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The following books by Robert Paul Wolff are available on Amazon.com as e-books: KANT'S THEORY OF MENTAL ACTIVITY, THE AUTONOMY OF REASON, UNDERSTANDING MARX, UNDERSTANDING RAWLS, THE POVERTY OF LIBERALISM, A LIFE IN THE ACADEMY, MONEYBAGS MUST BE SO LUCKY, AN INTRODUCTION TO THE USE OF FORMAL METHODS IN POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY.
Now Available: Volumes I, II, III, and IV of the Collected Published and Unpublished Papers.

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Wednesday, July 13, 2016

INSIDE BASEBALL FOR THE REALLY SERIOUS

I have just this minute finished re-reading the Schematism in the First Critique.  The Schematism is a very problematic passage.  It ought not to exist, given the argument of the Deduction, but for a variety of reasons it does [this would take too long to explain in a casual blog post.]  Nevertheless, Kant, being Kant, manages to put some extremely important material into the chapter, about which I shall have to lecture at some length.

In the very last paragraph, several sentences before the end, Kemp Smith [the translator of the edition I am using] has an editorial footnote to the words "a concept."  It reads, "[Altered by Kant (Nachtrage lxi) to eine Erkenntnis.]"  The Nachtrage are papers left by Kant at his death which have been assembled, commented upon, published, and made much of by generations of German Kant scholars.  [By the way, I cannot put in umlauts in my blog facility.  Sorry about that.]

I am embarrassed to confess that I had never noticed the footnote before.  A very great deal is wrapped up in Kant's little emendation.  Indeed, from this one editorial alteration, I could [and will in my lectures] unpack the entire problematic and ultimately unsustainable relationship between Kant's theoretical philosophy and his moral philosophy, a subject of the greatest importance for Moral Philosophy in the past two centuries.

On to the Axioms of Intuition!

12 comments:

s. wallerstein said...

The relation between Kant's theoretical philosophy and his moral philosophy is my chief interest at least.

I can understand his moral philosophy and it makes sense to me, even though it's not my personal code of ethics.

On the other hand, although I can generally decipher the details of his theoretical philosophy, on a certain level I don't have a clue what he is talking about.

Robert Paul Wolff said...

Wait for the lectures. All will be made clear.

s. wallerstein said...

Thanks. I await your lectures with genuine interest.

mesnenor said...

Entering umlauts is easy. ä ë ï ö ü and sometimes ÿ

Robert Paul Wolff said...

I can do it in WORD, but how do I do it directly into my blog?

wallyverr said...

ön the keypäd, if yöü höld the ümlauted letter down for a second or two, then yöü may get a popup menu giving a selection of diacritics. I am writing this on a Mac, may not work on all computers, but worth a try.



K.I. said...

Professor Wolff,
I have heard the line of thinking before that the Schematism is redundant due to the analysis of the Deduction. But if following is the case, then this is not true:
(1) the Deduction establishes *that the categories must* apply to all and only sensible intuition--i.e., that they are thoroughly connected
(2) the Schematism establishes *how* the connection between the categories and sensible intuition is possible
(3) this establishing of 'how' is important for the following reasons:
(a) the gulf between the categories (qua pure a priori concepts of the understanding) and sensible intuition would seemingly be insurmountable--and our evidence for believing this lacuna to be insurmountable, in the absence of a specific, plausible account of *how* the lacuna *is* (NB: not only *must be*) surmountable, might lead us, via a reductio, to discount the results of the deduction.

Such a reductio might run as follows:
(i)Assume that the categories validly apply to sensible intuition.
(ii)Then there must be some connection between the categories and sensible intuition—i.e., the relation between the two must be in some sense ‘homogeneous.’
(iii)But the relation between them is utterly heterogeneous.
(iv)From (iii), it follows that there is an unbridgeable divide or lacuna between the categories and sensible intuition—i.e., (ii) is false: there is no traceable connection between them.
Therefore, (v) we must reject (i): the categories do not validly apply to sensible intuition.

This reductio, threatening the dearly-held conclusions of the Deduction, must be warded off. Thus, we have the Schematism.

What do you think?

Robert Paul Wolff said...

That is exactly Kant's reasoning, but as it turns out, it is wrong, as Kant himself shows us. Why? Well, I have two answers: One, read my book. Two, wait for my lectures. I will give you a hint. The answer can be found in the second sentence of A106. [Obviously, I am desperate to entice someone, anyone, to watch my lectures on YouTube. If you cannot wait, and do not want to look at my book, send me an email and I will explain it all to you.]

David Auerbach said...

On the Mac (again) the sustained hold works (as it does on an iphone) to conjure a little menu of accented letters. But, also on the Mac (and probably there's a Windows analog) you can hold the Alt (aka Option) key whilst striking u . This produces an umlaut, dead-key style (an emulation of old European typewriters), which then awaits a vowel. Similarly Alt-` produces a dead-key (i.e., the "carriage" doesn't advance) grave, Alt-e produces a dead-key aigu and so on and on for many accents and symbols. And, so, running across the numbers: ¡™£¢§ˆ¶•ªº–≠
now qwerty
œ˙´®þ¥¨ʼø,“‘«
¯ßðƒ©ˍ˝˚-…æ
ˀ.¸ˇ˘˜˛≤≥÷
and, of course, € (which is at Alt-Shift-2)

Warren Goldfarb said...

Thanks, David, I didn't know about the sustained hold, even though I've been a Mac-user for thirty years. I've always used option-u, option-i, etc.

Alas for those of us who write about Russell and Quine, there's no way of getting a circumflex over an "x" or a "y", as far as I know.

David Auerbach said...

Hi Warren,
Oddly enough, a quick tour through Unicode on the Mac (=the character viewer) shows ŷ and ẑ but not x. The Russell estate should have lobbied the Unicode standards committee. Of course, LaTeX...


(Sorry, RPW)

David Auerbach said...

(Sorry again, but there's a chance it isn't only Warren who wants to know)

ta-da.
Unicode allows for combining characters, which is not the same thing as unitary characters produced by two keystrokes. (there's a marvelous ontology lurking here. See, http://symbolcodes.tlt.psu.edu/accents/codemacext.html and http://unicode.org/faq/char_combmark.html ). But on the Mac (assuming a font that supports it) it weird requires typing the letter first and then the requisite combing diacritic. So, hit 'x' then hit Alt-Shift-6 : x̂. d́ is producible with 'd' then alt-shift-e.

You're welcome.