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of all metaphysical concepts, including personal identity. But Kant takes association as the
paradigm example of a subjective unity since it connects representations in time without
thereby representing an object.
The Transcendental Deduction
124
when one representation immediately triggers another in time. It
depends on memory and psychological processes arising from what
Hume called the “customary conjunction” of representations. For
this reason Kant assigns it to the reproductive imagination at B141.
To say that an association is only subjectively valid means that it does
not produce a representation of an object. (It is also subjective in
the secondary sense that the association of representations depends
on contingent facts about the subject.) When Kant calls this type of
connection “a determination of inner sense” he means that it represents
a temporal ordering of the actual contents of consciousness. But the
connection is not conceptual; a mere association does not represent
an object, and hence lacks objective validity. Associated perceptions
are united temporally in consciousness, but do not produce a unity
of self-consciousness. Now one can of course take an association as
an object of thought by re¬‚ecting on it. In recognizing the sequence
as one in which one representation triggers another, one thereby con-
fers objective unity on it. This is equivalent to taking a unity in
consciousness as a unity for consciousness. Clearly, however, the abil-
ity to associate representations does not entail the ability to represent
the association as such. Kant thinks that animals possess the former
ability but lack the intellectual capacities for the latter.
Unfortunately, in this passage Kant confuses the subjectivity of an
association of perceptions with that of the empirical unity of apper-
ception. The latter, as we have seen, is awareness of oneself as a
particular subject. Empirical self-consciousness includes the content
of inner sense, but is not a mere association of perceptions, since
it represents the self as an object. Although empirical apperception
varies in content by subject, and thus is subjective in the secondary
sense, it nevertheless contains an objective unity of representations.
Thus Kant is mistaken to use empirical apperception to exemplify a
non-objective unity, which is the kind of subjectivity relevant to the
deduction here.

Section 19: objective unity and judgment
In section 19 Kant argues that representing an object is equivalent
to judging. He begins by complaining that the standard de¬nition
of a judgment as a relation between two concepts fails to specify the
nature of the relation. At B141“2 he says that in judgment one brings
The Transcendental Deduction 125
a manifold to the objective unity of consciousness. In the simplest
case of a categorical judgment, this objective relation is represented
by the copula “is” connecting the subject- and predicate-concepts.13
Now to say that judgment possesses a necessary unity is not to deny
that there are empirical or contingent judgments. The objective unity
of the judgment, even if empirical, resides in the fact that judgments
represent assertible thoughts about objects or objective states of affairs.
Even if it is only a contingent truth that my cat is orange, the judgment
“Buroker™s cat is orange” uni¬es diverse representations to produce
an assertible claim about an object. Unfortunately Kant™s examples at
the end of the section obscure this point, since he tries to express an
association of perceptions by the conditional judgment “If I carry a
body, I feel a pressure of weight.” By his own argument, however, once
one judges an association, one has thereby uni¬ed the representations
in the objective unity of apperception.14 As Allison points out, Kant™s
theory of synthesis entails that all judgments confer objective validity
on representations, even if the objects of judgment are “subjective”
states.
This step clari¬es the notion of objective validity, for unlike asso-
ciations of representations, judgments are true or false. For a repre-
sentation to have objective validity is for it to be capable of having
a truth value. What Kant has shown, then, is that subjects who can
recognize their own representations must be able to ascribe them to
themselves by the “I think.” This act is synthesis, which connects
a given manifold of representations in the (objective) unity of self-
consciousness. But synthesis is equivalent to judging; in judging one
conceives a manifold as related in a way that can be asserted to obtain.
Since assertions are true or false, Kant has argued that the t.u.a. is
both necessary and suf¬cient for producing representations that have
objective validity, that are assertible. The objects here are objects of
13 For hypothetical and disjunctive judgments the objective unity of two judgments is effected
by the logical operators “if-then” and “or.”
14 This is reminiscent of Kant™s discussion of judgments of perception and judgments of
experience in the Prolegomena. The former merely report perceptions, whereas the latter
make objective claims. Kant™s examples of the ¬rst are “The room is warm, sugar sweet,
wormwood nasty” (see section 19). In this case he claims two sensations are referred to
the same subject, but not to an object. Only when a judgment makes a claim about an
object does it have objective validity. This view apparently contradicts Kant™s position in
the Critique that every judgment contains objective unity. Allison explains this and other
dif¬culties with the Prolegomena account in Kant™s Transcendental Idealism, 149“52. I am also
indebted to his discussion at 152“8.
The Transcendental Deduction
126
judgment or thought. There is as yet no reference to spatiotemporal
objects of human intuition.

Section 20: the categories necessarily apply to all objects of judgment
The ¬nal step of this ¬rst stage relates judgment to the categories.
Kant does this in the last three sentences of section 20:
Therefore all manifold, insofar as it is given in one empirical intuition,
is determined in regard to one of the logical functions for judgment, by
means of which, namely, it is brought to a consciousness in general. But
now the categories are nothing other than these very functions for judging,
insofar as the manifold of a given intuition is determined with regard to
them (§13). Thus the manifold in a given intuition also necessarily stands
under categories. (B143)
Section 19 shows that insofar as a manifold is ascribed to oneself in
the t.u.a., it must be judged. To judge a manifold is to think it as
an object under the logical forms of judgment. As the Metaphysical
Deduction shows, the logical forms of judgment are “functions of
synthesis,” or the particular ways one connects the representations
making up a judgment in consciousness. Here Kant points out that
the categories are these same logical functions in their real use. They
are the pure concepts of the understanding as applied to whatever
objects one judges.
To make the point clearer, consider that whenever I take several
representations to be my representations, I judge that they belong to
me. In so judging them I make them objects of thought. To judge
them to belong to me requires conceiving of them in ways suitable
for judging under the logical forms of judgment. For example, to
judge them under the quanti¬cational forms presupposes that I am
able to identify and individuate them. This requires conceiving them
under the concepts of unity, plurality, and totality. Thus I can make
judgments about one representation, some representations, and all my
representations. The same would presumably be true for the categories
correlated with the logical forms of quality, relation, and modality.
There are two further points to mention here. First, Kant™s refer-
ence to empirical intuition implies only that the manifold is given
independently of the understanding, regardless of the forms of intu-
ition. When the objects of thought just are one™s representations, of
The Transcendental Deduction 127
course, the manifold is that given in inner sense. The second point
concerns Kant™s statement that the manifold must be determined by
one of the logical functions for judgment. This is a clear mistake. First,
Kant wants to argue that all the categories are necessary for judging
objects. Moreover, as I argued in chapter 4, the three forms under
each heading are interdependent. What Kant should say is that all
the categories apply necessarily to the objects of judgment.

c. Stage two: sections 21“6
Sections 21“3: preliminary remarks to the second stage
At B144 Kant summarizes the argument so far, pointing out that
it abstracts “from the way in which the manifold for an empirical
intuition is given,” attending only to the unity produced in intuition
by means of the category. The second paragraph speci¬es that the
argument assumes only that the manifold of intuition is given inde-
pendently of the understanding. Thus the ¬rst part of the deduction
establishes that any discursive intelligence, regardless of its particu-
lar mode of intuition, must employ categories to think about objects.
The second stage of the deduction, by contrast, concerns the necessity
of the categories for experiencing objects given in our spatiotempo-
ral forms of intuition. Thus it attempts to show that the categories
apply necessarily to all objects of human sensibility. To do this Kant
will have to show that the same functions of synthesis employed in
thinking about objects are also required to perceive objects in space
and time. He makes this point at the beginning of section 26:
Now the possibility of cognizing a priori through categories whatever objects
may come before our senses . . . is to be explained. For if the categories did not
serve in this way, it would not become clear why everything that may ever
come before our senses must stand under the laws that arise a priori from
the understanding alone. (B159“60)
Proving the necessity of the categories for cognition of objective states
of affairs in our space and time involves demonstrating their objective
reality.
Sections 22 and 23 merely reiterate these points, emphasizing the
role of intuition in distinguishing between a thought and a cognition
of an object. A concept to which no corresponding intuition could be
The Transcendental Deduction
128
given “would be a thought as far as its form is concerned,” but without
an object (Gegenstand), could not serve as a cognition (B146). Kant
repeats the point at B150“1 in section 24. Only when given reference to
intuition do the categories “acquire objective reality, i.e., application
to objects that can be given to us in intuition” (B150“1). The second
stage of the deduction, then, has to show that objects experienced in
space and time must be thought by means of the categories.

Section 24: the transcendental synthesis of imagination
This section contains the ¬rst part of the second stage; section 26
completes the proof. Here Kant argues that the categories are required
to represent one time in intuition, thus linking the categories to the
perception of time. (Although Kant does not emphasize it here, the
same process is required to represent one space.) The second step then
links the categories to empirical intuition. The argument in section 24
is hard to make out, however, because it is embedded in a discussion
of the “paradox” of self-representation, which is actually irrelevant to
the deduction. I shall discuss ¬rst the argument proper and then the
paradox as explained in sections 24 and 25.
The signi¬cance of time becomes clear if we see this stage as a
continuation of the ¬rst stage. There Kant argued that the categories
necessarily apply to objects of thought, which objects were in fact
one™s own representations. For humans, the form by which we intuit
our own representations in inner sense is time. From the Aesthetic
we know that there is only one time, and that all our representations
occupy determinate positions in this uni¬ed time. Thus Kant will
show in section 24 that the synthetic processes by which we locate
our representations in one time are governed by the categories.
Kant assigns the transcendental synthesis of the a priori spatiotemp-
oral manifold, called the ¬gurative synthesis, to the productive
imagination. At B151 he de¬nes the imagination as “the faculty for
representing an object even without its presence in intuition.” We
usually think of the imagination as the source of sensory images of
objects that are not present or are even nonexistent. Here, however,
Kant points out that the imagination plays a more basic role in expe-
rience, namely unifying the pure manifold into a representation of
one global time. This act is transcendental because it is a necessary
condition for representing anything as existing in time. Now although
The Transcendental Deduction 129
we do not perceive global time in its entirety, in perceiving determi-
nate times, we think of each duration as bounded by past and future
times, and thus as a ¬nite portion of in¬nite time. These past and
future times are of course not actually present in the perception; our
awareness of them is a construction of the imagination. Similarly,
our perceptions of ¬nite regions of space include the recognition that
these regions are embedded in an in¬nite space.
At B152 Kant attributes this ¬gurative synthesis to the productive
rather than to the reproductive imagination. Whereas the latter merely
“calls up” (and associates) previously apprehended representations,
the former produces a new representation. The ¬gurative synthesis
differs from the purely intellectual synthesis discussed in the ¬rst stage
because it issues in an intuition. Intuitions of determinate positions
and regions of one uni¬ed time require that the form of inner sense
be linked to the t.u.a. and the categories. So there must be a faculty
that mediates between the sensibility and the understanding. Now
Kant™s own descriptions of the imagination are fairly confusing. At
B151 he says the imagination belongs to sensibility; but at B152 and
B153 he says that its synthesis is an effect of the understanding on
sensibility. For several reasons it is most consistent with his theory
of faculties to treat the imagination as a separate power, mediating
between the understanding and the sensibility. At B154“5 Kant uses
examples of drawing ¬gures in space to illustrate the transcendental
synthesis of imagination. This is appropriate for two reasons: ¬rst, we
can produce an image of time only through spatial representation;
and second, the same imaginative processes are required to represent
determinate spatial regions.
In effect Kant uses the theory that time is the form of inner sense
to link the forms of intuition to the t.u.a. From the ¬rst stage of the
deduction we know that any manifold brought to the t.u.a. must con-
form to the categories. Section 24 establishes that the a priori manifold
given in inner sense is uni¬ed by the transcendental synthesis of the
imagination. Thus the imaginative synthesis of the temporal manifold
is also subject to the rules expressed in the categories. Alternatively,
from the standpoint of judgment, to recognize each ¬nite region of
time is to judge that it is part of the all-encompassing time. Thus the
temporal manifold must be thought by means of the categories. In
this way the pure manifold is “objecti¬ed,” or made a (formal) object
of thought.
The Transcendental Deduction
130
Section 26: link between categories and empirical intuition
In the ¬nal step, Kant needs to demonstrate the necessity of the
categories for “whatever objects may come before our senses, not
as far as the form of their intuition but rather as far as the laws
of their combination are concerned” (B159“60). In other words, he
must demonstrate that anything given through sensation “must stand
under the laws that arise a priori from the understanding alone”
(B160). His strategy is to link the categories to the synthetic processes
required to unify the empirical manifold, that is, the sensible qualities
constituting the matter of appearance. Kant calls this the synthesis
of apprehension, which results in “the composition of the manifold
in an empirical intuition, through which perception, i.e., empirical
consciousness of it (as appearance), becomes possible” (B160). In
Hume™s terms these are the processes by which one “bundles” sense
impressions. This was the primary focus of Kant™s analysis in the A
edition.
The key premise is that the synthetic operations performed on the
empirical manifold must conform to the operations unifying the a
priori manifold in the ¬gurative synthesis discussed in section 24.
There Kant argued that “space and time are represented a priori not
merely as forms of sensible intuition, but also as intuitions them-
selves (which contain a manifold), and thus with the determination
of the unity of this manifold in them” (B160“1). In a footnote he
distinguishes the form of intuition, the uncombined manifold given
a priori, from the formal intuition, the manifold uni¬ed by the tran-
scendental synthesis of imagination. The second half of this footnote
appears to contradict itself by attributing the unity of space and time
both to sensibility and to the understanding. Kant™s point, however, is
that the manifold as given in sensibility makes it possible to experience
one space and one time; synthesis by the understanding is required
to experience a uni¬ed space and time. Thus everything appearing in
intuition is subject to the synthetic functions that produce unity in
our experiences of space and time, namely the categories:

Consequently all synthesis, through which even perception itself becomes
possible, stands under the categories, and since experience is cognition
through connected perceptions, the categories are conditions of the possibil-
ity of experience, and are thus also valid a priori of all objects of experience.
(B161)
The Transcendental Deduction 131
In other words, the three types of synthesis Kant discusses in the Tran-
scendental Deduction are different aspects of the synthesis required
to perceive objects of spatiotemporal intuition. What Kant has shown
at each step is that only the categories can provide rules for unifying
representations brought to the t.u.a. His deduction proceeds from
the unity involved in the thought of an object (the intellectual syn-
thesis), to the unity experienced in the formal intuitions of space and
time (the ¬gurative synthesis), and ¬nally to the unity experienced in
objects perceived in space and time (the synthesis of apprehension).
It is important to recognize that these three syntheses are really three
aspects of one process that takes place in sense perception.
This is the point of Kant™s examples of perceiving a house and the
freezing of water at B162“3. When I perceive a house, my perception
of it as a determinate (measurable) object is constrained by the rules
governing the processes by which I “carve out” the region of space it
occupies. Similarly, my perception of the freezing of water as the ¬‚uid
state followed by the solid state must also conform to the rules by
which successive times are determined. Kant details these arguments
in the Axioms of Intuition and the Analogies of Experience, in justi-
fying the pure principles corresponding to the categories. These two
examples capture the two aspects of Kant™s conclusion, namely that
the categories provide rules for unifying the manifold into perceptions
of objects, as well as for connecting these perceptions in experience
of an objective order of events.

Sections 24“5: the paradox of self-knowledge
To complete this discussion, let us look at Kant™s view of self-
knowledge in sections 24 and 25. At B152“3 he describes the “para-
dox” of self-knowledge as following from the Aesthetic doctrine that
in inner sense we are presented to ourselves “only as we appear to
ourselves, not as we are in ourselves, since we intuit ourselves only as
we are internally affected, which seems to be contradictory, since we
would have to relate to ourselves passively.” The paradox follows from
transcendental idealism. Because space and time are merely subjec-
tive forms of sensibility, all objects intuited in space and time are only
appearances, and not things in themselves. This applies equally to
the empirical self, given in inner sense. Accordingly, we can no more
intuit the self in itself than we do physical objects in themselves. In
The Transcendental Deduction
132
the Analytic, however, Kant has shown that the “I” that thinks is
active and spontaneous. Judging is an activity consisting of synthetic
operations the “I” performs on the manifold given in intuition. So it
seems paradoxical to claim both that the “I” must be active and that
it can know itself only as it passively appears to itself.
Kant™s solution is to deny both that the “I think” is a cognition
of the self, and that we can cognize the thinking self. In transcen-
dental self-consciousness, Kant says, “I am conscious of myself not
as I appear to myself, nor as I am in myself, but only that I am. This
representation is a thinking, not an intuiting” (B157). Self-awareness in
the t.u.a. is not a cognition of the self as an object, but a merely formal
representation of one™s existence as thinking. (This is why Kant dis-
agrees with Descartes™s view that the “I” of the cogito must be a mental
substance.) This self-awareness is devoid of the intuition required to
distinguish oneself from other objects and thus to represent oneself
as a particular object. In his footnote at B157 Kant says, “The I think
expresses the act of determining my existence. The existence is thereby
already given, but the way in which I am to determine it, i.e., the
manifold that I am to posit in myself as belonging to it, is not yet
thereby given.” And at B158n he denies that we can intuit the activity
of thinking: “Now I do not have yet another self-intuition, which
would give the determining in me, of the spontaneity of which alone
I am conscious . . . thus I cannot determine my existence as that of
a self-active being, rather I merely represent the spontaneity of my
thought.” Thus Kant dispels the paradox by denying that the t.u.a.
is a cognition of the thinking self. It is only a formal awareness of the
activity of thinking, identical for all discursive intelligences. Since the
sensibility yields only appearances, we can know ourselves only as we
appear to ourselves, not as things in themselves. Although this too
seems paradoxical, the “I” of “I think” is neither an appearance nor a
thing in itself, but a condition of all thought.15

4. ka n t a nd inn ate i de a s: a new m odel
of t h e u nd e rs ta n di n g
When we compare Kant™s account of categories to previous theo-
ries, it is tempting to classify his view as a theory of innate ideas.
15 See chapter 12 of Allison, Kant™s Transcendental Idealism for a discussion of dif¬culties in the
notions of inner sense and apperception.
The Transcendental Deduction 133
After all, Kant agrees with the rationalists that the mind produces
representations whose content is not derived from sense experience.
Moreover, just as they believed that innate principles represented
necessary truths, Kant argues that the necessity of metaphysical and
mathematical knowledge can be traced to a priori concepts and intu-
itions. So readers are often surprised to ¬nd Kant explicitly rejecting
innate ideas in favor of a theory of “original acquisition” in his later
works. One famous passage occurs in the 1790 essay On a Discovery
whereby Any New Critique of Pure Reason Is To Be Made Super¬‚uous
by an Older One:
The Critique admits absolutely no implanted or innate representations. One
and all, whether they belong to intuition or to concepts of the understanding,
it considers them as acquired. But there is also an original acquisition . . .
According to the Critique, these are, in the ¬rst place, the form of things
in space and time, second, the synthetic unity of the manifold in concepts;
for neither of these does our cognitive faculty get from the objects as given
therein in-themselves, rather it brings them about, a priori, out of itself.
There must indeed be a ground for it in the subject, however, which makes
it possible that these representations can arise in this and no other manner,
and be related to objects which are not yet given, and this ground at least is
innate.16
To understand Kant™s position, we should begin with the claims char-
acteristic of innate or nativist theories of knowledge. As Falkenstein
points out, nativist theories deny one or both of two views main-
tained by empiricists: ¬rst, that all the original input to the mind is
derived from experience, and second, that the processes performed on
the original input result from past experience.17 Innate ideas philoso-
phers maintain that the mind contains original input and thus deny
the ¬rst view. Innate mechanisms philosophers claim that the mind
contains certain inborn processing mechanisms. The theory of innate
ideas typically includes these four claims:
1. The mind is the source of “innate” original input.
2. This original input can be recognized independently of sense expe-
rience.
3. The original input is the source of (innate) principles, which are
necessarily true.
4. These principles give us knowledge of things in themselves.
16 17
Theoretical Philosophy after 1781, 312. See Kant™s Intuitionism, 6“12, 91“6.
The Transcendental Deduction
134
Specifying these four theses allows us to contrast Kant™s theory with
the theory of innate ideas. Regarding both pure intuition and the
categories, Kant accepts 1 and 3, and rejects 2 and 4. As for 1, Kant
believes the mind “contains” innate input in the sense that the innate
capacities of sensing and thinking are the source of original represen-
tations. His view that no representations occur prior to experience,
however, commits him to rejecting 2. Kant also accepts 3, since one

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