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Kant on the Acquisition of Geometrical Concepts

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 January 2020

John J. Callanan*
King’s College London, London, UK


It is often maintained that one insight of Kant’s Critical philosophy is its recognition of the need to distinguish accounts of knowledge acquisition from knowledge justification. In particular, it is claimed that Kant held that the detailing of a concept’s acquisition conditions is insufficient to determine its legitimacy. I argue that this is not the case at least with regard to geometrical concepts. Considered in the light of his pre-Critical writings on the mathematical method, construction in the Critique can be seen to be a form of concept acquisition, one that is related to the modal phenomenology of geometrical judgement.

Research Article
Copyright © Canadian Journal of Philosophy 2014

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