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the truth of the principle justify the transition from asserting observed
regularities to asserting that these regularities are strictly necessary
causal laws? Kant™s answer: there is no definitive justification in any
particular case. It is always possible to mistake a mere regularity (a
mere repeated succession of similar events) for a necessary connection
(a succession that occurs according to strictly necessary causal laws). But
what the principle does tell us is that all events do obey such necessary
connections, because without such connections there would be no unity
or continuity of empirically real time, and no complete determination of
empirical events (no individuation in time).38

This is where the regulative idea of a universal order of nature “ mentioned earlier in my
discussion of Allison and Buchdahl “ comes to play an important role. Whenever we do
allow ourselves, in any particular case, the transition from asserting a mere regularity (˜˜if
the sun shines on the stone, the stone gets warm™™) to asserting a causal connection (˜˜the sun
warms the stone™™), not only do we presuppose the truth of the universal causal principle as
an ontological principle in the realm of appearances, as established by the first Critique. But
moreover we suppose, as an epistemic (therefore ˜˜merely regulative™™) principle, that the
empirical regularity we have discovered is so related to the universal order of nature that it
is correct to assign precisely to this regularity the necessary character of a causal law. In the

The burden of the proof of the Second Analogy thus hinges on accepting,
(1) that we do have an a priori intuition of one time as the condition for
there being any object at all for us, and (2) that empirical time-
determinations (time-determinations of empirical objects, as appear-
ances) must exactly map the properties of this a priori intuition, most
notably the unity and continuity of temporal determinations, and the
complete determination (individuation) of objects and their states in time.
Kant™s argument for the nature of space and time is provided in the
Transcendental Aesthetic and completed in the Transcendental
Deduction of the Categories, in the Critique of Pure Reason. Evaluating
any aspect of that argument is beyond the limits of this chapter. Let me
just point out some of the possible outcomes of such an evaluation. We
might conclude that the argument is sound. This would be good for the
˜˜strong™™ version of the Second Analogy. Or, we might deny altogether
that we have anything like an a priori intuition of time (and space) as a
condition for there being any object at all for us. Or, we might accept that
we do have something like the a priori intuition of time (and space) Kant
claims we have (an intuition of time and space as one, continuous, infinite,
and the condition for any experience of object). But we might maintain
that it is a fact about ourselves for which we can give a naturalistic account,
just as we can offer a naturalistic account for the fact, say, that we perceive
ordinary middle-sized objects as belonging to a three-dimensional space
or the sun as revolving around ourselves rather than ourselves as revolv-
ing around the sun. We might then think that even if Kant is correct in his
account of our experience of objective succession, we need to question
rather than endorse the assumptions concerning the supposedly objective
features of the world our ˜˜natural™™ representation of time may lead us to
form (such as the objective necessity of the causal connection).
If so, we might then be left with the weaker version of Kant™s argument,
outlined in the second section. As I noted earlier, the outcome of this
weaker version bears a close resemblance to the outcome of the argument
Strawson, in The Bounds of Sense, says Kant should have upheld but did not
uphold,39 stumbling instead into the pitfall of the ˜˜non-sequitur.™™
However, there are major differences between Strawson™s reconstruction
of what he takes to be the only acceptable argument for the Second

third Critique, Kant adds that making use of such a regulative principle presupposes a
principle of reflective judgment, that of the ˜˜logical purposiveness of nature.™™ See Kant,
Critique of the Power of Judgment, Introduction, iv, AAv, pp. 180“1. See also Critique of
Judgment, First Introduction, vi, AAxx, p. 216.
See Strawson, The Bounds of Sense, pp. 140“6.

Analogy, and the one I think Kant did defend. Strawson™s version revolves
around the question: what does the world have to be like for our experi-
ence of objective succession to be possible at all? His answer is, very
roughly, that for such an experience to be possible, nature must offer a
background of regularity in the correlated persistence and alterations of
objects. Kant™s argument as I understand it revolves around the question:
what activities of our discursive and receptive capacities are necessary for
our experience of objective time-determination to be possible at all? It
thus relies on an elucidation of acts of the mind which Strawson, at least in
The Bounds of Sense, scornfully rejects as belonging to the ˜˜imaginary
subject of transcendental psychology.™™40
But Strawson™s rejection is damaging to our understanding of Kant™s
argument, which has for its indispensable background Kant™s aesthetic
as a theory of sensibility, Kant™s logic as a theory of discursive capacities,
and ultimately Kant™s transcendental psychology as an account of how
we generate, through the exercise of our imagination guided by our
discursive capacities, our representation of a unified world of objects
uniquely identifiable and re-identifiable in space and time. I have sug-
gested that Kant™s argument for a strong version of the causal principle
ultimately depends upon his claims concerning our a priori intuitions of
space and time and the conditions of their empirical realization. Given
that Kant™s theory of space and time is also the most controversial aspect
of the system of transcendental conditions of experience he sets up in the
first Critique, it is no surprise if the point of greatest resistance we reach in
examining his argument for the causal principle is met precisely there.

A P P E N D I X : T H E F I V E E X P O S I T I O N S O F K A N T ™S A R G U M E N T

Kant™s exposition of the argument proper runs from ¶¶1 to 17, where ¶ 1 is
the first paragraph of the proof added in B. The order of the proofs I
recount starts with the first proof in A, thus ¶3, and ends with the proof
added in B, thus ¶¶1“2. I first give an outline of the respective structure of
each version of the argument, and then give textual support for each in
particular. My view is that in repeating the argument like this, Kant is not
just groping for the right formulation. Rather, I suggest Kant proceeds as
follows. (1) In A, he gives a first, detailed exposition of his proof, supported

Ibid., p. 32.

by the now famous example of the difference between (successively) per-
ceiving the (objectively simultaneous) parts of a house and (successively)
perceiving the (objectively successive) positions of a ship (¶¶3 to 6,
A189“94/B234“9). (2) He repeats the proof as an indirect proof (¶¶7“8,
A194“5/B239“40). He then raises an objection in empiricist style: why
suppose that the representation of causal connection precedes experience
rather than being derived from it (¶¶9“10)? Responding to this objection
(¶11) leads Kant to (3) a third exposition of the proof, where the collabora-
tion between the discursive role of the understanding and the intuitive role
of sensibility in perceiving objective succession becomes more prominent
than it was in the previous expositions (¶¶12“16, A198“201/B243“6). This
is important because indeed urging that understanding is necessary for the
very combinations of perceptions in sensible intuition is Kant™s answer to
the empiricist objection. Finally, (4) Kant recapitulates his proof one last
time, in a short paragraph (¶17, A201“2/B246“7). In the B edition, he
prefaces the whole exposition with (5) a very compressed new exposition of
the proof (¶¶1“2, B232“4).
Let me now give the textual support for this reading. The numbering
is mine.41

First exposition (¶¶3 to 6, A189“94/B234“9)
11 The apprehension of the manifold of appearance is always successive.
The representations of the parts follow upon one another.
21 Whether they also follow one another in the object is a second point
for reflection, which is not contained in the first.

(Here comes a long parenthesis on the notion of an object, which Kant
concludes [end of ¶3, A192/B237] with the statement: ˜˜that in the
appearance which contains the condition of this necessary rule of appre-
hension, is the object.™™)
31 Yet I also note that, if in an appearance that contains a happening, I
call the preceding state of perception A, and the following one B, then B
can only follow A in apprehension, but the perception A cannot follow
but only precede B. For instance, I see a ship move downstream. My
perception of its position downstream follows the perception of its posi-
tion upstream, and it is impossible that in the apprehension of this

Translations are mine, although I have tried as much as possible to follow Paul Guyer and
Allen Wood™s translation. I put my own comments on Kant™s argumentative moves in

appearance the ship should first be perceived lower downstream and
afterwards upstream. The order in the succession of perceptions in
apprehension is therefore here determined, and the apprehension is
bound to it. (A192/B237)

(Kant then contrasts this case with the example, previously given, of
perceiving a house, where the order of apprehension is arbitrary: ˜˜In
the series of these perceptions there was no determinate order that
made it necessary when I had to begin in the apprehension in order to
combine the manifold empirically.™™ On the contrary . . . )
41 This rule is always to be found in the perception of that which
happens, and it makes the order of the perceptions that follow one
another (in the apprehension of this appearance) necessary. (A193/B238)

In accordance with such a rule there must therefore lie in that which in
general precedes an event the condition for a rule, according to which
the event always and necessarily follows. (A194/B239)

(41) as stated here contains in effect (4), (5), and (6) in my analysis of
the argument as outlined above: from the fact that (31) I perceive a
succession as objective just in case the succession in apprehension is
order-determinate, and (41) this is so just in case a rule makes the
order determinate, it follows that (51) perceiving an event is supposing
a rule, i.e. (61) the event itself presupposes a rule, or ˜˜in what precedes
an event there must be the condition for a rule.™™

Second exposition (indirect proof) (¶¶7“8, A194“5/B239“40)
12 Suppose nothing preceded an event, upon which the latter must
follow, according to a rule.

(Negation of [41] or of [6] in my outline of Kant™s argument.)
22 Then all succession of perception would be determined solely in the
apprehension, i.e., merely subjectively, but it would not thereby be
objectively determined which of the perceptions must really be the
preceding one and which the succeeding one.

(Repetition of [11] and [21] in the direct proof: the negation of [41] in the
direct proof, or [4], [5], [6] in my outline, leaves us only with [1] and [2].)
32 In this way we would have only a play of representations that would
not be related to any object at all, i.e., by means of our perception no
appearance would be distinguished from any other as far as the

temporal relation is concerned, since the succession in apprehension is
always the same, and there is thus nothing in the appearance that
determines it so that a determinate succession is made necessary as
objective. I shall thus not say that in the appearance two states follow
upon one another, but only that an apprehension follows upon another.

(Negation of [31] in the direct proof: negation of the order-determinateness
of apprehension, and thus of any representation of objective succession.
But the fact is, we do have order-determinateness, and thus repre-
sentation of objective succession as distinct from merely subjective
succession in apprehension. Therefore, premise [12] in the indirect
argument is false. We can thus assert [52]):
52 If, therefore, we experience that something happens, then in so
doing we always presuppose that something precedes it, upon which
it follows according to a rule. For without this I would not say of the
object that it follows, for the mere succession in my apprehension, if it is
not, by means of a rule, determined in relation to something that
precedes, does not justify a succession in the object. Thus it is always
with respect to a rule according to which the appearances are deter-
mined in their succession, i.e. as they happen, by the preceding state,
that I make my subjective synthesis (of apprehension) objective; only
under this presupposition is the experience of something that happens
even possible.

(Note that clearly, according to this formulation, in Kant™s mind the
epistemic point [52] is also the ontological [transcendental] point [62]:
not only do we presuppose something that precedes, but the objective
succession [the event] itself presupposes something that precedes,
according to a rule.
In ¶¶9 and 10, Kant formulates the empiricist objection mentioned
above. In ¶11, he announces that the answer to this objection
depends on a correct understanding of what we do when we relate our
representations to an object [A197/B242]. This introduces his third

Third exposition (¶¶12“16, A198“201/B243“6)
(Note that in this exposition, [3] and [4] in my outline are not clearly
distinguished. This makes even more visible the interdependence
between the rule-governed character of the objective succession
and the irreversibility (order-determinateness) of the subjective

13 In the synthesis of appearances the manifold of representations is
always successive.
23 Now no object at all is thereby represented, since through this succes-
sion, which is common to all apprehension, nothing is distinguished
from anything else.
33 and 43: As soon as I perceive, or presuppose [wahrnehme oder voraus-
annehme], that in this succession there is a relation to the preceding state
out of which the representation follows according to a rule, I represent
something as an event, or something that happens, i.e. I cognize an
object that I must posit at a determinate place in time which after the
preceding state cannot not be otherwise assigned . . . Thus it happens
that an order is given to our representations, in which the present
(insofar as it has come to be) points to some preceding state as an, albeit
still indeterminate, correlate of this event that is given, a correlate which
relates as a determinant [bestimmend] to this given as its consequence, and
connects it with itself necessarily in the sequence of time.

(Here comes a long development on the conditions of time perception
[¶¶13“14, A199“200/B244“5], where Kant explains the respective roles
of understanding and sensibility in our representation of objective tem-
poral succession. Kant then gives what is perhaps his most explicit
formulation of [5] and [6]):
53 That something happens is therefore a perception which belongs to a
possible experience. This experience becomes actual when I regard the
appearance as determined in its position in time, and therefore as an
object that can always be found in the connection of perceptions in
accordance with a rule.
63 Now this rule for determining something with respect to its temporal
succession, is that in what precedes the condition is to be encountered
under which the event always (i.e. necessarily) follows. The principle of
sufficient reason is thus the ground of possible experience, that is, of the
objective cognition of appearances in respect of their relation in the
successive series of time.

Fourth exposition (¶17, A201“2/B246“7)
14 To all empirical cognition there belongs the synthesis of the manifold
through the imagination, which is always successive; i.e., in it the repre-
sentations always follow upon each other.
24 But the succession is not at all determined in the imagination as to its
order (what must precede and what must follow), and the series of

successive representations can be taken backwards just as well as
34 But if this synthesis is a synthesis of apprehension (of the manifold of a
given appearance), then the order is determined in the object, or to
speak more correctly, there is in the synthesis an order of succession that
determines an object.
44 In accordance with this order, something must necessarily precede,
and when this is posited, then the other must necessarily follow. If, then,
my perception is to contain the cognition of an event, i.e. that something
actually happens, it must be an empirical judgment in which one thinks
that the succession is determined, i.e. that it presupposes with respect to
time another appearance, upon which it follows necessarily, or accord-
ing to a rule. . . .
54 Thus the relation of appearances (as possible perceptions) according
to which the existence of that which succeeds (what happens) is deter-
mined in time necessarily and in accordance with a rule by something
that precedes, is the condition of the objective validity of our empirical
judgments with respect to the series of perceptions, and thus of their
empirical truth, and thus of experience.
64 Hence the principle of the causal relation in the succession of appear-
ances is valid for all objects of experience (under the conditions of
succession) since it is itself the ground of the possibility of such an

Fifth exposition (¶¶1“2, added under the title ˜˜Proof™™ at the beginning
of B: B232“4):
(The proof actually begins with ¶2. ¶1 is a reminder of a result from the
first Analogy: all objective change [Wechsel, transition from one state of
affairs (A) to another (B)] is an alteration [Veranderung, change of states
of a permanent substance].)
15 I perceive that appearances follow one another, that is, that there is a
state of things at one time the opposite of which was in the preceding time.
25 Thus I am really connecting two perceptions in time. Now connection
is not the work of mere sense and intuition, but is here the product of a
synthetic capacity of the imagination, which determines inner sense with
regard to temporal relation. But imagination can combine the two states
in question in two ways, so that either the one or the other precedes in
time; for time cannot be perceived in itself, nor can what precedes and
what follows in objects be as it were empirically determined in relation to
it. I am therefore conscious only that my imagination sets the one state

before and the other after, not that the one state precedes the other in
the object; or in other words, through the mere perception the objective
relation of the appearances that are succeeding one another remains
35 Now in order for this to be cognized as determined, the relation
between the two states must be thought in such a way that it is thereby
necessarily determined which of them must be placed before, and which
after, rather than vice versa.
45 But the concept that carries with it a necessity of synthetic unity can
only be pure concept of understanding, which does not lie in perception;
and here it is the concept of the relation of cause and effect, the former of
which determines the latter in time, as its consequence “ and not as
something that might simply precede in imagination, (or not even be
perceived at all).
55 Therefore it is only insofar as we subject the succession of appear-
ances, and therefore all alteration, to the law of causality, that experience
itself “ i.e. the empirical cognition of appearances “ is possible.
65 Consequently the appearances themselves, as objects of experience,
are possible only in conformity with this law.

(Note that this proof follows exactly the order of the premises in my
outline of the argument. In one important respect, however, I find this
exposition less clear than any of the expositions in A: the representation
of the temporal order-determinateness of objective succession is directly
related to the causal principle itself, without the intermediate step of
˜˜presupposing a preceding state, upon which the succession follows,
according to a rule.™™ I think this lack blurs the nature of Kant™s argu-
ment, for it relegates into the shade the logical model I analyzed in part
one. But this model, I argued, in fact plays a prominent role in Kant™s


Kant claimed that human beings™ representation of the world depends on
a system of fundamental categories or ˜˜pure concepts of the understand-
ing.™™ He also claimed that these categories were originally nothing other
than elementary logical functions, which find expression in logical forms
of judgment. Kant expounded these functions in a systematic ˜˜table™™
which then became the architectonic principle not only for the Critique of
Pure Reason, but also for the Critique of Practical Reason and the Critique of
Judgment. In a famous footnote to the Metaphysical Foundations of Natural
Science, Kant claimed that as long as one accepted the two cornerstones of
his doctrine “ the merely sensible, receptive character of our intuitions,
for which space and time are a priori forms and the derivation of cate-
gories from logical functions of judgment “ then it mattered little if the
details of his proofs (in particular, the details of his transcendental deduc-
tion of the categories) failed to carry complete conviction in the eyes of his
readers. For the two main points of his demonstration, as far as he was
concerned, were sufficiently established. Those two points are that (1) we
have a priori concepts of objects originating in the understanding alone;
and (2) these concepts can be applied in cognition only to appearances
(that is, to objects given in accordance with the a priori forms of space and
time), not to things as they are in themselves.1

Cf. Metaphysical Foundations, AAiv, 475“6n.


The problem is that precisely the two purported pillars of the critical
system are what consistently met, very early on, with the most radical
skepticism on the part of Kant™s readers. Kant™s logic is charged with
being archaic, caught within the narrow bounds of Aristotelian predicative
logic. It is also charged with psychologistic fallacy: Kant is mistaken in
supposing that logical forms are in any sense descriptions of acts of our

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