The Deep Structure of Synthesis

Fiona Hughes

in Kant's Aesthetic Epistemology

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print May 2007 | ISBN: 9780748621224
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748652327 | DOI:
The Deep Structure of Synthesis

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Knowledge as opposed to intuition is only possible if we can unify and thus identify what Immanuel Kant provisionally called the object in the initial paragraphs of the Critique of Pure Reason. This chapter explores the other side of Kant's dualism and argues that it is best understood as reflective form. It also contends that, on closer examination, dualism requires a plural iteration of the operations of the mind as the synthesis of affectivity, and that conceptualisation requires a third term, imagination. The combination of these different elements of experience counts as synthesis. Kant's faculty talk allows for reflection on a complex model of mind in which only the combination of distinct orientations gives rise to the structure or form of experience. Within his epistemology, Kant principally distinguishes sensibility from understanding. This chapter also looks at Kant's account of determining judgement in the two editions of the ‘Transcendental Deduction’. Finally, it claims that the synthetic activity arising from a combination of a plurality of faculties is examined directly, not merely presupposed, in Kant's account of aesthetic judgement.

Keywords: Immanuel Kant; experience; knowledge; dualism; synthesis; epistemology; sensibility; understanding; Transcendental Deduction; aesthetic judgement

Chapter.  24199 words. 

Subjects: Aesthetics and Philosophy of Art

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