Is it the Understanding or the Imagination that Synthesizes?

Kant Studien 113 (3):535-554 (2022)
  Copy   BIBTEX


A common reading of Kant’s notion of synthesis takes it to be carried out by the imagination in a manner guided by the concepts of the understanding. I point to a significant problem for this reading: it is the reproductive imagination that carries out the syntheses of apprehension and reproduction, and Kant claims repeatedly that the reproductive imagination is governed solely by its own laws of association. In light of this, I argue for a different division of the labor of synthesis between the imagination and the understanding. On my view, while the reproductive imagination puts representations together in accordance with laws of association, the understanding recognizes these combinations of representations as necessary in virtue of corresponding to a connection in the objects represented. I conclude by suggesting that a virtue of my account is that it can make sense of Kant’s claim that the relational categories are merely regulative for intuitions.

Similar books and articles

The Role of Imagination in Constituting Objectivity According to Kant.Ali Salmani & Saeed Haj Rashidian - 2019 - Journal of Philosophical Theological Research 21 (79):143-164.
Hope and the chaos of imagination in Kant and Kierkegaard.Eleanor Helms - 2021 - History of European Ideas 47 (3):456-469.
Kant: reprodução e esquema.Claudio Sehnem - 2009 - Revista Argumentos 1 (2):122.
The Genesis and Spirit of Imagination.Jennifer Ann Bates - 1997 - Dissertation, University of Toronto (Canada)
The Hidden Art of Understanding: Heidegger and Merleau-Ponty's Appropriation of Kant's Theory of Imagination.Samantha Matherne - 2019 - New Yearbook for Phenomenology and Phenomenological Philosophy 17:225-245.
Kant on the imagination and geometrical certainty.Mary Domski - 2010 - Perspectives on Science 18 (4):409-431.


Added to PP

431 (#46,323)

6 months
165 (#19,639)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?