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And, given the Kantian assumption that time is continuous, there will be
a further momentary state between any two momentary states. This is
an explicit part of Kant™s general defense of the continuous character of
change and causal in¬‚uence: ˜˜Between two moments :Augenblicke9
there is always a time, and between any two states in the two moments
there is always a di¬erence which has magnitude™™ ( °/ µ). Since
all temporally extended states are themselves divisible into further
temporally extended states, there is no fundamental distinction between
an event such as the melting of a piece of ice, or a ship sailing down-
stream, and an event comprising almost the whole time-series.
The example of a ship sailing downstream consists of a sequence of
events, and both the A and B edition formulae for the principle of
±·
Time-consciousness in the Analogies
causation explicitly cover all changes, not just changes from one mo-
mentary state to another ( ±/ ). In the Critique of Judgment, Kant
does maintain that the condition for subsumption (the schema) under
the category of cause is that of ˜˜the succession of the determinations of
one and the same thing™™ (Ak. , p. ±). First we may note that bona ¬de
things are supposed to be substances that last forever. Moreover, Kant
certainly does not think that the relation between cause and e¬ect is
restricted to the states of one thing. Knowing what caused a change
from one state of one thing to another allows us to order those states in
an objective temporal order. However, even though the change is from
one state of the same thing to another, the cause of that change is often
to be sought in some other thing.
Thinking of causation in terms of the successive determinations of
one thing seems to run together the order of causation with the temporal
order of events. However, we do not wish to argue post hoc, ergo propter hoc.
Today may indeed follow yesterday and tomorrow follow today with
necessity. But, as Reid argued against Hume, and Schopenhauer later
argued against Kant, this does not yet establish anything about the
manner in which yesterday™s events are connected to today™s or tomor-
row™s events. One event may precede another event without being its
cause. Kant avoids the fallacious conclusion by arguing that when
something succeeds something else there is some cause of the change
from A to B, but that will have to be sought in some further state, or
rather set of states, C, that precedes and is non-identical with A. In the
example of a ship going downstream, the objective change involves
di¬erent states of a ship and water. Neither the ship nor the water is,
strictly speaking, a physical substance, although they are dependent
particulars supervening on the states of such basic particulars. The
changes which the water and the ship undergo are changes which we
can only understand by reference to causation. However, the ship being
upstream is not the cause of it being downstream, rather this change is to
be understood in terms of underlying causal conditions. This means
that, in a sequence of states which is isomorphic to the perceived order
of those states, the earlier state A cannot generally be said to be the cause
of the later state B. Thus, not every necessary succession from one state
to another state involves a causal connection between those two states.
In most instances, the lawlike change from A to B is itself the e¬ect of a
set of causal conditions whose most prominent member is some event
other than A or B that we can then refer to as an event of type C.
± Kant and the demands of self-consciousness
© ®      © ®
The Third Analogy argues for interaction between all substances as the
basis for objective determination of simultaneity. In Kant™s argument
for interaction, the order-indi¬erence of the perceptual sequence of
contemporaneous states plays a role strictly analogous to that played by
the irreversible order of event perception in the Second Analogy. Again
the strategy is to assume the order-indi¬erence of perception as de¬ni-
tive of simultaneity, but presupposing perceptual isomorphism. Al-
though Kant initially implies that order-indi¬erence is a necessary but
not a su¬cient condition for determining the simultaneity of two states,
it is not really even a necessary condition. Deviant causal chains can give
rise to non-order-indi¬erent sequences of perceptions of simultaneous
states. This complicates the situation somewhat, but does not have a
crucial e¬ect on the main argument. The crucial test of simultaneity is
not the order-indi¬erence of the sequence of our perceptions, but rather
the dynamic interaction upon which our perception is based. Kant
rightly stresses the need for a causal medium to transmit information
from objects to our senses in order to determine relations of simultane-
ity:
It is easy to note in our experiences that only continuous in¬‚uences through all
positions of space can guide our sense from one object to the other, that the
light which plays between our eye and the heavenly bodies e¬ects an indirect
community between us and them and through it proves the contemporaneous-
ness of them, that we cannot change any place empirically (cannot perceive this
change) without matter making the perception of our position possible every-
where, and it can only demonstrate its contemporaneousness through its
reciprocal in¬‚uence and through it its coexistence with the most distant objects
(although only indirectly). ( ±/ °)

Schopenhauer argues that there cannot be a play of light between the
eye and the distant star, and hence there cannot be interaction, as Kant
claims. But this ignores the fact that some light will generally be re¬‚ected
back by the eye to its source, although there will be a considerable
time-lag between re¬‚ection and incidence. Schopenhauer also argues
that Kant™s use of light from a distant star as a signal for determining
simultaneity is empirically false, since light takes time to travel from the
star to us.± However, there is no textual evidence that Kant endorses
the empirically false assumption that light travels at an in¬nite velocity.
Kant was in a position to know to a fairly close approximation what the
actual velocity is that light travels at. So the assumption that he thinks
±
Time-consciousness in the Analogies
that light travels in¬nitely fast depends on the assumption that he
confuses the optical perception of simultaneity with objective simultane-
ity. While we may perceive two events as simultaneous, it does not
follow from the fact that we perceive them at the same time that they
are, in fact, simultaneous. Again Kant was in a position to draw the
distinction in question, although he does not explicitly do so. Schopen-
hauer™s objection is based on the tendentious assumption that Kant
takes there to be instantaneous causal transmission between states across
space, rather than indirect evidence of simultaneity relations on the
basis of states that are already in the causal past of the object to which
they are transmitted. Kant does not explicitly commit himself to the
existence of instantaneous causal transmission across ¬nite distances,
although gravitational force in Newtonian mechanics does depend on
instantaneous action at a distance. Immediate transmission of causal
in¬‚uence between contemporaneous states of substances at di¬erent
spatial locations is consistent with his account of simultaneity in the
Third Analogy. But the Third Analogy does not entail the existence of
unmediated or superluminal causal transmission.
Kant was not in a position to draw all the distinctions with respect to
simultaneity that we would now want drawn. Special Relativity intro-
duces a failure of transitivity with respect to objective relations of
simultaneity that Kant did not anticipate. There is no reason in classical
mechanics to assume that events that are perceived subjectively as
simultaneous with each other must be objectively simultaneous with
each other. However, if an event e± is objectively simultaneous with an
event e and the event e is objectively simultaneous with an event e,
then e± will be identical with e. This no longer holds in Special
Relativity. We cannot simply assume simultaneity to be a transitive
relation. If an event e± is simultaneous with an event e, then this by no
means entails that if e is simultaneous with a third event e, then e± must
also be simultaneous with e. Kant probably assumes that objective
simultaneity relations are transitive. But this does not signi¬cantly a¬ect
his account of simultaneity, since it is concerned with the conditions
under which objective relations of simultaneity may be distinguished
from subjective relations of simultaneity.
Kant does not formulate his notion of interaction and simultaneity as
a relation between events, but as a relation between substances. The
First Analogy requires that substances are sempiternal. Such substances
can interact with each other even if there is no instantaneous action at a
distance or superluminal velocities of transmission. For such substances,
±° Kant and the demands of self-consciousness
simultaneity of states is indirectly de¬nable by appeal to states of the
same substance that are in the causal past or future of those states. His
conception of substances as sempiternal persistents re-establishes the
validity of the assumption that substances observed to be contempor-
aneous with the percipient must also be in causal interaction and hence
contemporaneous with one another. But it is important to note that this
by no means establishes that states of two substances that appear to be
contemporaneous with one another need also be in causal interaction
with one another. Only substances that can neither be created nor
destroyed must interact. Even if such substances are in¬nitely distant
from each other and the forces connecting them can operate only at
¬nite velocities, in the in¬nite length of time during which they exist,
they will eventually interact.
In this chapter, I have looked at the role of substance, causation, and
interaction, in establishing not just an objective, but also even a subjec-
tive order of episodes in time and space. I have argued that some notion
of substance, cause, and interaction is needed if we are to be able to
make judgments about public objects or even to be able to make
judgments about private experiences. These notions turn out to be
conditions under which we can be conscious of distinct spaces and
times, and hence of distinctions between di¬erent representations.
In the next chapter, I want to look at the manner in which we come to
formulate laws governing substances, and their causal interaction. For it
is these laws that Kant takes to underwrite our ability to form empirical
concepts of objects and with them to understand the associations in-
volved in even the most minimal notion of experience.
° ·

Causal laws




In the last chapter, I developed the argument in the Analogies of
Experience for the principle of substance, and for the general causal
principle and principle of interaction. In this chapter, I discuss the
relation of the general causal principle, the general principle of interac-
tion, and the general substance principle to the existence of speci¬c laws
governing causes, interactions, and substances. First I discuss the rela-
tion of speci¬c causal laws to the general causal principle. I argue that
the general causal principle entails the existence of speci¬c causal laws,
but does not entail any particular causal law.
Then I take up the question of the extent to which our knowledge of
speci¬c causal laws depends on a priori knowledge. I argue that Kant
thinks of the causal necessity of particular causal laws as parasitic on a
universality and necessity that cannot be derived from experience. But I
reject the view that Kant wants actually to derive individual causal laws
a priori. I then argue that even probabilistic laws exhibit the kind of
necessity and universality that Kant requires of a causal law.
The existence of probabilistic causal laws governing human action
leaves room for indeterministic causal explanation of human behavior.
However, I argue that Kant insists on the regulative ideal of determinis-
tic causal explanation for human behavior. When this regulative ideal is
taken to be a constitutive principle of experience, a con¬‚ict arises with
the assumption that individuals are capable of free action. Kant resolves
the problem by noting that a complete causal explanation of human
behavior is never actually possible for us even in principle, even though
it is a regulative ideal in our explanation of human behavior. The
¬rst-person perspective of self-consciousness involves a kind of indepen-
dence from causal determination that Kant refers to as spontaneity.
This spontaneity turns out to be only relative to antecedent causes when
taken from the second- and third-person perspective that we must take
in order to observe and understand the behavior of others.
±±
± Kant and the demands of self-consciousness

 µ  ¬ ¬ ·  ®¤    § ®   ¬  µ  ¬ ° © ® © ° ¬ 
The general causal principle defended by the Second Analogy and the
general principle of interaction defended by the Third Analogy tell us
that, wherever there is a change, there must be something that causes
the change to occur. They do not tell us what occurs at the same time as
what, or what follows upon what in objective time. But Kant takes the
existence of the general causal principle and the general principle of
interaction also to involve the existence of a speci¬c set of causal
covering laws that explain the change from tokens of a certain event-
type to tokens of another event-type. Thus, Kant maintains that ˜˜in
conformity with such a rule there must lie in that which precedes an
event the condition of a rule according to which this event invariably
and necessarily follows™™ ( ±/ -). Kant implicitly distinguishes a
¬rst- and a second-order rule. The second-order rule would have to be
the general causal principle that everything has a cause or, rather, that
everything that happens presupposes something upon which it follows
according to a rule. The second necessary and strictly general rule is just
a speci¬c causal law. Given the assumption that the event is repeatable,
Kant is obviously treating the event covered by the law as an event-type
rather than an event-token. The causal principle is thus a condition on
succession that underwrites the existence of universal and necessary
rules governing the occurrence of speci¬c event-types.±
In the last chapter, I argued that, while we can have an immediate
consciousness of a sequence of perceptions, we cannot make a bona ¬de
judgment about the order in which those perceptions occur without it
being, in principle, possible for us to show that a claim that our
perceptions occur in a certain order is correct or incorrect. Some recent
interpreters have made a much stronger claim. Melnick and Guyer
maintain that we cannot even form a judgment to the e¬ect that a
sequence of representations has occurred without knowing the causal
laws to which that sequence is subject, since not even the subjective
order of our representations is ever directly given to us. They appeal to
Kant™s commitment to the inherent successiveness of all of our represen-
tations to justify the ascription of this claim to Kant. However, the
successiveness of representations does not preclude us from having a
direct experience of succession, so long as we take such a direct experi-
ence of succession itself to involve a succession of representations.
Quite apart from the correct interpretation of Kant, it is quite
±
Causal laws
implausible to claim that, before lawlike correlations in experience had
been discovered, individuals had no awareness of the successiveness of
their experiences. A worry also arises about circularity. In order to form
judgments about succession, we need to know causal laws, but it is hard
to see how one could come to know causal laws without being able to
recognize regularities of succession. There is no evidence that Kant ever
thought that we could only assume that one of our mental states
preceded another if we also thought that we knew all of the relevant
causal laws governing the change from one represented to the other. To
require knowledge of all the relevant causal laws in order to perceive
experiences in a determinate temporal order would quickly lead to
extreme skepticism. Not only would it undermine our ability to ascribe a
temporal order to our states, but also given Kant™s assumptions about
the dependence of content ascription on our ability to assign a temporal
order to our experiences, it would force us to deny that we were able to
self-ascribe inner states, as well as outer states.
A weaker claim seems to be in order. While there is no reason that we
cannot directly experience change and temporal succession, in forming
judgments about change and succession we take on epistemic commit-
ments that, in principle, must be redeemable by us if they are to be valid
commitments. The claims we make in judgments concerning the tem-
poral relations between our inner as well as our outer states are to be
justi¬ed by appeal to the idea of a projected order of nature in which a
causal explanation of this succession, in principle, is possible. But it is
important to distinguish what is involved in an immediate representa-
tion of a sequence of subjective states and what is involved in the
justi¬cation of a claim that this is the sequence in which one perceived
what one perceived.
Gerd Buchdahl and Henry Allison have gone to the other extreme of
the position staked out by Melnick and Guyer. The former philosophers
note that Kant thinks that the temporal positions of phases of an event
are determined by means of the general causal principle. But they argue
that there need not be a speci¬c causal covering law that allows us to
have knowledge of an objective change. They even maintain that we do
not have to believe that there are causal laws together with other causal
conditions that are su¬cient to explain the occurrence of a given event
in order to take ourselves to have knowledge of an objective succession.
Buchdahl maintains that the Second Analogy ˜˜does not show that
nature is lawlike, but only that the concept of law is built into our notion of
± Kant and the demands of self-consciousness
each objective element of nature.™™µ Part of the reason that Buchdahl
denies that the Second Analogy demonstrates the lawlikeness of nature
is that he seems to identify lawlikeness with repetition, at least this would
be a sympathetic reading of his idea that the causal principle does not
give ˜˜Hume“Mill-like support to the special laws of science.™™ Buchdahl
maintains that ˜˜the transcendental proof depends [his emphasis] on
regarding [a statement expressing a change from] A“B as an absolutely
contingent empirical, indeed, singular statement.™™· The singular causal
view advocated by Buchdahl does not seem to do justice to Kant™s view
that causal connection is always succession of states according to some
law (i.e. a speci¬c rule endowed with necessity). For Kant, causal
connection is always connection that is covered by some law. It is
succession according to a necessary rule:

It is crucial to show by example that we never attribute succession (of an event
in which something is happening that did not occur before) to an object and
distinguish it from the subjective one of our apprehension, unless a rule is
presupposed that compels us to observe this order of perceptions rather than
another, yes, this compulsion is what it is that properly makes a representation
of succession in the object possible. ( ±“±·/ ·)

The only way in which a particular order for perceived events is going to
be necessitated is if we are able to distinguish some particular kind of
causal law. Kant™s notion of compulsion here might be understood, in a
psychologistic way, as a kind of Humean subjective necessity. But, in
talking of the temporal order of states in an event, Kant notes that
objective succession occurs according to a rule, and ˜˜according to such
a rule the condition for a rule must lie in what precedes an event,
according to which this event always and necessarily succeeds™™ ( ±/
). Here Kant distinguishes the general or second-order causal rule
with its necessity from the particular or ¬rst-order causal rule that allows
us to understand which event must succeed the other.
According to the Critique of Judgment, there is potentially an in¬nite
number of di¬erent kinds of speci¬c causal laws: ˜˜[A]nd each of these
kinds must (according to the concept of a cause in general) have its rule
that is law, and hence brings with it necessity: although we do not
understand this necessity according to the character and limits of our
faculty of knowledge™™ (Ak. , p. ±). I take the remark that speci¬c laws
have a necessity in accordance with the general causal principle to be a
statement deriving their necessity from that principle.
Buchdahl could respond that, even if the truth of singular causal
±µ
Causal laws
statements entails the existence of some necessary causal law, it could be
the case that they do not entail the existence of any particular causal law.
However, this would be a di¬erent claim from the one advocated by
Buchdahl and Allison that there can be events that are not subject to
causal laws per se at all. Allison rightly emphasizes the fact that Kant
allows for states that follow each other in an objective temporal order
that are not related as cause and e¬ect. But it does not follow from this
that they are not covered by a causal law at all, as Allison suggests,
motivated in part by his restriction of the causal principle to a relation
between states of things. He cites an example of someone who is drunk
and then falls. Although the person™s drunkenness preceded his fall,
another drug rather than the alcohol was the cause. Allison takes the
example as evidence that the change from state A to state B is not always
lawlike. By this he means that the ¬rst state, A, is not the cause of the
second, B. This is obviously true, and thus Kant does not infer post hoc
ergo propter hoc, as Schopenhauer charges. The sequence A B is contin-
gent in the sense that any causal series could have had a di¬erent initial
state, but it is not contingent in the sense that it might be causally
undetermined as Allison takes it to be. Kant nowhere indicates that the
causes of a person™s fall could not be distinct from and yet also simulta-
neous with a person™s drunkenness, while also subject to strict causal
determination. Indeed, he is at pains to point out that the causal order of
events may not be immediately displayed by the relative position of
those objects in time. Sometimes causes appear to be simultaneous with
their e¬ects. A ball™s being on a pillow is the cause of the indentation of
the pillow. There are states of the ball that are in the causal past of the
indented state of the pillow. However, the continued presence of the ball
on the pillow makes some of the states of the ball simultaneous with
those of the pillow.
Allison has recently given a somewhat more plausible account of his
thesis that the element involved in a succession may not be related
according to empirical causal laws. Whereas he initially seemed to take
the view that the general causal law involved no commitments concern-
ing event-types, more recently, Allison has expressed his acceptance of
Friedman™s claim that the Kantian concept of causation involves the
idea of event-types that are connected by a causal law. While he now
accepts the idea that there must be a causal covering law for any event if
the general causal principle holds, he argues that this might have only a
single application. He then denies that such a law would be a genuine
law.
± Kant and the demands of self-consciousness
Allison appeals to Paton for support for the view that genuine laws
must be characterized by regularity and repeatability.±° It is possible for
something to be repeatable, and hence form a very weak kind of
regularity, without actually repeating itself. But, clearly, Paton and
Allison have actual repetition in mind. When Kant maintains that the
e¬ect must follow its cause according to a rule, Paton takes this to
require ˜˜regularity and repetition.™™±± But then the causal principle
would appear to require recurrent instances. Paton notes that in a
universe governed by causal laws there might be no repetitions on the
basis of which we could ¬nd out what those causal laws are. Thus, what
seems initially to be an epistemic point about our ability to recognize
laws, becomes a metaphysical point about the nature of laws.
Friedman makes repeated references to repeatability and regularity.±
But it is not clear to me whether he would require the notion of
regularity to involve actual repetition, as Paton and Allison seem to do,
or whether Friedman would take the repeatability to be su¬cient. For
Friedman, the notion of a regularity is closely associated with that of law
and uniformity. The notion of a uniformity suggests repetition, but does
not actually entail it, while the notion of law does not seem to require
any actual repetition. To be sure, Friedman overstates his case when he
maintains that when individual events occur in objective succession as a
result of the schema of the concept of causality they are also subsumed
under a uniformity or general causal law.± While we presuppose that
there is some causal law that covers the succession in question, we may
not actually know what that law is. In that case we are not in a position
to subsume the succession under that causal law.
Without the existence of some causal laws involving repeated instan-
ces, we would have no way of knowing individual causal laws. It seems
doubtful that one could identify laws between event-types without any
recurrence of event-types. This does not mean that, in every instance,
knowledge of laws governing event-types would demand recurrence.
Even Hume was prepared to argue in the Enquiry that we sometimes
know causal laws governing events on the basis of a single token of a
certain event-type. In general, a Humean will claim that one must know
that an event-type A regularly follows on an event-type B in order to
know in a particular case that A follows B. But even though generaliz-
ations about causal connections are in general based on repeated
experiences, they are not necessarily based on repetition. It is perfectly
possible to form inductive generalizations based on indirect evidence
that apply only to one event-token.
±·
Causal laws
Kant takes causal relations to hold between event-tokens as tokens of

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