Hostname: page-component-7479d7b7d-68ccn Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2024-07-13T15:18:16.559Z Has data issue: false hasContentIssue false

Is Kant's Transcendental Deduction of the Categories Fit for Purpose?

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  03 June 2011

Anil Gomes
Birkbeck College, London


James Van Cleve has argued that Kant's transcendental deduction of the categories shows, at most, that we must apply the categories to experience. This falls short of Kant's aim, which is to show that they must so apply. In this discussion I argue that, once we have noted the differences between the first and second editions of the deduction, this objection is less telling. But Van Cleve's objection can help illuminate the structure of the B deduction, and it suggests an interesting reason why the rewriting might have been thought necessary.

Copyright © Kantian Review 2010

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.)


Allison, H. E. (2000) ‘Where have all the categories gone? Reflections on Longuenesse's reading of Kant's Transcendental Deduction’, Inquiry, 43: 6780.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Allison, H. E. (2004) Kant's Transcendental Idealism: An Interpretation and Defense, revised and enlarged edition (London: Yale University Press).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Ameriks, K. (2000) Kant and the Fate of Autonomy: Problems in the Appropriation of the Critical Philosophy (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Ameriks, K. (2003) ‘Recent work on Kant's theoretical philosophy’, reprinted in Interpreting Kant's Critiques (Oxford: Oxford University Press).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Cassam, Q. (1987) ‘Transcendental arguments, transcendental synthesis and transcendental idealism’, Philosophical Quarterly, 37: 355–78.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Guyer, P. (1992) ‘The Transcendental Deduction of the Categories’, in Guyer, P. (ed.) The Cambridge Companion to Kant (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Henrich, D. (1969) ‘The proof-structure of Kant's Transcendental Deduction’, Review of Metaphysics, 22: 640–59.Google Scholar
Henrich, D. (1994) ‘Identity and objectivity: An inquiry into Kant's Transcendental Deduction’, in The Unity of Reason: Essays on Kant's Philosophy (London: Harvard University Press).Google Scholar
Kant, I. (1998) Critique of Pure Reason, trans. Guyer, P. and Wood, A. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Longuenesse, B. (1998) Kant and the Capacity to Judge (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Longuenesse, B. (2000) ‘Kant's categories and the capacity to judge: responses to Henry Allison and Sally Sedgwick’, Inquiry, 43: 91110.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Van Cleve, J. (1999) Problems from Kant (Oxford: Oxford University Press).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Waxman, W. (1991) Kant's Model of the Mind (Oxford: Oxford University Press).Google Scholar