Judgmental Activity and Putative Awareness in Kant's Second Analogy of Experience

Dissertation, The University of Chicago (2001)
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Abstract

This dissertation centers on a prominent but generally neglected line of argument in Kant's second analogy of experience. It differs from most other recent treatments of this section of the Critique of Pure Reason in taking Kant to be concerned there with conditions of representation or putative awareness rather than mere conditions of verification or confirmation. This difference in conception has profound implications for the interpretation not only of the section itself but also of the transcendental deduction of the categories and other crucial parts of Kant's theoretical philosophy. The dissertation does not maintain that recognition of the line of argument in question allows for the solution of all problems in regard to the second analogy. This line of argument---like those ascribed to Kant on all other interpretations with which the author is familiar---may not lead to the conclusion that there cannot be an event which does not have a cause. It does, however, still appear to be sound in important respects. This, the author tries to show, has intriguing implications and allows us to see Kant as having his finger on something of true originality and philosophical importance in the second analogy. It also suggests an unexpected, subtle, and richly nuanced relation between Kant and his great awakener Hume. This relation is traced in detail in the final chapter of the dissertation. Other chapters include detailed analysis not only of the text of the second analogy itself but also of numerous commentators upon it

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