KANT’S THEORETICAL PHILOSOPHY

Answer four of the following questions:

1) In the Letter to Marcus Herz Kant distinguishes between an archetypal and an ectypal intellect (118). Explain this distinction. According to Kant, what kind of an intellect is the human intellect?

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2) Explain Kant’s distinctions of a posteriori and a priori, analytic and synthetic judgments. When Kant asks “How are synthetic judgments a priori possible?” (B19), what is the meaning of his question? Does he doubt that there are such judgments? Does the question concern only judgments in metaphysics?

 

3) Explain Kant’s distinction between general and transcendental logic. What are the criteria of truth given by general and transcendental logic?

 

4) In the B Introduction to the Critique Kant declares that it is part of the “general problem of pure reason” (B19) to answer the question “How is metaphysics possible as science?” (B22). Explain in (very) general outline how the Transcendental Aesthetic and Analytic answer this question. About what does this metaphysics make judgments (synthetic a priori judgments), and how are these judgments justified? In what respect does it differ from the metaphysics of the rationalist philosophers?

 

5) In the B Preface to the Critique Kant announces a revolution in metaphysics, a revolution similar to the revolution in astronomy effected by Copernicus: “let us once try whether we do not get farther with the problems of metaphysics by assuming that the objects must conform to our cognition, which would agree better with the requested possibility of an a priori cognition of them” (Bxvi). Explain in general outline the nature of the Copernican Revolution in metaphysics. Show for one of Kant’s main claims and arguments in either the Transcendental Aesthetic or the Transcendental Analytic of the Transcendental Logic how it exhibits the Copernican way of addressing the problems of metaphysics.

 

6) Kant writes the following about the principle (“All intuitions are extensive magnitudes” (B202)) of the axioms of intuition: “For it is this alone that makes pure mathematics in its complete precision applicable to objects of experience, which without this principle would not be so obvious” (B206). Explain why, for Kant, pure mathematics is applicable to objects of experience. Why are all objects in nature (or all appearances) extensive magnitudes? According to Kant, why is this known a priori? How does Kant’s explanation differ from that given by Descartes?

 

7) In the First Analogy Kant states that “in all change of appearances substance persists, and its quantum is neither increased nor diminished in nature” (B224). What is Kant’s argument for this claim? (According to Kant, why must every object of experience be a modification of substance? What is the distinction between change and alteration?)

 

8) Explain the problem of the Second Analogy. What does Kant illustrate by the examples of the apprehension of a house (B235-236) and of the apprehension of “a ship driven downstream” (B237) (or of the example of the apprehension of the freezing of water (B162-163)?

 

9) Explain Kant’s distinction between dogmatic and problematic idealism in the Refutation of Idealism. How does Kant refute problematic idealism?

 

 

 

 

The answers to each question should be between one and three pages (for a total of about 9 pages). Be concise and keep quotation to a minimum.

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