Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Kant: judgment and thought

In the transcendental analytic, Kant gives his table of judgments that comprise all the moments possible in judgments involving concepts that determine objects. He argues that the categories of cognition are structurally identical to those of judgment and all the moments in the latter table have analogues in the former. He gets there with the premise that all thoughts involving concepts are judgments. I think this is underwritten by his claim that the function of the faculty of judgment is the same function as that of cognition. Since we have an exhaustive list of judgment forms, and a premise saying there is a structural identity between forms of thought and forms of judgment, we infer an exhaustive list of thought forms, which is the table of pure concepts. As an aside which adds nothing to this argument: I think this is what Brandom is talking about (or at least an example of what he is talking about) when he says that Kant took the Cartesian project of understanding the mind in epistemological terms and changed it to be an understanding in semantic terms.

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