Answer any ONE of the questions listed below in 2–3 pages (double spaced).
The questions are keyed to diﬀerent sections of the reading, with the idea that each question is raised most centrally in a certain section. However, you can and should use material from anywhere in the text where it’s relevant to the answer.
Because this is an exam rather than a paper, I will give priority to accuracy over originality in grading. However, all the questions do require some thought; they can’t simply be read out of the texts. Moreover, in many (if not all) cases the “correct” answer is unavoidably a matter of interpretation: in such cases it would be safest to reproduce what I said in class, but it will also be acceptable if you’re clearly following some other reasonable interpretation. And, of course, as usual, your answer must be “original” in the sense that it is your own work. (No outside source, only from the book-Immanuel Kant, Critique of Pure Reason, tr. Norman Kemp Smith (Palgrave Macmillan; 2nd edition, 2007) (ISBN: 0230013384).
B edition only, please base your answer on the B edition text (where there are diﬀerences). You can cite it by the B-edition page number (e.g., “B112”).
1. (Preface) Consider the following two descriptions of “metaphysics”: (a) metaphysics concerns our pure a priori knowledge about the world of experience — that is, it concerns 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), telling us what we can hope to know about metaphysics in that sense and how we can expect to know it, but completely negative with respect to (b), telling us simply that we have no hope of such knowledge? Why, according to Kant, do we nevertheless also obtain an important positive outcome from the discussion of (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 judgments, in general, as the application of predicates to subjects (so that the form of every judgment is something like “S is P”); second way, by thinking of judgments in general as knowledge on a condition (so that the form of every judgment is something like “Rule R holds on condition C.”). Explain, in the same two ways, why “All bodies are heavy,” according to Kant, is synthetic. Why does the understanding, in making a judgment of this second kind (a synthetic judgment), require support from some other thing (“= X”), something other than the concepts of the subject and the predicate? What provides the external support in the case of an empirical judgment such as “All bodies are heavy”? 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” (just in general: you needn’t discuss in detail the special case of pure intuition). Address the fact that intuitions are singular, immediate, passive representations and concepts general, mediate, active ones — how are those characteristics related to one another? Why, according to Kant, must knowledge of an empirical object involve both of these two types of representation (intuitions and concepts)? 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 that concept 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?