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A priori Synthesis

A priori Synthesis

(p.105) Chapter Two A priori Synthesis
The Powers of Pure Reason
Alfredo Ferrarin
University of Chicago Press

Chapter 2 deals with concepts and intuitions in both speculative and practical senses. It shows how Kant redefines the notion of form, which he contrasts with matter but not with content. In fact, form-content is what reason produces a priori. Objective reality, real definition, and transcendental synthesis are the various ways in which Kant refers to this productivity of reason as it affects itself purely. Kant wavers on the analytic or synthetic nature of metaphysics and transcendental philosophy and, through an analysis of the relation between mathematics and metaphysics, this chapter shows the reasons why. A distinction respectively of mathematical, empirical and transcendental concepts is key to the definition of the essence of concepts. Chapter 2 further discusses in detail the notion of ‘a priori’ and shows the novelty of this concept against interpretations that construe it as a subjective endowment or take it as temporal precedence. Finally, Chapter 2 discusses the relative independence of intuition from concepts by examining the relation between judgments of experience and of perception, the difference between receptivity and passivity, and the possibility of an experience unassisted by empirical concepts but not pure concepts.

Keywords:   productive reason, intuition vs concepts, mathematics, metaphysics, mathematical concepts, empirical concepts, pure concepts, a priori, pure intuition, empirical intuition

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