The Understanding and Imagination in Kant

Long, Christopher P. “Two Powers, One Ability: The Understanding and Imagination in Kant’s Critical Philosophy,” The Southern Journal of Philosophy XXXVI, 2 (1998): 233-253.

In order to suggest why Kant does not offer an explicit argument for the necessary connection between the synthesis of the imagination and the categories, this article argues that the productive imagination and the understanding are in fact two aspects of one and the same ability (Vermögen), and further, that their identity may be thought in such a way that, while understanding and sensibility are necessarily linked, they are not related to one another such that humans are granted the power of intellectual intuition. Finally, the essay turns to the Critique of Judgment in order to reinforce this interpretation by suggesting that the explicit thematization of the relation between the understanding and imagination found there is fundamentally consistent with and, in fact, deepens the position developed in the B deduction.

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