[SydPhil] Departmental Seminar: Katherine Dunlop

Dalia Nassar dalia.nassar at gmail.com
Wed Feb 26 19:15:46 AEDT 2014

Katherine Dunlop,
*Kant on "Transcendental" and Ordinary Logic*
Wednesday 5 March, 3.30-5.30pm, Muniment Room, Main Quadrangle, University
of Sydney


The Critique of Pure Reason is structured as an (eighteenth-century)
treatise on logic.  In particular, the Categories are identified through
their supposed correspondence with logically basic forms of judgment.  But
while Kant claims logic abstracts from thought's content, i.e. its relation
to an object, his own theory of cognition--which he designates
"transcendental logic"--is supposed to concern "pure thinking of objects".
To solve the puzzle of how Kant can regard his theory as a logic, I argue
that the content thematized in transcendental logic is already presupposed
in ordinary logic.  Like many other eighteenth-century thinkers, Kant
conceives logic as rules for the use of mental faculties, and on his view
the proper use of our understanding is to relate to objects (through

On this interpretation, Kant's view is undeniably psychologistic.  As such
it faces the classic objection that it wrongly narrows logic's scope, to
things we can think about.  In particular, on this interpretation logic is
inapplicable to things in themselves.  I argue that this consequence should
be accepted: logical knowledge, as Kant conceives it, exceeds what we can
claim about things in themselves.
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