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  1. (Preface) Consider the following two descriptions of ``metaphysics'': (a) metaphysics concerns our pure a priori knowledge of the world of experience -- that is, what we know about the objects of experience, but not based on experience; (b) metaphysics concerns causes and principles of the world of experience which are themselves outside the realm of experience. Why does it seem that the outcome of this book will be positive with respect to (a), but completely negative with respect to (b)? Why, according to Kant, is there nevertheless an important positive outcome with respect to (b), as well?

  2. (Introduction) Using Kant's example, ``All bodies are extended,'' explain in two ways what it means to say that it is an analytic judgment: first way, by thinking of a judgment as the application of a predicate to a subject; second way, by thinking of a judgment as knowledge on a condition. Explain, in the same two ways, why ``All bodies are heavy,'' according to Kant, is synthetic. How is a ``third thing'' involved in making such a judgment, and what is the third thing in this case? Why, then, is it surprising that some synthetic judgments (according to Kant) are also a priori?

  3. (Aesthetic) Explain Kant's distinction between (human) ``intuitions'' and ``concepts.'' Why must knowledge of an empirical object involve both intuition and concept? What role is played by each? Within the intuition, what is the role, specifically, of sensation? What is it that ``corresponds'' to sensation?

  4. (Metaphysical Deduction) Using a simple empirical example (e.g., the concept cinnabar, as discussed in class) explain how it must represent its object if it is to be suitable as a subject for: (a) a universal categorical judgment (e.g. ``All cinnabar is red''); (b) a particular categorical judgment (e.g. ``Some cinnabar is shiny''); (c) a singular categorical judgment (e.g. ``This cinnabar weights 5 grams''). Assuming every empirical concept must have these characteristics, why does this show that the three moments of quantity (unity, plurality, and totality) are categories?

  5. (Transcendental Deduction, part I) A deduction, according to Kant, establishes the legitimacy or ``objective validity'' of a concept -- that is, it explains how we know that the manifold of appearances can be synthesized (by the imagination) in such a way as to be unified by that concept. Explain (1) why, according to Kant, we don't normally need a deduction of empirical concepts; (2) why, if we do want a deduction of an empirical concept, it will be what Kant calls an ``empirical deduction'' -- that is, roughly, an account of how we acquired the concept in the first place; and (3) why an alleged empirical deduction of a pure concept (for example, of one of the categories) would not be a deduction at all.

  6. (Transcendental Deduction, part II) Assume that the representation ``I think'' (which is at least potentially part of every representation of mine) doesn't, in itself, contain sufficient conditions to ensure that a single object is thought (determined, made the target of reference) in it. If that is nevertheless a priori necessary, what are the additional conditions which ensure it? (Hint: how is this related to the pure form of sensibility and the a priori capabilites of the imagination?) Explain why this could be expressed by saying that the analytic unity of apperception depends on a prior synthetic unity.

  7. (Schematism) Explain why an empirical concept, such as the concept dog, does not apply directly to appearances -- in particular, does not apply directly to images of dogs. What role does the faculty of imagination play in allowing such a concept to be applied? (In what way does the imagination ``produce'' an image?) How does this involve a ``schema''? Give another example which shows the role of the imagination and its schemata in the case of mathematical concepts. Why is there a special problem with there being schemata for pure concepts of the understanding, such as the categories?

  8. (System of Principles) The Highest Principle of All Synthetic Judgments is, roughly, that the appearances must be such that they can all be thought together as mine (in the unity of apperception). What does this have to with the categories, and with the schemata of the categories? How does it rule out certain synthetic judgments as, not self-contradictory, but empty? Why do such purported synthetic judgments undermine themselves, even though the predicate (more generally: the knowledge or rule) in them does not contradict the subject (more generally: the condition on which they apply the rule).

  9. (Phenomena and Noumena) The Transcendental Analytic has shown that all the objects of our knowledge are phenomena: that is, they are objects (of a cognitive faculty) only insofar as they appear (are given in sensible intuition). Explain why this seems to mean -- that is, why it might tempt us into the mistaken conclusion -- that we do, after all, know something about noumena: that is, about things which are objects of our understanding directly, without the mediation of an intuition. If this were correct, why would it imply that the categories have, not only a transcendental meaning, but also a transcendental employment?

  10. (Amphiboly) Consider the concepts of identity and difference. Explain why we must be able to apply them to objects if we are to think of those objects under concepts (for example, to think of an object as cinnabar, or as some cinnabar, or as this cinnabar). How, according to Kant, can we actually apply these concepts (of identity and difference) to objects: that is, what makes two objects different? (Hint: how is space involved?) Why would that not work, according to Kant, if the objects of our knowledge were noumena?

next up previous
Next: About this document ... Up: Phil. 106exam1, Spring 11 Previous: Instructions
Abe Stone 2011-06-03