Mind 128 (512):1149-1180 (2018)

Tyke Nunez
University of South Carolina
There are two ways interpreters have tended to understand the nature of the laws of Kant’s pure general logic. On the first, these laws are unconditional norms for how we ought to think, and will govern anything that counts as thinking. On the second, these laws are formal criteria for being a thought, and violating them makes a putative thought not a thought. These traditions are in tension, in so far as the first depends on the possibility of thoughts that violate these laws, and the second makes violation impossible. In this essay I develop an interpretation of Kant’s pure general logic that overcomes this tension. It accounts for the possibility of logical mistakes, as the first tradition does, while still establishing the absolute impossibility of logical aliens, as the second tradition does. I then argue that the formalist insight that illogical exercises of the understanding are not alternative ways coherent thoughts could have been, but are mere confusions, is fundamental for achieving a proper understanding of the absolute normativity of the laws of pure general logic.
Keywords Kant   pure general logic  logical mistakes   logical aliens  normativism about logic  formalism about logic
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Reprint years 2019
DOI 10.1093/mind/fzy027
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References found in this work BETA

Critique of Pure Reason.Wolfgang Schwarz - 1966 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 26 (3):449-451.
Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals.Immanuel Kant - 1996 - In Practical Philosophy. Cambridge University Press. pp. 37-108.
What Is Logical Validity.Hartry Field - 2015 - In Colin R. Caret & Ole T. Hjortland (eds.), Foundations of Logical Consequence. Oxford University Press.

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Citations of this work BETA

On the Transcendental Freedom of the Intellect.Colin McLear - 2020 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 7:35-104.
Kant: Constitutivism as Capacities-First Philosophy.Karl Schafer - 2019 - Philosophical Explorations 22 (2):177-193.
The Value of Thinking and the Normativity of Logic.Manish Oza - 2020 - Philosophers' Imprint 20 (25):1-23.
On the Necessity of the Categories.Anil Gomes, Andrew Stephenson & A. W. Moore - 2022 - Philosophical Review 131 (2):129–168.

View all 9 citations / Add more citations

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