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A Deduction

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A Deduction

Kant's subjective A deduction is not a "deduction" in the traditional philosophical sense. Rather, it is a "justification" in the sense of the language of legal practice. (1) What Kant wants to justify is that the categories are the necessary a priori conditions for the possibility of experiential objects. This justification also has another role in Kant's overall project. If he can prove the categories are the necessary a priori grounds for the possibility of experiential objects, then he can justify the use of philosophical synthetic a priori propositions. The preservation of such propositions is central to Kant's task in the Critique of Pure Reason. In order to determine whether Kant's justification is adequate, we will need to do three things. First, we will examine his doctrine of the "threefold synthesis" in the subjective A deduction. Secondly, we will go through the subjective A deduction step by step to elucidate the argument. Finally, we will analyze the argument for soundness, thus determining whether Kant's deduction is truly successful.

Kant starts with the premise that all representations belong to inner sense, since they are modifications of the mind. He then goes on to develop a theory of a threefold synthesis necessary for the ultimate "recognition" of an experiential object. The main "engine" behind each level of synthesis is transcendental imagination. For Kant, the imagination is the sufficient cause for every mental activity. In the case of the three syntheses, the imagination is the sufficient reason for "synthesis," synthesis being the operation of the mind on representational content. Each synthesis has an a priori as well as an empirical side. In each case, there is an a priori mental ap...

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...ion. We have tried to answer it, but if the supporter of rogue intuitions meets the burden of proof, then it would entail that Kant's conclusion to the subjective A deduction is false. It would not be the case that the categories are the necessary a priori grounds for the possibility of experiential objects, since there could be sensory objects for which the categories are not the ground of their possibility, namely those possible objects of rogue intution.

Works Cited

1 Kant, The Critique of Pure Reason, A84.

2 Guyer, The Cambridge Companion to Kant, "Transcendental deduction of the categories,"

pg. 138.

3 Kant, The Critique of Pure Reason, A98-99.

4 ibid., A102.

5 ibid., A104.

6 ibid., A106-107.

7 Guyer, The Cambridge Companion to Kant, "Transcendental deduction of the categories,"

pg. 137.

8 ibid., pg. 144.
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