Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-684899dbb8-x64cq Total loading time: 0.29 Render date: 2022-05-27T06:43:55.435Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "useRatesEcommerce": false, "useNewApi": true }

Normativity and the Acquisition of the Categories

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  22 April 2013

John J. Callanan
Affiliation:
King's College London, john.callanan@kcl.ac.uk
Get access

Extract

It is quite common when explicating the nature of Kant's break with the preceding Early Modern tradition to cite his attitude towards the acquisition and deployment of concepts. It is claimed that Kant sought to distinguish two tasks that had become unfortunately intertwined and conflated — explaining how we come to acquire our concepts on the one hand and showing how we are justified in deploying them in judgement on the other. This conflation can be expressed in terms of a conflation of the natural and the normative, of descriptive and prescriptive questions. The topic of the conditions of concept-possession, i.e. how we have come to possess the concepts that we do, is an entirely psychological inquiry, involving ‘natural’ descriptive inquiries. The topic of concept-deployment, the story about how we use our concepts in veridical judgements about the world, is an entirely philosophical question, since it involves the question of how we ought to deploy those concepts in judgement. The fundamental distinction between the natural and the normative is drawn by Kant, it is claimed, in order to distinguish these two practices of acquisition and deployment.

The manner in which this claim is expressed is through Kant's distinction between the question of fact (quaestio facti) and the question of right (quaestio juris). I want to claim that a proper understanding of this distinction doesn't support this notion of Kant's ‘normative turn’. In fact, the distinction is best understood within an interpretation whereby Kant is understood as continuing to endorse the Early Modern conviction that the provision of a concept's possession-conditions is sufficient to determine that concept's deployment-conditions, and that the task of the Transcendental Deduction is to determine the possession-conditions for the Categories.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © The Hegel Society of Great Britain 2011

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

References

Allison, H. (1996), Idealism and Freedom. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Allison, H. (2004), Kant's Transcendental Idealism: An Interpretation and Defense (rev. and enl. ed.). New Haven: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
Anderson, R. L. (2001), ‘Synthesis, Cognitive Normativity, and the Meaning of Kant's Question, “How Are Synthetic Cognitions a Priori Possible?”’, European Journal of Philosophy 9(3): 275305.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Bennett, J. (1966), Kant's Analytic. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
Brandom, R. (2002), Tales of the Mighty Dead: Historical Essays in the Metaphysics of Intentionality. Massachusetts: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
Brandom, R. (2009), Reason in Philosophy: Animating Ideas. Massachusetts: Harvard University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Broad, C. D. (1978), Kant: An Introduction. Ed. Lewy, C.. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
Callanan, J. J. (forthcoming), ‘Kant's Nativism: Another Look at B167-8’ in Proceedings of the XII International Kant Congress.Google Scholar
Callanan, J. J. (unpublished), ‘Kant on Acquiring Mathematical and Metaphysical Concepts’.Google Scholar
Hatfield, G. (1997), ‘Empirical, Rational, and Transcendental Psychology: Psychology as Science and as Philosophy’, in Guyer, P. (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to Kant. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press: 200227.Google Scholar
Henrich, D. (1989), ‘Kant's Notion of a Deduction and the Methodological Background of the First Critique’, in Forster, E. (ed.), Kant's Transcendental Deductions. Stanford: Stanford University Press: 2946.Google Scholar
Kant, I. (1992), Theoretical Philosophy, 1755-1770. Eds. and trans. Walford, D. and Meerbote, R.. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
Kant, I. (1992), Lectures on Logic. Ed. and trans. Young, J. M.. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
Kant, I. (1997), Lectures on Metaphysics. Eds and trans. Ameriks, K. and Naragon, S.. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Kant, I. (1998), Critique of Pure Reason. Eds and trans. Guyer, P. and Wood, A.. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
Kant, I. (2002), Theoretical Philosophy after 1781. Trans. Hatfield, G., Friedman, M., Allison, H., and Heath, P.. Eds. Allison, H. and Heath, P.. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
1
Cited by

Save article to Kindle

To save this article to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Normativity and the Acquisition of the Categories
Available formats
×

Save article to Dropbox

To save this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you used this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Dropbox account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

Normativity and the Acquisition of the Categories
Available formats
×

Save article to Google Drive

To save this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you used this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Google Drive account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

Normativity and the Acquisition of the Categories
Available formats
×
×

Reply to: Submit a response

Please enter your response.

Your details

Please enter a valid email address.

Conflicting interests

Do you have any conflicting interests? *