E-LOGOS - University of Economics, Prague
Faculty of Economics, University of Economics, Prague

Kant's Understanding of the Imagination in Critique of Pure Reason (2013)

Author: M. Rastovic

Email: milosrastovic@hotmail.com

Affiliation: Department of Philosophy, McAnulty College and Graduate School of Liberal Arts, Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, USA

McAnulty College and Graduate School of Liberal Arts
Department of Philosophy
Duquesne University
600 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15282

Article type: Standard scientific article

Section: History of Philosophy

Language: language

Abstract (english):

The imagination (Einbildung) in Kant's Critique of Pure Reason (B edition) has an important role in the transcendental synthesis. In this context, Kant says: "Synthesis in general is, as we shall subsequently see, the mere effect of the imagination, of a blind though indispensible function of the soul, without which we would have no cognition at all, but of which we are seldom even conscious" (B 103). How can we gain knowledge of the unknowable external object? This is the crucial question in Kant's Critique of Pure Reason, and the imagination is the vague root of all transcendental synthesis. In other words, we are not aware of how the imagination functions in cognition of the external world, and, in this sense, position of the imagination in Kant's Critique of Pure Reason is anything but clear. On the one hand, Kant argues that all intuition is sensible, and the imagination belongs to sensibility (B 152). On the other hand, the imagination is part of the understanding of sensibility. Kant states: "Its synthesis of intuitions, in accordance with the categories, must be transcendental synthesis of the imagination, which is an effect of the understanding on sensibility" (B152).
Also, Kant considers the imagination in the chapter "On the schematism of the pure concept of the understanding" as a cause of the scheme. In fact, a very important question for Kant is: How is the application of the category to appearance possible since the category could not be intuited through the senses? (B177). According to Kant, this question makes a transcendental doctrine of the power of judgment necessary. The schematism is the "third thing" this makes the connection between the category and the appearance. My intention is to interpret the transcendental schema in order to show how the imagination creates the scheme and the image. Based upon this consideration, my aim is to clarify two things:
- How does the imagination create the synthesis?
- How does the imagination make the schema and the image in the chapter "On the schematism of the pure concept of understanding"? (pp. 271-277)

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