Roche, A. F. (2018): Kant's Transcendental Deduction and the Unity of Space and Time

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  author = {Roche, Andrew F},
  title = {Kant’s Transcendental Deduction and the Unity of Space and Time},
  shorttitle = {Kant’s Transcendental Deduction and the Unity of Space and Time},
  journal = {Kantian Review},
  volume = {23},
  number = {1},
  pages = {41–64},
  year = {2018},
  abstract = {On one reading of Kant’s account of our original representations of space and time, they are, in part, products of the understanding or imagination. On another, they are brute, sensible givens, entirely independent of the understanding. In this article, while I agree with the latter interpretation, I argue for a version of it that does more justice to the insights of the former than others currently available. I claim that Kant’s Transcendental Deduction turns on the representations of space and time as determinate, enduring particulars, whose unity is both given and a product of synthesis.},
  file = {~/Library/Mobile Documents/iCloud~com~sonnysoftware~bot/Documents/be-library/roche2018_Kant’s_Transcendental_Deduction_and_the_Unity_of_Space_and_Time.pdf},
  doi = {10.1017/S1369415417000371},
  url = {},
  langid = {},
  beref = {57203},
  location = {},
  keywords = {time; space; categories; Kant; formal intuition; form of intuition},

Useful essay reviewing/rehearsing the debate between intellectualism and sensibilism, specifically with respect to an interpretation of the Deduction. Roche states his aim thusly:

I attempt to develop an account of the Deduction that allows, despite the concession to the Brute Given Reading, a genuine sense in which instantiations of the categories are given to consciousness.

So it is a reconciliatory reading, which is a good step in the right direction. Roche agrees that the “synthesis reading” faces significant problems but argues that the “brute given reading” also faces a serious problem:

a prima facie difficulty for such a proposal [i.e. the brute given reading] is its inability to make sense of Kant’s concern to establish that we are given, that appearances contain, instantiations of the categories. Kant does not merely want to establish that we must conceive of the world (or ‘grasp’ the world) as containing categorial features; he wants to show that the world (admittedly an ideal world) really does contain them

However, the ultimate proposal seems pretty close to the one offered by Brute Given theorists (or at least me).

I propose that it is precisely the role of the transcendental synthesis of the imagination to account for this appearance: we represent in experience but one space throughout time, not just at any given moment. My representation of this one space throughout time is the (synthesized) formal intuition of space. (p. 10)

A similar point holds for time.

we represent but one time throughout time – all of these moments, at those distinct moments, as part of the same time – as a result of a transcendental synthesis of the imagination (p. 11)

But this sounds rather close to my claim that we represent space and time as such via a transcendental synthesis. In saying that this synthesis has imaginative and intellectual forms, we can agree that in order for space and time to appear as unities they need to be (imaginatively/figuratively) synthesized.

Time-stamp: <Last modified on 2020-1210-21:13:40>

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