Saturday, April 16, 2011

A correction to the post about Reason and Imagination

I put it into the post, but I'll put it up here as well.

I've realized after the fact that I've made a serious error in representing Kant's position, but one that can be easily fixed.

Kant doesn't indicate a two step process of 1)conceptualization and 2) the application of the categories. Instead, he explicitly states that the categories are applied to sense data directly in the process of conceptualization. This means that when we take sense data and make the concept "chair", that the pure formation of the concept implies the category of quantity--a chair, and the category of quality--something that is "chair". Additionally, it implies the category of inherence, that something is "A chair", and also the category of existence, that "a chair is". Also implies "possibility", but I have my doubts about possibility as a category. In any case, these qualitative judgments are not separate from the concept and in fact describing them as happening in a separate step involves some redundant steps. For instance:

The fact that something is formed into 'a' concept involves the category of quantity. The fact that something is formed into 'a' concept that's different from other individual concepts involves the category of quality. But none of this disrupts the main point, which is that the faculty of the imagination is the thing that binds it all together.

Conceivably, the imagination could make products that violate the categories, and in fact during things like dreams, and times when we use the imagination on its own, in imagining a scenario, where reason comes second, categories are often violated and fantastic things often happen.

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