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The Proof-Structure of Kant's Transcendental Deduction Author(s): Dieter Henrich Reviewed work(s): Source: The Review of Metaphysics, Vol.

22, No. 4 (Jun., 1969), pp. 640-659 Published by: Philosophy Education Society Inc. Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/20124942 . Accessed: 17/11/2011 15:24
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THE PROOF-STRUCTURE

OF KANTS TRANSCENDENTAL DEDUCTION


DIETER HENRICH

transcendental DEDUCTION of the categories is the very It contains of the Critique of Pure Reason. the two principal the possibility of a sys proofs of the book, the one demonstrating and the other the impossibility of experience tematic knowledge the limits of experience. con of knowledge Kant himself beyond new sidered and extremely this theory completely complicated; moreover that he had great difficulty in working he conceded out a satisfactory one his It two of is of the exposition theory. chapters heart which not more he rewrote surprising interpreters than any other text in the history of philosophy. In only are which from their context, pages, thirty-five easily separated the and presented Kant has formulated his most profound thoughts decisive stands foundation these for the second edition. completely that this deduction has preoccupied Thus it is

JL he

for his theory of knowledge. Whoever under a key to the understanding and pages possesses text is so complex But Kant's of the entire work. evaluation and to follow the line of argument elusive that it is difficult and to it the structure of a proof which could support the perceive within In view of this it has been of critical whole system philosophy. on to focus the their attacks deduction. Kant's for critics easy By who wish the same token it has been just as easy for philosophers to their own position, to read to make use of Kant as testimony no one has been Until now, however, their thoughts into his. text. which able to offer an interpretation agrees fully with Kant's over ver two of the is there still which Hence, controversy of the deduction deserves priority and whether indeed any can distinction them between be maintained that would go beyond of presentation and involve the structure of the proof questions sions itself. alone Schopenhauer fully expresses as well as many and Heidegger Kant's held that the first edition while unique philosophy, other Kantians, have only seen of presentation. Kant him a difference

self, in the method

DEDUCTION KANTS TRANSCENDENTAL

641

an attempt will be made to settle this conflict In the following, the shall advocate more than 150 years.1 We has which persisted a tenable edition second the thesis that only argument develops in this version corresponds more adequately and that the argument than does the specific structure of Kant's thought as a whole, with im most the contradicts This position that of the first edition. to re moreover it proposes of Kant; interpretations portant in a its reception and to guide of his work the meaning evaluate other than that of speculative direction Idealism, Neo-Kantianism, or Existential Philosophy.

I which, compared with controversy is two the of the value the debate editions, only of minor as leads it insofar is relevant here ultimately yet which importance, the it to be answered: and allows back to this question namely, in the second of the proof the structure concerning controversy edition. seems to be of the deduction the conclusion In this edition We will treat first another over It is the task different passages. drawn twice in two completely the that to demonstrate a deduction transcendental of categories of ap are qualified to provide knowledge of our understanding a of us of to the in as they are given synthesis unity pearances, "Conse 20 reads: of section The conclusion (B 123). experience a given intuition is necessarily in manifold the subject to quently, does not seem to differ This conclusion the categories" (B 143). to which "the cate from the result of section 26, according . . . are . . . valid a of all for experience" objects priori gories

(B 161).
to see two proofs of the same proposition into direct That leads, however, edition. in section 21, which conflict with Kant's unequivocal explication are involved rather than two proofs, states that tAvo arguments, is tempted in the text of the second Thus one

1 scendental ed in

In

this paper Deduction. application

I shall An of

the

of the Tran the proof-structure discuss only involv and the problems of its premisses analysis in another be given will its conclusion paper.

642
and
of the

DIETER HENRICH
that the proof of these together constitute a beginning in the above proposition is made
concepts . . . ." "In what follows,

the

"Thus will

deduction. of a deduction
further'

pure

'something

of the a priori "Only thus, by demonstration in our of the of senses, will validity respect of all objects categories the purpose of the deduction be fully attained" We can (B 145). now formulate a criterion for a successful of the interpretation text of the deduction whole in this way: the interpretation must show that, contrary to the initial impression that the two conclu on the contrary, define sec sions merely the same proposition, be shown tions 20 and 26 offer two arguments results, and that these together We shall dental deduction.
two-steps-in-one-proof.

. . . ."

with different significantly a yield single proof of the transcen call this task the problem of the

In previous this problem commentaries has been either pro or over nounced else passed insoluble in silence.2 The better assurance claim that Kant's commentaries that his deduction pre sents two steps in one proof cannot be taken seriously, and that we to read the text as two distinct and complete proofs. on the basis of this double-proof theory merit We shall call them the interpretation to according 4 and the to Adickes/Paton interpretation according Erdmann/ 5 and shall examine them in that order. de Vleeschauwer are compelled Two proposals our attention.3 made 1. himself In the preface distinguished to the first edition of the Critique, Kant an objective and a subjective side of the

for instance, of Pure Reason on Kant's Commentary 3 In recent English Cf., Critique discussion of view in the 4 pp. first Erich of which this

Norman (London, Critique

Kemp 1918), of Pure on and Wolff der Kant's

Smith,

p. 289; Reason the

publications Bennett problem. on it. does not focus of the Deduction. Kants James Kritik Paton,

on Kant's Commentary and A. C. Ewing, A Short 120. 1967), p. (Chicago, one does not a find Critique A are writing from a point almost exclusively (Berlin, 1889),

Strawson

is interested reinen

edition Adickes, Herbert

Vernunft

(Lon vol. I, p. 501. 1936), 5 Kants Benno Kritizismus in der 1. und 2. Auflage der Erdmann, der reinen Kritik Herman de Vleeschauwer, "La 1878); Vernunft (Leipzig, l' uvre de Kant," in Werken d?duction transcendentale dans uitgegeven en Letteren door de Faculten der Wijsbegeerte vol. 3, pp. 24 1937), (Ghent, Metaphysic of Experience don, et seq.

139-140;

DEDUCTION KANTS TRANSCENDENTAL


deduction (A XVI).

643

side makes the validity of the The objective the their relation to categories intelligible, subjective investigates the cognitive faculties in us which must be presupposed if these
categories are to be used. According to Kant one can also dis

that the cate aspects and the how have demonstration gories validity, they attain Adickes and Paton this that distinction be propose validity. to in order understand of the division the deduction into employed two arguments: section 20 completes the proof of objective valid tinguish these ity, section
tion.

two

as the demonstration

26 demonstrates

the

subjective

conditions

of applica

of being able to invoke in its proposal has the advantage statements fundamental certain Kantian about the deduc support tion?but there is no further evidence for it. For it is clear that cannot be applied to the structure of the second ver the proposal In section 21 Kant clearly stated that the of the validity of the categories would demonstration be completed in section 26 (B 145). The title and conclusion of this section can be read in no other way. no And the text itself contains of our cognitive reflections about the interconnection faculties. sion of the deduction. The little word a psychological can indicate the distinction between "how," which a and an epistemological investigation, subjective and an objective In this deduction, only appears incidentally. we see must shall that it be understood context, however, quite of Erdmann the second and de Yleeschauwer version of the likewise

This

differently. 2. The proposal to understand attempts deduction time with

transcendental

the help of another observation of Kant's?this of a distinction in the first version of the deduction. made

In two corresponding trains of thought, Kant here elaborates the can be developed between relation the categories, which from and sensible the He self-consciousness, given representations. them as the demonstration distinguishes "from below." In this way he implies faculties, the highest of which between "from above" and that a hierarchy of cognitive and the lowest

sensibility?extremes a relation establishes the two proofs move

is the understanding which the faculty

of possible coordination, in opposite directions.

of imagination and between which

644
It seems pretation de Yleeschauwer deduction deduction of quite natural the second propose above," below."

DIETER HENRICH
to apply this distinction to the And indeed edition. Erdmann that section 20 be understood while section 26 is to be regarded inter and as a as a

"from "from

is in better agreement with the text of sec This proposal has supplied tion 26, which the decisive the arguments against of Adickes and Paton. For here Kant interpretation actually from proceeds of imagination, the achievement of the faculty intuition, mentions and comes then to speak of the unity in the forms can be reached only through and of intuition, which the categories a the in virtue the unification of manifold consciousness of by the two parts of the deduction remain Nevertheless (B 160). reason: this for the struc the following unexplained proposal by ceived

ture of the first argument in section 20 can in no way be con as a deduction "from above"?and thus as a process which of section 26 insofar as its proof must differs from the argument In section 20, just as in the opposite be constructed sequence. intuition in section 26, the manifold of a sensible is mentioned can assume the charac Then it is shown that the manifold first. ter of a unitary representation only if it is subject to the categories. that a given intuition can become Thus both arguments establish a unitary of the intellectual functions representation only when are applied or not to it. Now as to whether the understanding as a deduction can properly be understood "from this argument to it possible in no way make below" : the forms of these proofs distinction between the considerations of the draw a meaningful
two sections.

of the only proposed interpretations?not assurance that there is one only they depart from Kant's two to find two dis and instead in steps attempt proof presented can their arguments because tinct proofs, but also and primarily no two of the between the distinction useful offer explanation Hence the failure because
proofs.

We should
the

must avoid

search both of

of these

for another errors

understanding port,

the proof

of the text. It interpretation as far as possible and seek an of the deduction that would require
Moreover, it cannot derive sup

two-steps-in-one-proof

thesis.

as do the proposals

just discussed,

from Kant's

observations

DEDUCTION KANTS TRANSCENDENTAL

645

about the structure of the proof of the deduction, for they are valid only in the context of the first edition. Kant always allowed somany different trains of thought to influence him in formulating never is it to employ his com his central arguments that possible related them to the passage of the ments unless he has explicitly text in question. II But now, from the propositions a proposal which will can develop Its plausibility steps-in-one-proof. makes of sections solve 20, 21, and 26, we of the two the problem stems from the fact that it

of the text which must be many peculiarities intelligible all other neglected by proposals. to the fact that the result Kant obviously attached importance a restriction: he established of the proof in section 20 contains are subject to the categories insofar as they, as intui He indicates this restriction tions, already possess unity (B 143). in the "in indefinite the article very clearly by writing expression an intuition" Einer with the letter first (in Anschauung) capitaliz that intuitions

the translator, has misunderstood this Smith, that Kant wanted to imply that some single intuition was subject to the categories. This interpretation, how in the course of the proof. ever, leads to no meaningful emphasis in German the indefinite article Unlike (ein) and the English, same root. the This word unity made it possible have (Einheit) ed. hint.6 He Kemp believes to express through the capital letter not the distinctness as opposed to others intuition any arbitrary (singularity), rather its inner unity. for Kant The result of but

Norman

of the proof in section 20 is therefore valid only for those intuitions which That is: wherever already contain unity. can be thought there is a relation which there is unity, according to the categories. does not yet clarify This statement, however, can be found. for us the range ivithin which intuitions unitary The restriction that part of section
6 mentator,

of the proof in section 20 is then discussed in 21 which makes reference to section 26. Here

Cf.

160 p. he could

of not

his find

which also shows translation, that, sense text (cf. note 2 above). in Kant's

as

com

646

DIETER HENRICH

in section 20 will be it is announced that the restriction just made overcome of section 26, i.e., the second part of in the paragraphs are valid for all objects the deduction will show that the categories And this is what of our senses takes place. (B 161). actually The deduction ing: wherever the categories we have intuitions which of space and time, however, sentations at the same time include everything that contain unity and which can be present to our senses. of For indeed the representations our time have their in forms and of the space origin sensibility, outside no representations of which therefore be sure that every given subject to the categories. At can be given to us. We can manifold without is exception reason is carried out with the help of the following we find unity, this unity is itself made possible by and determined in relation to them. In our repre

this point the aim of the proof of the deduction has been as to the deduction seeks the un insofar demonstrate attained, can be the for restricted of which categories validity everything meaningfully to experience. which arise Perceptions, cannot to be and which determinate erratically repeated according a coherent and systematic knowl rules, would not make intelligible The only conceivable result of a limited edge of experience. a our be diffuse and dis for sense-data would ordering capacity related continuous sequence of perceptions. It is certainly extraordinary
conscious and thereby

to claim
our

that
own

our

capacity
repre

for

making

unifying

sensuous

sentations ability whole

its conceiv should perhaps only be limited. However, result of the fundamental of the is an immediate argument our consciousness the It that is has Critique. implied Everything accessible of which to us Ave can through media on this consciousness. Accord

of being "empty." peculiarity must become become conscious which do not

depend immediately must be under ing to Kant, it is for this reason that consciousness neces whose thus always a mafciru/-conscious stood as an activity, us name causes to the it this "I." inner But sary give activity unity that something is present in the first place always presupposes can be is to be made Thus our consciousness conscious. which a "passive," only together with and in certain distinct respects opposed it can encounter intuitions sciousness; found is receptive faculty, which to the spontaneity of con "before all only as given

DEDUCTION KANTS TRANSCENDENTAL


consciousness." deduction with Kant reformulates

647

the task of the transcendental

to this very distinction: it must demon reference are capable of taking up something strate that categories given into the unity of consciousness. very well be "Appearances might so constituted should not find them to be in that the understanding If that is of its unity" the conditions (B 123). such a disproportion it can also be asked whether can be excluded and givenness for all or consciousness with then

accordance possible, between

The difference between only for part of the given appearances. between also defines the difference the these two possibilities result of the proof of the first and that of the second step of the
deduction.7

Ill
need not recur at every level in the analysis of This question of our knowledge. It could be that considerations the conditions are possible establish that the alter such as would rather quickly deduction has to deal are the transcendental natives with which : not three-termed but rather only two-termed that therefore either
no sensuous representations or else all sensuous representations are

familiar by the categories. Anyone capable of being determined with Kant's work will suspect that Kant had good reason to assert this. But this amounts to saying that Kant also had an alternative the proof of the transcendental of constructing deduction, way he actually used in the second edition. other than the one which he takes into account the possibility of a For in this construction merely partial ability of the understanding He excluded sensible representations. to establish it only because unity we in the do in

7 Tenbruck clusion

There

(Torino, the "how" connection cannot And

on the Transcendental was a thesis Deduction by Friedrich never came to the con which close 1944) (Marburg, published, of this di Kant Pietro La Deduzione section. Chiodi, nell'Opera an attempt to bring the problem of 1961), pp. 245 et seq. makes (section so that 26) with together the two that of the "that" (section 20) into a necessary one one But of arguments. chain they build on two problems. sections the basis of these account of Kant's formal and intention is highly expressed in the language of the Transcendental

distinguish Chiodi's moreover, cannot abstract and be itself.

Deduction

648

DIETER HENRICH

of space and time and therefore fact have unitary representations can also of sense. all representations unify we can that Kant himself was actually demonstrate Fortunately could also conscious of the fact that the transcendental deduction His pupil Johann quite differently. Sigismund in the year 1793 to publish a selection from Kant's On the title page he was able to announce that this was writings.8 own advice. Kant was interested in making being done on Kant's a competent which could used for also be available commentary be constructed Beck undertook But when Beck published the third part of his selections lectures. a funda to undertake in the year 1796, he considered it necessary in to from mental order which the standpoint investigation specify was come to the to He had be evaluated. Kant's Critique actually a false estimate of that the structure of the book promoted opinion to begin with it would be necessary the to in order the the avoid understanding, productive activity to speak of "given con that Kant really wanted misunderstanding of which In us." and affect Beck's opinion all this "objects cepts" an to talk was traditional and accommodation doctrine only Kant's doctrine. Thus of constituted concessions for the purpose of an introduc preliminary With the this Beck approached, tion into system. interpretation, Fichte's conviction. somewhat philosophical belatedly,

to approve this. But Naturally Kant could not bring himself in Beck and in the effect of his writings, since he was interested he to consider was more willing alteration Beck's of the proposed cases. in comparable In a letter to than was his custom Critique Tief trunk, he tried to show approximately what Beck's colleague assume an in the form altered presentation.9 Thus Critique might an alternative we see that Kant himself at one time proposed to the transcendental It must the unity
8

deduction

of the

second

edition. for to

as rules of the categories the doctrine begin with of a possible universal consciousness?corresponding

Erlaeuternder

Auszug

aus

Kants

kritischen

Schriften,

vol.

(Riga,

1793);

der Wissen Kants ed. Preussische Akademie Schriften, gesammelte to Tieftrunk llth 1797 and the vol. Dec. Briefwechsel, 3, letter schaften, of this letter in vol. 4, pp. 468 et seq. first sketch 5 of Kants in the Further in vol. Nachlass evidence handschriftlicher same edition, reflections 6353 and 6358.

vol. 3 (Riga, 1796).

DEDUCTION KANTS TRANSCENDENTAL


sections

649

16-18 of the second edition. Then it must demonstrate a priori are order in that intuitions that the categories presupposed can be applied at all to given sensuous intuitions. This becomes one considers can only be con that the categories evident, when as can under Without which be ceived operators they applied. an a such of application essential moment of their mean possibility of a priori concepts The meaning such as the ing is missing. a priori. can only be accessible But the only possibility categories a priori for the categories of securing ameaning is their application a to a form of sensible intuition?the is only priori element which of their application in the domain to sensible given conceivable ness. If there is no a priori intuition, then there is no employment can only be applied at all. Now the categories of the categories as they grasp this form itself as a are For else but forms categories unitary representation. nothing And by virtue of this, the application of synthesizing into a unity. to all sensuous is also assured. of the categories representations can be given independently For no sensible intuitions of the forms a priori to intuition insofar of sensibility,
categories.

which,

in turn,

are completely

subordinate to maintain of the mere

to the that the

By reasoning result Kant attains

it is possible in this way in section 26 on the basis

of unitary of space and givenness representations condition of every employment derived as a necessary of the cate In with transcendental accordance the deduction this, gories. can no longer be carried through in terms of those two steps of are characteristic of the second version. the proof which for retaining proof makes basis In the same context, the proof Kant also indicated the reasons however, of the second edition: construction this use of the synthetic method, on it the i.e., proceeds are initially of the Critique of the fact that two doctrines doctrine The has of the cate step of to the and the doctrine second recourse

fact of the time can be

conducted according then the necessity of the forms of intuitions to analytical method, This would then be followed by would first have to be justified. we an Aesthetic forms showing which really have at our disposal.

of one another?the developed independently as functions of unity in self-consciousness gories of space and time as given representations. to the synthetic method the proof according as to facts. If it were results of the Aesthetic

650
Only then could that the deduction

DIETER HENRICH
be completed. But Kant was of the "did not have the clarity and facility" of the synthetic method.10 And this is the reason to consider Beck's proposed him unable construction this method Kant

opinion characteristic

to make his always had the tendency and, consequences by virtue of its theoretical theory convincing as far as possible, to reduce to a of its foundations analysis He was intent upon changing the entire method minimum. of instruction and upon securing of his the convictions philosophical and the He not did age against against dogmatists skepticism. for application he would this pressure foresee that through disillu minds and drive sion the best speculative his students among them to other paths. IV The methods papers documenting for a transcendental Kant's deduction ten years. reflections on the different

which made as an improvement.

edition postdate course to Of it almost is of the Critique by possible to for a deduction the show that all the ideas necessary according to him when he available had been already analytical method mean not But this the does the first edition of Critique. published as he composed the second edition, the that he had in mind, one a to of deduction and according advantages disadvantages the second or the other method, on the basis and of that he such the synthetic chose expressly a comparison. text of the The for such an interpretation. Within his book, the given to the synthetic method according to him construction allowed This already

method

Critique provides no support Avhich Kant the structure a of construction advantages were

had

in any case obvious. the of critical philosophy, the two fundamental positions ground in knowl sensible a priori and the active role of the understanding of a single then to unite them by means edge, separately?and
argument.

But the proof into two


10

there were

still other

reasons which

induced

him

to argue

of the deduction steps. Besides

and to divide it accordingly synthetically the objective the task of proving validity
471.

Briefwechsel,

vol.

4, p.

DEDUCTION KANTS TRANSCENDENTAL


of the categories, Kant

651

to the deduction the task of also assigned to of the the relating understanding possibility intelligible making must not with the other of task be confused This sensibility.11 to the Critique, when he Kant speaks in the first preface which from of the side the deduc the objective subjective distinguishes is an deduction There he says that the subjective tion (A XVI). the possibility of those cognitive faculties upon which investigation means rests. the of a functional of understanding knowledge by of than the explanation strives for more Such an investigation of knowl the whole It seeks to elucidate apparatus possibility. a The of if in summary. explanation possibility only edge, a difficulty which to remove arises out of the proposes merely itself: it assumes of critical philosophy pure categories problem are originally that these categories and then declares, however, intuition. Given the accepted related to sensible essentially seems mysterious and this relation idea of an a priori concept, of be shown that the meaning And thus it must inconceivable. can be so stipulated an a priori concept that it refers necessarily and to intuition. sent And This form. cannot
another.

it must the given

further

the fact that

intuition

concepts. another intuition


to one

explanation It has then even be

can repre on such depends essentially can in of possibility also be given as well as to show that categories be shown how one independently
demonstration

thought
the

of their
of the

relation
necessity

Moreover,

of a relation atical question It is well avoid

between

them can provide an answer to the problem of their relations. the possibility concerning to in the second edition known that Kant sought

But of the so-called deduction. subjective for an explana that he neglected the demand To to intuitions. the categories of relating tion of the possibility to distinguish the two between be sure, Kant used the same words in the proof of the validity of the categories: involved questions are subject to is a proof that the intuitions deduction the objective and the ex both the subjective deduction while the categories, the problems that does not mean are investigations of how they do this. of possibility planation Adickes and Paton But they are still two distinct investigations. For this reason they were oblig have overlooked this distinction.
11 B 159: "We have now to explain the . . . ."

possibility

652
ed to consider it clearly was however,

DIETER HENRICH the second step of the proof to be something which a subjective not: deduction. At the same time, one may very well as an ex read the whole deduction to intuition. two requires the nature of

of relating the categories of the possibility planation Such an explanation, like the proof of validity, First it must be shown what steps of explanation. a category is, given actually to a synthesis time related that such categories shown the fact that of intuition. can exercise

it is always at the same And it must then be

in functions synthetic can be given These two parts of the explanation intuition itself. at the same time with the two steps of the validity proof, according are valid without to which in One limitation. general categories the two investigations. For cannot blame Kant for not separating must that the proof of the validity of the categories it is easily shown of the possibility enter into the explanation of their relation to intuition. Kant At the only place where the two separates was one a to from he another, propose compelled investigations 12 to to of which fails strict has demands: he proof satisfy validity that we are in possession proceed at this point from the assumption a priori judgments of synthetic all objects of sensibility concerning stand beyond all doubt in virtue of their judgments But this was natural sciences. the in mathematical employment And it is which Hume called into question. very presupposition and that these Kant's with to have answered of Hume's assault the radicalism merit a correspondingly For this radical founding of knowledge. that did not incorporate into the Critique he ultimately reason, form of a deduction which of possibility. avoids every explanation find in the second edition

WTiat we

is a proof of the validity of the of the is at one and the same time an explanation categories which a to their relation which avoids of sensibility, proof possibility of an analysis of the cognitive faculties. taking up the problems And this is equally true of both steps of the deduction?not merely Adickes and Paton regard as a subjective of its second part, which deduction.
12 to to Kant's it starts from Foundations an indubitable an

Cf.

the

note

the

introduction

of Science. fact, which introduction and the note

Like is, into may

the Prolegomena to the according the be Critique. ignored here.

Metaphysical as science legitimate between

Prolegomena, differences The

only within the Prolegomena

DEDUCTION KANTS TRANSCENDENTAL


For an understanding must be borne of the

653

of the functions text, both of the But the deduction validity proof for a deduction. remains fundamental of the categories always the restric in section 26, overcomes The second step of the proof, effort is required But considerable tion still in effect in section 20. For it is not presented to recognize this second step. separately in mind. himself of possibility, and Kant part of the explanation the argument when adds to the difficulty of understanding that the unity in the representa he declares, with great emphasis, can none is be other than that which tions of space and time from the second

is the categories.13 This statement, however, through thought 20 of an of and the conclusion section of the result application only a step of the proof nor a sup It contains neither of section 26. to It is simply misleading of explanation possibility. plementary an so stress the of an actual conclusion much that give application is lost sight of. argument V it has still not been all these considerations never the actual structure clarified Kant why presented sufficiently or never even indicated it un of his proof in a clearer manner a to reconstruct been it from We have able only equivocally. But text which them the undue second circumstance constantly other elements and at times gives reason can A be given for this further emphasis. a about leads into fundamental which consideration involves to the first. of the deduction and its relation seems to suggest that he has completed are that all sensible the deduction representations 16 Kant argument expressed The unity at this point makes I say that a when even with

version of

Already the proof

in section

Kant's subject to the categories. use of an analysis of the meaning is my representation. representation

of apperception is to me." of the meaning of "belongs definition For the original All "I" or "I think." this unity is indicated by the expressions are therefore mine as they are bound insofar representations But Kant now extends in the unity of self-consciousness. together the meaning
13 B 161:

of "mine"

further,

namely,
can be no

to include

all representa
. . . ."

"This

synthetic

unity

other

than

654
tions which grounds tions ours for can be united this extension. in self-consciousness. For we do actually

DIETER HENRICH
There call are good

in virtue of the fact that we can become And there is no better criticism to us. they belong a consciousness with tion of representations than
experience them as its own representations.

representa that conscious that it

for the associa the fact it leads which also because

can

This in the

extension extensive

to the more

For is equivocal nevertheless. thesis that all representations a being are to that degree

easily arise already

of sensibility conscious potentially

every representations. Precisely one is to Kant, a sensibility, consciousness presupposes, according to describe this sensibility itself as "his" sensibility and tempted must then further to assume that all given sensible representations This would mean that they are to be also to that extent be "his." defined as possible contents of his consciousness. And, by proceed be completed this deduction would in the transcendental way, ing as a result of a simple semantic of how word "mine" the analysis sense are in the "mine" For if all given representations is used. that they can be taken up into then that means precisely indicated, in accordance with the categories. the unity of consciousness to the prob be an astonishingly That would simple solution as the deepest tran in the whole lem which Kant had announced of meaning on a shift it rests, as is obvious, Actually philosophy. distinct from is "mine." in the expression Sensibility me can to I if And if self-consciousness. something belongs only as as it is then available take it up into consciousness, long only scendental but only it is not at all "mine"; to be taken up into consciousness, this relation It makes no difference whether "in relation to me." If the limits of my consciousness' is public or private. capacity its entering my to take something consciousness, up precludes "mine" in the strict sense of the word. it Avould also never become Kant was certainly from he refrains remain this aware of this distinction. saying inaccessible that there could be At an important at be no intuition He affirms for me"

point all Avhich would only that

to consciousness. then

"nothing representation that Kant did not seriously also be noted But it must (B 132). not merely assume that there could be such representations?and it be construed whether in virtue of the proof of the deduction, according to the analytical or the synthetic method. He

would

did not

DEDUCTION KANTS TRANSCENDENTAL


see with sufficient clarity

655

talk about "my" the result of the proof of the deduc which anticipate propositions on the the deduction tion and at the same time make dependent of "I am conscious mere "mine": semantic analysis of the word of representations the self as identical with respect to the manifold I call them one and because that are given to me in an intuition, one them as constituting and so apprehend all my representations, a priori to saying that I am conscious This amounts intuition. of a necessary synthesis of representations?to be entitled

of the word "mine" in the homonymy was to assert He thus able representations.

the

all repre which original synthetic unity of apperception?under In the stand . . ." (B 135). that are given to me must sentations in order first edition Kant made use of an even poorer argument In the second the same conclusion to make (A 120). convincing that he could not free himself recognize he does not rely upon them also but that from such arguments, reason stated that he never expressly And for this confidently. Instead he assures the deduction already takes place in section 16. edition one can clearly us that
word

(B 145).
the

both it requires And they make


"mine."

we have analyzed of the steps which no use at all of the semantic analysis of it was no accident The that Kant was upset occurs if inevitably difficulty as a point of departure. Its

One

could

show

that

by the ambiguity one takes his doctrine distinctive

of this word.

of consciousness cannot be examined here. features, however, to see that this it ismore For the present discussion important tAvo editions in the to different led consequences difficulty entirely for This difficulty is at least partly responsible of the Critique. the second edition deduction If we an external form which we is con

giving

can, take the necessary fusing and misleading. pains, is convincing in the find an argument there which nevertheless there context of Kant's philosophy. In the first version, however, can dispense with the misleading from is no proof which argument the double meaning of "mine." One can easily see this if one is indis that thought which second edition's into two of the proof division pensable of space and time them steps: the idea that the representations a synthesis which selves presuppose that is includes everything over in them. To be took Kant from the this idea sure, given edition for the tries to rediscover in the first

656
first edition, but function. There (A 99, at the same it occured

DIETER HENRICH time he gave it an entirely different to the proof only in the introduction It seeks to clarify the fact that our cognitive

107). 101/2, more in something consists than empirical and powers of combination which could only be investigated principles by An a priori is also involved. association-psychology. synthesis process which of this is given in our representations of space and time, a priori synthesis. be understood without And this kind of synthesis leads to the philosophical question concerning the conditions of this argument Kant of its possibility. By means Evidence cannot thus

in the first edition in terms of those principles introduces a is to be given. which transcendental In the second deduction itself. edition it has become an essential part of the deduction difference between the proofs of Thus there is a substantial in the manner and not merely of and the second editions, can understand as Kant himself believed. We why presentation, to see this distinction. For even in the he himself was unable second edition he did not yet altogether give up the inadequate the first for the proof of that had been absolutely indispensable argument still But as long as incompatible the first edition. proof-strategies to affect Kant's conception of the argument, he was not continued of of the actual structure able to give an unequivocal presentation the proof and to distinguish a transcendental tions which A careful the same time. it clearly from the many related inten has to take into account at deduction

stylistic analysis of the second edition his language in section 20 and that reveals that Kant has modified the first the for reaches time he paths of the deduction thereby which was to offer a cogent argument.

VI We has have noted that the proof of the second edition previously over a possible that line of argument analytical to the structure it has of the Critique. Now

the advantage it is better suited

with the proof of the first that, in comparison apparent more of being a for it also has the edition, significant advantage But these are not the only reasons for believ mally correct proof. is more in the that Kant's thinking expressed appropriately ing become

KANTS TRANSCENDENTAL DEDUCTION


second
a

657
of the proofs yields

version

of the deduction.
conclusion.

An analysis

far more

general

mends

recom if it were only the structure of the book which one could, with the proof of the second edition, Beck, an alternative for and external the thus suggest shape Critique a change in the form of its central argument. In point of fact, the second deduction not only is in complete however, agreement Now the structure idea based of the book about but also with philosophical
system.14

with

the methodology

Kant's fundamental a of philosophical

Kant

of self-consciousness. this principle. in developing

this system on the unifying of the unity principle All its propositions must be deducible from But the method of this derivation does not consist implications it specifies from the the

of self concept of the presuppositions of self-consciousness. this of the existence possibility By using one can come to a knowledge of conditions al method, which, are not in the structure of self-conscious though they already given ness itself, must precisely in virtue of this structure be presupposed consciousness. analytical Instead
if a self-consciousness is to become actual.

of argument is distinctively It com Kantian. bines two propositions which may be regarded as the two formal tenets of the Kantian be a unifying there must system: principle in terms of which knowledge can be understood; yet this principle must not entail amonistic exclusion of all other principles ; it must take into account the discovery of the essential difference in the roots of our knowledge a raisonnement and make possible which their underivable presupposes synthesis. method This of argumentation is just as distinct from as of it is from those doctrines empiricism faculty-psychology the universal position the of

This manner

of the Ego which transformed Kant's implications into that of speculative idealism. lacked any Empiricism

The form of idealism which was historically no concept of an essential unity of originally distinct elements. transcendental deduction?but Kant's only in its second version?contains such a concept, it is not although of unity. principle so influential had
14 D. "Zu Kants der Philosophie," in Kritik und Meta

Henrich,

Begriff

physik, Festschrift

f?r Heinz Heimsoeth

(Berlin, 1966), pp. 40 et seq.

658

DIETER HENRICH

It proceeds, to a albeit with difficulty, fully developed. according which method of proof is oriented by this concept. a clear If one succeeds in reaching of this understanding one possesses the key to an understanding of Kant which method, is independent of his specific formulations. But what is more one to will able be those understand important, problems which : the struc remained insoluble for Kant as well as for his successors ture of consciousness, of moral knowledge, and of temporal

experience.

It was Kant worked method.

only very late in his philosophical out a balance between the two

that development elements of such a

First he realized the necessity of assuming distinct prin of whose interrelation is Later he knowledge necessary. ciples the unitary principle in terms of which discovered such relations must be interpreted. Under the influence of this discovery, how ever, he maintained which transcended than a decade plans for a deduction the capacity of the unifying and which principle his him into contradiction with earlier Thus, brought discovery. one can show that his moral was freed for example, philosophy from self-consciousness extensive claims of a deduction from more and assumed for more

form only shortly before the appearance its ultimate Practical the Reason.15 The change in the concep of of Critique a deduction tion of transcendental fully to this develop corresponds con ment. is certainly not the weakest And this correspondence firmation of these Kant himself which of the proposed interpretation. did not reach a clear understanding And he withheld from his readers of the nature

the clarity changes. he actually did possess for strategic reasons. Thus one can the coherence of his not blame his successors if, unable to discover to seek the spirit of critical philosophy in that they began a philosophic him of Kant nature of the which system conception In any case they were dismissed. self had just recently right texts,

15

This

is

shown der "Das

in Einsicht

various und

articles Kants im der Sein neueren

of Lehre

der sittlichen Begriff in: Die Gegenwart and pp. 77 et seq.; im et spekulativen seq.

mine, among vom Faktum Denken der

them: der

"Der

Vernunft"

Griechen Problem in

Idealismus"

Grundlegung und Ethos

1960), (T?bingen, und Ethik bei Kant 1963), pp. 350

(Mainz,

DEDUCTION KANTS TRANSCENDENTAL


insofar closed as the peculiar by autonomous content of critical

659

completed

philosophical But the solution today. of the transcendental interpretation effort has to be directed.

is only dis philosophy This task is still un of the enigma involved in an effort. deduction shows where this

University

of Heidelberg.