SOPhiA 2017

Salzburgiense Concilium Omnibus Philosophis Analyticis

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Programme - Talk

The Status of Transcendental Logic in the Critique of Pure Reason
(History of Philosophy, English)

In this paper, I assess transcendental logic, arguably Kant's most important innovation in the Critique of Pure Reason, in terms of its relation to what he calls pure general logic (PGL). Kant famously defines logic as the science of the rules of the understanding, and he divides all ''logics'' into one of two mutually exclusive categories: general and special logics. A general logic concerns the necessary rules of thinking, but it ignores the nature of the objects at which our thoughts are directed. A special logic, on the other hand, contains the rules for thinking about a subclass of given objects. Many commentators have claimed that transcendental logic is a so-called special logic, thereby undermining its profound relation to PGL, with which it is often juxtaposed. I argue here that the relation between transcendental logic and PGL is analogous to that which exists between the categories of the understanding and the logical forms of judgment (which are equivalent if we ignore the manifold of intuition). I do this by discussing transcendental cognition and looking at the content with which it is concerned, as well as by examining how the categories of the understanding, which serve as the elements of transcendental logic, are necessary for our thinking about all kinds of objects in the logical (and not merely the real) sense. The upshot of all this is that, alongside PGL, transcendental logic must be a general logic. However, it is unique as a general logic in the sense that it is primary to PGL (i.e., PGL requires transcendental logic), and it also unique in the sense that it grounds all special logics.

Chair: Lucas Battich
Time: 12:25-12:55, 14 September 2017 (Thursday)
Location: SR 1.006

Alan Daboin 
(University Paris-Sorbonne, France)

I studied philosophy as an undergraduate at Columbia University in New York City and logic as a graduate student at the Sorbonne in Paris. My interests are mainly in the history of philosophy (particularly Kant and Hegel), but I also have a strong interest in contemporary epistemology and philosophy of mind.

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