chapter  2
23 Pages

Kant

Concepts, Deduction, Debates
WithCorijn van Mazijk

This chapter discusses Kant’s views on the role the understanding plays in determining the contents of intuition. In the first part, I mainly discuss the transcendental deduction. I argue that the central thesis Kant defends here is that intuitions are at least in accordance with pure concepts. In the second part, I review the most important arguments for non-conceptual content in Kant literature, and pay considerable attention to Kant’s account of obscure representations in the Anthropology. I conclude that Kant’s views on the contents of sensibility are complicated, and that doing justice to them requires at least two important distinctions. In brief, I argue that, for Kant, whatever is sensibly represented to an agent is at least in accordance with certain conceptual rules. At the same time, Kant accepts that there are mental contents that are not conceptually explicable, in the form of obscure representations, which, however, should bear no relevant epistemic relation to our lives as rational subjects.