) story about experiencing and judging goes the following way. Experience reveals that things are thus and so; he calls this seemings. As we experience, capacities that belong to reason (he speaks of conceptual capacities) are actualized. They are actualized in the experiencing itself – but this does not mean we should think of perceptual experience as ’putting significances together’. All we need to acknowledge is that perceptual experiences are actualizations – not exercizes of conceptual capacities.

        But this means there is a potential for discoursive activity already there in intuition having its content – and for that to be so not all concepts need be at play, but some concepts have to. Yet content whose figuring in (such) knowledge is owed to the (further) recognitional capacity need not be part of the experience itself. Experiencing puts me in a position to know non-inferentially that e.g. what I saw (and then I did not have the concept of cardinal) was a cardinal:


        Although according to the view above experience has (conceptual) content, it does not have propositional content, nor need it include everything that the experience enables a subject to know non-inferentially. What McDowell means by saying that experiencings have intuitional content is that the unity of intuitional content is given; it is not a result of our putting significances together, as discoursive unity is. But it is not provided by sensibility alone either. This is what matters for McDowell. Seeing capacities of reason as actualized even in our unreflective perceptual awareness is, for McDowell, the best antidote to an intellectualistic conception of human rationality (2009: 271).

        Of course if in this anti-intellectualist view, seeings are seemings and thus (proto) judgings, one might wonder whether this is actually the best antidote to an intellectualist conception of human rationality (Hubert Dreyfus, himself a paladin of anti-intellectualism in philosophy and cognitive science, criticized McDowell, in the debate between them which took place a few years before his death6, for seeing us as ‘24hour rational animals’). But my point here is simply that in Kant himself what holds sensible and discursive unity together is the ‘I think’ of apperception. This in turn leads him to explore the originally synthetic unity of apperception – and such idea of originally synthetic unity of apperception is in we are already dealing with a view of consciousness, an idea of consciousness as synthesis. Notice that synthesis as in ‘consciousness as synthesis’, i.e. the synthetic unity of consciousness, is synthesis in a different sense than synthesis of concepts in a judgemen (namely it involves time). Be it as it may, it is unity that McDowell is


        6 Jonathan Shear 2013.

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        interested in in his use of Kant. He believes there is a task for unity, as Kant himself believed there was: the task of the unity of judgement. Need he go further, from judgement into the more obscure waters of the discussion of Kant’s position on consciousness and self-consciousness, a notably controversial topic? Maybe not. That is not what he is interested in primarily (and his own view on self-consciousness takes a clearly different route – let us not forget, e.g. that McDowell is an animalist concerning personal identity, which seems to be a position not easy to acomodate into any form of Kantianism). But just to finish sketching McDowell’s current view of judgement, what exactly is judgement, ‘the paradigmatic exercise of theoretical rationality’, as he calls it, in this picture of experience and intuition? Judging is, according to McDowell, making it explicit to oneself. Judgements are inner analogues to assertions. The capacity to judge is a capacity for spontaneity, for self-determination in the light of reasons recognized as such. This, for McDowell, is the most important trait of judgement. A knowledgeable perceptual judgement has its epistemic entitlement in the light of the subject’s experience (McDowell 2009: 257). This is what McDowell is most interested in: how experience represents things is not under one’s control (McDowell 2004: 11) but minimally it must be possible – in view of a particular seeming – to decide whether or not to judge that things are a certain way.


      4. Travis’ Frege

One key to understand the McDowell- Travis debate on perception is that whereas the problem of unity is a problem for McDowell, as he considers perception and judgement and Anshauung, it is a non-existing problem for Travis. Why is it so? In Travis’ Fregean (or, better, Frege-inspired) conception of judgement, a judgement is not an accomplishment, the accomplishment of a unity – there is no unity to be accomplished in judgement because there is no doing. A judgment takes place where there is room for being exposed to error, and that happens when being presented with (what there is) in an environment. ‘Environment’ in Travis terminology means ‘what there is to be met with’. A judgement is nothing like given Erkenntnisse (cognitions) being brought to the subjective unity of apperception. What a judgement is is rather a stance of an agent in an environment. In Frege Father of Disjunctivism Travis put it like this (Travis 2013: 89):


«Frege saw that we needed an environment, and thus perception, and not merely sensation, if there is something for logic to be about. Not that logic applies only to environmental thoughts but rather that only given an environment for thinkers can the notion of judgement gain a foothold»


Jerry Fodor once put his conception of mind in a nutshell by saying: no representations, no computations, no computations no mind. Here we have a starting motto for Travis’ conception of mind and thought: no environment, no judgement, no judgement, no logic (and if no logic then no thought). The reason for environment being so crucial is the fact that, for Travis, judgment involves a particular kind of correctness: truth. According to Frege, Truth is the very business of logic:



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«Der Logik kommt es zu, die Gesetze des Wahrseins zu erkennen» (Frege 1918/1993: ).


No truth, no logic. And Travis’ claim is that there is no such thing as this kind of correctness, i.e. truth, for the non-environmental:


«To be a judgement just is to be subject to a kind of correctness (i.e. truth), which is a particular kind of correctness (contrasting, for example, with being justified). Explaining what kind of correctness truth is and explaining what sort of attitude judgement is are one and the same enterprise» (Travis 2013: 71).


But Travis’ story is until now a story about logic, judgement and truth – how does it become a story about perception? And how is it possible that in this story Frege ends up not being a conceptualist regarding perception? Frege is usually, e.g. by Michael Dummett7, taken to have been, inasfar as he was concerned with perception, namely in The Thought, a conceptualist regarding perception. Admittedly Travis’ reading of Frege is very unorthodox. That is how the relevant passage of Der Gedanke that brings in the role of the non-sensible element nicht sinnliches, is usually read:


«Having impressions is not seeing things….It is necessary but not sufficient. Something nicht sinnliches has to be added. This is what unlocks the outer world. Without it each of us would be locked in an inner world. Besides the inner world we must distinguish the external world of sensible perceptible things. (but) To recognize any of these domains we need something not sensible» (Frege 1918/1997: 343) [In the original German: «Das Haben von Gesichtseindrücken ist zwar nötig zum Sehen der Dinge, aber nicht hinreichend. Was noch hinzukommen muß, ist nichts Sinnliches. Und dieses ist es doch gerade, was uns die Außenwelt aufschließt; denn ohne dieses Nichtsinnliche bliebe jeder in seiner Innenwelt eingeschlossen»]


This something nicht sinnliches is a what Frege calls a thought. In Travis’ terms, a thought always contains something reaching beyond the particular case, by means of which the particular case is presented as falling under a generality (etwas Allgemein). And nothing less than this, i.e. nothing less than something nicht sinnliches, a thought. makes for something truth-evaluable. Because it is precisely because something nicht sinnliches is for Frege involved in perception that Dummett sees Frege as a conceptualist regarding perception. How come Travis does not?

A further step in needed here. For Travis such step is a (Frege inspired) distinction between what the conceptual and the non-conceptual. The conceptual he identifies as ‘ways for things to be’. The non-conceptual are the particular ways things are. The conceptual is the domain of logic. And his point here is that logic is not sufficient for accounting for what he calls reason’s reach, i.e. for rationality. The idea is that such reach is reach to the non-conceptual, and such reach is to be done by judgement, and judgement



7 Dummett 1993.

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only. And so judgements are judgements done by agents, - which means that for Travis, Fregean thoughts properly considered will turn out to be abtractions form judgements).

Only through this further step are we then entiled to the following reading of

‘seeing’:


«But don’t we see that this flower has five petals? One can say that, but then one uses the word ‘see’ not in the sense of a bare experience involving light, but one means by this a connected thought and judgement.» Aber sehe ich denn nicht, dass diese Blume fünf Blumenblätter hat? Man kann das sagen, gebraucht aber das Wort ‘sehen’ dann nicht in dem Sinne des blossen Lichtempfindens, sondern man meint damit verbunden ein Denken und Urteilen»] (Frege 1897: 149)


Such reading of seeing is what Travis proposes as an alternative to McDowell’s Kantian reading of seeing as involving understanding in sensibility. One main point there is the role of judgement: judgment is involved in ‘reasons’s reach’, which is a reach from the conceptual to the non-conceptual. Of course form McDowell’s Kantian view point there is no such thing as the Travisian non-conceptual (the ways things are). Yet Travis’ account of representation as representing-as done by a thinker, or agent, is tied to this reaching from the conceptual to the non-conceptual as it is done by judgement. Representing-as is then, for Travis, a three party affair, or three-place relation: there is the representer, a thinker representing as a stretch of the non-conceptual (what is represented- as) as a way for something to be (so involving the conceptual, i.e. ‘ways for things to be’). There is no such thing as representation proper short of this third party affair (hence there are e.g. no sub-personal ‘representations’).

I will not get deeper into this view; its clearly ontological implications have to be substantiated. I just want to point out that in the McDowell-Travis debate Travis recruits Frege above all for thinking of how we even get something truth-evaluable into a picture of thinking and representing. And the idea is that what he terms ‘environment’ is needed for there to be accuracy conditions; this will do away with the ideia that experiencings themselves have anything like accuracy conditions. Experiencings do not have accuracy conditions, experiencings (just) bring our surroundings into view. Sight affords awareness of what is before the eyes, it puts opportunities on offer. Thought is a response to this; only thencan there be representing, as well as truth and falsity.


6. An ambiguity regarding appearances

I would like to finish by testing how McDowell’s Kant-inspired conception of judgement and Travis Frege-inspired conception of judgement position us, respectively, towards an ambiguity regarding the notion of appearances. This is an ambiguity which does matter for metaphysical discussions, i.e. when being a realist or an idealist concerning thought-world relations is at stake. I think there is a difference here, which comes out in McDowell’s and Travis’ respective (and apparently innocuous) linguistic preferences for ‘seemings’ and for ‘looks’.


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This is the ambiguity. When we speak of ‘appearances’ we might mean (1) an object as mere appearance, i.e. a seeming to me; (2) an object as the object of appearance as a phenomenon, my being appeared to.

Let us imagine Travis in his Austinian mode speaking of looks. Let us evoke Austin’s example of the soap lemon – let us say that there is a wax lemon in fornt of my eyes; it looks like a lemon, it looks like a real lemon; I think it is a lemon. So what? Are my senses misleading me? There is nothing wrong with my experience. There is a lemon in front of me, it is neither a hallucination, nor a real lemon: it is a wax imitation. The only mistake is in the thinking, the judging, there is nothing wrong in reality, or in my experiencing. Looks are of looks things, for anyone. This is sense 2 of appearances.

Now let us consider McDowell’s seemings, as claims (remember this is Sellars word, wrong in letter, right in spirit, McDowell says). He does speak of seemings as ‘acts of capacities of a subject in an environment’. But (think of the example of the Müller-Lyer illusion) there is the seeming and there is the deciding, the judging: the subject does not believe things are as they look.

Insofar as seemings are claims McDowell is being tempted to see them as seemings to a subject and there he is at risk of inherit a problem from Kant. The problem is the following. Considering senses 1 and 2 above, Kant would officialy, clearly chose the second sense of appearance: an object as the object of appearance is a phenomenon, one’s being appeared to. It is only with the idea that judging involves the unity of apperception that the first sense of appearance (an object as mere appearance is a seeming to me) sneaks in. But it is thus that Kant risks internalizing the object of representation in representation (I borrow the expression from Béatrice Longuenesse).

If a seeming is a judging and what judging is, is a bringing of representations under the unity of self-consciousness, then a seeming will be involved with self- consciousness. This is what I mean by internalizing the object of representation in representation.

Internalizing the object of representation in representation is obviously not the goal of McDowell (the opposite should be the case, if we think of his disjunctivism). But it is the shape of his appeal to Kantian unity, in the exercise of rational capacities, that makes him run that risk. And so their respective Kantian and Fregean allegiances when it comes to account for the nature of judgement makes a difference for what should be their common de-subjectivizing view of appearances, as fellow disjuntivists.

As for Travis Frege-inspired view of judgement, it is a deeply anti-Kantian view, and this is not because of any direct discussions about structure and analyticity, the kind of discussions logicians and historians of logic might be interested in when comparing Kant and Frege on judgement. The view is is deeply anti-Kantian because of the ‘environment- constraint for logic’ (to be) that it proposes, given the environment-constraint for judgement. Of course, in spite of the environment-constraint (which is a constraint for logic to be, i.e. for there to be logic), there is, in Travis, an idea about reason’s reach (to the non-conceptual) which contrasts with logic’s reach (which is reach within the conceptual). I am not claiming here that all this stands as it is. All I intend to stress is that in Travis view, in contrast to McDowell’s Kantian view, there is no role here for the ‘I think’ (as


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consciousness). There is no role for consciousness because there is no role for combination or synthesis, synthesis into a unity of concepts which are, as it were previously possessed. Neither McDowell’s nor Travis’ view of judgement is a descrition of psychological machinery at work. Still there is place for a difference between them as to what concepts are, which I will not go into here8. Suffice it to point out that for Frege as Travis reads him, in the ontology arising from his view of logic and language, concepts are at the level of Bedeutung, reference, not of Sinn, sense. In contrast McDowell’s Kantian way of seeing seemings as ‘representing’, as rational capacities operative in experiencing, inevitably involving apperception, things should be different.


Conclusion


I have been trying to get at the following. A view of perception is key for a picture of thought-world relations; having a clear picture of how perception and representation relate is particularly important there. Different conceptions of representation are very often simply invisible in current philosophy of perception when one starts off by discussing representational content and whether perception has it or not. One crucial aspect of the debate I analysed is that it concerns the nature of representation directly. In Kant and Frege there are explicit views of judgement, quite different ones, which go a long way in spelling out what one might mean by ‘representation’. Endorsing such views McDowell and Travis arrive at contrasting conceptions of perception, appearings and appearances, which I tried to analyse. Even if their debate on perception and representation goes on against a background of largely shared assumptions on how to do philosophy of perception, their respective Kantian and Fregean allegiances thus make a large difference. The contrast between a Kantian and a Fregean take on judgement, which I tried to express with the alternative ‘apperception and environment’, helps us come to terms with what the crucial questions concerning perception and representation are. That is an important step, not only for the philosophy of perception but also for assessing how a Kantian position fares within contemporary discussions in philosophy of mind and epistemology, and what kind of criticism it may be subject to.


References


8 Although I will not pursue the contrast between McDowell and Travis where it comes to ontology, I think there are illuminating differences there too. Travis thinks in terms of objects and concepts ‘after Frege’. The key point to take from Frege is the distinction between the conceptual and non-conceptual [or: between the conceptual and the historical] The conceptual: things being such and such; ways for things to be; ‘generalities’ The non-conceptual: things being as they are; not the sort of thing to which logic applies. McDowell has moved from his early focus on facts to more recent appeal to common sensibles (2009: 261) to grasp how some concpets have to be at play.

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Boyle, Matthew, forthcoming. “Kant on Logic and the Laws of Understanding” in Miguens & Travis, The Logical Alian At 20, Cambridge MA, Harvard UP.

Brogaard, Berit, 2014. Does Perception Have Content? Oxford, OUP.

Burge, Tyler, 2010. The Origins of Objectivity, Oxford, Oxford University Press. Dummett, Michael, 1993. Origins of Analytic Philosophy. Cambridge MA, Harvard UP. Frege, Gottlob, 1918/1993. “Der Gedanke”, Beiträge zur Philosophie des deutschen Idealismus, 2, pp. 58-77. In Logische Untersuchungen, hrsg. Günther Patzig, Göttingen, Vandenhoeck und Ruprecht, 1993. English translation: Beaney, Michael ed. 1997, The Frege Reader, London, Blackwell.

Frege, Gottlob, 1983. Logik 1897. In Nachgelassene Schriften, H. Hermes, F. Kambartel and F. Kaulbach eds, Hamburg, Felix Meiner, 1983, pp. 137-163.

Kant, Immanuel, 1929. Critique of Pure Reason. Trans. Norman Kemp Smith. London, Macmillan [edition quoted by J. McDowell]

McDowell, John, 1994. Mind and World. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. McDowell, John, 2009a. “Avoiding the Myth of the Given”, in Having the World in View, Cambridge MA, Harvard UP.

McDowell, John, 2009b. “Conceptual Capacities in Perception”, in Having the World in View, Cambridge MA, Harvard UP.

McDowell, John, 2009c. “Sensory Consciousness in Kant and Sellars”, in Having the World in View Cambridge MA, Harvard UP.

McDowell, John, 2009d. “The disjunctive conception of experience as material for a transcendental argument”, in The Engaged Intellect Cambridge MA, Harvard UP. McDowell, John, 2009e. “Experiencing the World”, in The Engaged Intellect, Cambridge MA, Harvard UP.

McDowell, John, 2013 b. Are the Senses Silent? (Response to Charles Travis), http://www.youtube. com/watch?v=fBQHEGg5JSo (Agnes Cuming Lecture II)

McDowell, John 2013, Perceptual experience: both relational and contentful, European Journal of Philosophy 21, 144-157 (Mark Sacks Lecture)

Miguens, Sofia, forthcoming 2017. “Les problèmes philosophiques de la perception”. In R. Moati & D. Cohen-Lévinas eds. Lire Le Bruit du sensible de Jocelyn Benoist.

Narboux, Jean-Philippe, “Voir, dire, et dire voir : McDowell, Travis, Clarke”, in Lire L’esprit et le monde de McDowell, C. Alsaleh & A. Le Goff (éds.), Paris, Vrin, 2012, p.13-35. Suivi d’une réponse par John McDowell, p.249-255.

Shear, Jonathan ed., 2013 Mind, Reason and Being in the World – the McDowell-Dreyfus debate. London, Routledge.

Travis, Charles, (2013 / 2004). “The Silence of the Senses”, in Travis 2013, Perception – Essays After Frege, Oxford, OUP, pp. 23-58. Initially published in Mind, 113 (449), pp.59-

94. Extensively revised.

Travis, Charles, 2012. “While Under the Influence”, in Miguens and Preyer 2012,

Consciousness and Subjectivity, Frankfurt, Ontos Verlag.

Travis, Charles, 2013. “Frege, Father of Disjunctivism”, in Travis, Perception – Essays After Frege, Oxford, OUP, pp. 59-89


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Travis, Charles, 2013. “Unlocking the Outer World”, in Travis, Perception – Essays After Frege, Oxford, OUP, pp. 59-89

Travis, Charles, 2014. “The Preserve of Thinkers”, in Berit Brogaard (ed) Does Perception Have Content?, Oxford, Oxford University Press.

Travis, Charles, forthcoming. “The Move: the Divide, the Myth and Its Dogma”, in Johan Gersel, Rasmus Thybo Jensen, Morten S. Thaning and Soren Overgaard, (eds), In the Light of Experience: Essays on Reasons and Perception, Oxford, Oxford University Press.


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El (no)-conceptualismo de Kant y los juicios de gusto Kant’s (Non)-conceptualism and judgments of taste MATÍAS OROÑO

Universidad de Buenos Aires /CONICET, Argentina

Resumen


Hay una tendencia dentro del debate sobre el conceptualismo y el no-conceptualismo kantiano a pasar por alto la estética de Kant. El objetivo central de este artículo es ofrecer un análisis sobre la interpretación no-conceptualista de Heidemann en torno a la teoría kantiana de los juicios de gusto. En primer lugar, se discuten los argumentos que Heidemann ofrece acerca del carácter cognitivo de los juicios de gusto. En segundo lugar, se analiza el supuesto no-conceptualismo implicado en la experiencia estética de lo bello. En tercer lugar, se ofrece una interpretación alternativa sobre el vínculo entre la teoría de Kant sobre los juicios de gusto y el debate en torno al (no)- conceptualismo. Se defiende la tesis según la cual los juicios de gusto no poseen valor cognitivo, pero permiten comprender aspectos centrales de la teoría kantiana del conocimiento.


Palabras clave


Kant; conceptualismo; no-conceptualismo; juicios de gusto


Abstract


There is a tendency within the debate on Kantian conceptualism and nonconceptualism to overlook the importance of Kant’s aesthetics. The main goal of this paper is to offer an analysis of Heidemann’s nonconceptualist interpretation of the Kantian theory about judgments of taste. First, I discuss Heidemann’s arguments about the cognitive character of judgments of taste. Secondly, I analyse the supposed nonconceptual character involved in the aesthetic experience of beauty. Third, I offer an alternative interpretation of the link between Kant’s theory of judgments of taste and the debate about (non)-conceptualism. I defend the thesis that judgments of taste lack cognitive value, but they allow us to understand central aspects of the Kantian theory of knowledge.


Key Words


Kant; conceptualism; nonconceptualism; judgments of taste



[email protected]


[Recibido: 15 de octubre 2017

Aceptado: 30 de octubre 2017]


Matías Oroño


1. Introducción

En las últimas décadas ha cobrado gran relevancia en el ámbito de la filosofía de la mente y la teoría del conocimiento de raigambre anglo-americana un debate que gira en torno a la naturaleza del conocimiento y su vínculo con los conceptos. Se trata de una disputa que presenta muchísimos matices y temas de discusión. No obstante, es posible indicar dos posiciones extremas entre sus participantes, a saber: el conceptualismo y el no- conceptualismo. A grandes rasgos, el conceptualismo puede ser definido como la posición según la cual un sujeto cognoscente puede tener representaciones de objetos sólo si posee los conceptos adecuados mediante los cuales puede especificar el contenido de sus representaciones. Por su parte, en el marco del no-conceptualismo se sostiene que las representaciones de objetos no presuponen necesariamente conceptos por medio de los cuales pueda ser especificado el contenido de lo que es representado.1 En otros términos, lo que se discute en el marco de este debate es si los conceptos cumplen un rol imprescindible en nuestro acceso cognitivo al mundo o si es posible explicar el conocimiento sin apelar a actividades de tipo conceptual. Este debate se ha trasladado a la discusión sobre la teoría kantiana del conocimiento. Algunos intérpretes pretenden encontrar en la filosofía crítica kantiana las raíces del conceptualismo contemporáneo.2 En contraste con esta línea de interpretación, otros autores pretenden hallar en Kant argumentos a favor del no- conceptualismo.3 Naturalmente, existen posiciones moderadas del conceptualismo o del no-conceptualismo en la filosofía teórica de Kant.4

Ahora bien, la gran mayoría de los participantes de este debate en torno al pensamiento de Kant se ha centrado en el análisis de textos donde se desarrollan explícitamente cuestiones vinculadas al problema del conocimiento (e.g. KrV, Prol.). Por su parte, la KU tiende a ser ignorada en el marco del debate sobre el (no)-conceptualismo. Si bien han surgido diversos estudios que analizan, por ejemplo, la relación entre la teoría del conocimiento y los juicios estéticos reflexionantes, en ellos no se ha considerado el problema referido al (no)- conceptualismo.5

El presente trabajo tiene como objetivo central efectuar un análisis de la reciente interpretación que D. Heidemann ha ofrecido sobre los juicios de gusto en la KU. En su trabajo titulado “Kant’s Aesthetic Nonconceptualism” el autor sostiene que los juicios sobre lo bello tal como son presentados en la KU proveen herramientas que permiten atribuirle a Kant una posición no-conceptualista sobre la naturaleza del conocimiento. En


1 Sigo en este punto la caracterización ofrecida por Heidemann (2016, p. 121).

2 Algunos intérpretes que ofrecen una lectura de corte conceptualista sobre la teoría kantiana del conocimiento y de la mente son: Bauer (2012); Bowman (2011); Falkenstein (1995); Geiger (2003); Ginsborg (2008); Gomes (2014); Gunther (2003); McDowell (1994), (2009); Schlicht (2011); Wenzel (2005).

3 Notables defensores del no-conceptualismo kantiano son: Allais (2009); Birrer (2016); De Sá Pereira (2013); Grüne (2009), (2011); Hanna (2005), (2006), (2008), (2016); Peláez Cedrés (2013); van Mazijk (2014); Williamson (2007).

4 Un ejemplo de este tipo de posiciones moderadas se halla en: Matherne (2015).

5 Algunos trabajos que han analizado diversos vínculos entre la teoría del conocimiento y la estética kantiana tal como aparece en la KU son: Ginsborg (2006), (1990); Hughes (2007); Kalar (2006); Kirwan (2004);

Makkreel (2006); Oroño (2011); Kukla (2006).

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un primer momento, analizaré y evaluaré los distintos argumentos de Heidemann. En segundo lugar, postularé mi propia interpretación sobre los juicios de gusto en el marco del debate sobre el no-conceptualismo.


2.1 La interpretación de D. Heidemann sobre los juicios de gusto

Heidemann intenta demostrar que la KU contiene desarrollos teóricos que permitirían decidir si la teoría del conocimiento de Kant representa un modo de no-conceptualismo. El autor centra su atención en el análisis de la teoría sobre los juicios de gusto y señala que en ellos se revela un particular modo de conocimiento (cognition) que no reposa sobre actividades conceptuales.6 El intérprete añade que la “apreciación cognitiva de lo bello” (the cognitive appreciation of the beautiful) no se deriva de un procedimiento de la mente gobernado por reglas conceptuales, sino que se expresa a través de juicios de gusto (Cfr. Heidemann 2016, p. 118). Ciertamente, resulta llamativa la expresión “apreciación cognitiva” (cognitive appreciation) que el autor utiliza para referirse al enjuiciamiento de algo como bello. Recordemos que ya en las primeras líneas de la “Analítica de lo bello” Kant indica que:


Para discernir si algo es bello o no lo es, no referimos la representación por medio del entendimiento al objeto, con fines de conocimiento […]. El juicio de gusto no es, entonces, un juicio de conocimiento y, por consiguiente, tampoco lógico, sino estético; se entiende por éste aquel cuyo fundamento de determinación no puede ser de otro modo sino subjetivo. (AA V: 203)7


Es decir, la caracterización kantiana del juicio de gusto implica una clara delimitación entre los juicios estéticos y los juicios de conocimiento. Por este motivo, resulta algo confusa la expresión “the cognitive appreciation of the beautiful” (Heidemann 2016, p.118). Considero que hubiese sido preferible la expresión “apreciación estética de lo bello”. Con el fin de avanzar en el análisis de la propuesta interpretativa de Heidemann, voy a asumir que el autor tenía en mente el significado de esta última expresión. A continuación, el intérprete explicita que la “cualidad cognitiva” (cognitive quality) de los juicios es una precondición necesaria de la no-conceptualidad (Cfr. Heidemann 2016, p. 120). Es decir, un juicio de gusto puede ser no-conceptual sólo bajo el requisito de poseer un carácter cognitivo (si brinda algún tipo de conocimiento). El autor admite que en el marco de la KrV nada puede contar como conocimiento objetivo si no es a través del juicio y de la cooperación entre conceptos e intuiciones, pero considera que dentro de una estructura judicativa es posible hallar elementos que “[…] conservan su naturaleza no-


6 Heidemann (2016, pp. 139-143) también analiza la doctrina sobre la creación artística implicada en la doctrina kantiana sobre el “genio” (AA 5: 307 ss.). Por motivos de extensión, aquí sólo me ocuparé de su análisis referido a los juicios de gusto.

7 Cito la KU siguiendo la traducción de Pablo Oyarzún (véanse los datos completos en las referencias bibliográficas). En relación con el término Gemüt he modificado la traducción, ya que Oyarzún traduce “ánimo” y yo he adoptado el término “mente”. Sobre las dificultades inherentes a la traducción del término Gemüt puede consultase el trabajo de Valério Rohden (1993, pp. 61-75).

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conceptual en términos de una representación singular […]” (Heidemann 2016, p. 123). En otros términos, Heidemann sostiene que incluso aceptando la necesaria cooperación entre intuiciones y conceptos a través del juicio, sería posible conservar una referencia intuitiva (en términos de una representación singular) que brinda algún tipo de conocimiento sobre los objetos. Esta necesidad de ubicar las pretensiones cognitivas en el nivel de una estructura judicativa sería igualmente válida en el análisis del supuesto carácter cognitivo de los juicios de gusto. En suma, la necesaria actividad judicativa presente en todo conocimiento (dentro del enfoque kantiano) no parece ser un impedimento para que Heidemann identifique contenidos no-conceptuales –es decir, representaciones que conlleven una referencia a los objetos, sin presuponer la actividad conceptual—.

Contra este modo de argumentar quisiera señalar que efectivamente la intuición jamás se reduce al concepto en el marco del idealismo kantiano. Es cierto que sólo las intuiciones se refieren a los objetos de manera inmediata y lo hacen de manera singular, mientras que los conceptos sólo pueden pensar sus objetos de manera mediata y universal. Pero esto no significa que la referencia inmediata y singular que opera al nivel de la intuición sensible pueda prescindir de la actividad conceptual (i.e. el operar de las categorías y los conceptos empíricos). 8 Considero que una de las tesis centrales de la filosofía crítica kantiana consiste precisamente en subrayar la necesaria cooperación entre conceptos e intuiciones para dar cuenta del conocimiento. Ello no significa que la intuición pierda su carácter no- conceptual, sino que señala que ella sola, sin la cooperación de los conceptos, es insuficiente para referirse cognitivamente a un objeto.9 Ahora bien, pese a este desacuerdo inicial entre la posición no-conceptualista de Heidemann y mi manera de comprender la teoría sobre el conocimiento desarrollada por Kant, creo que puede ser fructífero analizar en detalle los argumentos que ofrece este intérprete. Considero que el análisis del trabajo de Heidemann puede enriquecer nuestra comprensión sobre la potencialidad de los juicios de gusto en el marco del debate sobre el (no)-conceptualismo kantiano.

La estrategia de este intérprete consta de dos pasos. En un primer momento, se ocupa de fundamentar la idea de que los juicios de gusto poseen carácter cognitivo, pues sólo bajo esa condición podríamos incluirlos en el debate sobre el (no)-conceptualismo. Es decir, si se pretende identificar en los juicios de gusto un modo de conocimiento no-conceptual, debemos hallarnos ante juicios que poseen algún tipo de carácter cognitivo. En un segundo momento, el autor señala que los juicios de gusto poseen un carácter no-conceptual –i.e. constituyen un modo de conocimiento que no se encuentra mediado por conceptos—. A continuación, reconstruiré críticamente cada uno de estos pasos argumentativos.


8 No analizo aquí en que sentido los conceptos empíricos constituyen condiciones que posibilitan la referencia a los objetos. Sobre esta cuestión puede consultarse el trabajo de Jáuregui (2014), quien señala que si bien los conceptos empíricos no constituyen condiciones de posibilidad de la experiencia, son no obstante, condiciones de inteligibilidad de los rasgos empíricos particulares que la actividad categorial deja sin determinar.

9 Aquí sólo me limito a mencionar esta cuestión, pues una defensa de la posición que indico exigiría un análisis de textos kantianos pertenecientes a su filosofía teórica, lo cual excede los límites de este trabajo.

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    1. Sobre el pretendido carácter cognitivo de los juicios de gusto

      Heidemann ofrece tres argumentos mediante los cuales intenta poner de relieve la cualidad cognitiva de los juicios sobre lo bello. Con el primer argumento, señala que las categorías se encuentran operando en dos sentidos en los juicios de gusto, a saber: a) en el juicio “esta flor es bella” (KU, AA 05: 281) podríamos concentrarnos en la flor en tanto objeto físico ordinario y determinarla según las categorías. Esto implicaría hacer abstracción de la evaluación estética y depositar el énfasis en el objeto dado de manera intuitiva y en sus propiedades. (Cfr. Heidemann 2016, p. 124); b) el predicado de una cosa como “bella” reposa únicamente sobre el “sentimiento de placer y displacer” (KU, AA 05: 209). Y este sentimiento sólo puede ser concebido de acuerdo con un ordenamiento categorial, aunque “sin un concepto del objeto” (KU, AA 05: 217), (Cfr. Heidemann 2016, p. 125). Aquí el autor parece referirse al libre juego entre la imaginación y el entendimiento que desempeña un rol crucial en la teoría kantiana sobre los juicios de gusto, pero por el momento no explica en qué sentido la evaluación estética implica una determinación categorial (aunque diferente a la que presentan los juicios lógicos de conocimiento).

      En relación con el primer sentido de este operar categorial en los juicios de gusto, podemos indicar que se trata de una indicación carente de relevancia, pues al hacer abstracción de la evaluación estética ya no estamos considerando el juicio de gusto, sino que en ese caso nos encontraríamos pensando el objeto desde la perspectiva de los juicios lógicos de conocimiento. Por tanto, considero que este primer sentido del supuesto operar categorial no ofrece ningún argumento a favor del carácter cognitivo del juicio de gusto, ya que simplemente se señala que a partir del juicio estético “la flor es bella” es posible colocar entre paréntesis la evaluación estética. Gracias a esta puesta en suspenso del enjuiciamiento estético es posible considerar la flor desde el punto de vista del conocimiento y formular juicios como “la flor posee cuatro pétalos” o “la flor posee sustancias tóxicas para el organismo humano”. Con respecto al segundo sentido del operar categorial en los juicios de gusto, el autor lamentablemente no explica en este punto de su trabajo en qué sentido debemos entender tal determinación categorial.

      El segundo argumento que encontramos en el trabajo de Heidemann a favor del carácter cognitivo de los juicios de gusto indica que la comunicabilidad universal de nuestro conocimiento debe ser supuesta en toda lógica y en todo principio de conocimiento que no sea escéptico (Cfr. KU, AA 05: 239). En este sentido, el autor retoma la idea kantiana según la cual si los conocimientos y los juicios no fuesen universalmente comunicables, no podrían elevarse por encima de los meros juegos subjetivos pertenecientes a nuestras facultades de representación, lo cual conduciría al escepticismo (Cfr. KU, AA 05: 238). Heidemann concluye que los juicios de gusto y los juicios de conocimiento comparten la característica de la universal comunicabilidad, pues ambos se refieren a los objetos sobre los cuales se expresan (Cfr. Heidemann 2016, p. 125).

      Según mi evaluación, este segundo argumento también adolece de un serio defecto, pues ciertamente los juicios de gusto y los juicios de conocimiento comparten la característica de la universal comunicabilidad. En caso contrario, Kant caería en una posición escéptica. Por un lado, si negáramos la universal comunicabilidad en el plano de los juicios de


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      conocimiento, nos hallaríamos ante una suerte de escepticismo sobre las posibilidades de conocer objetos externos a nuestra mente. Por su parte, si renunciáramos a la universal comunicabilidad de aquello que expresan los juicios estéticos, no podríamos fundamentar el gusto sobre principios transcendentales y el gusto se reduciría al ámbito meramente privado. Ahora bien, esto no significa que la universal comunicabilidad implique en ambos casos una referencia a los objetos sobre los cuales se expresan respectivamente los juicios. Veamos esto con un ejemplo. En el juicio lógico de conocimiento “esta flor tiene cuatro pétalos” se comunica de manera universal una propiedad sobre la flor. En contraste con ello, mediante el juicio “esta flor es bella” no se comunica ninguna propiedad sobre el objeto flor, sino sobre un estado de la propia mente que Kant denomina “sentimiento estético” y es ocasionado por el libre juego entre la imaginación y el entendimiento, frente a la contemplación de la flor. Por tanto, en el caso de un juicio de gusto la universal comunicabilidad no implica una referencia al objeto sobre el cual se expresa tal juicio, sino sobre el estado mental del sujeto.

      El tercer argumento de Heidemann a favor del carácter cognitivo de los juicios de gusto subraya que la universal comunicabilidad de los juicios de gusto implica la validez universal (tal como sucede como en los juicios lógicos de conocimiento) (Cfr. Heidemann 2016, p. 125-26). Considero que en este argumento Heidemann parece confundir “validez universal” con “pretensión de validez universal”. Es decir, una lectura detenida de la teoría kantiana sobre los juicios de gusto permite concluir que tenemos razones para esperar que otros sujetos estén de acuerdo con nuestro juicio sobre algo como bello, pues el fundamento de nuestro juicio de gusto reposa sobre facultades cognitivas que son universalmente válidas. Pero esta pretensión de validez universal bajo ningún punto de vista se identifica con la validez universal que posee un juicio de conocimiento.

      A partir de estos tres argumentos, Heidemann concluye que si bien los juicios de gusto no constituyen juicios lógicos de conocimiento, son cognitivos en varios aspectos y por tanto, son capaces, en principio, de exhibir contenido no-conceptual (Cfr. Heidemann 2016, p. 126). Por los motivos que ya he señalado los tres argumentos que ofrece el autor presentan serias dificultades para establecer de manera exitosa el carácter cognitivo de los juicios de gusto.

      Suponiendo que los juicios de gusto aportan algo al conocimiento (lo cual no ha sido demostrado por Heidemann), veamos en el siguiente apartado en qué sentido poseerían un carácter no-conceptual.


    2. Sobre el pretendido carácter no-conceptual de los juicios de gusto

Tras haber presentado argumentos a favor de la supuesta cualidad cognitiva de los juicios de gusto, el siguiente paso de Heidemann consiste en demostrar que ellos constituyen un lugar apropiado para identificar una posición no-conceptualista en la teoría kantiana del conocimiento.

En primer lugar, Heidemann cita dos pasajes de la “Analítica de lo bello”. El primero de ellos corresponde al segundo momento de los juicios de gusto, donde Kant afirma: “Lo


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bello es aquello que, sin conceptos, es representado como objeto de una complacencia universal” (KU, AA 05: 211). El segundo pasaje es la definición deducida del cuarto momento: “Bello es lo que es conocido [erkannt] sin conceptos como objetos de una complacencia necesaria” (KU, AA 05: 240). Según Heidemannn, ambos pasajes estarían indicando mediante la expresión adverbial “sin conceptos” el carácter no-conceptual de los juicios de gusto. Con el fin de profundizar en el sentido del uso de la expresión “sin conceptos”, el intérprete desarrolla diferentes líneas argumentales presentes en la teoría kantiana sobre los juicios estéticos sobre lo bello.

En una primera línea argumentativa, Heidemann sostiene que la clave del no- conceptualismo en la estética de Kant se encuentra en la noción de sentimiento (Gefühl). En los juicios lógicos de conocimiento el sujeto refiere las representaciones a un objeto. En contraste con ello, en los juicios estéticos las representaciones son referidas al sentimiento de placer y displacer. De este modo, a través de un juicio de gusto no se designa nada en el objeto, sino que el sujeto se siente a sí mismo tal como es afectado por la representación. Por ello, el fundamento determinante subjetivo del juicio de gusto es el sentimiento de placer (Gefühl der Lust) (Cfr. KU, AA 05:204 ss.). Heidemann considera que el sentimiento de placer y displacer es el contenido no-conceptual de la “cognición estética” (Cfr. Heidemann 2016, p. 129). Según este intérprete, un contenido mental es no- conceptual sólo si es “fenomenal, intencional y representacional”. Según él, el sentimiento de placer implicado en los juicios sobre lo bello cumple con las tres características: es fenomenal en la medida en que consiste en un estado mental que se le presenta al sujeto de una determinada manera; es intencional, puesto que posee una referencia gracias a la cual el sujeto se siente a sí mismo, y por último, es representacional, ya que en tal estado el sujeto representa la relación armónica entre imaginación y entendimiento (Cfr. Heidemann 2016, p. 129)

Por mi parte, considero que el aspecto más cuestionable de esta interpretación radica en la atribución de carácter representacional al juicio de gusto. En el juicio de gusto no hay una representación de la armonía entre la imaginación y el entendimiento, tal como lo expresa Heidemann. La armonía de las facultades se halla a la base del sentimiento estético, pero esto no significa que el sentimiento represente la armonía de las facultades. Quizás sea conveniente precisar el significado preciso del término sentimiento (Gefühl) en la filosofía crítica kantiana. En el Diccionario de la filosofía crítica kantiana podemos leer que el sentimiento:


Es aquella capacidad del sujeto de ser receptivo para los efectos meramente subjetivos de las representaciones. Esos efectos no contienen nada que pueda servir para el conocimiento del objeto. Este sentimiento pertenece a la sensibilidad. (Caimi et. al. 2017, p. 436).


En el mismo Diccionario, la entrada “Sentimiento de placer y displacer” nos indica que este último es:


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La receptividad del sujeto, que hace posible que este sea determinado por ciertas representaciones a la conservación o al rechazo del estado en el que tiene esas representaciones. […] (Caimi et. al. 2017, p. 436)


Es decir, el sentimiento es una capacidad, una receptividad que supone ciertas representaciones, pero él mismo no es una representación de un objeto, ni de las facultades de conocimiento que posibilitan el estado mental. En suma, el sentimiento no posee un carácter representacional, tal como es defendido por Heidemann. Por este motivo, considero que si bien el juicio de gusto expresa un sentimiento (y este no se encuentra determinado conceptualmente), ello no implica que el sentimiento adquiera un carácter no- conceptual.

En una segunda línea argumentativa, Heidemann subraya que el juicio estético de gusto se basa en una experiencia en primera persona y no puede reposar sobre fuentes heterónomas. En la “Deducción de los juicios estéticos puros” Kant sostiene lo siguiente: “El gusto tiene simplemente pretensión de autonomía. Hacer de juicios ajenos el fundamento de determinación del propio sería heteronomía” (KU, AA 05: 282). Según Heidemann esto implica que la cognición estética presupone esencialmente la experiencia en primera persona del objeto de la evaluación estética. Según este intérprete, esto significa que no hay conceptos mediante los cuales pueda acceder al sentimiento de otra persona, lo cual es una prueba a favor del no-conceptualismo (Cfr. Heidemann 2016, pp. 134-35).

A mi modo de ver, que el juicio de gusto sea fundamento de una estética autónoma y remita a una suerte de experiencia que se sólo se puede llevar a cabo en primera persona es un motivo insuficiente para inferir el pretendido carácter no-conceptual. Efectivamente, el enjuiciamiento “esta flor es bella” supone una experiencia en primera persona, pues a partir del relato de una tercera persona no surge necesariamente mi propio juicio acerca de la belleza de la flor. Pero esta necesidad de acceder al “objeto estético” (en nuestro ejemplo, la flor) en primera persona y no mediante una descripción conceptual, no significa que el enjuiciamiento de algo como bello cuente como un argumento a favor del no-conceptualismo, pues como he indicado anteriormente, en este tipo de enjuiciamiento no hay referencia a ningún objeto. El juicio de gusto tan solo expresa un sentimiento subjetivo, pero no es una representación de un objeto (ya sea que este se encuentre en el sentido externo o en el mero sentido interno).

En suma, el sentimiento estético (en tanto producto del libre juego de las facultades) es el fundamento subjetivo determinante del juicio de gusto. Según la interpretación de Heidemann, se trata de un sentimiento que es fenomenal, intencional y representacional de un estado de la mente, pero él no es conceptual (Cfr. Heidemann 2016, p. 138). Como ya he señalado, en este punto el argumento de Heidemann fracasa en su intento por caracterizar al juicio de gusto como no-conceptual, pues no logra demostrar que el sentimiento en tanto “contenido no-conceptual” del juicio de gusto sea poseedor del carácter representacional, que según él mismo, es un requisito de la no-conceptualidad.



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3. Una propuesta alternativa sobre los juicios de gusto y el (no)-conceptualismo

Hasta aquí he señalado los motivos por los cuales no estoy de acuerdo con la interpretación no-conceptualista de Heidemann sobre los juicios de gusto. Sin embargo, creo que la teoría kantiana sobre lo bello puede arrojar cierta luz sobre el debate en torno al (no)- conceptualismo. En este sentido, considero crucial la explicación kantiana del libre juego y su vínculo con lo que se denomina conocimiento en general.

En el §9 de la KU Kant se pregunta “[…] si en el juicio de gusto el sentimiento de placer antecede al enjuiciamiento del objeto o éste a aquél” (KU, AA 05: 216). Inmediatamente, añade que “[…] la solución de este problema es la clave de la crítica del gusto y, por eso, merecedora de toda atención” (KU, AA 05: 216). En primer término, Kant señala que el fundamento del juicio de gusto no puede ser el placer, pues si este fuese el caso, entonces nos hallaríamos ante el mero sentimiento de agrado, cuya validez es privada. Dado que el juicio de gusto posee una pretensión de validez universal no puede basarse sobre un sentimiento cuya validez es relativa a cada sujeto. Por este motivo, Kant sostiene que el fundamento de los juicios de gusto es la universal aptitud para comunicar el estado de la propia mente (Cfr. KU, AA 05: 217). Así pues, el primer paso de la argumentación del §9 nos indica que el fundamento del juicio de gusto es la universal comunicabilidad.

En un segundo paso, Kant investiga sobre qué reposa esta universal comunicabilidad. Aquello que fundamenta esta universal comunicabilidad no puede basarse en conceptos, pues en tal caso el juicio no sería estético. En el siguiente pasaje se expresa esta cuestión:


Si el fundamento de determinación del juicio acerca de esta universal comunicabilidad de la representación ha de ser pensado como meramente subjetivo, a saber, sin un concepto del objeto, no puede ser él, entonces, otro que el estado de la mente que se encuentra en la relación de las fuerzas representacionales entre sí, en cuanto que ellas refieren una representación dada al conocimiento en general [Erkenntnis überhaupt]. (KU, AA 05: 217)


Es decir, el fundamento de la universal comunicabilidad es el estado de la mente que se encuentra en la relación de las fuerzas representacionales, en la medida en que ellas refieren una representación al conocimiento en general. Kant aclara a continuación que este estado de la mente es el de un libre juego, pues “ningún concepto determinado” (kein bestimmter Begriff) (KU, AA 05: 217) limita la relación de las potencias cognoscitivas “a una regla particular de conocimiento” (auf eine besondere Erkenntnisregel) (KU, AA 05: 217). Aquí se observa el contraste entre el conocimiento en general (Erkenntnis überhaupt) y el conocimiento particular. Mientras que el primero no supone ningún concepto determinado, el segundo se basa en reglas particulares de conocimiento. Para entender con mayor detalle esta concepción de conocimiento en general debemos observar la propia formulación de Kant:


[…] a una representación por la cual es dado un objeto, para que de ella resulte, en general un conocimiento, pertenecen la imaginación, para la composición de lo múltiple de la intuición, y el entendimiento, para la unidad del concepto que unifica las

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representaciones. Este estado del libre juego de las facultades de conocimiento […] debe poder comunicarse universalmente […]

La universal comunicabilidad subjetiva del modo de representación en un juicio de gusto, dado que debe tener lugar sin suponer un concepto determinado, no puede ser otra cosa que el estado de la mente en el libre juego de la imaginación y el entendimiento (en la medida que estos concuerdan entre sí como es requerible para un conocimiento en general) […] (KU, AA 05: 217-18).


En estos pasajes observamos que aquello que es universalmente comunicable en el juicio de gusto es el estado de la mente en el libre juego de la imaginación y el entendimiento. Esta armonía entre las facultades es lo que se requiere para un conocimiento en general. Estas facultades que están supuestas en todo conocimiento son la imaginación (para componer el múltiple intuitivo) y el entendimiento (el cual brinda unidad mediante conceptos). Así pues, el conocimiento en general no supone un concepto determinado, pues si lo hiciera el conocimiento no sería general sino particular y el libre juego se vería impedido. Me interesa subrayar un aspecto: el conocimiento en general supone dos facultades que se vinculan entre sí: la imaginación y el entendimiento. Así pues, es cierto que lo bello place sin concepto, en la medida en que no supone un concepto determinado del objeto, sino que se fundamenta sobre la universal comunicabilidad de un estado de la mente (el del libre juego de las facultades que es requerible para un conocimiento en general). Pero esto no implica la ausencia absoluta del entendimiento y de los conceptos, pues el conocimiento en general supone una concordancia entre intuiciones y conceptos (aunque no un concepto determinado).

En suma, la noción kantiana de conocimiento en general que encontramos a la base de la crítica de gusto constituye un momento crucial para responder a la pregunta sobre el (no)- conceptualismo en la teoría kantiana del conocimiento. Dado que todo conocimiento en general supone la armonía entre una facultad de los conceptos (el entendimiento) y una facultad que compone lo múltiple intuitivo (la imaginación), podemos concluir que todo conocimiento supone la colaboración entre una facultad conceptual y un material intuitivo dado. De esta manera, el libre juego entre la imaginación y el entendimiento que es requerible para todo conocimiento en general revela que Kant está lejos de ser no- conceptualista. Es cierto que lo bello no reposa sobre conceptos determinados. No obstante, un análisis detenido nos muestra que su teoría sobre los juicios de gusto no nos conduce a una posición no-conceptualista. Por el contrario, los fundamentos del juicio de gusto revelan que todo conocimiento supone la participación y colaboración necesaria de intuiciones y conceptos.


4. Conclusiones

En este trabajo he analizado y evaluado la interpretación no-conceptualista que Heidemann ofrece sobre la teoría kantiana de los juicios de gusto. He señalado que la estrategia de este intérprete fracasa en los dos momentos de su argumentación. Esto me permite concluir que


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los juicios de gusto no poseen carácter cognitivo y tampoco constituyen una prueba a favor del no-conceptualismo.

Asimismo, he indicado que la solución a la clave de la crítica del gusto revela aspectos de la teoría kantiana del conocimiento que se sitúan lejos del no-conceptualismo, pues todo conocimiento en general supone la colaboración entre entendimiento e imaginación, es decir, entre conceptos e intuiciones. Es cierto que el placer estético implicado en los juicios sobre lo bello no reposa sobre conceptos determinados. Sin embargo, se trata de un modo de enjuiciamiento estético que se fundamenta sobre una concepción de la mente en la cual todo conocimiento en general supone la colaboración necesaria de conceptos e intuiciones sensibles.


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      105

      CON-TEXTOS KANTIANOS.

      International Journal of Philosophy

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      Doi: 10.5281/zenodo.1095155


      La epistemología kantiana y el contenido no conceptual


      Kantian Epistemology and Non-Conceptual Content


      JUAN JOSÉ ROSALES SÁNCHEZ


      Universidad Yachay Tech, Ecuador


      Resumen

      John McDowell sostiene que el contenido de la experiencia es completamente conceptual y que, por tanto, no hay nada que pueda denominarse contenido no conceptual. Alega este filósofo que las bases de su defensa de este único contenido de la experiencia se encuentran en la obra de Kant, específicamente en la Crítica de la razón pura. Pues bien, a partir de las lecturas directas de esa misma obra de Kant y de las Lecciones de lógica, mejor conocidas como Lógica Jäsche, y de la lectura indirecta de Sobre el fundamento último de la diferenciación de las direcciones en el espacio, argumentamos a favor de una interpretación de las habilidades y de las prácticas como posibles expresiones del contenido no conceptual en la epistemología de Kant.

      Palabras-clave

      Epistemología kantiana, contenido de la experiencia, contenido conceptual, contenido no conceptual, Kant, John McDowell.


      Abstract

      John McDowell holds that the content of experience is completely conceptual; hence anything as non-conceptual content could ever exist. This Philosopher argues that the basis which backs this unique content up could be found in Kant works, specifically in Critique of Pure Reason. Thus, this paper begins at the direct readings of this Kantian work, Lessons of Logic well-known as Jäsche, and the indirect reading of Concerning the Ultimate Ground of the Differentiation of Directions in Space as well, so we argue in favor of an interpretation of skills and practices as possible expressions of non-conceptual content in Kant Epistemology.

      Key-words

      Kantian Epistemology; content of experience; conceptual content; non-conceptual content; Kant; John McDowell.


[email protected]


[Recibido: 16 de octubre 2017

Aceptado: 2 de noviembre 2017]

La epistemología kantiana y el contenido no conceptual


0. Preliminares

Dentro del espectro de la epistemología que debate sobre los contenidos de la experiencia, McDowell (2003) sostiene que la experiencia posee única y exclusivamente contenido conceptual. Este conocido filósofo declara que su principal base de apoyo es la epistemología kantiana, en especial la Crítica de la razón pura (KrV). En este mismo orden de ideas, el dictum kantiano: “Los pensamientos sin contenidos son vacíos, las intuiciones sin conceptos son ciegas” (KrV A51/ B75) sirve a McDowell para afirmar que “el pensamiento original de Kant era que el conocimiento empírico es el resultado de la colaboración entre la receptividad y la espontaneidad” (McDowell 2003, p. 459). A este respecto, sostiene McDowell (2003) que en la receptividad están implicados los conceptos. Planteado de otra forma, significaría que la sensibilidad, por sí sola, no puede dar lugar a la experiencia sin el auxilio de los conceptos. En consecuencia, el contenido de la experiencia está determinado por los conceptos, y en especial por su poder de producir sentido (Sinn). Para McDowell, la experiencia acontece en el ámbito del sentido más que en el de la referencia: “el pensamiento y la realidad se encuentran el uno con el otro en el ámbito del sentido” (2003, p. 277).

Como respuesta a este enfoque conceptualista este artículo presenta una perspectiva interpretativa de los contenidos de la experiencia en la que algunos elementos típicos de la acción, tales como “destrezas”, “capacidades” y “prácticas” se consideran próximas al dominio de la intuición y, por ello, ilustrativas de un tipo de experiencia con contenido no conceptual. Para sustentar esta tesis tomamos como base la Lógica de Kant (Log AA, 09) y algunos juicios presentes en el ensayo de 1768 del mismo Kant, Sobre el fundamento último de la diferenciación de las direcciones en el espacio (citado en Mc Mannus 2002). Desde estas lecturas sobre la obra de Kant argumentamos a favor de la tesis según la cual algunos elementos de la acción, como el despliegue de capacidades y de destrezas no dependen necesariamente del dominio de los conceptos que pudieran estar relacionados con ellas. De igual modo, la obra de Hanna (2008) es otro punto de apoyo, pues este filósofo encuentra en la Crítica de la razón pura (KrV) elementos doctrinarios que, según su juicio, sirven para sostener la presencia de contenidos no conceptuales en la experiencia. El artículo está organizado en cuatro partes. La primera sección adelanta dos definiciones diferentes de “contenido”; ninguna de estas definiciones procede de los autores que examinamos sino que resultan de un esfuerzo interpretativo nuestro. La segunda parte expone qué se entiende por “contenido conceptual”, y apelamos a las consideraciones de Cussins (2003); aquí la noción de condiciones de verdad y su relación con lo conceptual resulta capital para los propósitos de distinguir el enfoque conceptualista de la experiencia. El tercer segmento es el núcleo de este trabajo porque discurre en torno a los contenidos no conceptuales de la experiencia; en esta parte nos apoyamos en la clasificación kantiana del conocimiento descrita en la Lógica (Log AA: 09) y en ejemplos, expuestos por Kant, que se refieren al ejercicio de capacidades sin que necesariamente medie conocimiento de las reglas que las gobiernan, ni de los conceptos que se referirían a dichas reglas. Por último, y


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para concluir, se presenta una sección de “consideraciones finales” dedicada a la discusión y síntesis de los argumentos presentados a lo largo del artículo.


  1. Dos significados de “contenido”

    El significado de los conceptos y de las proposiciones que empleamos parece estar íntimamente ligado a prácticas que no necesariamente están conceptualizadas, habilidades que se hallan algo así como en el umbral de lo conceptual. Prácticas imprescindibles en cuanto depende de ellas la posibilidad misma del lenguaje y, por tanto, de una buena parte del conocimiento comunicable y cooperativo. Respecto de estas ideas, Kant dice: “Hablamos, sin embargo, sin conocer la gramática. El que habla sin conocer las reglas posee en efecto una gramática y habla conforme a reglas de las cuales, empero no es consciente” (Log AA, 09, 2). Todo está determinado por reglas aunque las ignoremos, afirma el mismo Kant, así que se trata de que el entendimiento someta a reglas las representaciones de los sentidos (Log; AA, 09, 2). Pero resulta que el mismísimo entendimiento, en general, está sometido a reglas, y no obstante lo usamos sin conocer las necesarias reglas que lo determinan (Log AA, 09, 3). Kant destaca un nivel de experiencia en el que la familiaridad con las cosas, la regularidad de las acciones y los resultados, son suficientes para una vida cotidiana libre del empeño por entender. En las prácticas cotidianas y en las que no lo son están escondidas unas reglas que pueden ser extraídas por la investigación, halladas por el intelecto. El deseo de dar y comprender las reglas que gobiernan los fenómenos y las prácticas es una aspiración, un ideal que, según Kant, contribuye al progreso del conocimiento. Así, que no haya un inventario completo de reglas no es un problema sino un acicate; y en cuanto a las prácticas lingüísticas, desde una perspectiva kantiana, sigue siendo un reto la formulación de una Grammatica universalis.

    El problema de la experiencia no tiene que tratarse necesariamente atendiendo al asunto de los tipos de estados y contenidos mentales, aunque, desde luego, es válido hacerlo en esos términos. Dicho tratamiento de la experiencia tendría que estar referido, más bien, a la vinculación entre lo que hacemos, lo que pensamos y los resultados que obtenemos del hacer y del pensar. El significado de la experiencia depende de tal vinculación y cuando la sometemos a análisis encontramos que el significado es incompleto y necesita someterse al crisol de la vida. Entonces, en relación con la experiencia, los significados no son completos aunque estén impregnados de cierto grado de intersubjetividad y hasta parezcan totalmente impersonales, por lo que el conocimiento común ordinario, la ciencia y las demás disciplinas se ven afectadas, modificadas y hasta desmentidas, en parte, por el curso de la experiencia. Hasta hace algunos años aprendíamos en la escuela que el Sistema Solar estaba compuesto de nueve planetas, con los estudios más recientes, el reajuste teórico y ciertas evidencias empíricas, los criterios para decidir qué es y qué no es un planeta se modificaron.

    Tenemos, entonces, dos tipos de significado, o dos usos del término “contenido”: Primero, el contenido se entiende como el conjunto de elementos variables que facilitan la comprensión y la acción, pero que ellos mismos no son objeto del entendimiento, no caen


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    bajo una definición o incluso no se pueden tratar ni siquiera metafóricamente: el alfarero que exige a los aprendices que se le preste atención cuando usa el torno, y exige que se toque la pieza para que se aprecie la textura adecuada y los contornos correctos de la pieza que está torneando. En este ejemplo, el aprendizaje vicario está por encima de las palabras y hasta de las definiciones, la verdad se revela a los sentidos y no al intelecto. El conocimiento no es independiente del artífice, es algo muy suyo y no puede ser objetivado en palabras y definiciones, el logro de la obra misma es la objetivación. En este primer sentido, las reglas de construcción no están disponibles para su exposición discursiva y por tanto pública. De esta manera, saber y sentir resultan inseparables.

    En un segundo sentido, el contenido está disponible para ser extraído lingüísticamente, para que se señale con la ayuda de una red de conceptos cuáles son sus límites gnoseológicos y prácticos. Contenido es aquello que el entendimiento saca en limpio y un ser con competencias lingüísticas es firme candidato a apropiarse de ese conocimiento. La independencia de los individuos, por el uso de sus facultades intelectuales, estaría garantizada. De todos modos, estas divisiones, aunque necesarias para la explicación, son engañosas. El dominio de las artes y las ciencias, o cualquier otro saber, no está disponible para todos los que estudian y asimilan intelectualmente sus principios, métodos y procesos, aun cuando ellos se encuentren muy claramente expuestos. Siempre hay algo de habilidad personal y de situaciones que influyen en dicho dominio. Al respecto, señala Kant que, “se puede aprender filosofía en un cierto respecto sin ser capaz de filosofar” (Log; AA, 09, 21). Entonces, aun en una disciplina cuyo material de trabajo es el concepto, no se puede ignorar lo decisivo que resulta la posesión de específicas capacidades y la ejercitación de habilidades para elaborar el conocimiento filosófico; y por cierto, cabría preguntarse respecto de esas capacidades y habilidades, de dónde proceden o cuál es su fundamento.

    Es evidente que sólo el segundo de los contenidos es relevante para desarrollar un camino de exposición interpretativa de la experiencia, y con ello lograr su objetivación. Pero el primero, orientado hacia la habilidad y las disposiciones, nos hace apreciar de manera distinta ciertos logros que no parecen estar al alcance de los cánones del lenguaje.

    Ahora bien, ¿qué debe caracterizar el contenido de una experiencia? ¿Qué tipo de realidad debe poseer el contenido para ser al mismo tiempo objetivo y accesible a las diferentes mentes individuales? El término “contenido” alude a aquello que está en un continente, a lo que tiene límites más o menos definidos. “Contenido” también hace pensar en aquello que puede ser extraído, por lo que se llega a ponderar como una información disponible.

  2. Contenido conceptual

    El contenido conceptual es una información que puede extraerse y exponerse en términos lingüísticos puesto que responde a qué es, cómo es, o dónde está, etc., aun cuando originalmente tal contenido no esté dado en una modalidad conceptual. Así, en general, nos entendemos al hablar de objetos disponibles en la experiencia externa (un árbol, una mesa, un perro), de algunas de sus propiedades accesibles a nuestros sentidos (sus colores y figuras), y con ayuda de artefactos, de otras propiedades como sus medidas (peso,


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    temperatura, dimensiones, duración). Al poner en conceptos una cosa o sus propiedades, especificamos un contenido o significado de la experiencia común, decimos común en el entendido de que puede ser captado por individuos capaces de realizar la misma conceptualización.

    Por otra parte, es importante considerar que, en presencia del objeto, la percepción da lugar a la captación de matices, a la apreciación y discriminación de caracteres que se escapan al concepto, porque la capacidad de diferenciación sensorial es diferente en cada individuo, no se encuentra en la uniformidad o rasero propio de la conceptualización. Es difícil negar que las diferencias en la agudeza de visión permiten captar irregularidades de superficie o decoloraciones, por ejemplo; dependiendo de la potencia en la visión y también del entrenamiento en su empleo, se pueden capturar detalles que un concepto deja fuera y que sin embargo son significativos. El entrenamiento táctil es un factor a considerar en torno a la especificación del contenido; a falta de luz ultra violeta o de reactivos químicos, un hombre acostumbrado a manipular papel moneda puede decir, por medio de una inspección táctil, si un billete es de curso legal o no; en todo caso, cierta discrepancia con el continuo de su experiencia en la manipulación de billetes le hará pedir que le cambien ese billete.

    La experiencia es la escuela de la percepción y ésta (la percepción) es a su vez un alumno fiel que no la abandona y colabora en asuntos de alta importancia para su escuela. Por eso es que disposiciones perceptivas y un ambiente adecuado para el entrenamiento de tales cualidades son esenciales para el logro de las diferencias en las capacidades de discriminación o de las aptitudes no conceptualizadas: un mecánico escucha el ruido del motor y diagnostica el lugar del problema; un experto en telas toca la superficie y puede determinar si es puro algodón o si contiene fibras sintéticas; un experto en preparación de fragancias, una “nariz”, es capaz de examinar diferentes fragancias y discriminar con absoluta seguridad la original de las imitaciones; un pintor aprecia matices de color o de perspectiva que otros no ven; un buen cocinero prueba la comida y con bastante aproximación puede decir cuáles han sido las especias o ingredientes empleados en su elaboración; en general, los expertos hacen estas distinciones sin poder decir cómo las hacen. Esta apreciación de los detalles, cualidad esencial de la percepción, está muy ligada al hábito y al entrenamiento, y, quizá, a una especial fortaleza y desarrollo de uno de los cinco sentidos en el individuo. Por tanto, el acceso a la información ligado a lo sensorial es esencialmente personal y su cualificación es igualmente variable individualmente. Y a despecho del conceptualismo y su esperanza del continuo refinamiento de los conceptos, hay un mundo de detalles presentes en la percepción de las cuales los conceptos no pueden dar cuenta. Al espectro de detalles percibidos, que sirven al sujeto para actuar con acierto, le llamamos información no conceptualizada.

    Mientras los contenidos, cualesquiera sean sus tipos, den lugar a pautas de clasificación y relación de cosas o eventos, no resulta necesario delimitar lo conceptual y lo no conceptual. Pero cuando en nuestros procesos reflexivos nos preguntamos qué pasa con ciertos tratos con el mundo que no son transparentes para el examen conceptual,


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    entonces notamos que tales pautas varían y buscamos las características determinantes o que nos parecen tales para fijar nuestro contacto con el mundo. En este mismo orden de ideas, Cussins apunta que “el contenido conceptual es el contenido que presenta el mundo a un sujeto como lo objetivo, un mundo humano desde el cual uno se puede formar juicios verdaderos o falsos” (2003, p.134). “Mundo humano”, significa, en el contexto de las reflexiones de Cussins, un mundo moldeado por distinciones compartidas. El carácter representativo de la experiencia, el representarnos el mundo de cierta manera, depende del uso de los conceptos. Pero, ¿qué ocurre con los eventos o cosas que se nos presentan y que no calzan en el repertorio de conceptos que poseemos?, ¿sería conceptual el contenido si la experiencia se especifica con un “esto es…x” en donde “x” es lo más cercano a una definición, o por lo menos a una descripción? Si se tiene la experiencia y nuestro repertorio conceptual no bastara para describirla, si no pudiéramos dar cuenta de las situaciones en las que estamos inmersos con la ayuda de nuestros conceptos, pero pudiéramos movemos en ellas y hasta resolver o tomar cursos de acción sin saber qué ocurría exactamente y cómo lo hicimos, ¿no cabe pensar en un acceso al mundo de forma no conceptual?

    Sostiene también Cussins (2003), con respecto a los contenidos conceptuales en general, que este tipo de contenidos presenta el mundo al sujeto como dividido en objetos, propiedades y situaciones, que son los componentes de las condiciones de verdad. Por ejemplo, veo sobre una mesa un libro; entonces, es necesario verificar que el objeto que sostiene al otro cumpla con ciertos caracteres o propiedades, una tabla apoyada en una, dos, tres o cuatro patas, que el objeto sostenido consista en un conjunto de páginas, que al mirarlo contenga palabras y/o imágenes, y que éstas se hilvanen en un orden relativamente coherente de exposición. Verificadas esas condiciones digo, por ejemplo, que estoy ante un libro sobre una mesa. Esta es una manera frecuente de aproximarnos al mundo, manera que se perfecciona paulatinamente según el entrenamiento lingüístico y cognitivo. Sostiene Cussins (2003, p.134) que:

    La posesión de cualquier contenido implica contornear el mundo de una manera u otra. Habrá una noción de contenido no conceptual si la experiencia proporciona una manera de esculpir el mundo, que no consista en esculpirlo en objetos, propiedades o situaciones (es decir, los componentes de las condiciones de verdad).

    Lo que podemos inferir de todo esto es que, en ciertos contextos, los contenidos están definidos por los conceptos de los que depende la especificación de la experiencia. Pero podría resultar que haya otros contextos y otros modos de captar o esculpir la experiencia. Esta posibilidad nos remite al logógrafo y al zoógrafo que vive en cada uno de nosotros según nos lo plantea Platón (Filebo VI, 39b).

    Entonces, está en juego conocer si la determinación del contenido de la experiencia, o su significado, es identificable con independencia de las específicas capacidades perceptivas y de las variadas capacidades de conceptualizar que caracterizan a los seres humanos. Además, puede que tengamos experiencia ordinaria del mundo unas veces con predominio de lo conceptual y otras veces con predominio de lo figurativo. Pero este es un planteamiento que no tiene aceptación o que jamás se planteará el defensor a ultranza del contenido conceptual de la experiencia, ya que el conceptualista piensa que la percepción


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    sería una clase específica de actitud proposicional. La razón para argumentar de este modo es que, según su punto de vista, sólo podemos percibir una cosa con tales o cuales características si en el acto de percepción se actualizan los mismos conceptos que están involucrados en los juicios y creencias. En resumen, no se puede tener experiencia perceptiva sin poseer los conceptos necesarios para especificar el contenido representacional correspondiente.

    Detrás de los argumentos conceptualistas está un ideal epistemológico que atiende a la justificación racional de los juicios de experiencia y de las creencias. Esto es evidentísimo en McDowell, pues sostiene con vehemencia que el espacio de los conceptos y el espacio de las razones coinciden; dicho de otra manera, que no hay justificación fuera del espectro de lo conceptual, y hace hincapié en el argumento, de suyo convincente, de que la percepción es una instancia justificadora de creencias. Igualmente, el contenido de la experiencia es conceptual para McDowell (2003, p. 94) porque lo incorporado en el contacto con el mundo debe estar disponible para la reflexión, para que quede evidenciada su acreditación como racional. Lo conceptual implica autoconciencia, de manera que tener experiencia es poder volver sobre ella en el pensamiento e insertarla en un proceso de reflexión y de enjuiciamiento. Por eso, mundo, experiencia y concepto conforman la trinidad epistemológica de McDowell. La experiencia es un asunto de sujetos que dominan conceptos, por lo que no hay contenido sin concepto. El mundo es el conjunto de los hechos que son conceptuales y enjuiciables, el mundo está disponible para los sujetos de experiencia. Ante una estrategia de este tipo, la posibilidad de que haya contenidos que se sitúen fuera del dominio de lo conceptual es nula. Para precisar estos señalamientos, tomemos un revelador texto de McDowell (2003, p. 92):

    Si hacemos abstracción del papel de lo suprasensible en el pensamiento de Kant, nos quedaremos con una imagen en la cual la realidad no se localiza más allá de un límite que circunde y encierre lo conceptual […] Al Idealismo Absoluto le resulta primordial el negar la idea de que el reino de lo conceptual cuente con un límite externo; y nosotros hemos llegado a un punto desde el cual cabría comenzar a domesticar la retórica propia de tal filosofía. Consideremos esta observación de Hegel: ‘En el pensamiento soy libre, ya que no estoy en otro’. Ella expresa exactamente la imagen que he estado empleando, según la cual lo conceptual carece de límites: no hay nada más allá de ello.

    Si esta aserción que pudiéramos resumir como, “todo es logos”, no es una posición idealista, entonces no sabemos cómo pueda catalogarse. El contenido de la experiencia es conceptual porque al mismo tiempo lo conceptual es el continente. Así, en el proceso de la experiencia, lo sensorial estará sujeto a los dictámenes del concepto; y, aunque involucrado, lo sensorio como tal no es lo relevante a efectos cognitivos. Los criterios de acuerdo con los cuales decimos que nos hacemos cargo de nuestra experiencia ordinaria, al hablar de objetos, propiedades y situaciones, no tienen que ver con posibles contenidos inmediatos provistos por los sentidos, sino únicamente con las conexiones conceptuales que median cualquier contacto sensorial con la realidad circundante.

    Tal y como lo hemos señalado, una normatividad de tipo conceptualista o bien deja fuera lo que se resiste al concepto o bien confía que con el tiempo se alcanzará un


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    refinamiento tal de los conceptos que podrá llegar a detalles más y más sutiles, o asume la posición de McDowell que decreta la ausencia de límites para lo conceptual en el campo de la experiencia. Pero mediante el examen de algunos argumentos que defienden la plausibilidad de contenidos o significados no conceptuales en la experiencia hay margen para la conclusión de que es posible una normatividad distinta a la definida por lo conceptual. Entre estos argumentos sobresale no sólo la mayor riqueza de detalle de la experiencia perceptiva, sino ante todo, el papel cognoscitivo que tiene esta finura de grano. Se sostiene, además, que la gama de detalles que se captan o se hacen presentes en las percepciones supera con creces el espectro que pueda capturarse y especificarse conceptualmente y que esta captación es muy útil para orientarse en el mundo.

    Tomemos el caso en que presenciamos un evento junto con otras personas, la contemplación de un paisaje, el juego de unos niños, un jardín. Al “compartir” por medio de la conversación las experiencias individuales del evento en cuestión estaríamos de acuerdo en que hemos visto un paisaje, o a niños jugando, o que admiramos el jardín. No obstante, el empleo de los términos “jardín”, “paisaje”, “atardecer”, “niño”, “juguete”, “rosa amarilla”, y el estar todos de acuerdo, o la comprensión compartida de los términos, no implica que la calidad de nuestra experiencia sea la misma. Un componente personal hará la diferencia, pues una serie de detalles que están en conexión con ciertos rasgos percibidos por cada observador se hacen presentes en las descripciones y producen una significación diferente. Por ejemplo, el matiz de verdor del paisaje le indica a un observador el comienzo de la sequía, pero no al otro que no reconoce tales señales.

    La articulación de significados aprendidos mediante el entrenamiento lingüístico- conceptual hará posible la constitución de un contenido o significado objetivo. Se producirá una experiencia parcialmente conceptualizada porque hemos aprendido un lenguaje en el que los conceptos se usan para referirse a esas situaciones, pero la perspectiva, la luz viva o mortecina, los olores que llegan con el viento, la sensación del viento en la piel, etc., son detalles que no quedan atrapados necesariamente por la red conceptual disponible. McDowell (2003, p.199) defiende una Bildung que sería la responsable de nuestra adquisición del lenguaje, de nuestra capacitación en la conceptualización, que habilita al usuario del lenguaje para emplear el término en las ocasiones correctas y de manera adecuada. Se tendría así la confirmación de que los significados han sido realmente aprendidos. Sin embargo, no sólo hay un aprendizaje en este ámbito, pues no podemos ignorar que existe una Bildung del artesano, del artista, y aun del científico, que es adquirida en el curso de su trabajo y ejerce su influencia aunque ninguno de ellos lo sepa verbalizar y ni se preocupe por ello. Consideremos la siguiente observación de Kant:

    En todo conocimiento habrá que distinguir entre materia, es decir, el objeto, y forma, el modo como conocemos el objeto. Un salvaje, por ejemplo, vislumbra en la lejanía una casa cuya utilidad desconoce, de ese modo tiene presente en la representación ciertamente el mismo objeto que otro que lo conoce de un modo determinado como una vivienda dispuesta para el hombre. Por lo que respecta a la forma, sin embargo, este conocimiento de uno y el mismo objeto es en ambos diferente. En un caso es mera intuición, en otro caso intuición y concepto a la vez. (Log AA, 09, 41).

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    Kant señala un elemento común en la percepción del salvaje y la del civilizado, y un elemento diferente. De acuerdo con una tradición filosófica, Kant llama aquí materia a lo común e indiferenciado, y forma al elemento especificado. La especificación de algo como casa se agrega en el civilizado a la mera percepción de una cierta extensión y un cierto colorido espacial. Pero, nos preguntamos si lo decisivo en la diferencia es la adquisición de la palabra casa o más bien el uso efectivo de una casa que puede tener el hijo pequeño de nuestro civilizado sin haber adquirido la palabra casa. Nos podemos preguntar si ésta es una diferenciación que vale sólo para el ser humano. Tomemos el caso de un perro salvaje y un perro domesticado. Ante una casita para perros tanto el salvaje como el domesticado captarán la misma estructura. No obstante, para el primero no significará nada, mientras que para el perro domesticado será el sitio para guarecerse. Por tanto, no es lo lingüístico lo decisivo, sino la familiaridad con las cosas y el uso que se haga de ellas.

    Los criterios aprendidos para la aplicación del significado de los conceptos son públicos y comunitarios, y ellos expresan todo lo que hay de objetivable en el lenguaje. De esta manera, la práctica a la que denominamos “conocimiento empírico” consiste, pero sólo en parte, en la capacidad adquirida o entrenada de conformar mediante la red de conceptos aprendidos, lo dado en nuestra experiencia. Un encomiable trabajo, sin duda, que consiste en conceptualizar ese elemento dado de acuerdo con pautas comunes y comunicables. En esto consiste la relevancia de lo conceptual a la hora de especificar los contenidos.


  3. Kant y el contenido no conceptual

    De acuerdo con el no conceptualista, hay componentes captados en la percepción que no son irrelevantes para la conformación del contenido de la experiencia. Los conceptos aprendidos y empleados en nuestro lenguaje pueden tener un significado estable, pero esa estabilidad, que es experiencia sedimentada en el lenguaje, difícilmente dé cuenta de la totalidad de la experiencia que un sujeto tenga de un objeto en un determinado momento. No hay contenido de experiencia sin un sujeto que experimente un objeto y, en este sentido, el empleo de los conceptos tiene tanta utilidad y valor de experiencia en cuanto más pueda especificar, de manera más o menos acertada, alguna cualidad identificable de su experiencia.

    El contenido, como señala Cussins, implica dividir el mundo en algún sentido, pero también implica articulación, pues el contenido sería meramente episódico y estático si se tratara de imágenes o conceptos aislados. Los contenidos individualizados sólo existen separados en nuestras abstracciones. En términos de la experiencia real, ningún concepto es una estructura separada de otros conceptos1. Sólo en el análisis reflexivo de algunas teorías de los conceptos o del significado lingüístico llegamos a abstraer al concepto de las redes en que se inserta.

    Esta relativa independencia del concepto respecto de un amplio entramado productor de significados, y la tendencia a pensar en la lexicografía como la verdadera


    1 Pensamos aquí en las tesis del inferencialismo brandomiano. Al respecto véase, Brandom (2002).

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    fuente del significado, es una trampa. En el tratamiento del contenido no conceptual puede suceder algo similar. Una representación por sí misma, para decirlo con Kant, no será un conocimiento, pero debe haber una articulación en ella, y no sólo división, para que podamos contar con una representación del objeto de tipo no conceptual, en otras palabras, que no se queda meramente en la esfera de los conceptos, aunque tal articulación no se pueda explicar en forma directa porque “qué sea una representación tendría que explicarse siempre mediante otra representación” (Log; AA, 09, 42), es decir, por medio de otras representaciones provenientes del ámbito de la percepción.

    Kant expone en la Lógica la “distinción” e “indistinción” en las “representaciones claras” (Log AA, 09, 42)2, cuando señala que una representación es indistinta si no se tiene conciencia de la diversidad en ella, y que una representación es distinta si se tiene conciencia de la diversidad que contiene. Utilicemos un ejemplo de Kant:

    Avistamos en la lejanía una casa de campo. Somos conscientes de que el objeto intuido es una casa, de modo que hemos de poseer también necesariamente una representación de las diferentes partes de esta casa: de las ventanas, de las puertas, etc.; puesto que si no viésemos las partes, tampoco veríamos la casa. No somos conscientes, sin embargo, de esta representación de la diversidad de sus partes y nuestra representación del mismo objeto mencionado es, entonces, indistinta. (Log AA, 09, 42).

    Una representación indistinta de un objeto lo capta como una totalidad, sin dar cuenta de los componentes que lo caracterizan. Pero también puede dar cuenta del objeto atendiendo a sus partes constitutivas. Entonces, una representación distinta, dice Kant, puede ser de dos tipos:

    En primer lugar, sensible. Ésta consiste en la conciencia de la diversidad en la intuición. Vislumbro, por ejemplo, la vía láctea como una banda blanquecina; los rayos de luz de las estrellas singulares que se encuentran en la misma tienen que haber llegado a mi ojo. Pero su representación era meramente clara y únicamente a través del telescopio se vuelve distinta, vislumbrando ahora las estrellas singulares contenidas en aquella banda lechosa. (Log AA, 09, 44).

    La agudeza de la vista es potenciada por el telescopio; en condiciones normales ésta no permite percibir los componentes de la vía láctea. Ahora bien, en este ejemplo las distancias reclaman la intervención de una prótesis visual, pero en contextos más ordinarios la diferencia en la agudeza del sentido y el entrenamiento de la percepción permiten ver detalles, u oír frecuencias que no se captan sólo con la posesión de un repertorio de conceptos que se refieran al objeto. A pesar de lo razonable que resulta decir que la persona o las personas involucradas en la observación poseen los conceptos de galaxia, de estrella, etc., y que se puede hablar significativamente de ellos, agregaríamos que a pesar de poder hablar de galaxia y de estrella, los observadores perceptivamente entrenados se diferencian de los que no lo están porque pueden distinguir dentro de las galaxias algunos cuerpos por sus contornos, figuras, destellos, que los llevan posteriormente a hacer conjeturas.


    2 A estas representaciones claras las caracteriza la conciencia que se tiene de ellas.

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    El segundo tipo de distinción, a saber, la intelectual, consiste en descomponer en notas un concepto. Esas notas son otros conceptos y por tanto otros significados que están vinculados con el significado del concepto analizado. Quedaría este concepto aclarado y mejorado en su forma (Log AA, 09, 44-45).

    Los conceptos son el componente primordial de la comunidad de significado, el trabajo con ellos es una tarea muy importante en la formación de la subjetividad. En la cultura se pretende que las pautas de conceptualización sean más o menos las mismas, aunque no funcione así. Al relacionar los términos mediante las mismas definiciones, y al aplicarlos en las mismas ocasiones, cabe afirmar que el trabajo está hecho y que compartimos un conocimiento objetivo de un mundo común. Este mundo común induce a McDowell a mirarlo en esencia como conceptual.

    En este punto notamos ahora que, en la discusión sobre distintos tipos de contenido de la experiencia, se pone en juego la posibilidad de que haya situaciones o ámbitos en los que la experiencia pueda aparecer separada en una vía eminentemente personal, bajo el dominio de la intuición. Casos excepcionales, sin duda, porque en Kant no hay preeminencia de uno u otro componente cuando se trata de la objetividad. El conocimiento no se puede producir prescindiendo de ninguno de ellos. Pero cuanto más se lee a Kant tanto más se encuentran oportunidades para interpretaciones que salen de la ortodoxia. Y a este respecto, hallamos en la Lógica las siguientes consideraciones que invitan a pensar en una oportunidad para los contenidos no conceptuales de la experiencia: “Si fuésemos conscientes de todo lo que sabemos tendríamos que maravillarnos ante la gran abundancia de nuestro conocimiento” (Log AA, 09, 44-45). He aquí lo sabido no pensado, aquello que puede aflorar en una situación y sorprendernos. Agrega luego:

    En cuanto al contenido objetivo de nuestro conocimiento en general se pueden estipular los siguientes grados, conforme a los cuales es posible, en este respecto, incrementar el conocimiento. El primer grado del conocimiento es representarse algo. El segundo: representarse algo con conciencia o percibir (percipere). El tercero: conocer algo (noscere) o representarse algo en la comparación con otras cosas tanto según la unidad como según la diferencia. El cuarto: conocer algo con conciencia, es decir, reconocer (cognoscere). Los animales también conocen objetos, pero no los reconocen. El quinto: entender algo (intelligere), es decir, conocer mediante el entendimiento en virtud de los conceptos o concebir. Esto es muy diferente de comprender. Se pueden concebir muchas cosas, aunque no se comprendan; por ejemplo, un perpetuum mobile, cuya imposibilidad se demuestra en la mecánica. El sexto: conocer algo a través de la razón o penetrar (perspicere). Llegamos hasta aquí en pocas cosas […] El séptimo finalmente: comprender algo (comprehendere), es decir, comprender algo mediante la razón o a priori en el grado que resulte suficiente para nuestro propósito. (Log AA, 09, 96-97).

    En esta extensa cita encontramos el punto de partida y el avance o desarrollo complejo por grados del conocimiento. Una escala que va desde tener una simple representación y luego tenerla con conciencia, que pasa por la discriminación a partir de la dupla unidad- diferencia, hasta un séptimo grado en el que la razón comprende algo a priori. Sin embargo, en el cuarto grado admite que los animales no humanos conocen objetos, pero, en los términos de Kant, no los reconocen. Esta diferencia está en el reconocimiento bajo

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    el concepto3, porque muchos animales no humanos reconocen los objetos por la pura discriminación intuitiva. El perro conoce el lugar donde suele dormir y va hasta tal lugar cada vez que tiene necesidad de ello. Otros animales diferencian las crías propias de las ajenas. Otras, como los elefantes, memorizan los caminos que conducen a los abrevaderos y hay filmaciones en los que cooperan para salvar a algún miembro de la manada que está en dificultades. El conocimiento avanza por grados y se hace cada vez más complejo.

    Al Kant destacar cada uno de los grados por los que transita el “contenido objetivo de nuestro conocimiento” pone el acento en los recursos y modos con que enfrentamos el mundo; del mismo modo destaca que la objetividad alcanza su punto de mayor esplendor4 cuando la actividad del entendimiento logra la conceptualización precisa de objetos y eventos en el mundo. No desconoce, sin embargo, la primitiva y limitada referencialidad de la representación intuitiva de objetos en el mundo. Es decir, Kant da lugar a la ponderación significativa de las prácticas no reflexivas y no discursivas como elementos de la experiencia concreta del sujeto y admite su referencia a objetos del mundo circundante. Sin objeto conocido no habría objeto re-conocido. Y si esto es así, ¿por qué no ha de haber contextos y momentos en los que conozcamos pero no reconozcamos conceptualmente?


  4. Consideraciones finales

Para concluir con esta aproximación de inspiración kantiana a la posibilidad de existencia de contenido no conceptual en la experiencia, comentaremos algunas reflexiones adelantadas por Kant en torno a las intuiciones del espacio y el tiempo. La legalidad independiente o la autonomía de la “facultad inferior” con respecto a la “facultad superior” para producir o “recibir” representaciones proporciona material para la defensa de las tesis que propone una experiencia con contenido no conceptual. Nuestras representaciones primarias del espacio y el tiempo no son ni conceptuales ni empíricas (KrV A23/B38; A30/B46) y son “fuentes de conocimiento de las que pueden surgir a priori diferentes conocimientos sintéticos, como lo muestra de modo particularmente brillante la matemática pura en lo referente al conocimiento del espacio y sus relaciones” (KrV A39/B56). Entonces, a pesar de la interpretación de McDowell según la cual la sensibilidad no puede hacer contribuciones al conocimiento de manera separable de la espontaneidad, encontramos que en la matemática las intuiciones dan lugar a la construcción de conceptos y no es la espontaneidad (o entendimiento) lo que constituye la base primordial del conocimiento matemático. De hecho, es la imaginación la facultad que sirve de bisagra entre la sensibilidad y el entendimiento. Además, es interesante resaltar que Kant dice que “la síntesis es un mero efecto de la imaginación, una función anímica ciega, pero indispensable, sin la cual no tendríamos conocimiento alguno y de la cual, sin embargo, raras veces somos conscientes. Reducir tal síntesis a conceptos es una función


3 Respecto al concepto, dice Kant: “El conocimiento es, o bien intuición, o bien concepto (intuitus vel conceptus). La primera se refiere inmediatamente al objeto y es singular; el segundo lo hace de modo mediato, a través de una característica que puede ser común a muchas cosas”. (KrV A 320 / B377).

4 “El campo del entender o del entendimiento es por consiguiente mucho mayor que el campo del comprender o de la razón”. (Log AA, 09, 98).

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que corresponde al entendimiento” (KrV A39/B56). Se entiende, entonces, que la síntesis no se produce en el entendimiento, aunque alcance su completa delimitación en el concepto. De allí que, los conceptos implican síntesis, pero no al revés. La síntesis es presupuesta por el concepto que la articula. Síntesis no equivale a conceptualización (Allais 2009, p.396). El trazado de una recta en la imaginación, o el trazado de un círculo, no requiere habilidades conceptuales, a no ser que se entienda por conceptual la legalidad inherente a esos trazados. Nosotros decimos que en el concepto, o en el ámbito de lo conceptual, se hace explícita la regla que gobierna los trazados, una vez que los ejemplos (o particulares) han mostrado de forma no discursiva cómo opera la regla. Es desconocido para nosotros cómo se opera la transición de una representación intuitiva hacia el concepto y McDowell se propone disolver este misterio asumiendo que todo debe ser conceptual.

¿Pero cómo resolver las cuestiones prácticas de la orientación en el espacio con conceptos?, en realidad, ¿existen auténticos “conceptos” de derecha e izquierda? Muchas cuestiones relativas al espacio y a su determinación han sido un quebradero de cabeza en las investigaciones científicas y filosóficas, y fuente de curiosidad para otros desde hace siglos. En el caso de la epistemología, y las pretensiones de objetividad en el conocimiento, hallamos dificultades con respecto, por ejemplo, a la definición de izquierda y derecha. Veamos:

El problema de definir la izquierda y la derecha está implícito en muchas áreas de la ciencia y de la vida cotidiana, y en última instancia todas ellas tienen la misma solución, que se encuentra, por así decir, en nuestras propias manos. Incluso unos términos de navegación tan aparentemente independientes de la mano como ‘babor’ y ‘estribor’, tienen su origen en la mano derecha. (McManus 2002, p.69).

Los “conceptos” de derecha e izquierda están atados a puntos de referencia que son egocéntricos; no se puede prescindir de la referencia al sujeto. La orientación espacial no es conceptual. Si estamos frente a otra persona, por ejemplo, el lado izquierdo de la otra persona es mi lado derecho y viceversa. Entonces, ¿usamos un punto de vista centrado en el sujeto o en el objeto? Expone McManus (2002, p.72) la situación siguiente con la determinación de derecha o izquierda:

La situación con las conchas [marinas] es algo más simple y más compleja. Los científicos que estudian las conchas se imaginan el camino que seguiría un pequeño insecto que entrase arrastrándose por la parte de debajo de una concha y que subiese hasta la parte de arriba, y se preguntan si, para hacerlo, giraría a la derecha o a la izquierda; si el insecto gira a la derecha, la concha se llama dexiotrópica; y si gira a la izquierda, leiotrópica. Lo que complica las cosas es que una concha dexiotrópica tiene una espiral levógira, y una concha leiotrópica la tiene dextrógira.5



5 Levógiro (zurdo): que gira en el sentido contrario de las agujas del reloj. Dextrógiro (diestro): que gira en el sentido de las agujas del reloj. Términos que se emplean para describir procesos en disciplinas como la química, la bioquímica, la matemática, la biología.

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En este experimento imaginario, la determinación depende del recorrido del insecto sin que el sujeto pueda decidir “objetivamente” si la concha marina estudiada6 es “dexiotrópica” o “leiotrópica”. Pero los problemas de orientación de izquierda y derecha están por todas partes, en donde quiera que sea menester decidir con respecto a la ubicación de los objetos y de las vías de recorrido.

Hanna (2008) ha encontrado en la Crítica de la razón pura, en la “Estética Trascendental”, juicios y argumentos que sirven al propósito de la defensa de la existencia del contenido no conceptual. Estamos de acuerdo, y únicamente agregaremos que no sólo en la primera Crítica, sino en la Lógica Jäsche, como ya se ha mostrado. Otros apoyos pueden encontrarse en un ensayo de 1768, Sobre el fundamento último de la diferenciación de las direcciones en el espacio, en el cual Kant examina el problema de la condición absoluta o relativa del espacio. Del contenido de ese trabajo, es propicio señalar que un tema central es la naturaleza de la diferencia entre derecha e izquierda. Así, en nuestro propio cuerpo encuentra Kant el mejor ejemplo para analizar el problema, nuestras manos. Éstas son similares en casi todo y diferentes en un aspecto primordial: el guante de una mano no puede usarse en la otra. Entonces, nuestras dos manos son homólogos incongruentes.7 Y es que, en efecto, hay ciertas diferencias entre cosas, como nuestras manos o también nuestros pies, que no pueden determinarse, estrictamente, desde una perspectiva conceptual. Entonces, distinguir la mano izquierda de la derecha y resolver cuál es el guante que va en una mano u otra es una cuestión de intuición espacial y no de dominio de los conceptos mano y guante. En este mismo orden de ideas, dice Kant que “Nuestras consideraciones [...] dejan muy claro que pueden encontrarse diferencias, auténticas diferencias por cierto, en la constitución de los cuerpos; estas diferencias se relacionan exclusivamente con el espacio absoluto y original” (Kant citado en McManus 2002, p.81).

Para finalizar, a partir de la noción de regla empleada por Kant y su clasificación por grados del conocimiento, que incluye la simple representación sin conciencia dentro del contenido objetivo, podríamos definir el contenido conceptual como el despliegue progresivo de la conciencia. Ese despliegue de la conciencia puede notarse en la escala propuesta por Kant que va desde el primer grado, referido a la representación sin conciencia, hasta el quinto, relativo al entendimiento de algo mediante la asistencia de las herramientas conceptuales. Entonces, inferimos de esta información proporcionada por Kant que el contenido no conceptual estaría vinculado con las habilidades y prácticas de las que no tenemos completa conciencia, o con aquellas actividades y destrezas que aun ejecutadas con maestría no son objeto de dominio intelectual y cuyas reglas constitutivas nos son de consciente dominio. Así, lo no conceptual sería aquello que es en realidad pre- conceptual, pero que es susceptible de ser expresado en términos de conceptos.


6 La concha marina a la que se hace referencia en el ejemplo es la llamada por los científicos Voluta vespertilio (en español, voluta variable). Es un molusco cuya concha mide entre 4,5 y 16 cm.

7 Homólogos se usa en este caso por tratarse de estructuras morfológicamente semejantes.

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Bibliografía

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Doi: 10.5281/zenodo.1095177


A interpretação heideggeriana da Crítica da Razão Pura: a questão da imaginação


A Heideggerian Interpretation of the “Critique of Pure Reason”: the Question of the Imagination


SÍLVIA BENTO


Universidad do Porto, Portugal


Resumo


A análise de Kant und das Problem der Metaphysik [Kant e o Problema da Metafísica] de Heidegger constitui o propósito do nosso artigo. Publicado em 1929, o ano do “debate Heidegger- Cassirer” em Davos, Kant e o Problema da Metafísica fornece uma interpretação controversa e peculiar da Crítica da Razão Pura de Kant. Debruçando-se sobre a primeira edição (1781) da Crítica de Kant, Heidegger apresenta uma interpretação ontológica da subjetividade transcendental kantiana. Contra a atenção neo-kantiana dedicada à lógica e à espontaneidade subjetiva, Heidegger procura lançar luz sobre as determinações finitas e recetivas da subjetividade kantiana, salientando a preponderância da imaginação enquanto faculdade fundamental e possibilidade da subjetividade humana. A elucidação cuidadosa de tais posições heideggerianas relativas à Crítica da Razão Pura constitui o objeto do nosso trabalho.


Palavras-chave


Immanuel Kant; Martin Heidegger; Crítica da Razão Pura; subjetividade; imaginação.


Abstract


The analysis of Kant und das Problem der Metaphysik [Kant and the Problem of Metaphysics] by Heidegger constitutes the aim of our paper. Published in 1929, the year of the “Heidegger-Cassirer debate” in Davos, Kant and the Problem of Metaphysics offers a controversial and peculiar



[Recibido: 23 de septiembre 2017

Aceptado: 15 de octubre 2017]


Sílvia Bento


interpretation of Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason. By dwelling upon the first edition (1781) of Kant’s Critique, Heidegger presents an ontological interpretation of the Kantian transcendental subjectivity. Against the neo-Kantian focus on logics and subjective spontaneity, Heidegger aims to throw light on the finite and receptive determinations of the Kantian subjectivity by emphasizing the preponderance of the imagination as fundamental faculty and possibility of human subjectivity. The close elucidation of these Heideggerian positions on Critique of Pure Reason constitute the object of our paper.


Keywords


Immanuel Kant; Martin Heidegger; Critique of Pure Reason; subjectivity; imagination.


Introdução.

A interpretação da Crítica da Razão Pura de Kant desenvolvida por Heidegger sob o título Kant und das Problem der Metaphysik [Kant e o Problema da Metafísica] fora publicada em 1929 – o mesmo ano do debate com Ernst Cassirer em Davos1 –, conquanto elaborada a par da escrita de Sein und Zeit [Ser e Tempo], de 19272. A título de consideração prévia, importaria ter presente que, no decurso da sua leitura da Crítica da Razão Pura, Heidegger não se dedica a perspetivar o pensamento kantiano no seu todo, propondo-se a analisar exclusivamente a primeira Crítica, e, no que a esta concerne, somente as partes “Estética Transcendental” e “Analítica Transcendental”. As duas Críticas posteriores não são tratadas por Heidegger.


1 Uma obra que acompanha o presente artigo é Continental Divide: Heidegger, Cassirer, Davos (2010) de Peter E. Gordon, na qual se expõe os argumentos de Ernst Cassirer e de Martin Heidegger no célebre debate de Davos em 1929. Assim apresenta Gordon os dois interlocutores, Cassirer e Heidegger, bem como as suas posturas filosóficas: “At the core of the debate between Cassirer and Heidegger was a fundamental contest between two normative images of humanity. For Cassirer, the human being is endowed with a special capacity for spontaneous self-expression: to be human is to create in complete freedom whole worlds of meaning, and these self-created worlds become in turn the objective spheres we experience as beautiful, moral and true. Cassirer derived this insight into our constructivist or formative capacity from Kant, whose theory of transcendental conditions served as the initial pattern and inspiration for Cassirer’s philosophy of symbolic forms. [...] For Heidegger, human beings are understood to be defined first and foremost by our finitude, which is to say we discover ourselves in the midst of conditions we had no share in creating and cannot hope to control. To be human in Heidegger’s view is to be gifted with a special sort of receptivity, or openness to the world. This phenomenon of disclosedness lies at the very core of human existence, deeper than our rationality and before any and all practical action. [...] Heidegger called this groundless condition by various names, but most typically he referred to it as a finitude or «thrownness». The disagreement between Cassirer and Heidegger’s turns upon this fundamental distinction between spontaneity and receptivity, between the human capacity for worldmaking as against our openness to the world. Cassirer forges his philosophical system with an eye toward the unconditioned, the inexhaustible, and even the «infinite» spontaneity of human expression. Heidegger works out his own philosophical ideas from the basic premise that the human being is creature of essential finitude, limited by time and history, which finds itself thrown into conditions it did not create.”. (Gordon 2010: 6-7)

2 Tal como esclarece Heidegger no prefácio da primeira edição de Kant e o Problema da Metafísica, a interpretação da Crítica da Razão Pura fora dada a conhecer, pela primeira vez, num curso lecionado pelo filósofo durante o Inverno de 1925/26, e repetido, posteriormente, em conferências no Instituto Herder de Riga, em setembro de 1928, e nos cursos universitários de Davos, em março de 1929. A coincidência temporal entre a elaboração da leitura da primeira Crítica kantiana e a escrita de Ser e Tempo é, igualmente, assinalada por parte de Heidegger.

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N.o 6, Diciembre 2017, pp. 121-137

ISSN: 2386-7655

Doi: 10.5281/zenodo.1095177

A interpretação heideggeriana da Crítica da Razão Pura: a questão da imaginação



Uma das peculiaridades da leitura heideggeriana da Crítica da Razão Pura consiste na reiterada postura de ênfase concedida à primeira edição da obra, a de 1781: Heidegger privilegia a primeira versão do texto de Kant – a principal matéria do seu estudo –, sustentando que aí se apresenta delineada a questão da finitude humana [menschliche Endlichkeit] enquanto problema-chave da fundamentação da metafísica [Grundlegung der Metaphysik]. Com efeito, a interpretação heideggeriana proclama a temática da finitude humana como problemática nuclear da primeira versão da Crítica – um projeto filosófico que, assevera Heidegger, Kant abandonara na segunda edição, procurando, então, e num outro sentido, sustentar a centralidade da lógica e a preponderância da espontaneidade do entendimento. Há, pois, um propósito filosófico que envolve a leitura de Heidegger da Crítica da Razão Pura: avaliar o sujeito transcendental kantiano como um ser eminentemente recetivo, mediante a assunção da perspetivação da imaginação [Einbildungskraft] enquanto faculdade por excelência da recetividade [Rezeptivität] e, como tal, da constituição do conhecimento objetivo. A preponderância filosófica e subjetiva concedida ao papel e às funções da imaginação apresenta-se, sob o olhar de Heidegger, como o cerne do pensamento kantiano.

Não nos parece teoricamente controverso perspetivar a leitura da Crítica da Razão Pura avançada por Heidegger como uma tentativa filosófica de procura de uma fundamentação para a sua “ontologia fundamental” [Fundamentalontologie] no âmbito da filosofia kantiana – trata-se, poder-se-ia afirmar, de um intento de reivindicação de uma justificação ou de uma legitimação kantianas (ou a partir de Kant) para o projeto ontológico heideggeriano3.

Assim escreve Heidegger na “Introdução” de Kant e o Problema da Metafísica:


A seguinte investigação apresenta como tarefa interpretar a Crítica da Razão Pura de Kant como uma fundamentação da metafísica. O problema da metafísica assume-se, pois, como problema de uma ontologia fundamental. Ontologia


3 A título de curiosidade, leia-se Gordon sobre a condenação de Husserl da leitura heideggeriana da Crítica da Razão Pura: “Husserl’s marginal notations in Kant and the Problem of Metaphysics are even more revealing. In them we find a teacher’s frank exasperation at what he saw his student’s decisions to stray from the path of a rigorously scientific phenomenology. Husserl registered explicit doubts about Heidegger’s recourse throughout the book to an essentially theological contrast, between divine (creative) and human (receptive) intuition. As we will see further on, Heidegger had borrowed this contrast from Kant and his idea of an intuitus originarus (a creative or «infinite» intuition that brings into being its objects in the very act of intuiting them), and it had played a critical role in Heidegger’s own attempt to underscore the essential finitude of human understanding. But Husserl seems to have regarded such reliance on theological categories as an illicit and foreign import: “What is infinity over against finitude?” he wrote. “Why talk at all of finitude rather than receptivity?... On the other hand, absolutely adequate intuition, etc...is an absurdity.” From Husserl’s perspective, such language signalled his student’s wilful retreat from philosophy into the arms of crypto-theology (a charge Cassirer would echo the following year). In the Kant-book, Heidegger had tried to justify his unusual reading of Kant by appealing to the principle that “every interpretation, if it wants to wring from what the words say what they want to say, must use violence”. But in response, Husserl underlined the phrase, «every interpretation must use violence», and followed this in the margin with no less than three exclamation marks and three question marks. More than once Husserl expressed doubts as to the accuracy of his student’s interpretation, writing his query in the margins of Heidegger’s book, “Is this Kant?””. (Gordon 2010: 81)


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fundamental significa a analítica ontológica da essência finita do homem, a qual deve preparar o fundamento de uma metafísica “conforme à natureza do homem”. A ontologia fundamental é a metafísica do ser-aí humano, exigência necessária que torna possível a metafísica. Ela difere, fundamentalmente, de toda a antropologia, mesmo da filosófica. Explicitar a ideia de uma ontologia fundamental significa: mostrar que a analítica ontológica do ser-aí, tal como caracterizada, constitui um requisito necessário e esclarecer de que modo e em que circunstâncias se coloca a pergunta concreta: o que é o homem? No entanto, se uma ideia se afirma, à partida, através do seu poder de clarificação, também a ideia da ontologia fundamental afirmar-se-á e desenvolver-se-á mediante uma interpretação da “crítica da razão pura” enquanto fundamentação da metafísica. (Heidegger 2010: 1)4


  1. Finitude e recetividade como problemáticas-chave. A desconsideração do papel da faculdade do entendimento.

    A interpretação heideggeriana da primeira Crítica de Kant concebe, declarada e abertamente, o projeto transcendental kantiano como uma investigação da natureza finita do homem, pretendendo propor um eixo de ligação entre a definição de uma fundamentação da metafísica (a investigação das possibilidades de conhecimento do sujeito transcendental) e a constituição de uma ontologia fundamental (o desenvolvimento de uma analítica do ser-aí finito). Assim, segundo Heidegger, a revolução coperniciana kantiana consiste na “revelação da possibilidade interna da ontologia” (Heidegger 2010:

    §2)5, i.e., “a possibilidade do conhecimento ontológico” (Heidegger 2010: §2)6, partindo do sujeito enquanto finitude [Endlichkeit] e recetividade [Rezeptivität].


    [O] conhecimento transcendental não investiga o ente mesmo, mas a possibilidade de compreensão prévia do ser, isto é, ao mesmo tempo, a constituição do ser do ente. E tal refere-se ao ultrapassar (transcendência) que conduz a razão pura ao



    4 “Die folgende Untersuchung stellt sich die Aufgabe, Kants Kritik der reinen Vernunft als eine Grundlegung der Metaphysik auszulegen, um so das Problem der Metaphysik als das einer Fundamentalontologie vor Augen zu stellen. Fundamentalontologie heiβt diejenige ontologische Analytik des endlichen Menschenwesens, die das Fundament für die zur “Natur des Menschen gehörige” Metaphysik bereiten soll. Die Fundamentalontologie ist die zur Ermöglichung der Metaphysik notwendig gefordete Metaphysik des menschlichen Daseins. Sie bleibt von aller Anthropologie, auch der philosophischen, grundsätzlich unterschieden. Die Idee einer Fundamentalontologie auseinanderlegen bedeutet: die gekennzeichnete ontologie Analytik des Daseins als notwendiges Erfordernis darlegen und dadurch deutlich machen, in welchen Voraussetzungen sie die konkrete Frage stellt: was ist der Mensch? Sofern aber eine Idee sich zunächst durch ihre Kraft zur Durchleuchtung bedunket, soll die Idee der Fundamentalontologie sich in einer Auslegung der “Kritik der reinen Vernunft” als einer Grundlegung der Metaphysik bewähren und darstellen.” (Heidegger 2010: 1)

    Tendo presente a inexistência de tradução portuguesa de Kant und das Problem der Metaphysik, decidimos avançar com uma tradução da nossa responsabilidade a partir do texto original em alemão, com o auxílio da consulta das traduções em castelhano (de Gred Ibscher Roth, publicada em 1954 pelo Fondo de Cultura Económica), em francês (de Alphonse de Waelhens e Walter Biemel, publicada em 1981 pela Gallimard) e em inglês (de Richard Taft, publicada em 1990 pela Indiana University Press).

    5 “Enthüllung der inneren Möglichkeit der Ontologie” (Heidegger 2010: §2)

    6 “[die] Möglichkeit der ontischen Erkenntnis” (Heidegger 2010: §2)

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    ente, de tal modo que, assim, a experiência poderá adequar-se ao ente como a um objeto possível (Heidegger 2010: §3)7.


    Importaria elucidar o modo como Heidegger – segundo uma postura de interpretação oposta ao neokantismo de Marburg – sustenta que a filosofia transcendental kantiana não deve ser perspetivada como teoria do conhecimento ou epistemologia8, mas como interrogação acerca da possibilidade interna da ontologia – a revolução coperniciana coloca no centro o problema da ontologia. Em Kant e o Problema da Metafísica, Heidegger pretende avaliar a filosofia transcendental kantiana como investigação acerca da finitude do sujeito: a possibilidade da determinação da objetividade do conhecimento assume-se concebida por Heidegger como possibilidade de determinação do conhecimento intuitivo, recetivo – efetivada, pois, por um ser definido segundo a finitude e a recetividade. Não se trata da questão epistemológica, mas da questão ontológica: a teoria do conhecimento kantiana deverá ser lida como uma ontologia. A filosofia transcendental, tal como avaliada por Heidegger, inicia, pois, a tarefa de determinar a essência do conhecimento ontológico através da explicitação da sua origem, e tal investigação da origem deve consistir numa investigação da razão pura humana. Neste momento inicial da sua interpretação, Heidegger manifesta a principal perspetiva acerca da problemática definidora da Crítica da Razão Pura: a finitude da razão humana.


    7 “Transzendentale Erkenntnis untersucht nicht das Seiende selbst, sondern die Möglichkeit des vorgängigen Seinsverständnisses, d.h. zugleich: die Seinsverfassung des Seienden. Sie betrifft das Überschreiten (Transzendenz) der reinen Vernunft zum Seienden, so daβ sich diesem jetzt allererst als möglichem Gegenstand Erfahrung anmessen kann.” (Heidegger 2010: §3)

    8 A propósito, cite-se novamente Gordon: “It is distinctively Marburgian interpretation of Kant’s philosophy

    • as an epistemological propaedeutic to natural science anchored in the thesis of mental spontaneity – that Heidegger most wished to combat. In his Kant-lectures at Davos, Heidegger indicated that his argument was meant “in opposition to the traditional interpretation of neo-Kantianism”, and he insisted further that, Marburg doctrine notwithstanding, the Critique of Pure Reason was “no theory of mathematical, natural- scientific knowledge”. Given the preeminent status of neo-Kantian interpretation in German philosophy at the time, Heidegger’s dissent from its most basic premises no doubt appeared controversial. But Heidegger clearly wished to emphasize the unprecedented character of his own argument. The traditional interpretations notwithstanding, the first Critique in his view was “not a theory of knowledge at all”, but instead a “grounding for metaphysics”. The essential difference lay in the fact that the neo-Kantians saw the first Critique as an epistemological investigation (that is, a study of the formal conditions for empirical knowledge), whereas Heidegger now claimed the Critique must to be understood as a preparatory investigation into the conditions for ontological understanding. [...] On Heidegger’s view, such an ontological inquiry was bound from the very outset by the stricture that the investigation must concern solely human or finite reason. Human thought is in its essential character finite. [...] Yet even in Kant’s own philosophy Heidegger could find support for the premise that “knowing is primarily intuiting”. Human knowledge must consist in both intuition as well as thought; indeed, intuition is primary, because for an object to be thought, it must first to be given. [...] yet Heidegger’s most explicit complaint was that in their zealous efforts to extol the generative independence of the mind the Marburg neo-Kantians had erased from their portrait of human knowledge its most crucial feature: receptivity. Knowledge is always born of an orientation toward the world and a dependency upon its world by means of intuitions. A proper assessment of the first Critique was therefore possible only if one first acknowledge the essence of finite knowledge in general and the basic character of finitude as such. For Heidegger this meant that one must attend primarily to Kant’s theory of sensibility. Against the neo-Kantian absorption of intuition into the understanding, Heidegger claimed instead that sensibility should be granted its foundational role not as a merely “sensual” or “psychological” faculty but as truly “metaphysical” foundation for experience. It followed that the first Critique was an inquiry into finitude itself as the birthplace of ontology.”. (Gordon 2010: 127-129)

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      A origem da fundamentação da metafísica é a razão pura humana, pois, no centro da problemática da fundamentação encontra-se, como o mais essencial, o carácter humano da razão, i.e., a sua finitude. Por conseguinte, de modo a caracterizar o campo de origem, há que concentrar esforços no esclarecimento da essência da finitude do conhecimento humano. (Heidegger 2010: §4)9

      No mesmo tom:


      A fundamentação da metafísica baseia-se na pergunta pela finitude do homem – constituindo-se, tal questão, a partir de agora, como problema. […] A presente interpretação da Crítica da Razão Pura assumiu como objetivo lançar luz sobre a necessidade, no que respeita a uma fundamentação da metafísica, da pergunta acerca da finitude do homem. Como tal, a questão da finitude foi constantemente tratada, tanto no início, como também no desenrolar desta interpretação. (Heidegger 2010: §38)10


      Por conseguinte, no decorrer da sua interpretação da obra de Kant, Heidegger poderá continuamente reiterar: “assim como a essência do conhecimento se encontra, primariamente, na intuição […], a essência finita do homem é o tema principal de toda a fundamentação da metafísica (Heidegger 2010: §5) 11 . Eis o ponto de partida da interpretação heideggeriana: todo o pensamento dirige-se à intuição [Anschauung] e a esta se encontra submetido; tal sustentação culmina na asseveração de que o pensamento é irremediavelmente recetivo e na conclusão de que o entendimento é uma faculdade menor relativamente à sensibilidade e à imaginação12. Segundo Heidegger, é a intuição sensível o


      9 “Der Quellgrund für die Grundlegung der Metaphysik ist die menschliche reine Vernunft, so zwar, daβ für den Kern dieser Grundlegungsproblematik gerade die Menschlichkeit der Vernunft, d.h. ihre Endlichkeit wesentlich wird. Es gilt daher, die Charakteristik des Ursprungsfeldes auf die Klärung des Wesens der Endlichkeit menschlicher Erkenntnis zu konzentrieren.” (Heidegger 2010: §4)

      10 “Die Grundlegung der Metaphysik gründet in der Frage nach der Endlichkeit im Menschen, so zwar, daβ diese Endlichkeit jetzt erst Problem warden kann.[…] Um dieses fundamentale Problem der Notwendigkeit der Frage nach der Endlichkeit im Menschen in Absicht auf eine Grundlegung der Metaphysik ans Licht zu bringen, wurde die vorstehende Auslegung der Kritik der reinen Vernunft unternommen. Demgemäβ war auch die Endlichkeit dasjenige, was im vorhinein beim Ansatz der Interpretation und dann ständig während ihrer Durchführung in Erinnerung gebracht warden muβte. (Heidegger 2010: §38)

      11 “Weil nun das Wesen der Erkenntnis primar in der Anschauung liegt […] für die ganze Grundlegung der Metaphysik das endliche Wesen des Menschen im Thema steht […].” (Heidegger 2010: §5)

      12 Tal afirmação constitui a marca mais incisiva da interpretação heideggeriana da Crítica da Razão Pura, a

      qual continuará presente, alguns anos depois, no âmbito de uma obra de Heidegger igualmente dedicada à primeira Crítica de Kant, Was ist ein Ding? (1962). Leia-se Heidegger em Was ist ein Ding?: “A primazia dada ao tratamento da lógica, a sua extensão desproporcionada na totalidade da obra, salta à vista. Podemos também comprovar, constantemente, em capítulos isolados, que a questão acerca do juízo e do conceito, portanto, acerca do pensamento, ocupa o primeiro plano. Podemos ainda reconhecer, sem dificuldades, este facto, a partir do capítulo que pusemos na base da nossa interpretação e que designámos como o centro íntimo da obra. Os títulos falam de modo suficientemente claro: trata-se dos juízos. É do logos, razão, que verdadeiramente se trata, no título de conjunto da obra. Tendo por base esta evidente primazia da lógica, conclui-se, quase sem excepção, que Kant via no pensar, no julgar, a essência autêntica do conhecimento. A lógica antiga e tradicional, segundo a qual o lugar do verdadeiro e do falso é o juízo e o enunciado, vinha ao encontro desta opinião. A verdade é a característica fundamental do conhecimento. A questão acerca do

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      elemento que possui maior relevância na constituição do conhecimento, e não o conceito do entendimento: “a intuição constitui a essência própria do conhecimento e, em todas as relações mútuas entre intuição e pensar, a intuição possui verdadeiro peso” (Heidegger 2010: §4)13. Consequentemente, o conhecimento, enquanto tal, possui uma essência que lhe é própria – a intuição. E a intuição possui um carácter finito, uma vez que assenta na recetividade. A intuição é sempre finita e dependente daquilo que recebe – “[a] intuição finita está destinada ao elemento intuído como a um ente que existe já por si mesmo” (Heidegger 2010: §5) 14. Neste sentido, “a intuição finita não pode receber sem que o


      conhecimento é, portanto, apenas a questão acerca do juízo e a interpretação de Kant deve fixar-se neste ponto, na medida em que ele é o ponto importante. Até que ponto estes preconceitos impediram que se penetrasse no centro da obra não pode, nem precisa, ser aqui tratado com mais pormenor. Mas, para uma correcta apreciação da obra, deve ter-se esta situação, permanentemente, diante dos olhos. Em geral, a interpretação neokantiana da Crítica da Razão Pura conduzia a um menosprezo do elemento constituinte fundamental do conhecimento humano: a intuição. A interpretação de Kant, feita pela escola de Marburgo, ia mesmo tão longe que apagava a intuição, como um corpo totalmente estranho à Crítica da Razão Pura. Tal eliminação da intuição teve também como consequência que a questão acerca da unidade de ambos os elementos constituintes, intuição e pensamento, mais precisamente, a questão acerca do fundamento da possibilidade da sua unificação, tomou uma direcção errada, no caso de, em geral, ter sido posta com seriedade. Todas estas interpretações incorrectas da Crítica da Razão Pura, que ainda hoje circulam com diversas modificações, tiveram como resultado que o significado desta obra, quanto à única questão que verdadeiramente lhe está ligada, a questão acerca da possibilidade de uma metafísica, nem foi correctamente avaliada nem, sobretudo, tornada criadoramente fecunda. Mas como se deve explicar que até o próprio Kant, apesar do significado fundante e determinante da intuição no conhecimento humano, transfira para a discussão sobre o pensamento o trabalho principal da análise do conhecimento? A razão para isto é tão simples como evidente. Justamente porque Kant – por oposição à metafísica racional, que colocava a essência do conhecimento na razão pura, no puro pensar por conceitos – destaca a intuição como o momento fundamental que suporta o conhecimento humano, deveria agora, por isso, o pensamento ser destituído da primazia que até então lhe fora atribuída e do seu valor exclusivo. Mas a crítica não se deverá contentar com a tarefa negativa de contestar essa primazia ao pensamento conceptual; antes de mais e acima de tudo, devia determinar e fundamentar, de modo novo, a essência do pensamento. A extensa discussão do pensamento e do conceito, na Crítica da Razão Pura, fala tão pouco a favor de uma depreciação da intuição que, pelo contrário, a discussão do conceito e do juízo é a prova mais evidente de que, agora em diante, a intuição permanece determinante e que sem ela o pensamento não é nada. O tratamento pormenorizado de um dos elementos constituintes do conhecimento agravou-se mesmo mais na 2ª edição, de modo que, de facto, parece muitas vezes que a questão acerca da essência do conhecimento é exclusivamente uma questão acerca do juízo e das suas condições. Mas a primazia da questão acerca do juízo não tem o seu fundamento no facto de a essência do conhecimento ser verdadeiramente julgar, mas no facto de a essência do julgar dever ser determinada de modo novo, porque ele é agora concebido como um representar que, antecipadamente, se relaciona com a intuição, quer dizer, com o objecto. A primazia da lógica, o tratamento mais pormenorizado do pensar, é necessário, precisamente porque o pensar, de acordo com a sua essência, não tem a primazia sobre a intuição, mas está fundado nela e está sempre relacionado com ela. A primazia da lógica, na Crítica da Razão Pura, tem unicamente a sua base na não-primazia do objecto da lógica e na posição auxiliar do pensar face à intuição. Se o pensamento, como pensamento justo, está sempre relacionado com a intuição, então a lógica que pertence a este pensamento trata necessária e directamente desta relação essencial com a intuição e, portanto, da própria intuição. A pequena extensão da “Estética” – como primeira doutrina autónoma da intuição – é apenas uma aparência exterior. Porque a “Estética” é agora o decisivo, quer dizer, porque ela desempenha em todo o lado o papel determinante, é que ela dá tanto que fazer a lógica. Por isso, a “Lógica” deve ter uma tal extensão.”. (Heidegger 2002: 144-146)

      13 “[…] muβ aber festgehalten werden, daβ die Anschauung das eigentliche Wesen der Erkenntnis ausmacht und bei aller Wechselseitigkeit des Bezuges zwischen Anschauen und Denken das eigentliche Gewicht bezitzt.” (Heidegger 2010: §4)

      14 “Endliche Anschauung sieht sich auf das Anschaubare als ein von sich her schon Seiendes angewiesen.” (Heidegger 2010: §5)

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      recebido se lhe anuncie. A intuição finita necessita, tal como a sua natureza o confirma, de ser tocada e afetada pelo elemento intuído” (Heideger 2010: §5)15.

      No seguimento de tais considerações, importaria atentar que, de acordo com Heidegger, o entendimento constitui-se como uma faculdade mais finita do que a sensibilidade: conquanto a intuição necessite da intervenção do entendimento sobre si mesma para ser determinada, o entendimento, dependente da intuição, afigura-se mais finito do que esta – precisamente por não possuir uma relação imediata sobre o elemento intuído; o entendimento não pode representar senão por desvios, indiretamente, o que significa que a subsunção das intuições em conceitos ocorre apenas de modo diferido. A interpretação heideggeriana manifesta uma postura de contínua desconsideração relativamente à atividade de produção de conceitos e juízos do entendimento: o entendimento é tão pouco criador quanto a sensibilidade, uma vez que, tal como esta, aquele não é capaz de criar o ente (de outra forma seria um entendimento intuitivo). No que concerne a possibilidade de produção de conceitos que unificam intuições, o entendimento não possui um pendor propriamente produtivo em si mesmo – de facto, o conceito geral do entendimento não é produzido, mas extraído do elemento intuído. Haveria que sublinhar que, recorrentemente, a leitura heideggeriana como que parece afirmar a existência anterior do objeto face ao sujeito, como se aquele não fosse constituído pela atividade da subjetividade através da produção de conceitos enquanto função do entendimento. Heidegger rejeita confirmar a leitura epistemológica da Crítica, designadamente no que respeita a conceção de que o objeto, no interior do pensamento kantiano, apenas se constitui quando o dado da intuição é determinado por um conceito do entendimento.

      Atente-se, pois, na postura interpretativa de Heidegger, pautada pela insistência na recusa da leitura preponderantemente epistemológica da Crítica da Razão Pura: a maneira de pensar discursiva, própria do entendimento que, mediante a sua atividade, determina objetivamente os conhecimentos segundo juízos universais e necessários, possibilitando a comunicação dos mesmos entre os homens, não constitui, com efeito, objeto de consideração filosófica por parte de Heidegger. A leitura heideggeriana não concede atenção à posição kantiana acerca da matemática e da física enquanto ciências sintéticas a priori; a tarefa kantiana de sustentação da necessidade e da universalidade de tais ciências não é, de facto, tratada em Kant e o Problema da Metafísica16.


      15 “Endliche Anschauung kann aber nich hinnehmen, ohne daβdas Hinzunehmende sich meldet. Endliche Anschauung muβ ihrem Wesen nach von dem in ihr Anschaubaren angeganzen, affiziert werden.” (Heidegger 2010: §5)

      16 Leia-se Gordon: “Heidegger continued to insist that the compulsion to establish a species of “objective knowledge” (modelled on mathematical natural sciences) was little more than a neo-Kantian dogma and had nothing to do with Kant’s genuine aims. How one resolves this perplexity depends entirely, of course, on whether one regards Heidegger’s Kant-interpretation as a faithful exposition or as a wilful imposition to exotic claims. But reaching a settlement on this issue was by no means a simple matter of textual evidence. In fact, for those at Davos who had listened closely to Heidegger’s exposition on the first Critique as a “groundlaying for metaphysics”, it was by now obvious that he considered the very ideal of a faithful exposition as deeply naive. After all, an effort at brute reconstruction would miss the fact that Kant himself was at war with his own intentions and that he had been led “to the brink of a position from which he had to

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  2. A centralidade da imaginação e a sua relação com o tempo. A imaginação como faculdade fundamental.

    A interpretação heideggeriana da Crítica da Razão Pura desenvolve-se em torno da afirmação de existência de uma suposta “unidade originária” (Heidegger 2010: §6)17 entre as duas fontes fundamentais do conhecimento, a sensibilidade e o entendimento. De acordo com Heidegger, a união entre essas duas fontes fundamentais deve constituir-se mediante uma “síntese ontológica” (Heidegger 2010: §7)18 que, ao unir intuição e pensamento, seria o fundamento que possibilitaria todo o conhecimento objetivo. Neste sentido, a fundamentação da metafísica deve encaminhar-se para esse “desconhecido” (Heidegger 2010: §6) 19 e procurar tal síntese ontológica, fundamento originário da possibilidade interna de todas as sínteses e fonte de todo o conhecimento finito e da sua possível unidade. Tenha-se presente que, neste ponto, Heidegger procurar autonomizar uma faculdade enquanto fonte de possibilidade do conhecer humano, ao invés de avaliar a concordância formal entre faculdades no ato de determinação do conhecimento – Ernst Cassirer perspetivará depreciativamente tal monismo da imaginação 20 que subjaz à


    shrink back”. To remain at the level of mere reconstruction was thus to assure that the deeper historical significance of Kant’s philosophy remained hidden. What was required was not a mere reconstruction but a genuine destruction, because ostensibly only the latter could reveal the true significance of Kant’s philosophy within the larger history of Western metaphysics. It thus seems fair to say that the ultimate effect of Cassirer’s challenge was to insist on the sharp distinction between reconstructive and destructive modes of interpretation. At stake in this distinction, Cassirer believed, was Kant’s own investment in the objective status of mathematical and ethical knowledge, an objectivity Heidegger seemed ready to abandon so as to overcome reason’s historical-metaphysical supremacy.”. (Gordon 2010: 158).

    17 “ursprüngliche Einheit” (Heidegger 2010: §6)

    18 “ontologische Synthesis” (Heidegger 2010: §7)

    19 “Unbekannte” (Heidegger 2010: §6)

    20 O termo monismo da imaginação surge na resposta de Cassirer ao livro de Heidegger Kant e o Problema da Metafísica. Parece-nos relevante expor aqui algumas orientações críticas que Cassirer dirige à interpretação heideggeriana da filosofia de Kant, seguindo Peter Gordon. Leia-se, pois, Gordon: “The key to Heidegger’s interpretation, Cassirer observed, was its attempt to characterize the first Critique as a disquisition on the finitude of human understanding. This interpretation had apparently solid textual foundations: Kant himself had distinguished between the divine intellect (intuits originarius), which enjoys an unconditioned spontaneity and relates immediately to the being of objects in the very act of thought, and the human intellect, which is fundamentally receptive in virtue of its dependence on what is given through intuition. On Heidegger’s view this insight into the essential dependency of the human mind remained in place throughout the first Critique. But, as Cassirer noted, this view highly controversial in light of Kant’s discovery that the mind makes its own “spontaneous” contribution to human knowledge in the form of the pure concepts of the understanding. Indeed, Kant himself had wished to safeguard this spontaneity by distinguishing between three faculties of mind: understanding, reason, and sensibility. Thus even while Kant granted that sensibility was a faculty dependent upon what is given, Kant could sustain this dependency together with his theory of rational spontaneity. But, on Heidegger’s reading, the apparent spontaneity of the understanding was an illusion, for Kant himself ultimately reaffirmed the finitude of human knowledge insofar as he traced the three faculties to a single source in the transcendental imagination. [...] As Cassirer explained, the suggestion that Kant’s philosophy was anchored in a theory of human finitude could be justified only if one construed the notion of finitude according to the signature distinctions of transcendental philosophy, between the sensible and the intelligible world, experience and idea, phenomena and noumena. Heidegger was certainly correct to observe that human knowledge exhibits a certain finitude in relation to the objects of knowledge insofar as the human mind does not create its objects but instead must receive them. But in attempting to make this a linchpin of Kantian doctrine, Heidegger missed the fact that transcendental philosophy, in Cassirer’s words, “has nothing to do with the absolute existence of objects and the absolute

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    interpretação heideggeriana da Crítica da Razão Pura. Com efeito, a argumentação de Heidegger em Kant e o Problema da Metafísica conduz à afirmação de que a imaginação, enquanto imaginação transcendental, se constitui como a faculdade que promove a união a priori, ou a unidade originária, entre sensibilidade e entendimento: a imaginação é, pois, a faculdade por excelência do conhecimento objetivo – é a faculdade que possibilita o conhecimento objetivo. Heidegger insiste na importância metafísica do carácter intermediário da imaginação (que estabelecerá tal síntese ontológica, fonte de todas as outras sínteses, entre sensibilidade e entendimento), proclamando-a como a principal faculdade do sujeito: a imaginação funda o próprio tempo enquanto sentido interno e afeção de si e condiciona a atividade do entendimento. É deste modo que Heidegger elege a imaginação transcendental enquanto faculdade que permite a determinação, objetivação e unidade do conhecimento, enquanto faculdade que produz a síntese pura entre intuição pura e pensamento puro, i.e., a síntese transcendental que sustenta todas as sínteses dela derivadas – “tudo aquilo que revele uma estrutura sintética na estrutura essencial do conhecimento é devido à imaginação” (Heidegger 2010: §14) 21 . A síntese pura ou ontológica da imaginação apresenta como tarefa que lhe é própria “a fundamentação do conhecimento ontológico” (Heidegger 2010: §14) 22, formando “a unidade da estrutura essencial do conhecimento finito” (Heidegger 2010: §14)23.


    ground of their Being”. Kant’s inquiry was not fixed directly on the objects and their origins but only on the modes by which those objects were understood. [...] Cassirer’s conclusion was that throughout the Kant-book Heidegger tried illicitly to collapse the essential dualism in Kant doctrine concerning reason’s twofold application to the intelligible (noumenal) and the sensible (phenomena) worlds. Heidegger’s evident purpose in collapsing this dualism, Cassirer surmised, was to demonstrate and allegedly dramatic if rarely acknowledged truth, that Kant’s critical philosophy bought reason back from its illusory transcendence and restored it to the “plane of temporal Dasein”. But Heidegger’s attempt to unify these two distinctive domains of reason (by grounding them both fully and decisively in the transcendental imagination) found no real warrant in Kant’s text. In place of Kant’s characteristic dualism, Heidegger had simply substituted what Cassirer termed as a “monism of imagination”. [...] The ultimate goal of the Kantian system, Cassirer declared, was not human Dasein in its incorrigible finitude and temporal isolation, but instead the “intelligible substrate of humanity”. [...] Cassirer was well aware of Heidegger’s explanation as to why his reading appeared so exotic: Heidegger wished to bring to light not what Kant actually said but what remained unsaid as the hidden and metaphysical doctrine that had been suppressed by Kant and his neo-Kantian followers. And this meant resisting the apparent meaning of Kant’s texts even to the point of contradicting its manifest content. In Heidegger’s own words (as quoted by Cassirer), “any such interpretation must necessarily use violence”. From Cassirer’s perspective, however, this apologia for violence simply opened the door to wilful distortion. To claim with Heidegger that the first Critique contained a theory of “purely receptive spontaneity” was to import into Kant’s lexicon a wholly foreign terminology that would have seemed, from Kant’s own perspective, no less paradoxical than the concept of wooden iron. “Here”, Cassirer wrote, “Heidegger speaks no longer as commentator but as a usurper, who intrudes as it were on the Kantian system with force of arms to subject it an make it serve his [own] problematic.[...] Kant’s theory concerning an intelligible order of pure ideas did not stand in contradiction to this empiricism because it was not a theory of intelligible substance (and, moreover, because they cannot be schematized in priori spatiotemporal intuition, such ideas were not actually “metaphysical” in the dogmatic sense). Kant neither imagined nor had any reason to fear anything like the “abyss” Heidegger discerned in his philosophy. Cassirer could therefore see little warrant for Heidegger’s image of an “anxious Kant”.”. (Gordon 2010: 273-279)

    21 “[…] daβ offenbar alles, was überhaupt an Synthesisstrukturen sich im Wesensbau der Erkenntnis zeigt, durch die Einbildungskraft erwikt ist.” (Heidegger 2010: §14)

    22 “die Grundlegung der ontologischen Erkenntnis” (Heidegger 2010: §14)

    23 “die Einheit des Wesensbaues endlicher Erkenntnis” (Heidegger 2010: §14)

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    A interpretação heideggeriana da Crítica da Razão Pura: a questão da imaginação


    Segundo Heidegger, é justamente esta relevância metafísica da imaginação transcendental e da sua síntese pura ou ontológica que constitui o momento fulcral de determinação do conhecimento que Kant sustenta em “Dedução Transcendental dos Conceitos Puros do Entendimento” da primeira edição de Crítica. Haverá que esclarecer que, de acordo com Kant e o Problema da Metafísica, a clarificação da estrutura da síntese pura enquanto produto da imaginação transcendental permite a revelação da “essência mais íntima da finitude da razão” (Heidegger 2010: §16)24 – e o percurso elaborado por uma crítica da razão culmina, por seu turno, na revelação da imaginação transcendental enquanto faculdade que possibilita e determina o conhecimento através da sua intermediação entre sensibilidade e entendimento, apresentando-se como o núcleo definidor da razão humana finita. Segundo a postura heideggeriana, a autêntica crítica da razão revela o núcleo desconhecido da razão: a imaginação transcendental. Heidegger não prolonga a sua interpretação até à “Dialética Transcendental” da Crítica da Razão Pura e, por conseguinte, não considera a razão enquanto tal nem as suas Ideias – de acordo com Heidegger, o cerne da razão pura finita revela-se enquanto imaginação transcendental, o que o levará a concluir que a razão humana é, para além de finita, irremediavelmente “sensível” (Heidegger 2010: §31)25.

    A aperceção transcendental, enquanto ato do entendimento, pressupõe a síntese pura: a imaginação configura-se como produtora da aperceção transcendental. É a imaginação a faculdade que permite, em última instância, a objetivação do conhecimento, é a faculdade que condiciona e funda todas as outras: a expressão “realidade objetiva” (Heidegger 2010: §18)26, sustenta Heidegger, deve ser interpretada “desde a essência da síntese pura da imaginação transcendental, que constitui a essência do conhecimento ontológico” (Heidegger 2010: §18)27. Segundo Heidegger, a objetivação do conhecimento desenvolve-se a partir da concordância entre intuição pura (tempo), síntese pura (imaginação) e, por fim, aperceção pura (entendimento), a qual é presidida pela síntese pura da imaginação enquanto “possibilidade interna da unidade essencial do conhecimento puro” (Heidegger 2010: §17)28. É a síntese pura que promove e constitui a objetivação do conhecimento, possibilitando algo como um “horizonte de objetividade” (Heidegger 2010:

    §17)29 – primeiramente, através da sua intervenção sobre a intuição pura, o tempo, pois a imaginação transcendental tem sempre que se referir ao tempo enquanto mediadora entre este e o entendimento e, em segundo lugar, através das suas operações de condicionamento do próprio pensamento que, enquanto tal, tem de fundar a sua atividade na síntese pura da imaginação e na relação desta com o tempo. De modo mais claro: a síntese pura da imaginação transcendental funda o tempo (através das suas sínteses sobre ele) e condiciona o entendimento. A imaginação é a faculdade-chave do sujeito transcendental.


    24 “das innerste Wesen der Endlichkeit der Vernunft” (Heidegger 2010: §16)

    25 “sinnlich” (Heidegger 2010: §31)

    26 “objektive Realität” (Heidegger 2010: §18)

    27 “[…] aus dem Wesen der reinen Synthesis der transzendentalen Einbildungskraft, als welche sie die Wesenheit der ontologischen Erkenntnis bildet […] (Heidegger 2010: §18)

    28 “die innere Möglichkeit der Wesenseinheit der reinen Erkenntnis” (Heidegger 2010: §17)

    29 “[ein] Horizont von Gegenständlichkeit” (Heidegger 2010: §17)

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    De acordo com a leitura heideggeriana, a imaginação funda o tempo mediante a intervenção das suas sínteses sobre este, identificando-se, simultaneamente, com o próprio tempo. Seguindo uma argumentação não totalmente esclarecedora, Heidegger conclui que imaginação e tempo são o mesmo e que toda a fundamentação da metafísica deve constituir-se enquanto uma investigação sobre o (ser e o) tempo. Tal como a imaginação, o tempo é um dos elementos que revela a finitude do sujeito, bem como a determinação intuitiva do seu modo de conhecer, adquirindo um papel central na Crítica da Razão Pura, tal como se pode ler no capítulo “Do Esquematismo dos Conceitos Puros do Entendimento” – um capítulo que, sob o olhar de Heidegger, apresenta a importante articulação entre tempo e imaginação. Neste sentido, de acordo com a interpretação heideggeriana, é, pois, no capítulo do “Esquematismo” que Kant delineia de modo mais rigoroso a união essencial entre os dois elementos definidores do sujeito: o tempo, enquanto afeção de si, e a imaginação transcendental. É esta relação entre tempo e imaginação que Heidegger privilegia na filosofia kantiana e não aqueloutra relação entre imaginação e entendimento que Kant estabeleceu na segunda edição da “Dedução Transcendental dos Conceitos Puros do Entendimento”. É, justamente, a relação ou a união entre imaginação transcendental e tempo que constitui, para Heidegger, o núcleo da crítica da razão.

    A fundamentação da metafísica, ou a crítica da razão pura, deve desenvolver-se em torno da problemática do ser humano e, por conseguinte, encaminhar-se para a revelação de que o aspeto fundamental a considerar é a finitude do modo de conhecer humano. Assim dito, Heidegger proclama a exigência da valorização metafísica da imaginação e da sua articulação com o tempo enquanto afeção dos entes exteriores e, a partir destes, de si.


    A fundamentação kantiana da metafísica conduz à imaginação transcendental. Esta é a raiz de ambos os ramos, sensibilidade e entendimento. Como tal, a imaginação transcendental possibilita a unidade originária da síntese ontológica. Esta raiz está inscrita no tempo originário. O fundamento originário que se revela na fundamentação é o tempo. A fundamentação kantiana da metafísica parte da metaphysica generalis, configurando-se como a pergunta acerca da possibilidade da ontologia em geral. Esta coloca o problema da essência da constituição ontológica, ou seja, o problema do ser em geral. A fundamentação da metafísica funda-se no tempo. A pergunta pelo ser, pergunta fundamental da fundamentação da metafísica, é o problema do “ser e tempo”. (Heidegger 2010: §35)30


    30 “Kants Grundlegung der Metaphysik führt auf die transzendentale Einbildungskraft. Diese ist die Wurzel der beiden Stämme Sinnlichkeit und Verstand. Als solche ermöglicht sie die ursprüngliche Einheit der ontologischen Synthesis. Diese Wurzel aber ist in der ursprünglichen Zeit verwurzelt. Der in der Grundlegung offenbar werdende ursprüngliche Grund ist die Zeit. Kants Grundlegung der Metaphysik setzt bei der Metaphysica generalis ein und wird so zur Frage nach der Möglichkeit einer Ontologie überhaupt. Diese stellt die Frage nach dem Wesen der Seinsverfassung des Seienden, d.h. nach dem Sein überhaupt. Auf dem Grunde der Zeit erwächst die Grundlegung der Metaphysik. Die Frage nach dem Sein, die Grundfrage einer Grundlegung der Metaphysik, ist das Problem von “Sein und Zeit””. (Heidegger 2010: §35)

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    Por conseguinte, de acordo com Heidegger, há que rejeitar filosoficamente a consideração de que a lógica é o núcleo da metafísica kantiana. Segundo a interpretação heideggeriana, a Crítica da Razão Pura revela que


    1. “lógica” foi destituída do seu lugar tradicional no interior da metafísica. A sua ideia tornou-se questionável. Se a essência da transcendência se baseia na imaginação pura, ou seja, na temporalidade num sentido mais originário, a ideia de uma “lógica transcendental” constitui-se, em particular, como algo sem sentido, especialmente se, contra a intenção original de Kant, se apresenta considerada como disciplina autónoma e absoluta. (Heidegger 2010: §45)31


    Analisemos, de modo pormenorizado, as principais posições sustentadas por Heidegger relativamente ao papel da imaginação no âmbito da Crítica da Razão Pura:

    1. A imaginação como unidade originária entre sensibilidade e entendimento. A interpretação de Heidegger da Crítica da Razão Pura de Kant privilegia a primeira edição da obra. Segundo Heidegger, é nesta primeira edição que Kant desenvolve a questão da finitude humana através da relevância atribuída à imaginação na tarefa de determinação dos conhecimentos objetivos. Assim, segundo Heidegger, na primeira edição da Crítica da Razão Pura, designadamente no que concerne a “Dedução Transcendental dos Conceitos Puros do Entendimento”, Kant avalia a imaginação enquanto faculdade fundamental e autónoma da alma, que possibilita a “unidade originária” (Heidegger 2010: §27)32 entre sensibilidade e entendimento e, como tal, a “unidade essencial da transcendência” (Heidegger 2010: §27)33. A imaginação transcendental não é somente um laço exterior que une dois extremos (sensibilidade e entendimento) – a imaginação transcendental é “originariamente unitiva” (Heidegger 2010: §27)34, é o “centro originariamente formativo” (Heidegger 2010: §27)35, o que significa que se trata da faculdade que promove a unidade das duas faculdades referidas, que, por sua vez, possuem uma relação estrutural e essencial com a imaginação. A imaginação transcendental é a raiz comum da sensibilidade e do entendimento; a estrutura da sensibilidade e do entendimento encontra-se enraizada na estrutura da imaginação. Por conseguinte, a imaginação transcendental constitui-se, igualmente, como núcleo da razão pura.

    2. A imaginação como a faculdade que possibilita o conhecimento objetivo. Na primeira edição da “Dedução Transcendental”, a imaginação define-se como a “raiz da transcendência” (Heidegger 2010: §27) 36. É a imaginação transcendental que produz a



    31 “Die “Logik” ist ihr von alters her ausgebildeter Vorrang in der Metaphysik genommen. Ihre Idee wird fraglich. Wenn das Wesen der Transzendenz in der reinen Einbildungskraft bzw. ursprünglicher in der Zeitlichkeit gründet, dann ist gerade die Idee der “transzendentalen Logik” ein Unbegriff, zumal dann, wenn sie noch, entgegen der ursprünglichen Absicht Kants, auf sich gestellt und absolut genommen wird.” (Heidegger 2010: §45)

    32 ursprüngliche Einheit” (Heidegger 2010: §27)

    33 “Wesenseinheit der Transzendenz” (Heidegger 2010: §27)

    34 “ursprünglich einigend” (Heidegger 2010: §27)

    35 “ursprünglich bildende Mitte” (Heidegger 2010: §27)

    36 “Wurzel der Transzendenz” (Heidegger 2010: §27)

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        denominada síntese ontológica entre a intuição pura e o pensar puro – o que a configura como a faculdade que possibilita a unidade e a objetivação do conhecimento. Trata-se, pois, do fundamento sobre o qual se constrói “a possibilidade interna do conhecimento ontológico e, portanto, a da metaphysica generalis” (Heidegger 2010: §26)37, do “centro formativo do conhecimento puro” (Heidegger 2010: §31) 38 . A imaginação compõe previamente o “horizonte de objetividade” (Heidegger 2010: §26) 39 do conhecimento – como tal, a imaginação deve ser designada de imaginação transcendental.

        1. A imaginação como a faculdade que institui a finitude da razão pura e o carácter sensível e recetivo desta. Segundo a primeira edição da Crítica, o pensar puro e a razão pura assentam na faculdade da imaginação – o que significa que a razão pura humana possui uma determinação sensível que a delimita e a torna finita. O pensamento puro possui um “carácter imaginativo” (Heidegger 2010: §29)40 – é sensível e, portanto, finito. O “pensar puro é recetivo enquanto tal, e não apenas de um modo subsequente; isto é, é intuição pura” (Heidegger 2010: §29)41; toda a espontaneidade do pensamento origina-se na e encontra-se dependente da imaginação transcendental, fonte da objetividade do conhecimento. O pensar puro e a razão pura são “espontaneidade recetiva” (Heidegger 2010: §29) 42 , uma vez que “o fundamento essencial do conhecimento ontológico” (Heidegger 2010: §31) 43 e da “transcendência finita” (Heidegger 2010: §31) 44 é a imaginação transcendental. O pensamento puro reduz-se à imaginação transcendental: no texto “Do Esquematismo dos Conceitos Puros do Entendimento”, os esquemas são concebidos, com efeito, como produtos transcendentais da imaginação subsumidos sob o entendimento: aquilo que pareceria uma função independente do entendimento puro é, pois, um ato fundamental puro da imaginação.

        2. A imaginação transcendental como a faculdade que funda o tempo. Não é apenas o pensamento puro que se encontra dependente da imaginação transcendental – a intuição pura apresenta-se, igualmente, fundada na imaginação. Os modos da síntese pura da imaginação – apreensão pura, reprodução pura e recognição pura – afetam o tempo enquanto intuição pura, fundando-o através da constituição de uma tripla unidade: o presente (a síntese da apreensão funda o presente através da sucessão de ‘agoras’), o passado (a síntese da reprodução pura funda o passado mediante a reprodução do anterior e sua ligação com o presente) e o futuro (a síntese da recognição funda o futuro ao reconhecer e unir previamente como idêntico os resultados das sínteses anteriores por meio do conceito). Estes três modos da síntese pura são produzidos pela imaginação



    37 “die innere Möglichkeit der ontologischen Erkenntnis und damit die der Metaphysica generalis.” (Heidegger 2010: §26)

    38 “bildende Mitte der reinen Erkenntnis” (Heidegger 2010: §31)

    39 “Horizont von Gegenständlichkeit” (Heidegger 2010: §26)

    40 “Einbildungscharakter” (Heidegger 2010: §29)

    41 “ist das reine Denken in sich, nicht nachträglich, hinnehmend, d.h. reine Anschauung” (Heidegger 2010:

    §29)

    42 “rezeptive Spontaneität” (Heidegger 2010: §29)

    43 “der Wesengrund der ontologischen Erkenntnis” (Heidegger 2010: §31)

    44 “endliche Transzendenz” (Heidegger 2010: §31)

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    transcendental e fundam, constituindo, o próprio tempo. A a imaginação, enquanto “elemento originariamente unitivo” (Heidegger 2010: §35)45, apenas em aparência é uma faculdade intermédia, pois, na verdade, ela é o próprio tempo. Imaginação transcendental e tempo são uma e a mesma coisa: “a raiz da transcendência” (Heidegger 2010: §27)46. Deparamo-nos, assim, com o tempo enquanto “fundamento originário” (Heidegger 2010:

    §35)47 da metafísica. A fundamentação da metafísica funda-se no tempo – “o fundamento originário que se revela na fundamentação é o tempo” (Heidegger 2010: §35)48. Da mesma forma, o conhecimento objetivo constitui-se como “determinações transcendentais do tempo” (Heidegger 2010: §35)49.


  3. A segunda edição da Crítica da Razão Pura. A alteração da postura kantiana. Heidegger conclui a sua interpretação da Crítica da Razão Pura perspetivando e sustentando uma alteração da postura kantiana relativamente à imaginação ocorrida entre a primeira e a segunda edições da obra. Segundo a leitura heideggeriana, na segunda edição da Crítica da Razão Pura, “Kant retrocedeu perante esta raiz desconhecida” (Heidegger 2010: §31)50, a imaginação – submetendo-a à espontaneidade do entendimento. Em vez de “função da alma” (primeira edição), Kant passa a definir a imaginação como “função do entendimento” (segunda edição): a imaginação não é mais uma faculdade autónoma, mas um produto da faculdade do entendimento. A tarefa da síntese pura já não pertence à imaginação, enquanto faculdade irredutível à sensibilidade e ao entendimento, mas sim à espontaneidade do entendimento, o que se traduz na recusa da possibilidade de que seja a imaginação “o fundamento essencial do conhecimento ontológico” (Heidegger 2010:

§31)51; na segunda edição, é o entendimento que desempenha “o papel de origem de toda a síntese” (Heidegger 2010: §31)52. Todo o ato transcendental da imaginação apresenta-se, assim, concebido – diferentemente do que fora sustentado na primeira edição – como um efeito do entendimento sobre a sensibilidade através da imaginação. Na segunda edição, a imaginação transcendental existe somente enquanto mera designação – imaginação é o nome dado à síntese empírica, pois a denominada síntese transcendental da imaginação assume-se realizada espontaneamente pelo entendimento agindo sobre a sensibilidade através da imaginação. A imaginação torna-se como que subsidiária do entendimento e perde a sua independência enquanto faculdade autónoma e fundamento essencial do conhecimento ontológico. Conclui Heidegger que, na segunda versão da Crítica, Kant efetua um recuo na sua inicial “interpretação mais originária da imaginação transcendental” (Heidegger 2010: §31)53.


45 “ursprünglich Einigende” (Heidegger 2010: §35) 46 “Wurzel der Transzendenz” (Heidegger 2010: §27) 47 “ursprüngliche Grund” (Heidegger 2010: §35)

48 “Der in der Grundlegung offenbar werdende ursprüngliche Grund ist die Zeit” (Heidegger 2010: §35)

49 “transzendentale Zeitbestimmungen” (Heidegger 2010: §35)

50 “Kant ist vor dieser unbekannten Wurzel zurückgewichen.” (Heidegger 2010: §31)

51 “die Grundlegung der ontologischen Erkenntnis” (Heidegger 2010: §31)

52 “die Rolle des Ursprüngs für alle Synthesis” (Heidegger 2010: §31)

53 “ursprüngliche Auslegung der transzendentalen Einbildungskraft” (Heidegger 2010: §31)

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Na segunda edição da Crítica da Razão Pura, Kant decidiu-se, assim assevera Heidegger, a favor do entendimento puro contra a imaginação, a fim de salvaguardar a supremacia da razão, designadamente da razão prática. Pois, “se a razão finita, enquanto espontaneidade, é recetiva, possuindo a sua origem na imaginação transcendental, também a razão prática, por conseguinte, se funda necessariamente na imaginação transcendental” (Heidegger 2010: §30)54. Em última instância, argumenta Heidegger, a crítica da razão pura (teórica ou prática), tal como o estabelecido na primeira versão do texto de Kant, converter-se-ia numa investigação da imaginação transcendental (a razão pura tornar-se-ia recetividade plena), o que conduziria a fundamentação da metafísica a um “abismo” (Heidegger 2010: §31) 55. Por conseguinte, a problemática de uma razão pura terá que desvalorizar a imaginação e “ocultar-lhe a sua essência transcendental” (Heidegger 2010:

§31)56.

Por fim, Heidegger conclui que a exigência kantiana de proceder a uma reescrita da “Dedução Transcendental” se encontra relacionada com a perspetivação de que a afirmação da primazia da imaginação poderia conduzir a filosofia moral ao empirismo ético. Tendo como principais motivos o afastamento relativamente a um antevisto empirismo ético (que o texto da primeira edição da Crítica da Razão Pura poderia sustentar) e a proclamação do carácter racional do conhecimento puro e da ação moral pura, Kant pretendera retirar proeminência à imaginação, reelaborando um segundo texto da “Dedução Transcendental”. Se, na primeira edição, Kant tratara da “finitude da transcendência humana” (Heidegger 2010: §31)57 enquanto problemática central da obra, na segunda edição Kant procurara salientar o carácter racional puro do sujeito que se descobre progressivamente na personalidade moral – só desta forma seria viável a sustentação de uma filosofia prática que afirmaria uma moralidade pura do sujeito assente numa razão pura (i.e., isenta de determinações sensíveis, que poderiam encontrar a sua fundamentação na imaginação enquanto recetividade).


*

Não é este o lugar nem o tempo apropriados para comentar – ou, eventualmente, refutar – a leitura da Crítica da Razão Pura avançada por Heidegger. A evocação da Crítica da Faculdade do Juízo permitiria a pronta e fácil consideração de variadíssimas possibilidades de contestação das posições sustentadas por Heidegger acerca da preponderância subjetiva da faculdade da imaginação, caracterizada, em termos definitivos, como “o fundamento da possibilidade da subjetividade humana” (Heidegger 2010: §31)58. Ou, do mesmo modo, bastaria empreender uma análise cuidada e rigorosa da filosofia kantiana – inclusivamente da primeira edição da Crítica da Razão Pura – e obter-


54 “Wenn aber die endliche Vernunft als Spontaneität rezeptiv ist und deshalb der transzendentalen Einbildungskraft entspringt, dann gründet auch die praktische Vernunft notwendig in dieser.” (Heidegger 2010: §30)

55 “Abgrund” (Heidegger 2010: §31)

56 “ihr transzendentales Wesen verdecken” (Heidegger 2010: §31)

57 “die Endlichkeit der menschlichen Transzendenz” (Heidegger 2010: §31)

58 “der Grund der Möglichkeit der menschlichen Subjektivität” (Heidegger 2010: §31)

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se-iam amplas e seguras hipóteses de condenação da interpretação heideggeriana. Saliente- se, porém, e em jeito de conclusão, que a contribuição heideggeriana para a perspetivação da imaginação no estrito âmbito da primeira Crítica não aspira nem pretende repetir, esclarecer ou elucidar o pensamento kantiano – o propósito heideggeriano é, pois, de outra ordem. Insistir na sua reprovação traduziria uma postura de incompreensão da nossa parte relativamente ao modo de filosofar (e de filosofar sobre outros filósofos) desenvolvido por Heidegger.


Bibliografia

GORDON, P. E. (2010). Continental Divide: Heidegger, Cassirer, Davos. Cambridge, MA

: Harvard University Press.

HEIDEGGER, M. (1954). Kant y el problema de la metafísica. Trad. Gred Ibscher Roth. Rev. Elsa Cecilia Frost. México : Fondo de Cultura Económica [Kant und das Problem der Metaphysik (1929)].

HEIDEGGER, M. (1981). Kant et le problème de la métaphysique. Trad. Alphonse de Waelhens e Walter Biemel. Paris : Gallimard [Kant und das Problem der Metaphysik (1929)].

HEIDEGGER, M. (1990). Kant and the Problem of Metaphysics. Trad. Richard Taft. Bloomington: Indiana University Press [Kant und das Problem der Metaphysik (1929)].

HEIDEGGER, M. (2010). Kant und das Problem der Metaphysik. Frankfurt am Main : Klostermann GmbH [1929].

HEIDEGGER, M. (2002). Que é uma coisa?. Trad. Carlos Morujão. Lisboa : Edições 70. [Was ist ein Ding? (1962)].

HUSSERL, E. (2008). A Crise das Ciências Europeias e a Fenomelogia Transcendental. Uma Introdução à Filosofia Fenomenológica, trad. Diogo Falcão Ferrer, Lisboa : Universidade de Lisboa. Centro de Filosofia [Die Krisis der europäischen Wissenchaften und die Transzendentale Phänomenologie. Eine Einleitung in die phänomenologische Philosophie (1936-1954)].

KANT, I. (2008). Crítica da Razão Pura. Trad. Manuela Pinto dos Santos e Alexandre Fradique Morujão. Lisboa : Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian [Kritik der reinen Vernunft (1781-1787)].


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The Case for Absolute Spontaneity in Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason


La defensa de la espontaneidad absoluta en la Crítica de la razón pura de Kant


ADDISON ELLIS*


University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA


Abstract


Kant describes the understanding as a faculty of spontaneity. What this means is that our capacity to judge what is true is responsible for its own exercises, which is to say that we issue our judgments for ourselves. To issue our judgments for ourselves is to be self-conscious – i.e., conscious of the grounds upon which we judge. To grasp the spontaneity of the understanding, then, we must grasp the self-consciousness of the understanding. I argue that what Kant requires for explaining spontaneity is a conception of judgment as an intrinsic self-consciousness of the total unity of possible knowledge. This excludes what have been called ‘relative’ accounts of the spontaneity of the understanding, according to which our judgments are issued through a capacity fixed by external conditions. If so, then Kant conceives of understanding as entirely active. Or, to put it another way, he conceives of this capacity as absolutely spontaneous.


Keywords


Spontaneity; self-consciousness; unity; apperception; idealism


* PhD Candidate in Philosophy at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA. E-mail: [email protected]


[Recibido: 3 de noviembre 2017

Aceptado: 16 de noviembre 2017]

The Case for Absolute Spontaneity in Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason



§1 Introduction

Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason is famous for its many distinctions: pure/empirical, intuition/concept, sensibility/understanding, just for a few examples. But the distinction that is perhaps the most deeply pervasive throughout Kant’s critical philosophy as a whole, and the one underlying all the previous distinctions, is that between spontaneity and receptivity. In the first Critique, the faculty of the understanding (the capacity for theoretical knowledge) is characterized as spontaneous, which is to say that it is a faculty of “bringing forth representations from itself.”1 In the second Critique, our transcendental freedom (“absolute spontaneity”) is taken to follow from the moral law – a “fact of reason”. 2 For Kant, then, acts of both theoretical knowledge (from a Vermögen der Erkenntnisse 3 ) and practical knowledge (from Wille) are acts to be characterized as spontaneous. The understanding is a theoretical capacity, or one whose object is given to it from elsewhere. The will is a practical capacity, or one whose object is brought about from itself.

What it means for these acts to be spontaneous has been the subject of much debate.4 But it is relatively common practice for commentators to refer to spontaneity as a kind of freedom. McDowell writes that spontaneity or “conceptual activity” takes place in the “realm of freedom” (1994, 5). Allison (1996, 57) interprets Kant as holding that the understanding is “absolutely spontaneous”, which (Kitcher 1990) in turn takes to mean “transcendentally free.” And recently, (Kohl 2015) argues that Kant’s notion of the spontaneity of the understanding is a notion of freedom in judgment. It is correct, in some sense, to think of spontaneity as a kind of freedom, if by ‘freedom’ we mean something suitably general. But it is important to distinguish between our theoretical freedom (the freedom of the understanding) and our practical freedom (the freedom of the will). Even though the first Critique concerns itself with what the Dialectic calls “transcendental freedom” or “absolute spontaneity,” I believe that Kant’s primary interest here is in a theoretical conception of spontaneity. To see this, consider that Kant introduces the concept of spontaneity in two basic ways:

  1. Initially, as the spontaneity of the understanding, or the faculty of “bringing forth representations from itself.”

  2. Later, the spontaneity of transcendental freedom, which is the ability to begin new causal chains:


An absolute causal spontaneity beginning from itself a series of appearances that runs according to natural laws, hence transcendental freedom…5

A faculty of absolutely beginning a state, and hence also a series of its consequences.6


1 KrV, A51/B75

2 KpV, AA 5:30

3 KrV, B137

4 In recent decades, this debate has taken place among (Sellars 1970) and (Kitcher 1990), (Allison 1990), (Allison 1996), (Pippin 1987), (Valaris 2013), (Kohl 2015), (Boyle 2016).

5 KrV, A446/B474

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He also calls this “freedom in the cosmological sense”:


By freedom in the cosmological sense, on the contrary, I understand the faculty of beginning a state from itself, the causality of which does not in turn stand under another cause determining it in time in accordance with the law of nature.7


The spontaneity of understanding and the spontaneity of transcendental freedom must be related in some deep way (viz., they are both capacities of bringing about something from themselves), but it is not clear from what Kant has said that they are identical. In fact, I believe they are importantly distinct. Transcendental or cosmological freedom is, in a most general way, an ability for a causal series of appearances to begin from itself, to be unconditioned. The idea of transcendental freedom, in the Dialectic, arises from the question “can there be an uncaused cause?” But notice that such a question cannot be directed at the understanding if what we have in mind, as Kant does in the Third Antinomy, is the question whether what is caused is a chain of appearances. The exercises the understanding is responsible for bringing about from itself are exercises of cognition, not appearances or objects to be known. It follows from this consideration that when Kant discusses transcendental or cosmological freedom, he is discussing a specific way in which a capacity could bring about something from itself, though he does not seem to have in mind acts of cognition. From this we can gather two things: first, that transcendental freedom and the spontaneity of the understanding are, in the first Critique, not identical notions; second, that both notions are nevertheless instances of a general concept of an ability to bring something about from itself.

Now we can ask whether it is possible for the capacities of will and understanding to do this, and if so, in what sense they do it. In this paper, I focus on the capacity of understanding. Thus, I am focused on the following two related issues: whether a capacity whose object must be given to it from elsewhere can nevertheless bring about its exercises from itself; and if so, in what sense.

Specifically, at A51/B75, Kant writes that the spontaneity of cognition is “the faculty for bringing forth representations itself” and identifies this with the faculty of the understanding. Call this the spontaneity thesis. But the thought that our understanding can bring forth its own representations is one that needs to be unpacked further, and Kant says very little else in the way of clarification. In this paper, I aim to unpack this in a way that helps us to understand just what the nature and scope of this spontaneity amounts to.

One way to begin to grasp Kant’s thought about the spontaneity of the understanding is to note that it is an expression of a kind of control that subjects have over their representations. Because we exercise some control over our representations, according to Kant, we are in some sense epistemic agents. In fact, this is one Kantian lesson that many


6 KrV, A445/B473

7 KrV, A533/B561


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contemporary philosophers have taken very seriously.8 I will begin from this thought and then develop from it an account of the spontaneity of the understanding.


§1.1 Two Senses of “Mine”

I am the thinker of my thoughts. This is to say that my thoughts belong to me; they are mine. This is in one sense trivial, but in another sense non-trivial. It is non-trivial if we understand the mineness of my thoughts to be a special kind of mineness. Here is one way of seeing this special kind of mineness: to say that my thought is mine is to say that I am the source of my act of thinking. This much seems to be captured in Kant’s spontaneity thesis. His claim, that is, is that the faculty of understanding brings forth its own representations; it brings them about. This is one sense in which my representations are mine, according to Kant.

But Kant’s spontaneity thesis also entails a second sense of mineness: that my representations are mine in the sense that I am responsible or accountable for them. When I judge that P, I take my judgment to be valid. In taking my judgment to be valid, in turn, I am taking myself to have a right to issue the judgment. And I can only take myself to have a right to issue my judgment on the grounds that I am accountable for it. To gloss it in Brandomian-Sellarsian terms, I judge in a space of giving and asking for reasons. When I judge, I make a claim in a way such that I am prepared to answer a challenge of justification, or a question “why?”.

To say that my thought is mine in the first sense, then, is to say that I am accountable for my thought because I issued it. To say that my thought is mine in the second sense is to say that I am accountable for my thought because I am responsible for it. The second sense of mineness also comes with a deeper sense of freedom: because I am prepared to justify my claim, I am free in a way that I am not when I possess, say, a knee-jerk belief. Furthermore, I am responsible for what I judge through my act of judging. This is because when I judge, I do it on the basis of some reason, of which I am necessarily conscious. So, through judging, we might say, I bind myself to what I judge. I am responsible for what I judge because I am self-conscious in my act of judgment.

If it is right to attribute these thoughts to Kant, then the spontaneity of judgment is the self- consciousness of judgment. So, to understand what spontaneity is, we have to understand what self-consciousness is. I will begin by spelling out the two basic interpretations of Kant’s spontaneity thesis: a strong interpretation (absolute spontaneity) and a weak interpretation (relative spontaneity). Then, I will show that Kant gives us reasons to think that self-consciousness belongs to the understanding in a way that excludes the weak interpretation. I will end by considering a way around one type of worry that might accompany this conclusion.


§1.2 The Spontaneity of the Understanding as Self-determination


8 (Boyle 2011, 2); (McDowell 1994); (McDowell 2009); (Brandom 1994)

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By identifying the ‘spontaneity of cognition’ with the faculty of ‘understanding,’ Kant tells us that spontaneity is a capacity to bring forth representations from itself. So, according to Kant, the understanding is a capacity that can be the source of its own representations. The understanding is the birthplace of certain representations (e.g., the categories, and the judgments that make use of them). 9 This birth takes place through “self-activity” (selbsttätigkeit), 10 which is to say that the representations are “self-thought” (selbstgedachte),11 which is a notion left unexplained. Despite the lack of explanation, we can sketch a plausible account of what it is for certain representations, like judgments, to be self-thought.

Kant explains that judgment is an act of determination. So, because the understanding is the source of judgment, it is thereby also the source of acts of determination. We will say that this makes the understanding a self-determining capacity. The notion of self- determination can be understood in two different ways, only one of which I will concern myself with here. First, we can give a negative characterization of the self-determination of judgment: my judgment that the Cubs will win the World Series is not implanted in me or put into my head, so I judge it for myself. Second, we can give a positive characterization of the self-determination of judgment: my judgment that the Cubs will win the World Series is an act from an awareness of that act’s own grounds. To get a more complete sense of this kind of self-determination, we will need to examine the concepts ‘determination’ and ‘capacity.’ First, consider the concept of determination.

According to Kant, to judge that S is P is to determine S as P, which in turn is equivalent to predicating P of S. Kant writes:


Anything one likes can serve as a logical predicate, even the subject can be predicated of itself; for logic abstracts from every content. But the determination is a predicate, which goes beyond the concept of the subject and enlarges it. Thus it must not be included in it already.12


So, to determine something to be the case is to fix to some subject concept a predicate that goes beyond the subject concept (is not already contained in it). Even more clearly, the pre-Critical Kant writes:


To determine is to posit a predicate while excluding its opposite. That which determines a subject in respect of any of its predicates, is called the ground.13


9 KrV, A66/B90

10 KrV, B130

11 KrV, B167

12 KrV, A598/B626

13 PND, AA 01:391


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Thus, the judgment that the table is brown is a determination of the table as something brown, which in turn is to predicate brownness of the table by excluding from it the predicate ‘not brown.’

Now consider the concept of the understanding as a capacity. What the capacity does is judge, or determine something to be the case.14 As such, a particular act of judgment is an act of determination – it says of a thing S that it is a P by fixing to S a predicate P, excluding not-P. And exclusion is non-accidental. To exclude, Kant says, is to determine a subject on the ground of some reason. To say that acts of determination are acts of exclusion is to say that they exclude on some ground. When I judge that the table is brown, I do so from the presumption that what I judge is true – the table is brown, not not-brown. And when I take myself to be judging truly, I take myself to be judging on sufficient grounds.

Accordingly, the determination of a judgment is determination from a principle. Just as we would say that the capacity to hit a baseball is governed by some standard for what counts as hitting a baseball, we would say that the capacity to judge is governed by some standard for what counts as judgment. By ‘standard’ I have in mind an explanatory principle. All capacities are aimed at some telos, which governs the exercises of the capacity in the sense that it explains its exercises. The standard of judgment is the telos of the capacity of judgment, which tells us when we have succeeded or failed at forming a judgment.15 In addition to being a standard for what counts as successful judgment, the principle of the capacity to judge is to be thought of as the source of judgment. Kant writes:


I would therefore call a “cognition from principles” that cognition in which I cognize the particular in the universal through concepts. Thus every syllogism is a form of derivation of a cognition from a principle. For the major premise always gives a concept such that everything subsumed under its condition can be cognized from it according to a principle.16


In every syllogism, we derive cognition – the conclusion – from a principle. To judge correctly, then, is not only for that judgment to be held to some standard, but for that standard to be at the same time the origin of the judgment. It is from a consciousness of the principle that I judge, and thereby come to have knowledge.

In addition to the thought that judgment is governed by a principle that acts as a standard and a source of judgment, we must think of this principle as a principle of unity. Judgment is no arbitrary collection of representations, such as [{cat}, {mat}]. Rather, judgment is a


14 Kant says that all acts of the understanding can be traced back to judgments, KrV, A69/B94. He later says that the first pure cognition of the understanding is the principle of the original synthetic unity of apperception (self-consciousness), KrV, B137. This means that while the understanding is a capacity to determine judgments, so that its determinate acts are acts of judgments, it determines through a pure cognition of self-consciousness, something self-determined.

15 While the analogy helps explain what I mean by ‘principle’, the way in which we are governed by a principle in hitting a baseball is, of course, different from the way in which we are governed by a principle in judging.

16 KrV, A300

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non-accidental (i.e., necessary) unity of representations: {the cat is on the mat}. This tells us that judgments are governed by a rule for bringing representations together as one.

The principle of unity governing acts of judgment, as the principle of a capacity, is internal to the capacity. This is because capacities are given form by their principles. We identify a range of behaviors as falling under one act – say, hitting a baseball – by identifying a principle for distinguishing between successful and unsuccessful instances of hitting a baseball. This means that the capacity for hitting a baseball is constituted by its principle – likewise for the capacity of judgment.

By spelling out the understanding as a capacity for judgment in accordance with an inner principle, we can now see how it is possible to call the understanding a capacity of self- determination. The act of judging, for Kant, is an act of determination governed by a principle belonging to the subject’s own capacity to judge.


§1.3 Kant on Two Kinds of Self-Determination

Now that we understand judgment as an act of a capacity governed by a principle of unity, we can look more closely at Kant’s own understanding of the different ways in which the principle of a capacity can belong to that capacity. From the Metaphysik Pölitz:


But now the transcendental concept of freedom follows; this means absolute spontaneity, and is self-activity from an inner principle according to the power of free choice. Spontaneity is either absolute or without qualification, or qualified in some respect. –Spontaneity in some respect is when something acts spontaneously under a condition. So, e.g., a body which is shot off moves spontaneously, but in some respect. This spontaneity is also called automatic spontaneity, namely when a machine moves itself according to an inner principle, e.g., a watch, a turnspit. But the spontaneity is not without qualification because here the inner principle was determined by an external principle. The internal principle with the watch is the spring, with the turnspit the weight, but the external principle is the artist who determines the internal principle. The spontaneity which is without qualification is an absolute spontaneity.17


Here we get two conceptions of spontaneity: (1) self-activity from an inner principle that is determined by an external principle [qualified spontaneity], and (2) self-activity from an inner principle according to the power of free choice [absolute spontaneity]. Clearly, in this particular passage, Kant has in mind a distinction between two kinds of practical spontaneity. But we can just as well apply this distinction to the activity of the understanding. As we have seen, Kant describes the understanding as “self-active” in the Transcendental Deduction. 18 Now we must ask whether the spontaneity of the understanding is absolute or qualified. By ‘qualified spontaneity’ Kant means an activity governed by an inner principle which is itself determined by an external principle. By


17 V-MET-L1/Pölitz, AA 28:267-268

18 KrV, B130


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‘absolute spontaneity’ Kant means an activity governed by an inner principle which is not determined by an external principle. If the understanding is spontaneous in a qualified sense, then we might say that it is self-determined in accordance with a given inner principle. If the understanding is spontaneous absolutely, then it is self-determined in accordance with a self-acquired inner principle.19

Following the qualified/absolute distinction, and a similar distinction drawn in the second Critique,20 interpreters have divided themselves into two camps: those who argue that Kant takes the spontaneity of the understanding to be absolute, and those who argue that Kant takes it to be qualified or “relative.”21

I have introduced the idea of a spontaneous capacity of understanding through the idea of the self-determination of judgment. But, we might now step back and look at the spontaneity of the understanding in an even more general sense. In fact, this well help us to evaluate the contemporary relative/absolute debate, since it is rarely put specifically in terms of judgment, but rather, more broadly, in terms of ‘synthesis.’ Kant holds that the understanding is active not only in issuing judgments, but, more broadly, in acts of the imagination and in intuition itself:


But insofar as its synthesis [imagination] is still an exercise of spontaneity, which is determining and not, like sense, merely determinable, and can thus determine the form of sense a priori in accordance with the unity of apperception, the imagination is to this extent a faculty for determining the sensibility a priori22


The imagination, as spontaneity, is an act in accordance with the unity of apperception. The unity of apperception, in turn, is the highest act of the understanding.23 This unifying act is also at work in intuition, as evidenced by Kant’s remark that “the supreme principle of all intuition in relation to the understanding is that all the manifold of intuition stand under conditions of the original synthetic unity of apperception.”24

It follows from what Kant says that the understanding, while a capacity for judgment, is even more broadly a capacity that brings objective unity to all our cognitive activity. For our purposes, then, we can define the relevant types of spontaneity as follows:

Relative spontaneity (RS) = cognitive activity that is self-determined according to an externally determined (i.e., given) inner principle.

Absolute spontaneity (AS) = cognitive activity that is self-determined according to an internally determined (i.e., self-acquired) inner principle.



19 I take this to be what Kant calls “original acquisition” in “On a Discovery…”, TP, AA 8:221

20 KpV, AA 5:97, where Kant contrasts transcendental freedom with the freedom of a turnspit.

21 Those in the ‘absolute’ camp include (Pippin 1987) and (Allison 1990); those in the ‘relative’ camp include (Kitcher 1990) and (Sellars 1970).

22 KrV, B151-152; see also B136.

23 KrV, B134n.

24 KrV, B136

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Now that we have spelled out two different interpretations of Kant’s spontaneity thesis, we can ask which one Kant has reason to endorse. This means that we must explain what the nature of the understanding’s principle is. To this I will now turn.


§2 The Principle of the Original Synthetic Unity of Apperception

We have explained the capacity of the understanding as being governed by a principle, which serves as both a standard and a source of the understanding’s activities. We have also explained that the most basic activity of the understanding is the activity of determining the unity of cognition generally. But what is the principle that governs this activity? §17 of the Transcendental Deduction is entitled “The principle of the synthetic unity of apperception is the supreme principle of all use of the understanding.” Here, Kant tells us that the principle of the understanding is the original synthetic unity of apperception:


The supreme principle of all intuition in relation to the understanding is that all the manifold of intuition stand under conditions of the original synthetic unity of apperception.25


Two questions must be answered. First, what is the original synthetic unity of apperception (OSUA)? Second, why is this “the supreme principle” of the understanding, even in its relation to intuition? I’ll answer each in turn.

The understanding is a spontaneous capacity. It is the capacity to bring forth representations from itself. But Kant also writes, as we have just seen, that this is the capacity to bring all intuition under the unity of self-consciousness. That is, the principle of spontaneity is that the subject’s representations are brought under the OSUA.26 Kant has in mind a single capacity of understanding. He must therefore think that the two characteristic functions of this capacity are one and the same. The act of bringing all representations under a unity of apperception is the same as the capacity bringing forth representations from itself. Turning to the relation between these two ideas will shed light on what it means for the principle of the understanding to be the OSUA.

First, we must consider Kant’s complicated thought that the understanding is a capacity for bringing representations under the unity of self-consciousness:


Thus all manifold of intuition has a necessary relation to the I think in the same subject in which this manifold is to be encountered. But this representation is an act of spontaneity, i.e., it cannot be regarded as belonging to sensibility. I call it the pure apperception, in order to distinguish it from the empirical one, or also the original apperception, since it is that self-consciousness which, because it produces the representation I think, which must be able to accompany all others and which



25 KrV, §17 of the Deduction

26 KrV, B136; and at B134n. Kant writes that the faculty of self-consciousness is the understanding itself.

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in all consciousness is one and the same, cannot be accompanied by any further representation.27


The representation ‘I think,’ the absolute subject of every judgment, 28 is an act of spontaneity, and thus of the capacity of the understanding. When I judge that S is P, my judgment has the form “I think S is P”; and the representation ‘I think’ is, because spontaneous, self-thought. The only way ‘I think’ could be self-thought is through a consciousness of what I am thinking – that is, through self-consciousness.

How are we to understand this complicated thought: that it is through self-consciousness that I have the representation ‘I think’? It might seem more natural to say that ‘I think’ precedes self-consciousness, which in turn would be a more complex representation, such as ‘I think of myself thinking.’ Kant gives us a clue to this puzzle by pointing out that the self-consciousness at issue cannot be empirical – that is, it is not a second-order observation of my first-order conscious states. This is because all thought is already accompanied by ‘I think’. 29 Because all thought has the form ‘I think,’ all thought is already self-conscious. It does not become self-conscious through a second act. This is why all empirical self-consciousness presupposes yet a higher kind of self-consciousness: because self-consciousness in its most basic form is already contained in any act of judgment. So, Kant says, the ‘I think’ is a representation that cannot be accompanied by any further representation. This “pure self-consciousness,” then, is no second-order representation of a first-order thought, since first-order thought already contains an act of (pure) self-consciousness.

So far, Kant has established that all thoughts are already purely self-conscious acts, and so all thoughts presuppose an original self-consciousness. Furthermore, this pure self- consciousness is the unity under which all representations must stand:


I also call its unity [the unity of pure apperception] the transcendental unity of self- consciousness in order to designate the possibility of a priori cognition from it. For the manifold representations that are given in a certain intuition would not all together be my representations if they did not all together belong to a self- consciousness; i.e., as my representations (even if I am not conscious of them as such) they must yet necessarily be in accord with the condition under which alone they can stand together in a universal self-consciousness, because otherwise they would not throughout belong to me.30


Pure self-consciousness is a condition of the possibility of all a priori knowledge, because no representation at all could belong to me as a thought without already belonging to self- consciousness. Through intuition we are given a manifold of representations – singular,


27 KrV, B132

28 Kant calls the ‘I’ the “absolute subject of all my possible judgments”, KrV, A348

29 KrV, B131-132

30 KrV, B132, brackets mine

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immediate representations of objects. These representations must belong, together, to a single self-conscious subject (a universal self-consciousness), because nothing at all could be thought by me independently from an awareness of myself thinking it. Thus, Kant takes himself to have established that all knowledge belongs to a self-conscious unity – that is, one self-consciousness.

To bring cognition under the unity of self-consciousness (under one self-consciousness) is, in turn, to recognize that all acts of cognition are acts belonging to me, the ‘I think’, the absolute subject of judgment.31 If this is right, then we can see why Kant says that the understanding is both a capacity to bring forth representations from itself and a capacity to bring cognition under a unity of self-consciousness. For, to bring representations forth from itself is something the understanding does through bringing those representations under the unity of self-consciousness. All my judgments are representations that necessarily belong to a self-conscious unity. And my judgments belong to this unity by themselves being necessarily self-conscious. So, it is through self-consciousness that I form judgments.

The self-consciousness through which I judge contains, moreover, a double-faceted unity. On the one hand, when I am given an intuition I am conscious of the manifold of representations given to me as belonging to one ‘I’ – this is what Kant calls the analytic unity of apperception.32 On the other hand, my consciousness of an identical ‘I’, to which all my representations must attach, presupposes a synthesis of representations – a synthetic unity of apperception:


Therefore it is only because I can combine a manifold of given representations in one consciousness that it is possible for me to represent the identity of the consciousness in these representations itself, i.e., the analytical unity of apperception is only possible under the presupposition of some synthetic one.33


The consciousness of my representations as belonging to one ‘I’, therefore, is at one and the same time a consciousness of the ‘I’ as common to all my representations and a consciousness of a synthesis of representations belonging to one and the same ‘I’. Since in order to be conscious of an ‘I’ common to all my representations I must be conscious of a synthetic unity of representations that has this ‘I’ in common, this synthetic unity “is the highest point to which one must affix all use of the understanding, even the whole of logic and, after it, transcendental philosophy.”34

To say that the principle of all use of the understanding is the OSUA, then, is to say that all acts of the understanding are acts of my synthesizing a manifold of representations through a consciousness of their belonging to me – that is, self-consciously.


31 KrV, B134

32 KrV, B132

33 KrV, B133

34 KrV, B134n.


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So far we have characterized the OSUA as a principle of synthetic unity by saying that I synthesize a manifold of representations self-consciously. But it would be misleading to leave off here, for Kant does not see the representation of a synthetic unity as just a unity of any arbitrary collection of representations. For Kant, the representation of synthetic unity in apperception is a representation of a single body of possible knowledge, or a totality. To grasp this, we can look at two passages – one from the B Deduction, the other from the A Deduction.

First, the B Deduction passage. Kant says of the relation between the act of combining (synthesis) and unity:


Combination is the representation of the synthetic unity of the manifold. The representation of this unity cannot, therefore, arise from the combination; rather, by being added to the representation of the manifold, it first makes the concept of combination possible.35


What we take from this is the idea that in combining representations we already represent a synthetic unity (it “cannot, therefore, arise from the combination”). This is to say that the representation of a synthetic unity precedes any non-arbitrary act of combination. As long as it is no accident that I combine A with B, then the act of combining A with B is done from a consciousness that A and B really do belong together in one representation. To know that A and B really do belong together as one representation is to already represent a unity, prior to actually bringing them together as one.

This passage makes a point that Kant had already made, in a slightly different way, in the A Deduction:


But that empirical rule of association, which one must assume throughout if one says that everything in the series of occurrences stands under rules according to which nothing happens that is not preceded by something upon which it always follows – on what, I ask, does this, as a law of nature, rest, and how is this association even possible? The ground of the possibility of the association of the manifold, insofar as it lies in the object, is called the affinity of the manifold. I ask, therefore, how do you make the thoroughgoing affinity of the appearances (by means of which they stand under constant laws and must belong under them) comprehensible to yourselves?36


Kant calls the ground of the possibility of laws of association – laws that say “when A, represent B” – the “affinity” of the manifold of appearances (objects of possible knowledge). Through their affinity, appearances “must belong” and “stand under constant laws.” Clearly, then, the affinity of appearances at the very least entails that they belong together in a unified way. So, all objects of possible knowledge belong – prior to any act of


35 KrV, B130-131

36 KrV, A112-113

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combination – to a synthetic unity. Kant goes on in the next paragraph to make this point very clearly:


On my principles it is easily comprehensible. All possible appearances belong, as representations, to the whole possible self-consciousness……All appearances therefore stand in a thoroughgoing connection according to necessary laws, and hence in a transcendental affinity, of which the empirical affinity is the mere consequence.37


All appearances stand together under necessary laws, which is to say that they belong together in a unified body of possible knowledge. If they didn’t belong together in this way, then we would only be capable of possessing a “swarm of appearances”, but not experience. Knowledge, as distinct from mere perception, involves an act of determination, of taking something for true.38 And in taking something for true, we must implicitly take our representations to be synthesizable, which in turn requires that we take all appearances to belong together, much like pieces of one large puzzle.

This is a complicated series of thoughts to which full justice can only be done in a much lengthier project, but we can capture Kant’s basic insight with a single thesis. Call it the internality thesis.

The internality thesis: in the act of determining S as P, I am implicitly conscious of S and P as belonging to a total synthetic unity.

From this, Kant’s double-faceted unity of apperception can be reconstructed. In the act of determining S as P, I am already conscious of myself as judging that S is P in the sense of being conscious of the thoroughgoing identity of the ‘I’ to which my representations are attached. I am simultaneously already conscious of myself as judging that S is P in the sense of representing a total synthetic unity of representations, making it possible to determine S as P.

The question we now must consider is whether the OSUA is a given principle or a self- thought principle. That is, we must ask whether RS is true or AS is true. I argue that RS fails to capture Kant’s internality thesis, and thus fails to provide a plausible explanation of the capacity of the understanding. To show this, I will first examine two versions of RS that Kant rejects in the Transcendental Deduction of the Critique of Pure Reason. Then, I will show that the contemporary version of RS put forth most famously by Sellars and Kitcher also fails in the same way.


§2.1 RS and the Internality Thesis

In the Transcendental Deduction, Kant rejects what he calls a ‘preformationist’ account of the understanding, according to which we come equipped with pre-determined (“implanted”) rules for judging.39 The preformationist account of the understanding would


37 KrV, A113-114

38 Prol, AA 04:296

39 KrV, B167


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not be sufficient to account for the necessity and universality of our judgments, because it would make our judgments merely subjectively universal and necessary – that is, I would only be able to say that I must judge that P because I happen to be so constituted as to judge that P. But we are capable of objectively universal and necessary judgments – that is, we are capable of saying that P must be judged by all rational thinkers.

The empiricist’s account of the rules of judgment is also insufficient, since it too must hold that if there are such rules, they are merely habits of association, and thus only subjectively necessary and universal.

According to both preformationism and empiricism, judgment is determined in accordance with a principle that is itself determined externally. By rejecting these views, we are left with the thought that judgment is self-determined – that is, determined by the understanding itself, and thus through a self-determined principle.

Those who support RS could attempt to explain this self-determination of judgment in one of several ways, but will usually hold in any case that RS is not empiricism of the sort that Kant criticizes. Both Sellars and Kitcher, who have famously defended RS, hold that they are being true to Kant’s project of overcoming the limitations of Hume and the classical empiricists.40 They take RS to be a more sophisticated position, according to which the activity of a distinct capacity of understanding is necessary in the determination of judgment. If RS is true, then while the principle of the understanding is not ultimately self- determined, the determination of judgment must be considered a cooperative affair of the internal activity of the understanding alongside an external constraint or guide. According to RS, judgment is in a way self-determined for just this reason. But, as Sellars himself notes, the activity of judging is not pure activity, but an active/passive hybrid of sorts:


…the spontaneity of which we are conscious is, though not sheer passivity, nevertheless a passivity in that the inner development is set in motion by a foreign cause and follows a routine. In the awareness of noumenal activities of synthesis we would encounter simply another example of a cause the causality of which is caused.41


So, in line with Kant’s early definition of spontaneity, RS holds that the spontaneity of the understanding is a spontaneitas automatica, or one whose inner principle of determination is itself externally determined.42

Setting aside the rejected preformationist account, if we wish to understand Kant’s claims about the spontaneity of the understanding, then we must take the more sophisticated version of RS seriously. I will first look at two versions of RS that Kant already hopes to have refuted, both of which may be associated with classical empiricism: reductive causal-



40 (Sellars 1997) famously rejects the “Myth of the Given,” which might be ascribed to classical empiricism, and (Kitcher 1990) takes her account of the understanding to show how Kant improves upon Hume’s psychology.

41 (Sellars 1970, 23-24)

42 V-MET-L1/Pölitz, AA 28:267

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mechanism and natural teleology. We will see that what Kant takes to be the central flaw in both is that they rule out the internality thesis. By seeing how this is the case, we will later be able to see how it is also the case for the more sophisticated version of RS supported by Sellars and Kitcher.


§2.1.1 Habit and Self-Consciousness

One version of RS is the view that judgment is the result of habits of association. According to this view, judgments are formed on the basis of a principle of association: when you represent A, you represent B. This is a possibility that Kant considers and rejects as inadequate for understanding the self-determination of judgment.43 Kant first describes the need for a “subjective ground” or principle of association:


Since, however, if representations reproduced one another without distinction, just as they fell together, there would in turn be no determinate connection but merely unruly heaps of them, and no cognition at all would arise, their reproduction must thus have a rule in accordance with which a representation enters into combination in the imagination with one representation rather than with any others. This subjective and empirical ground of reproduction in accordance with rules is called the association of representations.44


If experience is to be more than “unruly heaps” of representations, those representations must be able to be reproduced in accordance with rules. This much was recognized by Hume, who says that such rules are acquired through habits. In turn, habits are themselves developments in accordance with some principle. Kant’s interpretation of Hume says that through habits of association, we learn to combine certain representations with some necessity.45 Hume’s explication of his own view includes remarks in the Treatise that we learn such habits of association through the relative degrees of enlivenment afforded to us through particular acts of perception. 46 That is, according to Hume, perceptions of constancy, resemblance, and regularity are enlivening perceptions – ones that make us more likely to reproduce them in the future. Now we might ask why it is enlivening to perceive constancy, resemblance, and regularity. It is enlivening either through brute causal-mechanistic force or through agreement with the perceiving subject. First consider the latter view.

Call this account the natural teleological account of judgment (NT):


43 At KrV, B5 and B19-20, he tells us that Hume’s associationism fails to account for the strict universality of judgments like those in mathematics; at B123n.b, he tells us that a subjective or implanted necessity (habit) would not prove the strict necessity of the relation between cause and effect; at B127-28, he similarly suggests the need to see beyond the limited perspective of Hume, i.e., beyond mere subjective necessity derived empirically through habit.

44 KrV, A121

45 KrV, B5

46 (Hume 1978, 1, 86)

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NT: The rational human, a kind of animal, develops habits of association (and thus judgments) through a recognition of what is good for it.47

Thus, the habits that account for the association of representations in a judgment would be developed through a kind of self-consciousness – a consciousness of what it is good for one to do or think. This, in turn, is a consciousness of something given to us – our animal nature. It might seem that this is enough to capture Kant’s internality thesis. That is, NT claims that a kind of self-consciousness is already internal to acts of judgment.

But while Kant agrees with Hume that there is a subjective ground of the principle of association, he explains that the principle of association is incapable of accounting for objective judgments (and it is therefore insufficient for knowledge):


But now if this unity of association did not also have an objective ground, so that it would be impossible for appearances to be apprehended by the imagination otherwise than under the condition of a possible synthetic unity of this apprehension, then it would also be entirely contingent whether appearances fit into a connection of human cognitions...

…For only because I ascribe all perceptions to one consciousness (of original apperception) can I say of all perceptions that I am conscious of them. There must therefore be an objective ground, i.e., one that can be understood a priori to all empirical laws of the imagination, on which rests the possibility, indeed even the necessity of a law extending through all appearances, a law, namely, for regarding them throughout as data of sense that are associable in themselves and subject to universal laws of a thoroughgoing connection in reproduction. I call this objective ground of all association of appearances their affinity.48


Our ability to combine representations into an objectively valid judgment – that is, one capable of predicating something of the object (viz., what is of it) – is necessarily governed by a principle that goes beyond the merely subjective and empirical ground of the principle of association. To be sure, we can associate representations in the Humean manner, and thereby combine them through habit in accordance with how we have learned to bring representations together in the past (thus entirely empirically, subjectively, and with only “comparative universality” 49).

But this would not be judgment, and the reasoning goes something like this. It is no accident that appearances – the undetermined objects of experience – “fit into” or have a place in a single unity of knowledge. If they did not fit into one unity of knowledge, then they could not all belong to one consciousness. To put it another way, if appearances did


47 I do not intend to interpret Hume as rejecting a merely causal-mechanistic account of cognition in favor of some form of natural teleology. I merely understand NT as one manifestation of RS that can be constructed from the materials given to us in Hume’s Treatise together with Kant’s treatment of empiricism in the Transcendental Deduction. Additionally, I regard NT as a charitable reconstruction of a Humean empiricism. For more on a teleological interpretation of Hume, see (Baier 1991).

48 KrV, A122

49 KrV, A92 and B3-4; see also “judgments of perception” vs. “judgments of experience” in the

Prolegomena.

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not necessarily fit into one unity of knowledge, then we would thereby confess that while some appearances may be objects of my knowledge, others are objects of my knowledge*, where ‘*’ indicates a distinct unity. But we would not say that I know that P unless it were in agreement with all my knowledge as one unity. The very fact that we have this ability suggests that all representations that could be thought by me must thereby belong to one unity of consciousness. Indeed, Kant famously states:


The I think must be able to accompany all my representations; for otherwise something would be represented in me that could not be thought at all, which is as much as to say that the representation would either be impossible or else at least would be nothing for me.50


If I consciously represent an object – that is, if I think it – I necessarily represent that object as belonging to a single unity of thought. And indeed, when I think objects, I represent them as agreeing with all the other possible objects of knowledge. I could not hold that some objects that I know fit together or agree with some other objects of my knowledge, while some objects that I know don’t, for this would entail a contradiction. This is why Kant says that in order to explain a priori knowledge – knowledge of what is necessarily and universally true – I must also think that what is known fits together with everything else that can be known, not in a hodgepodge manner, but necessarily. But if this is the case, it fits for some reason. Thus, we need a principle that explains this unity, and that principle is what Kant calls pure apperception.

If all we had at our disposal were a principle of association, then while some representations might belong to one unity of knowledge, others might belong to an entirely distinct unity of knowledge. This would make knowledge subjective, as “I would have as multicolored, diverse a self as I have representations of which I am conscious.”51 It would make knowledge subjective, that is, because it would allow knowledge to be bound to particular subjects (or kinds of subject). I might know that P here and now, and I* might know that Q there and then. But then what is known – what is the case – is carved up into what-is-the-case-for-I, what-is-the-case-for-I*, and so on. This sort of view is not incoherent, but it could not account for objective a priori knowledge.


§2.1.2 Process Accounts of Self-Consciousness, pt. 1: RS as Causal-Mechanism

We have looked at one empiricist account of self-consciousness that Kant rejects. Let us briefly turn to another kind of empiricist account of self-consciousness that Kant has equal reason for rejecting.

Assuming that the world behaves in accordance with causal-mechanistic laws, it is natural to look to causal-mechanism as a possible explanation of self-determination in judgment. The causal-mechanistic account, understood broadly, states that what I judge is causally


50 KrV, B131-132

51 KrV, B134


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necessitated by my antecedent mental states together with the laws of nature (hereafter CM).52 Below I examine a problem for CM.

As some commentators have pointed out, our naïve understanding of judgment poses a problem for CM. 53 In order for CM to provide an account of self-determination in judgment, it must be possible for us to attribute to ourselves a causal explanation of judgment. But, in order to be able to conceive of myself as mechanically caused to think (even if indirectly), I must have the capacity of identifying a mechanical cause and attributing it to my capacity for judgment. That is, I must be able to think “I am caused to judge that P.” But in making such a causal attribution, I am already aware of myself as deciding that the causal attribution is valid. The capacity of self-consciousness is already presupposed by any attempt to provide oneself with a purely causal-mechanical explanation of how one judges. So, a causal explanation will inevitably fail to fully explain the activity of judgment.

This argument may sound suspicious. For, it may sound as though the suggestion is as follows: because we necessarily think of ourselves as judging independently of causal- perceptual impingements on the senses, we cannot be caused to judge in this manner. But this would be akin to arguing that, for example, because I necessarily see the stick in the water as bent, it cannot be the case that the stick is not actually bent. This is clearly a bad argument. I think, however, that the argument can be shown to be convincing once it is more carefully examined.

As Kant has argued, for a representation to be my representation is for it to be available for my use in accordance with my capacity for judging. To judge that P is to judge in accordance with a principle or rule for forming the judgment. But to judge in accordance with a rule, according to CM, is an act that we can understand as external to consciousness. By its own lights, this must be true for CM. For, while consciousness may accompany the causally-related mental states, the causal relations themselves do not have to be understood through any kind of consciousness.

CM may allow us to explain rule-following of a sort – for example, it may be that CM can account for the way in which a ball is governed by a mechanical rule when it breaks the glass. There is perhaps a sense in which the ball accords with, and thus “follows” a rule. But it does not allow for an explanation according to which something consciously acts from a rule. To allow for this possibility, CM would have to build into its account of judging some non-causal condition, a condition of self-consciousness which is not couched in causal terms.

Self-consciousness, according to CM, is therefore something that merely accompanies the power of mechanical causation. Kant’s internality thesis, however, requires that acts of judgment are always already self-conscious acts – that is, internally self-conscious.


§2.1.3 Two Kinds of Internality of Self-Consciousness


52 RS is sometimes taken to be a version of CM. See, e.g., (Allison 1996) interpretation of Sellars and Kitcher.

53 (Pippin 1987, 46-47)

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What we have seen is that a plausible account of judgment rests on a plausible account of self-consciousness in judging. Furthermore, while NT’s account of judgment does make judgment internally self-conscious in some sense, it is not in the way we require for rational subjects.

I think that there are two distinct kinds of internality for self-consciousness, only one of which can capture Kant’s thought. First, consider what appears to be Kant’s view, based on our discussion above:

  1. Cognitions can only be judgments if they are already self-conscious of one unity of knowledge (the understanding).

    According to this view, judgment and the single unity of self-consciousness are inseparable, and self-consciousness is thereby intrinsic to judgment as such. Now consider the view of NT:

  2. Cognitions are judgments when they are already self-conscious of a subjective unity of what is good for me.

According to NT, judgment is intrinsically self-conscious, but only relative to subjects or kinds of subjects (viz., particular forms of animal life).

(1) and (2) map onto two kinds of internality:

  1. to Objective Internality: the principle of unity for forming judgments (self- consciousness) is internal to the subject through the concept of what is the case – i.e., internal to valid judgment as such, and thus objectively.54

  2. to Subjective Internality: the principle of unity for forming judgments (self- consciousness) is internal to the subject relative to its given nature.55

Given Kant’s explanation of the internality of self-consciousness, Kant’s internality thesis requires us to think of the rational subject not as one with a given principle of thought – a given nature – but as judging in accordance with a self-determined principle. If it were the


54 Because I say “through the concept of what is the case” it might be asked whether the theory of absolute spontaneity I attribute to Kant is a conceptualist one. The conceptualism vs. non-conceptualism debate is a very difficult and important one, and I won’t be able to say anything convincing here. Tentatively, my reading is somewhere in between conceptualism and non-conceptualism as they are ordinarily conceived. I hold that every act of the understanding involves the “first pure cognition” of the understanding (KrV, B137)

  • the OSUA – through which all objective representation takes place. So, the OSUA is, in a sense, the representation through which all representation is objective for us. If this makes the OSUA conceptual, then I am a conceptualist. But, I suspect this is not the standard notion of conceptual. If so, then I very well may be considered a strange kind of non-conceptualist about the spontaneity of the understanding.

55 In turn, we can say that objective and subjective internality correspond to different kinds of unity. Objectively internal self-consciousness is a seamless unity – i.e., not unified out of some antecedent elements or parts, but prior to them; subjectively internal self-consciousness is an aggregated unity – i.e., unified out of some antecedent elements or parts. This is not unlike the distinctions drawn recently by (Conant 2017) and (Boyle 2016) between additive and constitutive accounts of rationality. The additive account of rationality is an account of the unity of rationality that takes it to be aggregated out of separate elements, and the constitutive account of rationality is an account of the unity of rationality that takes it to be seamless or prior to its parts.

In a previous version of this paper, I took NT (and all forms of teleological explanation) to account for a merely aggregative unity of cognition. I have since changed my mind. Teleological accounts of cognition can indeed account for seamless unity in judgment, which is why it is so important not to reduce all empiricist models of cognition to CM. In many ways, NT is an enormous improvement on CM. I hope this version of my paper exhibits this change.

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case that we judged in accordance with a given principle, then it would be inexplicable how we judge through a concept of what is rather than a concept of what is for me now, what is for me* then, etc.


§2.1.4 Process Accounts of Self-Consciousness, pt. 2: RS as Functionalism

I have outlined Kant’s arguments against two versions of empiricist explanations of self- determination in judgment. He rejects the view according to which self-consciousness (our self-conscious unity of knowledge) is merely subjectively internal to the subject. Now I will argue that even a contemporary version of RS, a functionalist account of the understanding, falls victim to the same sort of criticism.


Sellars and Kitcher on RS

The version of RS put forth by Sellars and Kitcher can be understood as a form of what contemporary philosophers of mind call ‘functionalism’ – the view according to which the basic elements of cognition can be understood in terms of their functional roles within a system.

In Sellars’s well-known contribution to Kantian scholarship, “…This I or He or It (the thing) which thinks…”, he compares the activity of synthesis to the processes of a computer. That is, we can understand judgment to be the combining of representations in accordance with rules given to the judging subject, triggered into action by an external input. According to this model of judgment, the judgment is produced by combining previous states of the system into a new one.56

Kitcher understands Kant in basically the same way, and dubs him a functionalist: What Kant offers…is an account of judgmental states remarkably like that defended by contemporary functionalists. Functionalism is the theory that the identity conditions for mental states are given in terms of their causal connections to stimuli, responses, and other (internal) states.57

Both Sellars and Kitcher thus support a kind of functionalism about the activity of the understanding (judging), which we can call RSF:

RSF: judgments are mental states produced out of antecedent mental states in accordance with certain rules of production.

This is a version of RS, according to our definition, because the principle of synthesis (here, rules of production) is not a self-thought principle. As noted earlier, the defenders of this view make it clear that they take themselves to be giving a plausible account of Kant’s view of spontaneity, and so one that reaches beyond the forms of empiricism rejected by Kant in the Deduction. In order to accomplish this, RSF must be a better account of self- consciousness in judgment than CM and NT.

Kitcher takes RSF to be superior to the empiricist accounts of judgment because it accounts for the causal connections between our states. Indeed, for Kitcher, judgment cannot be the product of a subject who merely tends to associate representations on the


56 (Sellars 1970, 23)

57 (Kitcher 1982, 66)

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basis of a habit. The empiricist is committed to such a view because the empiricist begins by looking at the impact of various impressions on a subject – i.e., with experience. But Kitcher, through Kant, begins with the conditions of the possibility of experience. Such conditions include among them a principle of causation, according to which the mind must be taken to be capable of causally organizing its perceptions in accordance with rules for forming judgments. Kitcher takes this to be Kant’s way of overcoming the empiricism of Hume.58

Sellars takes RSF to be superior to the empiricist accounts of judgment because it avoids the Myth of the Given. By assigning to the mind a set of dispositions through which perceptual inputs are taken up and informed, we do not have to think of impressions (“experience” for the empiricist) as a kind of basic point of departure for judgment. Rather, experience is always already informed by the dispositions through which perceptual inputs are taken up. This, like Kitcher’s project, helps to highlight a central insight of Kant’s – namely, that it is only through some internal activity of the mind that we can make sense of what is given in experience.59

Despite moving past the empiricism of Hume, RSF is criticized by Henry Allison and Robert Pippin on the grounds that it fails to do justice to the epistemic role of the ‘I think’ in Kant’s doctrine of pure apperception.60 We can break their shared worry down into the following basic point:

If it were the case that synthesis were merely combinations of antecedent mental states in accordance with given principles of cognition, then judgment would not necessarily be an act of what Allison calls “taking as.” As Allison says:


Reducing a long and complex story to its barest essentials, to judge is just to take some intuitively given item or set thereof as a determinate something…the main point is that [in] all cases of taking as, no matter how complex, the mind must not only combine its representations in a single consciousness, it must also be conscious of what it is doing.61


If judgment is “taking as”, then it is explanatorily insufficient to define judgment in purely functionalist terms, because those terms leave out the necessary first-personal component of judgment.

As Pippin has put it, even if we understand judgment as a mere process of combination, it would still be necessary for me to first-personally take my representation to be synthetically connected to others. So, no functionalist account of judgment is complete.

I am sympathetic with these concerns. But, to fully appreciate them, we need to see how they fall into the same category of anxieties that Kant had about the empiricist accounts of


58 (Kitcher 1990, 97)

59 (Sellars 1997)

60 Op. Cit., Pippin & Allison

61 (Allison 1995, 346)


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the understanding. Self-consciousness, according to RSF, remains subjectively internal to the judging subject. Now I will spell out more fully why I take this to be true.


The Subjective Internality of Self-Consciousness in RSF

One thing we have seen in the explication of Kant’s view is that pure self-consciousness is a condition on all a priori knowledge because it grounds necessity and universality. Nothing, that is, could be taken as objectively necessarily or objectively universally known unless it were related to pure self-consciousness, since pure self-consciousness is a consciousness of what I must think that is independent of my particular subjective constitution. And NT failed to capture this thought because it was only capable of explaining a subjective necessity and a subjective universality in judgment.

Likewise, RSF only guarantees a subjective necessity and universality in judgment. This is because it does not conceive of pure self-consciousness as an awareness of a single unity of knowledge. Instead, it conceives of pure self-consciousness as an awareness of the contentual interdependence of my actual states of judging. I will show why these are two different thoughts, and why Kant’s internality thesis relies on the former.

Kitcher takes Kant to be saying that when I judge, I am aware of the fact that my representations are all synthetically connected, for this is exactly how it is possible for me to judge in the first place (i.e., by bringing the content of my representations [e.g., {red} +

{ball}] together in various ways in order to produce judgments). The model Kitcher uses to explain the unity of self-consciousness is, as we have seen, a functionalist model along the following lines:


States M1 and M2 are combined in accordance with a rule to produce state M3, which is the synthetic product (a judgment).


On Kitcher’s view, Kant needs only to be able to say that the unity of self-consciousness – the single awareness of all my judgments as belonging together – is the result of a synthetic process. But a synthetic process such as the one just described does not require an awareness of a totality. Kitcher writes:


Kant’s contention was that subjects accepted representations as the basis for objective judgments just in case they could be fitted into their existing beliefs in a particular way: they were consistent with (or extended or coherently revised) their beliefs about the basic constituents of reality and their causal interrelations. Bringing a representation to the “objective unity of self-consciousness” would be a matter of determining its coherence with existing beliefs along the categorial dimensions of substance and cause, that is, “according to the principle of the objective determination of all representations.”62


62 (Kitcher 1999, 374)

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So, according to Kitcher’s functionalist interpretation of self-consciousness in judgment, the unity of self-consciousness that Kant speaks of is a unity of existing beliefs or judgments. The picture, then, is one according to which self-consciousness emerges with judgment: as I judge, I become aware of my (actual) judgments as cohering with my other (actual) judgments.

Now we can recall the motivation for Kant’s principle of pure self-consciousness: that all objects of knowledge necessarily fit, like pieces of a puzzle, into one body of knowledge. To be purely self-conscious is to be aware, in all acts of judgment, that my representations belong to me and all my other possible acts of knowing. We can also recall the problem faced by NT: that their conception of self-consciousness in judgment is a merely subjective conception, or one that says what we are aware of is how I must judge given my particular constitution as a subject belonging to a particular form of animal life.

But this is not the thought that we have attributed to Kant, which is that all judgments presuppose an awareness of a single unity of knowledge. The reason why Kant takes pure self-consciousness – an awareness of a single unity of knowledge – to be the ground of objectivity in judgment is that it is an awareness of a totality. Or, in other words, the reason why Kant takes pure self-consciousness to be the ground of objectivity in judgment is that it is an awareness of my judgment as valid for any thinker, because it is a judgment of the way things are. But this requires a consciousness of a totality that precedes the combination of my actual judgments.

To see this more clearly, consider another objection to the functionalist. Melnick criticizes functionalist interpretations of Kant by suggesting that Kant could not have held that self- consciousness is the product of anything sub-personal.63 The functionalist interpretation, he thinks, is sub-personal in two senses: first, because it holds that the unity of our various states and functions is not literally the subject itself; and second, because it holds that these states and functions do not consciously belong to the subject. While it does not seem to me that the functionalist necessarily believes the latter, the former does express a worry similar to mine. My worry might be seen as an expansion on Melnick’s. I hold that even if RSF gave up on the view that pure self-consciousness were an emergent product of sub- personal processes – that is, even if it conceded that it is no product at all, but that self- consciousness is always already attached to every act of judgment – the account would still be unacceptably sub-personal in an important sense. While the functionalist might hold that self-consciousness and judgment are inextricably bound to one another, she still holds that it is through acts of synthesis that self-consciousness becomes intelligible. But, if I am right, then for Kant it is the other way around: it is through self-consciousness that acts of synthesis become intelligible.

Finally, I want to suggest that it is no accident that RSF holds the view that pure self- consciousness is merely a consciousness of the unity of my actual judgments. It is no accident because it is a process account of self-consciousness. The product of a process of combination is a unity through its parts. We understand M3 by first understanding M1 and


63 (Melnick 2009, 70)


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M2, the states that produced M3. If self-consciousness is intelligible through synthesis, as it is for functionalists, then the character of self-consciousness is determined by an actual combination of states. So, it makes sense for the functionalist to hold that the self- consciousness internal to judgment is a self-consciousness relative to the actual judgments of an individual subject.64


§3 Conclusion: Avoiding Constructive Idealism

I have attributed to Kant the thought that self-consciousness is absolutely internal to judgment. Based on this thought, we have seen that the various “relative spontaneity” approaches to explaining the understanding will fail. In particular, even though the functionalist version put forth by Sellars and Kitcher is intended to truly account for what Kant is up to in the Transcendental Deduction, it fails for the same basic reason that all empiricist accounts of judgment fail – that is, it fails because it makes self-consciousness only subjectively internal to judgment. If I am right, then Kant holds (for good reason) that the understanding is absolutely spontaneous, so governed by a self-thought internal principle.

Now, some might worry that the absolute spontaneity of the understanding would, contrary to what I have claimed, make the objectivity of knowledge impossible. After all, they will point out, if the understanding is absolutely spontaneous, then its valid exercises – objectively valid judgments – are entirely determined by itself. But, if so, then how could we avoid what Kant already takes to be a philosophically undesirable conclusion – namely, that knowledge is a subjective construction? I will briefly spell out this anxiety and then gesture at a way to relieve it.

I have discussed objectively valid judgment in quite general terms. Thus far we have understood it to consist of a necessary and universal form that excludes judgment from being a haphazard or arbitrary association of representations. This perhaps gives us a first pass at what it means to distinguish between subjective and objective validity, but more needs to be said about what kind of rational norm objective validity is.

Kant interpreters generally take objective validity to be a kind of objective purport in judgment – that is, they take it to refer to the ability of a judgment to be successfully applied to the world. According to this interpretation, objectively valid judgments need not be true judgments. Robert Hanna draws the distinction between subjective and objective validity as follows:

Subjective validity = apparent meaningfulness and apparent truth for an individual rational cognizer



64 I should point out that I do not deny that our cognition can be merely relatively spontaneous. For example, some of our judgments are only subjectively necessary, such as those that Kant in the Prolegomena calls judgments of perception. The mere subjective necessity of my associating the representations [sun], [stone], and [warmth] can have a natural teleological basis or even a causal-mechanistic basis. What I deny, however, is that the paradigm case of judgment – what Kant in the Prolegomena calls a judgment of experience – can be relatively spontaneous. Judgments of experience, since objectively valid, are acts of rational self- determination.

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Objective validity = “empirical meaningfulness” of judgment, intuition, or concept65

In turn, Hanna argues that objective validity is a “necessary but not sufficient condition of truth…for false judgments are also objectively valid (A58/B83). In this way the objective validity of a judgment is equivalent to its propositional truth-valuedness, but not equivalent to its propositional truth”.

So, according to Hanna, we can understand objectively valid judgment as judgment that could indeed come to be true. This, together with the thought that objective validity is the same as empirical meaningfulness, expresses the idea that objectively valid judgment is objective purport as I have described it. Clinton Tolley also argues that objectively valid judgment is judgment with objective purport. He notes that while “Kant’s use of the term fluctuates to some degree”, nevertheless he takes false judgments to be objectively valid.66 However, it is also possible to read Kant as holding that objectively valid judgment is true judgment. Stephen Engstrom, for instance, has argued for this view.67

If objective validity is, as Tolley believes, a merely possible relation to the object, then it will be important for me to demonstrate that this relation is self-determined. If objective validity is truth, as Engstrom believes, then it will be important for me not only to demonstrate that truth is self-determined, but to show that the self-determination of truth is not the same as a “creation” of truth. Thus, there is a lingering concern about identifying objective validity with truth. To do so would be to hold that all objectively valid judgment is true judgment. But, as a related matter, if all objectively valid judgment is true judgment, and objective validity is a thoroughly internal matter, then how could we avoid the conclusion that objectively valid judgment is an internal creation, or an artifact? If objectively valid judgment is a mere construction, then it entails a constructive idealism. I will conclude this paper by suggesting a possible way out for Kant.

On the one hand, the truth interpretation holds that objective validity in and of a judgment amounts to truth in judgment. Coming to know the truth, or becoming an objectively valid judgment, presupposes the original synthetic unity of apperception. In virtue of its being original, it is a fully self-determined unity. Thus, knowledge is an absolutely spontaneous inner activity.

On the other hand, the objective purport interpretation holds that objective validity in and of a judgment is the judgment’s empirical meaningfulness or counterfactual relation to an object – i.e., a judgment is objectively valid when it could be either true or false or when it is actually applicable to objects in the world. Coming to be truth-valued, or empirically meaningful, or empirically applicable, also presupposes the original synthetic unity of apperception, because any actual judgment is secondary to the unity of judgment. Thus, knowledge is an absolutely spontaneous inner activity.

Thus far what I have argued is that on either interpretation, objectively valid judgment entails absolute spontaneity for Kant. But what about the worry that this also entails a



65 (Hanna 2017)

66 (Tolley 2011, 9-11)

67 (Engstrom 2017, 4, footnote 5); (Engstrom 2016, 19)


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constructive idealism? As I have argued, the principle of self-determination in judgment is for Kant the original synthetic unity of apperception. Furthermore, the original synthetic unity of apperception is absolutely internal to judgment, so self-thought. If this is correct, then the self-determination in judging is not an act external to the judgment itself – that is, to self-determine in judgment is not for the subject to act on judgment, but for the judgment to emerge as an activity of thought. The internality of self-determination in judgment is enough to show that to judge is not to act as a craftsman acts on his creations. Now, in addition to eliminating the craftsman metaphor, it is also important to see that in both cases, while objectively valid judgment is absolutely spontaneous inner activity, it rests on the conditions of sensibility – i.e. of being given objects through the senses. Thus, unlike the spontaneity of transcendental freedom in Kant’s practical philosophy, the spontaneity of the understanding is a spontaneity in relation to something given to the thinking subject.

But I want to suggest that resting on the conditions of sensibility is not the same as being determined by sensibility. A capacity of receptivity is necessary for the absolute spontaneity of knowing through judgment. As (Engstrom 2006) argues, there is a sense in which the spontaneity of human cognition is limited: we do not cognize through intellectual intuition, as God would. So, we are in some sense limited because our cognition requires a capacity of receptivity. But this alone does not entail that it is the reception of objects that determines our acts of cognition.


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¿Por qué la psicología empírica no es una ciencia natural?

Una lectura del “Prólogo” a los Primeros principios metafísicos de la ciencia de la naturaleza de Kant.


Why is Empirical Psychology not a Natural Science?

A Reading of the “Preface” to Kant’s Metaphysical Foundations of Natural Science


MARTÍN ARIAS-ALBISU


Universidad de Buenos Aires/CONICET, Argentina


Resumen

En el “Prólogo” a sus Primeros principios metafísicos de la ciencia de la naturaleza, Kant sostiene que la psicología empírica, a diferencia de la física matemática y la química flogística, no es una ciencia de la naturaleza. Este artículo se propone ofrecer una interpretación de las razones por las cuales Kant atribuye este estatus a la psicología empírica. Mostraré, por un lado, que la psicología empírica no posee un carácter científico en sentido propio como la física matemática porque los fenómenos internos no pueden presentarse a priori como movimientos en el espacio; y, por el otro, que esta psicología no posee un carácter científico en sentido impropio como la química flogística porque no es posible realizar experimentos ni observaciones rigurosas en el dominio del sentido interno. La psicología empírica es una mera descripción natural, sistemática y clasificatoria, de los fenómenos del sentido interno.


Palabras clave

Psicología empírica, Ciencia natural, Química flogística, Física matemática.


Resumen


In the “Preface” to his Metaphysical Foundations of Natural Science, Kant holds that empirical psychology, in contrast to mathematical physics and phlogistic chemistry, is not a natural science.



[email protected]


[Recibido: 24 de octubre 2017

Aceptado: 14 de noviembre 2017]


Martín Arias-Albisu


This article aims to offer an interpretation of the reasons why Kant assigns this status to empirical psychology. I will show, on the one hand, that empirical psychology does not have a proper scientific character like mathematical physics because inner phenomena cannot be presented a priori like movements in space; and, on the other hand, that this psychology does not have an improper scientific character like phlogistic chemistry because it is not possible to conduct experiments nor rigorous observations in the domain of inner sense. Empirical psychology is a mere systematic and classificatory natural description of the phenomena of inner sense.


Keywords

Empirical psychology, Natural science, Phlogistic chemistry, Mathematical physics.


Introducción


La psicología empírica, para Immanuel Kant, es el conocimiento que el sujeto tiene de sí mismo por medio de su sentido interno. El objetivo de este artículo es brindar una interpretación de los motivos por los cuales Kant, en el “Prólogo” a sus Primeros principios metafísicos de la ciencia de la naturaleza, sostiene que esta psicología no es una ciencia de la naturaleza. 1 En el prólogo mencionado, Kant mantiene que la física matemática es una ciencia de la naturaleza en un sentido “propio” del término, mientras que la química lo es en un sentido “impropio”. A fin de comprender el carácter no científico de la psicología empírica, debe explicarse por qué esta disciplina no es una ciencia en sentido propio como la física matemática, ni una ciencia en sentido impropio como la química. Por tanto, la exposición del estatus no científico de la psicología empírica presupone una exposición de los diferentes estatus científicos de la física matemática y la química. A fin de brindar estas exposiciones, dividiré este artículo en tres secciones. La primera de ellas explicará el status científico en sentido propio de la física matemática. La segunda sección esclarecerá el estatus científico en sentido impropio de la química. Por último, en la tercera sección se expondrá el estatus no científico de la psicología empírica.



1 Emplearé las siguientes abreviaturas de las obras de Kant: Anth = Anthropologie in pragmatischer Hinsicht (Antropología en sentido pragmático), Ko = Anthropologie Dohna-Wundlacken (Antropología Dohna- Wundlacken; apuntes de lecciones de antropología dadas por Kant en el semestre de invierno de 1791-1792), KrV = Kritik der reinen Vernunftt (Crítica de la razón pura), Log = Logik Jäsche (Lógica Jäsche), MAN = Metaphysische Anfangsgründe der Naturwissenschaft (Primeros principios metafísicos de la ciencia de la naturaleza), V-Anth/Fried = Vorlesungen Wintersemester 1775/1776 Friedländer (Antropología Friedländer; notas de lecciones de antropología ofrecidas por Kant durante el semestre de invierno de 1775- 1776), V-Anth/Mensch = Vorlesungen Wintersemester 1781/1782 Menschenkunde (Antropología Menschenkunde; apuntes de lecciones de antropología dadas por Kant en el semestre de invierno de 1781- 1782), V-Anth/Pillau = Vorlesungen Wintersemester 1777/1778 Pillau (Antropología Pillau; apuntes de lecciones de antropología dadas por Kant en el semestre de invierno de 1777-1778), y V-Ph/Danziger = Danziger Physik (Física Danzig; notas de lecciones de física dadas por Kant durante el semestre de verano de 1785). Doy las referencias a KrV según la paginación de la primera (1781 = A) y la segunda (1787 = B) ediciones originales. Todas las referencias a otros textos de Kant, con excepción de Ko (Kant, 1924), son dadas de acuerdo con el tomo y la paginación de la edición académica de las obras de Kant (AA = Akademie- Ausgabe; Kant, 1900ss.). Las traducciones al español utilizadas son las siguientes: para KrV, Kant (2009); para MAN, Kant (1989 y 1993. Ambas versiones fueron consideradas para ofrecer una traducción única). Modifiqué ciertos pasajes de estas traducciones para brindar versiones más fieles al original alemán.

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¿Por qué la psicología empírica no es una ciencia natural?



En el período de MAN (1786) y KrV (1781/1787), la química que Kant tiene in mente es la química flogística tradicional elaborada particularmente por Georg E. Stahl (1660-1734).2 A diferencia de la física matemática, la química flogística no es una ciencia de la naturaleza en sentido propio porque la matemática no puede aplicarse adecuadamente dentro de su ámbito. Seguiré la interpretación de H. Blomme (2011 y 2015) acerca de esta diferencia entre la física matemática y la química flogística.3 En pocas palabras, de acuerdo con Blomme, en MAN, Kant expone un conocimiento metafísico a priori acerca de los objetos materiales en general tomando al movimiento como característica fundamental de la materia (MAN, AA 04: 476-477). Este conocimiento metafísico pertenece a la parte pura de la física matemática y fundamenta la aplicación adecuada de la matemática dentro del campo de esta física (MAN, AA 04: 470-472). Pero, como se señala en esa obra, los procesos químicos no pueden, como las interacciones de los cuerpos materiales en general estudiadas por la física matemática, ser presentados a priori como movimientos en el espacio. Por tanto, estos procesos no pueden recibir la aplicación adecuada de la matemática que se fundamenta en el mencionado conocimiento metafísico (MAN, AA 04: 470-471). Sin embargo, para Kant, la química flogística posee un carácter científico, aunque en un sentido impropio del término. Según la lectura original que defenderé, esta química alcanza el estatus de ciencia de la naturaleza porque puede ser sistemática y experimental (Ibid.).

Como adelanté, la psicología que Kant considera en el “Prólogo” a MAN es la psicología empírica. Esta psicología no es una ciencia de la naturaleza, sino una “descripción de la naturaleza” que clasifica de manera sistemática los fenómenos del sentido interno.4 La psicología empírica no es una ciencia de la naturaleza por dos motivos. En primer lugar, los estados y procesos del sentido interno están dados únicamente en el tiempo. Estos estados y procesos no pueden admitir la aplicación adecuada de la matemática que es fundamentada por el conocimiento metafísico presentado en MAN, ya que éste versa sobre los objetos materiales dados en el espacio (MAN, AA 04: 471). Además, Kant afirma, en el “Prólogo” mencionado, que la única ley que podría resultar de la aplicación de la matemática al sentido interno es la que expresa la continuidad del flujo de los fenómenos dados en este sentido (Ibid.). Por consiguiente, la psicología empírica, al igual que la química flogística, no es una ciencia en sentido propio como la física matemática. En segundo lugar, no es posible efectuar experimentos materiales ni en el dominio del sentido interno propio ni en el del ajeno. Más aún, Kant estima que ni siquiera es posible observar rigurosamente nuestros propios estados internos (Ibid.). Por tanto, la psicología empírica no puede ser una ciencia en sentido impropio tal como lo es la química flogística.


2 Cf. Friedman (1992, p. 265), Carrier (2001) y Blomme (2011 y 2015). De acuerdo con Friedman (1992, p. 289), Kant habría adoptado la química antiflogística de Lavoisier a más tardar en 1795.

3 Acerca de la física matemática como ciencia en sentido propio y la química flogística como ciencia en sentido impropio, véase MAN (AA 04: 468-471) y las dos primeras secciones del presente artículo.

4 En KrV, Kant ofrece una crítica de la pretendida ciencia denominada “psicología racional”. Por otro lado,

P. Kitcher defendió la tesis según el “método trascendental” introducido por Kant en KrV debe entenderse como una “psicología trascendental”. Acerca de estos dos puntos, véase infra, n. 23.

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Mi exposición incluirá una explicación de la tesis kantiana según la cual, mientras que la química flogística podría convertirse en ciencia en sentido propio en algún momento futuro, la psicología empírica nunca podrá ser más que una descripción de la naturaleza.5


  1. La física matemática: ciencia en sentido propio


    La química flogística y la psicología empírica no son ciencias en un sentido propio del término porque la matemática no puede aplicarse adecuadamente en sus dominios. Debe señalarse que la aplicación adecuada de la matemática en el campo de una disciplina no significa meramente que el objeto de esta disciplina sea mensurable.6 De hecho, aunque Kant consideraba que la química flogística no era una ciencia en sentido propio, estaba familiarizado con desarrollos contemporáneos en el marco de esa disciplina que entrañaban la mensurabilidad de ciertos fenómenos químicos. 7 Y, aunque fuese posible adscribir a Kant una concepción de la psicología según la cual esta disciplina admitiese cierta


    5 El único trabajo que conozco que estudie los estatus de la química y la psicología mediante un contraste con la física es el de Nayak y Sotnak (1995). La tesis central de estos autores es que la aplicación de la matemática que garantiza el estatus de ciencia en sentido estricto consiste en la posibilidad de formular a priori leyes matemáticas acerca de fuerzas fundamentales atractivas y repulsivas de los objetos externos (pp. 147-150. Cf. MAN, AA 04: 496ss.). En las dos primeras secciones de este trabajo intentaré mostrar, siguiendo a Blomme (2011 y 2015), que esa aplicación de la matemática, más bien, consiste en la posibilidad de construir como movimientos en la intuición pura del espacio conceptos fundamentales del objeto de una disciplina que estén vinculados con la materia en general. Véase infra, n. 14.

    6 S. Körner parece sostener la concepción contraria. Körner señala que el principio de las “Anticipaciones de la percepción” de KrV establece que las sensaciones tienen que poseer un grado de intensidad. Según A, tal principio dice: “En todos los fenómenos, tiene la sensación, y lo real que a ella le corresponde en el objeto (realitas phaenomenon) una cantidad intensiva, es decir, un grado” (A166). De acuerdo con B, este principio reza: “En todos los fenómenos, lo real, que es un objeto de la sensación, tiene una cantidad intensiva, es decir, un grado” (B207). Según Körner, el mencionado principio muestra que la matemática puede ser aplicada para medir sensaciones. La formulación de A parecería ofrecer más sustento para la interpretación de Körner que la de B, porque en esta última no se menciona la sensación misma, sino “lo real, que es un objeto de la sensación”. Sin embargo, Körner cita sólo la formulación de B. (Un ejemplo dado por Kant de medición de sensaciones, el cual no es citado por Körner, es el siguiente: “podré componer el grado de las sensaciones de la luz solar con unas 200.000 iluminaciones de la luna”. A179/B221). Körner concluye que tal vez pueda afirmarse que “al formular el principio de las anticipaciones Kant previó la necesidad de una justificación filosófica de toda la así llamada psicometría y de parte de la así llamada econometría, y proporcionó una justificación de esa clase” (Körner 1955, p. 81). Por tanto, en este contexto, Körner parece equiparar la mensurabilidad del objeto de dos disciplinas con la justificación del carácter científico de las mismas. De modo similar, A. Wolf mantiene que Kant “no consideraba la psicología como una ciencia […] [p]ues identificaba la ciencia con el tratamiento cuantitativo y exacto de los fenómenos […] y no pensaba que los procesos mentales pudiesen alguna vez ser medidos” (Wolf 1952, p. 692). Debo la referencia a estos pasajes a Nayak y Sotnak (1995, pp. 144-145). Finalmente, P. Kitcher sostiene que, para Kant, la psicología nunca podrá ser una ciencia “porque una ciencia debe ser cuantitativa pero las cualidades que encontramos en la sensación no pueden ser cuantificadas” (Kitcher 1991, p. 209, n. 21. Cf. Kitcher 1990, p. 11). Kitcher parece no tener en cuenta que, como destacó Körner, en las “Anticipaciones de la percepción” de KrV Kant, aparentemente, intenta mostrar que las cualidades dadas en la sensación deben poseer grados de intensidad.

    7 Acerca de este tema, véase Nayak y Sotnak (1995, p. 145) y McNulty (2014, p. 395).

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    ¿Por qué la psicología empírica no es una ciencia natural?


    medición, esta circunstancia no implicaría que la mencionada psicología fuese una ciencia en sentido propio.8

    A fin de mostrar en qué sentido la química flogística y la psicología empírica no son ciencias en sentido propio, es preciso explicar anteriormente en qué sentido la física matemática es una ciencia de esa clase. Esta explicación debe consistir, fundamentalmente, en una presentación del motivo por el cual la matemática puede aplicarse adecuadamente en el dominio de la física matemática. En esta sección, en primer lugar, presentaré sucintamente esta última disciplina y, en segundo lugar, mostraré por qué ella admite la aplicación mencionada.

    La física matemática es la ciencia de la materia o de los objetos de los sentidos externos. Esta ciencia posee una parte pura y una parte empírica. La primera es el fundamento de la segunda. La parte pura contiene a su vez una parte trascendental y otra metafísica. La parte trascendental de la física matemática no es presentada en MAN, sino en KrV. Efectivamente, el conocimiento a priori contenido en la mencionada parte trascendental está compuesto por los principios del entendimiento puro presentados y justificados en la primera Crítica (véase A148/B187ss.). Estos principios trascendentales expresan la aplicación de las diferentes categorías a distintos aspectos de la multiplicidad empírica dada en la sensibilidad. En virtud de esta aplicación, la multiplicidad empírica se constituye como objeto empírico en general. Así, los mencionados principios determinan y posibilitan la forma de la naturaleza en general, sin hacer referencia a la naturaleza particular de un objeto empírico o una clase de ellos (MAN, AA 04: 469-470). Por ejemplo, el principio del entendimiento correspondiente a la categoría de causalidad y dependencia establece: “[t]odas las alteraciones suceden según la ley de la conexión de la causa y el efecto” (B232).

    La parte metafísica de la física matemática es expuesta en MAN. Esta parte metafísica contiene la totalidad de los conocimientos a priori acerca de los objetos materiales que pueden obtenerse aplicando los principios trascendentales del entendimiento y, por tanto, las categorías, a un concepto empírico muy general de materia (MAN, AA 04: 469-477). Por tanto, la mencionada parte metafísica, a diferencia de la parte trascendental, se refiere a los objetos empíricos de una clase particular, a saber, los objetos materiales dados a los sentidos externos (MAN, AA 04: 469-470). Debe notarse que la determinación esencial de la materia es el movimiento, dado que sólo mediante el movimiento pueden ser afectados los sentidos mencionados (MAN, AA 04: 476. Véase infra). En cada capítulo de MAN, Kant presenta una determinación diferente de la materia móvil e intenta mostrar que ella corresponde a una categoría diferente (MAN, AA 04: 476- 477). Al principio del entendimiento correspondiente a la categoría de causalidad y dependencia, el cual mencioné anteriormente, le corresponde en MAN la segunda ley de la mecánica: “toda alteración de la materia tiene una causa externa” (MAN, AA 04: 543).



    8 Véase en supra, n. 6 la tesis de Körner acerca de que las “Anticipaciones de la percepción” hacen posible la medición de sensaciones. Esta mensurabilidad, según Körner, justificaría el carácter científico de la psicometría. Para una crítica de las tesis de Körner, véase Nayak y Sotnak (1995, pp. 148-149).

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    Ambas clases de proposiciones fundamentales son a priori y, por tanto, universales y necesarias.

    Como adelanté, la parte metafísica de la física matemática que acabo de exponer es la que garantiza la aplicabilidad adecuada de la matemática en el campo de esta ciencia. Siguiendo a H. Blomme, intentaré mostrar ahora detalladamente en qué consiste esa aplicabilidad adecuada. Para este comentarista, la mencionada aplicabilidad entraña la posibilidad de construir matemáticamente las propiedades fundamentales del objeto de la física, esto es, la materia. Según Kant, “[c]onstruir un concepto significa: exhibir a priori la intuición que le corresponde” (A713/B741).9 Blomme cita la siguiente afirmación hecha por Kant en el “Prólogo” a MAN: “[a]hora bien, con el fin de hacer posible la aplicación de la matemática a la doctrina de los cuerpos, que sólo mediante ella puede llegar a ser ciencia de la naturaleza, tienen que presentarse previamente principios de la construcción de los conceptos que pertenecen a la posibilidad de la materia en general” (MAN, AA 04: 472; Blomme, 2015, 484-485). Blomme interpreta que la parte metafísica de la física matemática tiene que suministrar los conceptos fundamentales a priori que determinan, de una manera general, el objeto de esta ciencia. A diferencia de la geometría, la física no se ocupa de la esencia de conceptos que dependen de su construcción en la intuición pura del espacio, sino de la existencia del objeto de los sentidos externos. Por tanto, los mencionados conceptos fundamentales no tienen que depender de la construcción matemática. “Sin embargo, estos conceptos tendrán que ser tales que puedan, en principio, ser construidos, al mostrar cómo pueden ser presentados como casos del concepto general de movimiento que Kant afirma que es la determinación fundamental de la materia” (Blomme 2015, p. 493. Véase infra).

    Como el conocimiento empírico de la materia queda fuera del alcance de la metafísica de la naturaleza corpórea, “Kant tiene que encontrar una expresión de la naturaleza empírica de la materia que sea sin embargo construible en la intuición a priori” (Blomme 2015, p. 496). De esta manera, “la naturaleza empírica de la materia” será “integrada en la presentación completa de determinaciones sintéticas a priori que especifican el concepto de materia” (Ibid.). Blomme intenta mostrar por qué, para Kant, esa característica fundamental de la materia es el movimiento. En primer lugar, este comentarista observa que todo nuestro conocimiento de objetos materiales depende de la percepción. La percepción sería un efecto de un objeto empírico externo sobre nuestra sensibilidad. Este influjo sobre los sentidos externos se denominaría “afección empírica” (Blomme 2015, pp. 496-497). A continuación, Blomme arguye que Kant llega a la concepción del movimiento como determinación fundamental de la materia mediante un análisis del sentido y las condiciones de la afección empírica (Blomme 2015, p. 497).10



    9 Por ejemplo, consideramos los predicados contenidos en el concepto de triangulo (“figura”, “tres” y “segmento de recta”) y producimos, en la intuición pura del espacio, intuiciones formales de triángulos particulares.

    10 “No sería posible obtener conocimiento de objetos externos diferentes si el efecto que tuvieran sobre nuestros sentidos fuese siempre el mismo, del mismo modo que una cualidad que pertenezca a todo objeto no podría ser percibida empíricamente. El hecho de que el concepto de materia haya de ser conectado con la

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    ISSN: 2386-7655

    Doi: 10.5281/zenodo.1095671

    ¿Por qué la psicología empírica no es una ciencia natural?



    Según Blomme, el predicable del movimiento se obtiene al conectar el predicable de la alteración, considerado como realizado en el tiempo, con el espacio como forma pura de la intuición externa. Además, el predicable del movimiento puede ser realizado objetivamente de modo a priori o empírico. Puede realizarse el movimiento de manera a priori como descripción geométrica (por ejemplo, moviendo un punto en la intuición pura del espacio a fin de trazar una línea). El movimiento puede también realizarse empíricamente como movimiento físico, cuando es dado en la experiencia. Sin embargo, el contenido lógico del predicable del movimiento como característica fundamental de la materia es en ambos casos el mismo: “alteración real de relaciones externas” (Blomme 2015, p. 498).

    Por otro lado, en la “Foronomía” de MAN, “la materia es […] determinada ulteriormente como lo movible en el espacio, y Kant mostrará cómo la determinación fundamental es especificada por la construcción a priori de las propiedades que le pertenecen como magnitud extensiva: velocidad y dirección” (Blomme 2015, pp. 498- 499). Lo móvil se presenta así, en lo que hace a sus propiedades cuantitativas, de modo a priori en la intuición del espacio mediante el trazado de segmentos de recta que pueden ser combinados o compuestos.

    En los capítulos siguientes de MAN, Kant muestra cómo la cualidad, la relación y la modalidad de los objetos materiales pueden vincularse con presentaciones de movimientos. Por motivos de brevedad, no haré mención de la modalidad de estos objetos. Mientras que la cualidad de los objetos materiales consiste en el llenado del espacio, su relación viene dada por la comunicación del movimiento. Ambas determinaciones son definidas en términos de sus efectos sobre el movimiento. Por ejemplo, la cualidad de la materia puede entenderse como la resistencia que una materia ofrece a la penetración, por parte de otra materia, del espacio que ella llena (MAN, AA 04: 496-498).11

    El expuesto conocimiento metafísico hace posible la aplicación de la matemática para la explicación de la interacción mecánica de los cuerpos en general.



    afección empírica, esto es, con la materia o los cuerpos materiales que afectan nuestros sentidos externos, significa que el cambio de estados receptivos en el sujeto es un cambio de relaciones externas. Para Kant, todo cambio real tiene que ocurrir en el tiempo y cada relación externa es per definitionem una relación en el espacio. La afección empírica, por tanto, significa fundamentalmente: cambio (en el tiempo) de relaciones externas (en el espacio). Ahora bien, el único concepto que puede expresar a priori un cambio de relaciones externas y es al mismo tiempo construible en la intuición a priori es el concepto de movimiento. Este es el contexto oculto detrás de la observación aparentemente inocente de Kant en el prefacio a Fundamentos metafísicos, de que la determinación fundamental de algo que es el objeto de los sentidos externos tiene que ser el movimiento, porque es sólo por el movimiento que estos sentidos pueden ser afectados (MAN 4: 476). El ‘movimiento’ es por tanto el único concepto que puede a la vez ‘esquematizar’ a priori la afección empírica (y por tanto también la naturaleza empírica del concepto de materia) y ser construido matemáticamente (a saber, como descripción en la intuición a priori del espacio).” (Blomme 2015, p. 497).

    11 Las líneas generales de las tesis presentadas en este párrafo fueron expuestas por McNulty (2014, p. 402). Véase MAN (AA 04: 476ss.).

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  2. La química flogística: ciencia en sentido impropio


    Se ha mostrado que, en MAN, Kant presenta principios metafísicos acerca de los objetos materiales en general tomando al movimiento como característica fundamental de la materia. Como las reacciones químicas de las diferentes materias no pueden ser presentadas a priori como movimientos en la intuición pura del espacio, ellas no pueden fundamentarse en los mencionados principios. Por tanto, la química flogística es una ciencia en sentido impropio del término y contiene solamente leyes causales empíricas.12 Sin embargo, Kant estima que en un futuro esas reacciones podrían coordinarse de alguna manera con los mencionados principios y ser así fundamentadas por ellos. En este caso, los conceptos centrales de la química se tornarían construibles, porque podrían reducirse a ciertos movimientos susceptibles de exhibirse a priori en la intuición externa. La química sería entonces una ciencia en sentido propio. Efectivamente, la aplicabilidad adecuada de la matemática dentro de su campo quedaría justificada en la medida en que se expusiesen principios que determinen la construcción de conceptos centrales de la química que serían inherentes a la materia en general (Blomme 2015, p. 499).13

    Cito a continuación uno de los pasajes más relevantes del “Prólogo” de MAN para el problema del estatus de la química flogística:


    Mientras no se encuentre entonces, todavía, un concepto que pueda construirse para las acciones químicas de las materias unas sobre otras, es decir, hasta tanto no se dé una ley de aproximación o alejamiento de las partes, de acuerdo con la cual, por ejemplo, en proporción a sus densidades o propiedades análogas, sus movimientos y las consecuencias de éstos puedan hacerse intuibles y presentarse a priori en el espacio (una exigencia que difícilmente podrá ser alguna vez realizada), entonces la química no puede llegar a ser nada más que arte sistemático o doctrina experimental, pero nunca una ciencia propiamente dicha, porque sus principios son meramente empíricos y no admiten ninguna presentación a priori en la intuición. Consiguientemente, ellos no hacen comprensibles en lo más mínimo los principios de los fenómenos químicos según su posibilidad, porque ellos son incapaces para la aplicación de la matemática. (MAN, AA 04: 470-471).


    12 En el “Prólogo” a MAN se afirma: “[l]a ciencia de la naturaleza […] sería llamada o propia [eigentlich] o impropiamente [uneigentlich] ciencia de la naturaleza; la primera trata su objeto completamente de acuerdo con principios a priori; la segunda de acuerdo con leyes de la experiencia” (AA 04: 468). A continuación, se aclara que los principios de explicación de la química son meramente empíricos (Ibid.). Estos pasajes podrían dar la impresión de que, mientras que la química es puramente empírica, la física es enteramente a priori. El que la química sea exclusivamente empírica es correcto, pero debe recordarse que en la sección anterior se señaló que la física no es exclusivamente a priori. Esta última tesis es presentada más adelante en el “Prólogo” de MAN: “Toda ciencia de la naturaleza propiamente dicha requiere […] una parte pura sobre la que pueda fundarse la certeza apodíctica que la razón busca en esta ciencia” (AA 04: 469). La ciencia propiamente dicha no es exclusivamente pura, sino que tiene una parte pura como su fundamento. Esta parte pura contiene “los principios a priori de todas las restantes explicaciones de naturaleza” (Ibid.). Más adelante en el texto considerado se presentan las dos partes contenidas en la parte pura de la física, a saber, la metafísica y la trascendental (AA 04: 469-470. Véase la sección primera de este artículo).

    13 El autor presentó anteriormente las líneas principales de la interpretación que se ha expuesto en Blomme (2011). Una lectura similar fue propuesta por McNulty (2014). No dispongo aquí de espacio para comparar ambas lecturas. Cf. Sturm (2001, p. 179) and Mischel (1967, pp. 601-602, 604).

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    Kant intenta explicar aquí la razón por la cual la química flogística no es una ciencia propiamente dicha. Puede afirmarse que esta razón consiste en que no disponemos de leyes ni de conceptos referidos a las fuerzas que originan las operaciones de alejamiento y aproximación que serían inherentes a las distintas partes internas de las diferentes materias. Estas diferentes operaciones serían las responsables de las “acciones químicas de las materias unas sobre otras” y estarían relacionadas con propiedades de la materia en general que son fácilmente observables, tal como su densidad. Estas operaciones podrían presentarse a priori como movimientos en el espacio y, entonces, las leyes y los conceptos referidos a ellas serían construibles. Las afirmaciones contenidas en el pasaje citado concuerdan entonces con la explicación, ofrecida al comienzo de esta sección, del motivo por el que la química no es una ciencia en sentido propio. Hasta que un concepto íntimamente vinculado con las acciones químicas de las materias entre sí que pertenezca a la materia en general no pueda ser construido, con lo cual estas acciones podrían ser presentadas a priori como movimientos en el espacio, la química será una ciencia en sentido impropio.14

    Aquí me interesa destacar que, en virtud de esa razón por la cual la química no es una ciencia en sentido propio, esta disciplina “no puede llegar a ser nada más que arte sistemático o doctrina experimental”. Considero que esta afirmación de Kant no ha sido aún suficientemente analizada por los comentaristas. En ese pasaje, Kant efectúa un contraste entre lo que la química no puede llegar a ser (ciencia propiamente dicha) y lo que esta disciplina puede llegar a ser (arte sistemático y doctrina experimental). Debe recordarse que la química, aunque en sentido impropio, es una ciencia de la naturaleza (véase supra, n. 12). Como esta disciplina, por un lado, no puede alcanzar un estatus científico propio, sino únicamente impropio y, por el otro, no puede convertirse en “nada más que arte sistemático o doctrina experimental”, cabe suponer que ese estatus científico está de alguna manera en relación con el carácter sistemático y experimental de esa disciplina. De hecho, como intentaré mostrar, esa relación consiste en que el carácter científico (impropio) de la química flogística depende de su naturaleza sistemática y experimental.

    Algunos pasajes de obras de Kant proveen sustento textual para la interpretación esbozada del carácter científico de la química. En primer lugar, en al menos dos pasajes Kant vincula la sistematicidad con la cientificidad. Al comienzo de la “Arquitectónica de la razón pura” de KrV se afirma: “la unidad sistemática es aquella que primeramente convierte al conocimiento común en ciencia, es decir, que de un mero agregado de ellos



    14 El pasaje citado parecería estar de acuerdo con la interpretación de Nayak y Sotnak (1995) mencionada en supra, n. 5. La química no sería una ciencia en sentido estricto porque no pueden formularse a priori leyes matemáticas sobre las fuerzas fundamentales atractivas (“acercamiento”) y repulsivas (“alejamiento”) que son específicas de los diferentes corpúsculos químicos (p. 148). Aquí quisiera subrayar que la imposibilidad de formular esas leyes puede entenderse como un caso particular de la imposibilidad de construir a priori como movimientos en la intuición pura del espacio conceptos de reacciones químicas vinculados con la materia en general. El desarrollo del presente artículo hasta este punto ha intentado mostrar que esta segunda concepción es la que sostiene Kant.

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    hace un sistema” (A832/B860). De manera similar, al inicio del “Prólogo” a MAN se asevera: “[t]oda doctrina, si ha de ser un sistema, es decir, un todo del conocimiento ordenado según principios, se llama ciencia” (MAN, AA 04: 467). En segundo lugar, en el “Prólogo a la segunda edición” de KrV se encuentra una conexión entra la cientificidad de la ciencia de la naturaleza y su carácter experimental (Bxii-xiv). En ese pasaje Kant menciona sucintamente tres famosos experimentos. Uno de ellos fue realizado por Georg

    E. Stahl en el marco de investigaciones correspondientes a su química flogística (Bxii- xiii).15 Esos experimentos, según Kant, son expresión de una “revolución del modo de pensar” que permitió a la ciencia de la naturaleza alcanzar “la marcha segura de una ciencia” (Ibid.). Kant señala que, en ese contexto, tiene en cuenta la ciencia de la naturaleza solamente en tanto que se basa en principios empíricos (Bxii). Interpreto esta afirmación en el sentido de que las tesis sobre la ciencia de la naturaleza presentadas por Kant en ese pasaje no se refieren a la parte metafísica de la física matemática, sino a la parte empírica de esta disciplina y a la química flogística. Según el nuevo modo de pensar, la razón debe aproximarse a la naturaleza con sus principios y con experimentos diseñados de acuerdo con estos últimos (Bxiii). De esta manera, la razón extrae de la naturaleza un conocimiento posibilitado por lo que la primera introduce en la segunda (Bxiii-xiv). Kant opone este modo de proceder a la realización de “observaciones contingentes, hechas sin ningún plan previamente trazado” (Bxiii).

    En conclusión, la química flogística no es una ciencia en sentido propio porque, en pocas palabras, no pueden construirse a priori como movimientos en el espacio conceptos que estén vinculados con reacciones químicas y que se refieran a propiedades de la materia en general. Por otro lado, esta disciplina es una ciencia, aunque en sentido impropio, porque puede poseer un carácter sistemático y experimental. El carácter sistemático de la química flogística está vinculado, en primer lugar, con el hecho de que haya una estructuración jerárquica de géneros y especies entre los conceptos de dicha disciplina y, en segundo lugar, con que sus leyes causales empíricas menos generales puedan deducirse de las más generales. Por ejemplo, en este último caso, a partir de la ley según la cual el flogisto es el principio de la inflamabilidad y de la tesis de que los metales contienen flogisto puede deducirse la ley según la cual los metales son calcinables (véase supra, n. 15). Los mencionados sistemas de conceptos y de leyes son interdependientes. En primer lugar, para formular leyes causales empíricas químicas se deben poseer conceptos de los fenómenos químicos a los que ellas se refieren. En segundo lugar, las propiedades causales que estas leyes atribuyen a los fenómenos químicos se incluyen en los contenidos lógicos


    15 Puede afirmarse que el experimento de Stahl tenía por objetivo sustentar la tesis según la cual el flogisto es el principio de la inflamabilidad, esto es, de la calcinabilidad y la combustibilidad de las diferentes substancias. Tanto un metal como el plomo cuanto el carbón vegetal contienen flogisto. De hecho, la calcinación del plomo y la combustión del carbón vegetal se explican por la liberación del flogisto contenido en ellos. Acerca de este experimento, véase Stahl (1718, pp. 119-120), Partington (1961, pp. 669-671), Carrier (2001, pp. 217-218) y McNulty (2015, pp. 5-6). Uno de los otros dos experimentos a los que se refiere Kant en ese pasaje fue efectuado por Galileo, y el otro fue llevado a cabo por Torricelli.

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    de los conceptos de esos objetos.16 Por otro lado, el carácter experimental de la química flogística está relacionado con el hecho de que sus leyes causales empíricas tienen que ponerse a prueba mediante experimentos.17


  3. La psicología empírica: descripción de la naturaleza


Puede afirmarse que, para Kant, la psicología empírica o doctrina empírica del alma es la disciplina que se ocupa de estudiar los fenómenos del sentido interno mediante introspección. Inmediatamente después del párrafo en el que expone el estatus de la química flogística, que se ha citado al comienzo de la segunda sección de este trabajo, Kant introduce el pasaje del “Prólogo” de MAN más importante para el examen del problema del estatus de la mencionada psicología.


Pero la doctrina empírica del alma tiene que permanecer siempre más alejada todavía del rango de una así llamada ciencia de la naturaleza en sentido propio que la química misma; primeramente, porque la matemática no es aplicable a los fenómenos del sentido interno ni a sus leyes, a menos que se que quiera tomar en cuenta, solamente, la ley de continuidad en el flujo de las alteraciones internas del mismo sentido; pero esto sería una extensión del conocimiento que se comportaría, respecto de aquella que la matemática proporciona a la doctrina del cuerpo, más o menos como la doctrina de las propiedades de la línea recta respecto de toda la geometría. Pues la intuición interna pura en la cual los fenómenos del alma deben construirse es el tiempo, que tiene solamente una dimensión.



16 En la primera parte del “Apéndice a la dialéctica trascendental” de KrV (A642-668/B670-696), Kant introduce tres principios de la razón teórica para la sistematización del conocimiento empírico, a saber, los de homogeneidad, especificación y continuidad. La aplicación de estos principios, como señalaré, es la que concede una forma sistemática a disciplinas empíricas como la química flogística. La mayoría de los ejemplos de aplicación de esos principios que son dados en ese texto concierne a la sistematización de conceptos. De todas maneras, se ha visto que los sistemas de leyes y de conceptos de la química flogística son interdependientes. Presentaré a continuación los mencionados principios. El principio de homogeneidad prescribe buscar géneros comunes para especies diferentes (A651-654/B679-682). El principio de especificación hace necesario intentar dividir géneros comunes en distintas especies (A654-657/B682-685). Por último, el principio de continuidad establece la necesidad de procurar introducir, entre dos especies de un mismo género consideradas inicialmente como colindantes, cada vez más especies intermedias (A657- 661/B685-689). En la primera parte del “Apéndice” se presentan cuatro ejemplos de sistematización pertenecientes a la química flogística: homogeneización de sales, tierras, y sales y tierras tomadas conjuntamente (A652-653/B680-681), y especificación de tierras absorbentes (A657/B685). Por otro lado, cabe destacar que la parte pura de la física matemática también es sistemática. No obstante, este carácter sistemático no depende de la aplicación de los mencionados principios, sino del carácter sistemático de la tabla de las categorías de KrV. Por este motivo, la mencionada parte pura puede alcanzar una forma completa y cerrada (MAN, AA 04: 473-479). En cambio, en el ámbito de la química flogística tiene lugar un progreso constante basado en la consideración de lo dado en la experiencia y una aproximación asintótica a una forma sistemática completa mediante la aplicación de los mencionados principios. Presumiblemente, la parte empírica de la física matemática es sistemática en el mismo sentido en el que lo es la química flogística. No dispongo aquí de espacio para presentar la doctrina de las ideas regulativas de la razón teórica expuesta en la segunda parte del “Apéndice”. Acerca del estatus de las leyes empíricas pertenecientes a la psicología empírica y la aplicación del principio de homogeneidad en el campo de esta psicología, véase la tercera sección de este trabajo.

17 No hay aquí espacio suficiente para explicar exhaustivamente el problema de los fundamentos y las consecuencias del carácter sistemático y experimental de la química flogística.

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Pero la doctrina empírica del alma tampoco puede acercarse jamás a la química como arte sistemático de análisis o doctrina experimental, porque en ella lo múltiple de la observación interna sólo se puede separar mediante una mera división en el pensamiento, pero no puede mantenerse separada y conectarse de nuevo a voluntad; pero menos aún puede someterse a otro sujeto pensante a experimentos convenientes a nuestro propósito, e incluso la observación en sí ya altera y desplaza el estado del objeto observado. Por eso, la doctrina empírica del alma nunca puede llegar a ser algo más que una doctrina histórica natural del sentido interno y, como tal, tan sistemática como sea posible, es decir, una descripción natural del alma, pero no una ciencia del alma, ni siquiera una doctrina psicológica experimental (MAN, AA 04: 471).


En primer lugar, Kant afirma que la doctrina empírica del alma está siempre más alejada de la condición de ciencia en sentido propio que la química. Considero que esta tesis hace referencia al hecho de que la psicología empírica, a diferencia de la química flogística, nunca podrá convertirse en una ciencia en sentido propio. Esta piscología examina los estados y procesos del sentido interno, y estos estados y procesos, a diferencia de las reacciones químicas, están dados solamente en el tiempo y nunca podrán ser presentados a priori como movimientos en el espacio. Efectivamente, puede interpretarse que, al menos en el pasaje citado, Kant sostiene que la “ley de continuidad en el flujo de las alteraciones internas” es la única ley que puede resultar de la aplicación de la matemática al ámbito de los fenómenos internos.18

En segundo lugar, Kant asevera que la doctrina empírica del alma tampoco podrá ser nunca, como la química, una “doctrina experimental”. Nuestro filósofo ofrece tres razones para esta afirmación. Las resumo a continuación: 1) no es posible manipular materialmente, a fin de efectuar experimentos, los fenómenos de nuestro sentido interno, porque ellos pueden dividirse únicamente en el pensamiento;19 2) no es posible someter a experimentos, en lo que hace a su sentido interno, a un sujeto pensante diferente de nosotros, y 3) la observación de los fenómenos de nuestro sentido interno modifica el estado de lo observado. 20 Por tales razones, la psicología empírica no puede ser una


18 Anteriormente se ha considerado la posible cuantificación de la intensidad de las sensaciones (véase supra,

n. 6, y también infra, n. 29).

19 De acuerdo con R. McDonough, la tesis según la cual los “estados mentales […] ‘pueden separarse sólo en el pensamiento’” significa que estos estados son interdependientes en lo que respecta a su identidad (“they are identity-dependent on each other”) (McDonough 1995, p. 211. Véase también pp. 212-214).

20 T. Sturm ofrece una interpretación de esta tercera razón. Este comentarista señala que observar introspectivamente no equivale simplemente a tener consciencia de los estados y procesos internos. Más bien, esa observación consiste en dirigir la atención hacia ciertos fenómenos internos. “Kant indica aquí que se torna cuestionable si los estados o procesos psicológicos así observados funcionan de la manera en que usualmente lo hacen; si, digamos, mi introspección de un cierto estado de pasión, placer, o dolor no podría cambiar fácilmente ese estado de modo que no lleve a sus consecuencias causales usuales en mi reacción o en mis creencias acerca de las causas de ese estado.” En este caso, concluye Sturm, no sería posible conocer por introspección cómo funcionan esos estados internos en nuestra vida cotidiana. (Sturm 2001, p. 178). Cf. Anth (AA 07: 132-134).

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“ciencia del alma”, sino solamente una “descripción natural” o “descripción de la naturaleza” (Naturbeschreibung) del alma.21

Aquí me interesa subrayar que Kant hace referencia a la imposibilidad de hacer experimentos materiales en nuestro sentido interno y en los ajenos cuando afirma que la psicología empírica no puede ser una ciencia. El hecho de que Kant mencione esa imposibilidad al intentar mostrar el carácter no científico de esa psicología provee sustento a mi hipótesis original según la cual la circunstancia de que la química flogística tenga un carácter experimental es una de las razones por las cuales esta disciplina es una ciencia, si bien en sentido impropio. Debe notarse que el potencial cognitivo de la psicología empírica presenta incluso más limitaciones. En efecto, según Kant, en el ámbito del sentido interno no es posible ni siquiera la observación rigurosa, porque el hecho de prestar atención a un fenómeno del sentido interno puede modificar a este último (véase supra, n. 20).

Para Kant, la psicología empírica no es una ciencia, sino una descripción natural del alma. Presentaré sucintamente a continuación las características generales de esa descripción. El género supremo del conocimiento sobre la naturaleza es la “doctrina de la naturaleza” (Naturlehre). Ella se divide en “ciencia de la naturaleza” (Naturwissenschaft) y “doctrina histórica de la naturaleza” (historische Naturlehre). La ciencia de la naturaleza, como se ha visto, puede ser ciencia en un sentido propio (física matemática) o en un sentido impropio (química flogística). La doctrina histórica de la naturaleza contiene “hechos sistemáticamente ordenados de las cosas de la naturaleza” (MAN, AA 04: 468). Esta doctrina tiene dos partes. En primer lugar, la “descripción de la naturaleza” (Naturbeschreibung) es “un sistema de clases de cosas de la naturaleza según semejanzas”. En segundo lugar, la “historia de la naturaleza” (Naturgeschichte) es “una presentación sistemática de cosas de la naturaleza en diferentes tiempos y lugares” (Ibid.).22 Por tanto, la psicología empírica, en una primera aproximación, consiste en una descripción y clasificación sistemáticas de los fenómenos del sentido interno de acuerdo con sus semejanzas.23



21 N. Kemp Smith (1923, 2003, p. 312, n. 2) ofrece una exposición concisa de las tesis en virtud de las cuales Kant mantiene que la psicología nunca podrá llegar a ser una ciencia. Interpretaciones de estas razones pueden encontrase en Mischel (1967, pp. 599-610), Gouaux (1972, pp. 239-241), Hatfield (1992, pp. 217-

224), Nayak y Sotnak (1995, pp. 148-149), McDonough (1995, pp. 208-211) y Sturm (2001, p. 178).

22 Una clasificación similar de las distintas clases de doctrina de la naturaleza, de acuerdo con el “Prólogo” a MAN y V-Ph/Danziger (AA 29: 97-100), es presentada por H. Blomme (2015, p. 491). Acerca de la descripción de la naturaleza y la historia de la naturaleza, puede verse P. R. Sloan (2006).

23 En el capítulo “De los paralogismos de la razón pura” de KrV, Kant efectúa una crítica de la psicología racional o doctrina racional del alma. Esta presunta ciencia, según Kant, intenta alcanzar todo el conocimiento del sujeto pensante que podría obtenerse, de un modo independiente de la experiencia, mediante inferencias a partir de la mera proposición “yo pienso”. Este principio de la apercepción (B136-

139) no es tomado por la psicología racional como la condición suprema del conocimiento objetivo. Más bien, lo que esta disciplina procura es obtener un conocimiento del mencionado “yo” que no incluya ningún contenido empírico (si la disciplina mencionada incluyese contenidos empíricos, se convertiría en psicología empírica). Los conocimientos principales que podrían alcanzarse predicando las categorías del sujeto pensante son los siguientes: “1. El alma es substancia. 2. Según su cualidad, simple. 3. Según los diferentes tiempos en que existe, numéricamente idéntica, es decir, unidad (no pluralidad). 4. [Está] en relación con posibles objetos en el espacio” (A344/B402). Kant intenta mostrar que los razonamientos que conducen a estas afirmaciones son formalmente inválidos, esto es, que ellos son paralogismos. Acerca de esta

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Tanto la psicología empírica como la química flogística son sistemáticas. Sin embargo, mientras que la primera es puramente clasificatoria y descriptiva, la segunda es explicativa, porque está compuesta por leyes causales empíricas cuyo objetivo es explicar los fenómenos químicos. Cabe destacar que en la primera parte del “Apéndice a la dialéctica trascendental” de KrV se presenta un ejemplo de sistematización del conocimiento en el ámbito de los fenómenos del sentido interno. El sistema considerado es el de las fuerzas de la mente humana. “Los diversos fenómenos de una misma substancia muestran, a primera vista, tanta heterogeneidad, que al comienzo uno debe suponer casi tantas y tan variadas fuerzas de ella, como efectos se presentan; tal como en la mente humana la sensación, la consciencia, la imaginación, la memoria, el ingenio, el discernimiento, el placer, el apetito, etc.” (A648-649/B676-677). El investigador debe intentar reducir esa aparente multiplicidad de fuerzas al buscar “por comparación, la identidad oculta” y, por ejemplo, “comprobar si la imaginación, enlazada con la conciencia, no será memoria, ingenio, discernimiento, quizá incluso entendimiento y razón” (A649/B677). 24 Posiblemente pueda afirmarse que esta unificación de los distintos efectos producidos por la mente humana presupone una clasificación de los mismos, y que la mencionada clasificación, a su vez, presupone la descripción de ellos. Así, la descripción de los efectos de la mente puede conducir al descubrimiento de que una clase de ellos son similares. La labor de clasificación reuniría los efectos mencionados en un grupo único y los diferenciaría de los efectos restantes. De este modo, los efectos reunidos en ese grupo serían explicados en tanto que se derivan de una fuerza de la mente única. Este modo de proceder ejemplifica entonces el carácter sistemático, descriptivo y clasificatorio de la psicología empírica. No obstante, debe señalarse que, como mostraré más adelante, en el ámbito del sentido interno puede hablarse de “efectos” solamente en un sentido muy amplio del término.



presentación del capítulo de los paralogismos, véase A341-348/B399-406. Por otro lado, P. Kitcher ha argumentado que la psicología es relevante para la filosofía trascendental kantiana. Kitcher distingue entre psicología empírica y psicología trascendental. La psicología empírica sería la que, según Kant, procura descubrir, mediante introspección, las leyes que gobiernan las percepciones (Kitcher 1990, p. 12). En cambio, la psicología trascendental presentada por Kitcher efectuaría análisis abstractos de tareas cognitivas a fin de establecer las características más generales de una mente que es capaz de llevar a cabo las tareas mencionadas. Se intentaría mostrar que algunos aspectos determinados de nuestro conocimiento están basados en nuestras facultades cognitivas “al mostrar que cualquier facultad que pueda desempeñar la tarea tiene que satisfacer ciertas especificaciones y que el conocimiento producido por una facultad con esas especificaciones tendrá siempre que incluir ciertos elementos” (Kitcher 1990, pp. 13-14). La psicología trascendental, a diferencia de la empírica, sería parte integrante de la filosofía trascendental kantiana. Me interesa destacar que la psicología trascendental que Kitcher considera parte de la filosofía trascendental kantiana no es la psicología empírica cuyo estatus se examina en este trabajo. Para una presentación más detallada del proceder de la psicología trascendental y de las relaciones de esta disciplina con la psicología empírica, cf. Kitcher (1990, pp. 14-29).

24 Este ejemplo ilustra la aplicación del principio sistematizador de homogeneidad a las fuerzas de la mente humana. Para una exposición sucinta de los tres principios sistematizadores de la razón teórica y su aplicación en el ámbito de la química flogística, véase supra, n. 16. Por otro lado, considero que la psicología empírica, al igual que la química flogística y a diferencia de la parte pura de la física matemática, no puede alcanzar una forma sistemática completa y cerrada (véase supra, n. 16).

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En el pasaje del “Prólogo” de MAN citado al comienzo de esta sección se hace mención de “los fenómenos del sentido interno y sus leyes” (MAN, AA 04: 471). Se plantea el problema de determinar cuáles son las leyes mencionadas. Una respuesta a este interrogante puede encontrarse en el § 24 de la segunda edición de KrV. Allí se distingue entre imaginación productiva e imaginación reproductiva. Ambas imaginaciones establecen enlaces entre representaciones. Cuando la efectuación de enlaces por parte de la imaginación productiva tiene como principio rector las categorías y toma por objeto el sentido interno en lo que hace a la forma de éste, a saber, el tiempo, se denomina síntesis trascendental de la imaginación. Como esa síntesis no sólo es a priori, sino que también es una condición de un conocimiento a priori de los objetos empíricos en general, ella es estudiada por la filosofía trascendental. En cambio, la síntesis de la imaginación reproductiva “está sometida solamente a leyes empíricas, saber, a las de la asociación; la cual [síntesis], por eso, no contribuye en nada a la explicación de la posibilidad del conocimiento a priori, y por eso no tiene su lugar en la filosofía trascendental, sino en la psicología” (B152).

Las leyes empíricas que conciernen a la psicología empírica serían entonces las leyes de asociación de representaciones. En A100 se expone el concepto de ley de asociación: “[e]s, por cierto, una ley meramente empírica [aquella] según la cual las representaciones que con frecuencia se han sucedido o acompañado, terminan por asociarse unas con otras, y con ello se ponen en una conexión según la cual, aun sin la presencia del objeto, una de esas representaciones produce un tránsito de la mente a la otra, según una regla constante”.25

Por otro lado, en V-Anth/Fried se afirma que la ley de asociación se funda en el acompañamiento (Begleitung), la vecindad (Nachbarschaft) y el parentesco (Verwandtschaft) de las representaciones. Según el acompañamiento, se asocian representaciones de fenómenos sucesivos o simultáneos en el tiempo. De acuerdo con la vecindad, se asocian las representaciones cuyos objetos son cercanos en el espacio. Según el parentesco, se asocian representaciones de fenómenos en virtud de la constitución de los mismos. Este parentesco puede consistir en una relación entre representaciones según la semejanza (Ähnlichkeit) de los fenómenos a los que se refieren o según la procedencia (Abstammung) de los mismos. El primer parentesco reside en una semejanza de los fenómenos representados que está basada en un sistema de clases de los mismos. El segundo parentesco radica en la identidad del fundamento de los fenómenos representados. La explicación de este parentesco ofrecida en el texto no es especialmente precisa. Sin embargo, parece claro que esta clase de parentesco está vinculada con la asociación de efectos similares procedentes de causas similares, y que esta asociación presupone el


25 En el pasaje citado del § 24 de KrV B, Kant opone el enlace objetivo de la imaginación productiva regido por las categorías (objeto de la filosofía trascendental) al enlace subjetivo de la imaginación reproductiva regido por las leyes empíricas de asociación de representaciones (objeto de la psicología). En KrV A, en cambio, el acento está puesto en que las leyes subjetivas de asociación de representaciones presuponen la afinidad objetiva de estas últimas. Esta afinidad, a su vez, está fundada en la unidad trascendental de la apercepción (A112-114 y A121-123). Por otro lado, una definición del concepto de ley de asociación similar a la dada en A100, aunque más breve, puede verse en Anth (AA 07: 176).

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parentesco entre causas similares y sus similares efectos. Por ejemplo, cuando llueve y el sol está brillando uno espera un efecto semejante a los acontecidos anteriormente como consecuencia de estados de cosas semejantes, esto es, uno mira en derredor buscando un arco iris. (V-Anth/Fried, AA 25: 512-514).26 Posiblemente a estos diferentes fundamentos de la asociación de representaciones, u a otros similares, se haya referido implícitamente Kant con la expresión “leyes empíricas, a saber, […] las de la asociación” incluida en el pasaje de B152 citado más arriba.

Los comentaristas no están de acuerdo acerca del estatus de las leyes de asociación. La interpretación que concede más importancia a estas leyes es la de G. Hatfield. Hatfield sostiene que las leyes de asociación son leyes causales naturales como las que pertenecen a la parte empírica de la física (1992, pp. 201, 208, 218-219).27 La lectura que, en cambio, otorga menos importancia a esas leyes es la de T. Mischel. Mischel mantiene que la categoría de causalidad y dependencia no puede aplicarse objetivamente a los fenómenos del sentido interno28 y que, por esta razón, las leyes de asociación no pueden ser leyes causales. Estas leyes tendrían un valor exclusivamente clasificatorio y descriptivo (1967, pp. 607-609).

La tesis de Mischel acerca de que la categoría de causalidad no puede aplicarse a fenómenos dados en el sentido interno parece correcta. En la segunda edición de KrV, Kant da a entender que la aplicación de las categorías requiere no sólo intuiciones empíricas, sino también intuiciones empíricas espaciales. Kant ofrece ejemplos únicamente de las tres categorías de la relación, consideradas separadamente, y menciona las categorías de la cantidad tomadas en su conjunto (B291-293).29 Acerca de la categoría de causalidad y dependencia, se afirma que la intuición correspondiente a la misma es la de la alteración. “Alteración es enlace de determinaciones opuestas entre sí de manera contradictoria, en la existencia de una y la misma cosa” (B291). Para hacerla comprensible, precisamos “el movimiento de un punto en el espacio, cuya existencia en diferentes lugares (como consecuencia de determinaciones contrapuestas) es lo que, primeramente, nos hace intuitiva la alteración” (B292). A continuación se dice:


[p]ara hacernos pensables luego las alteraciones internas mismas, debemos hacernos concebible figurativamente el tiempo, como forma del sentido interno, mediante una


26 Una clasificación hasta cierto punto semejante y expuesta más concisamente se encuentra en V-Anth/Pillau (AA 25: 752). También en cierta medida similar y más concisa es la clasificación de V-Anth/Mensch (AA 25: 946-948). Una presentación demasiado sucinta es la de Anthropologie Dohna-Wundlacken (Ko, 107). Véase también AA 25: 1272-1273. No consideraré lecciones anteriores a V-Anth/Fried (1775-1776), porque están más alejadas del período crítico del pensamiento de Kant. Parecería que, en Anth, Kant no distingue entre diferentes modos de asociación (AA 07: 176). Por último, es evidente que la relación de parentesco de las representaciones según la procedencia de las mismas no debe confundirse con la relación causal objetiva hecha posible por la categoría del entendimiento de causalidad y dependencia expuesta en KrV.

27 Cf. Sturm (2001, pp. 169-174).

28 Cf. Gouaux (1972, pp. 239-241) y Nayak y Sotnak (1995, pp. 148-149).

29 Más arriba me referí a la diferencia entre las formulaciones de A y B (KrV) del principio del entendimiento correspondiente a las categorías de la cualidad. Indiqué que la formulación de A es la que más apoyo provee a la tesis según la cual las categorías de la cualidad pueden aplicarse a las sensaciones dadas en el sentido interno (n. 5).

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línea, y la alteración interna, mediante el trazado de esa línea (movimiento); y por tanto [debemos hacernos concebible] la existencia sucesiva de nosotros mismos en diferentes estados, mediante la intuición externa; el fundamento propio de todo ello es éste: que toda alteración presupone algo permanente en la intuición, aun ya sólo para ser percibida como alteración; pero en el sentido interno no se encuentra ninguna intuición permanente (Ibid.).30


Me interesa subrayar que, aunque Kant indique que podemos hacernos concebibles las alteraciones internas mediante la acción de dibujar una línea en la intuición externa, esto no implica que la categoría de causalidad y dependencia sea aplicable en sentido estricto a la experiencia interna. Más bien, el empleo de esta categoría en el ámbito de los fenómenos internos tiene lugar mediante la realización de una analogía con su aplicación a los fenómenos externos.31 La categoría de causalidad no puede aplicarse estrictamente a los estados y procesos internos porque, como afirma Kant, la mera representación objetiva de una alteración presupone la referencia de esta última a algo permanente en el espacio (cf. B224-225). Además, el hecho de que la alteración interna pueda representarse mediante el trazado de una línea en el espacio no implica que los estados y procesos internos puedan presentarse a priori como movimientos en el espacio. Si estos estados y procesos pudiesen presentarse de esta manera, como se ha indicado más arriba, la psicología empírica podría convertirse en una ciencia natural en un sentido propio del término. No obstante, lo que ese trazado continuo de una línea parece hacer posible es, en cambio, la formulación de la “ley de continuidad en el flujo de las alteraciones internas”, que en el pasaje de MAN citado al comienzo de esta sección se menciona como consecuencia posible de la aplicación de la matemática a los fenómenos del sentido interno (MAN, AA 04: 471).32

La consideración de la imposibilidad de aplicar en sentido estricto las categorías a los fenómenos internos es de capital importancia para la comprensión del carácter de las leyes empíricas de asociación de representaciones. Efectivamente, como la categoría de causalidad y dependencia no puede, estrictamente hablando, ser aplicada a los estados y procesos del sentido interno, las leyes de asociación de representaciones no pueden ser leyes causales como las de la química. Tan sólo podemos, en general, representar las relaciones internas de asociación mediante una analogía con las relaciones externas de causación.

A continuación seguiré examinando el problema de la imposibilidad de aplicar las categorías en el dominio del sentido interno mediante la presentación del concepto de


30 Cf. MAN (AA 04: 478).

31 T. Mischel (1967, pp. 607-609) y R. McDonough (1995, pp. 207-208) señalan que las categorías pueden aplicarse a los fenómenos internos sólo en un “sentido analógico”.

32 T. Mischel señala que, como la continuidad mencionada es “puramente temporal y el tiempo ‘no puede ser

una determinación de fenómenos externos’” (A33/B49), la sucesión de nuestros estados internos no puede ser en sentido estricto un movimiento (Mischel 1967, p. 604). Además, Mischel subraya que debemos representar el tiempo en términos de espacio y que la mera afirmación de que el tiempo tiene una única dimensión presupone ya la efectuación de una analogía entre el tiempo y el espacio (Mischel 1967, 602. Véase A33/B50, B154-155, B156 y supra el pasaje de B292).

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asociación particular de representaciones. Estas asociaciones particulares establecen relaciones entre diferentes clases de representaciones. Una clase de representaciones podría referirse a las series de campanadas dadas por un reloj a la hora en la que se suele almorzar, y la otra a las comidas servidas en los almuerzos (cf. V-Anth/Fried, AA 25: 512). Estas comidas siguen habitualmente en el tiempo a estas series de campanadas. Por tal motivo, ambas clases de representaciones quedan asociadas. De esta manera, las representaciones de las series de campanadas hacen surgir en la mente a las representaciones de las comidas. Esta asociación sería un caso particular del tipo de asociación que más arriba, siguiendo a Kant, denominé “acompañamiento”, esto es, una asociación entre representaciones de fenómenos temporalmente sucesivos o simultáneos. Estimo que estas asociaciones particulares de representaciones, si se toma en cuenta lo dicho en pasajes como el de B291-292 comentado anteriormente, deben comprenderse mediante una analogía con las relaciones causales entre dos tipos de fenómenos externos hechas posibles por la aplicación de la categoría de causalidad y dependencia.33

Debe notarse, sin embargo, que en el pasaje del “Prólogo” de MAN citado al inicio de la presente sección Kant no se refiere al hecho de que la aplicación de las categorías requiera intuiciones externas. Más bien, en este pasaje, entre otras cosas, Kant intenta mostrar que en la psicología empírica, a diferencia de la química flogística, no es posible la realización de experimentos. Un análisis del estatus de la psicología empírica según el “Prólogo” de MAN como el llevado a cabo en este artículo tiene que incluir una explicación de las implicancias del carácter no experimental de esta psicología. La realización de esta explicación exige retomar y desarrollar el concepto de asociación particular de representaciones introducido en el párrafo anterior.

Las leyes empíricas de asociación de representaciones presentadas más arriba pueden justificarse y considerarse como probablemente verdaderas solamente en la medida en que varias de las asociaciones particulares que las ejemplifican puedan entenderse como válidas. Sin embargo, como se ha afirmado, dado que no es posible manipular voluntariamente los fenómenos internos, no es posible realizar experimentos repetibles en el ámbito del sentido interno. Esta circunstancia tiene por consecuencia que las asociaciones particulares de representaciones no puedan, como las hipótesis de relaciones causales entre diferentes tipos de materias examinadas por la química, tornarse cada vez más probables gracias a la puesta a prueba empírica exitosa de las mismas.34 Estimo que, en virtud de este motivo, la psicología empírica no es, como la química flogística, una ciencia natural en sentido impropio del término.

No obstante, podría objetarse que, en cierto sentido, el carácter no experimental de la psicología empírica no implica que no sea posible poner a prueba empíricamente


33 La tesis según la cual las relaciones entre causas similares y efectos similares presuponen la aplicación de la categoría de causalidad y dependencia no implica la afirmación diferente según la cual el objetivo de la “Segunda analogía” de KrV es mostrar que causas similares tienen que ser seguidas por efectos similares. Diferentes evaluaciones del objetivo de la “Segunda analogía” pueden encontrarse en Longuenesse (2000, pp. 345-375) y Allison (2004, pp. 246-260).

34 Sobre la probabilidad de las hipótesis, cf. A646-647/B674-675, A790-791/B818-819 y Log (AA 09: 84- 86).

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asociaciones particulares de representaciones. Esta experimentación podría realizarse en los dos pasos siguientes. Retomando el ejemplo dado más arriba, podríamos, en primer lugar, escuchar deliberadamente las campanadas dadas por un reloj a la hora del almuerzo y almorzar inmediatamente después, y repetir estas dos acciones al mismo tiempo del día durante una semana. Al día siguiente, en segundo lugar, podríamos escuchar las campanadas del reloj a la hora del almuerzo a fin de comprobar si no surge en nuestra mente, cuando menos como expectativa, la representación de la comida.35

Posiblemente este experimento, al no proceder sólo mediante introspección, no pertenezca exclusivamente a la psicología empírica. De todas maneras, un cuestionamiento de Kant a la validez del mismo podría consistir en que en el dominio del sentido interno no es posible ni siquiera la observación rigurosa, porque la atención prestada a ciertos fenómenos internos puede modificar a estos últimos (MAN, AA 04: 471). Más precisamente, la atención prestada a la escucha de las campanadas realizada en el segundo paso del experimento esbozado podría ocasionar que a la representación de estas campanadas le siga en el sentido interno una representación diferente a la que le seguiría si no realizásemos el mencionado esfuerzo de atención (véase supra, n. 20). Además, el hecho de que los estados internos dados en el flujo continuo de los mismos no puedan separarse nítidamente como los fenómenos externos, sino sólo mediante el pensamiento (MAN, AA 04: 471), torna difícil la tarea de identificar qué representación sigue en el flujo mencionado a esa representación de las campanadas. En el sentido interno no hay nada permanente que pueda ser sometido a observación duradera.36


Conclusiones


La exposición llevada a cabo tuvo el objetivo de mostrar que la psicología empírica no es una ciencia por dos motivos. En primer lugar, la psicología empírica no es una ciencia en sentido propio como la física matemática porque la matemática no puede aplicarse adecuadamente a los fenómenos del sentido interno. En segundo lugar, la psicología empírica no es una ciencia en sentido impropio como la química flogística porque no pueden realizarse experimentos ni observaciones rigurosas en el ámbito del sentido interno. Esta psicología puede únicamente describir y clasificar los fenómenos internos y, al mismo tiempo, procurar disponerlos de la forma más sistemática posible.


35 Este experimento fue ideado teniendo en cuenta las consideraciones generales sobre la posibilidad de realizar experimentos en el ámbito de la psicología empírica efectuadas por Hatfield (1992, pp. 222-224).

36 Podría objetarse que la efectuación de este experimento sobre un sujeto diferente del experimentador tendría un resultado más provechoso. Se le pediría a este sujeto efectuar los dos pasos del experimento y, tras su finalización, se le preguntaría en qué pensó tras escuchar la última serie de campanadas del reloj a la hora del almuerzo. A esta objeción se podría, tal vez, responder de la siguiente manera: 1) el hecho de saberse parte de un experimento podría afectar la serie de fenómenos internos del mencionado sujeto (cf. Anth, AA 07: 121); 2) el hecho de que los fenómenos internos no posean permanencia y puedan dividirse sólo en el pensamiento también es relevante para esta versión modificada del experimento.

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      La fonction épistémologique du jugement réfléchissant chez Kant


      The epistemological Function of the reflective Judgement in Kant's Theory of Knowledge


      ERIC BEAURON


      Université de Paris-Sorbonne, France


      Résumé


      Cet article analyse la fonction épistémologique du jugement réfléchissant dont le principe est dégagé dans les introductions de la Critique de la faculté de juger (CFJ). L'analyse du § 62 de la CFJ, en lien avec le § 38 des Prolégomènes et l'Appendice à la Dialectique transcendantale, permet de mettre au jour le rôle heuristique du principe de finalité formelle et de l'affinité dans les procédures scientifiques, notamment dans l'invention newtonienne de la loi de gravitation universelle à partir des lois de Kepler. Le but est d'exposer le fonctionnement du jugement réfléchissant dans un contexte épistémologique où les fonctions de l'entendement ne peuvent plus opérer, dès lors que le donné empirique échappe aux principes transcendantaux de l'Analytique des principes. Le fonctionnement d'un « comme si » épistémologique est mis en lumière et permet d'assurer le lien architectonique entre la nature au sens technique et la nature mécanique, du point de vue de l'invention scientifique.


      Mots clefs


      Jugement réfléchissant, finalité formelle, affinité, invention scientifique, gravitation universelle.


      Abstract


      This paper analyzes the epistemological function of the reflective judgement, which principle is brought out in the two introductions of the Critique of Judgement. The analysis of § 62 of the