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Jeremy Heis, University of California, Irvine

Visiting Russell Professor @ McMaster University

“Should Kant have Thought that Logic Was Complete Since Aristotle?”

Abstract: In the Critique of Pure Reason, Kant asserts that “Since the time of Aristotle, [logic]….has been unable to take a single step forward, and therefore seems to all appearance to be finished and complete” (Bviii). Though Kant has been severely criticized for this assertion, there has been (and continues to be) a minority contingent of Kant’s readers who believe that Kant’s own philosophy should have convinced him that something was amiss in traditional logic, and that a new, stronger logic was necessary. In this talk, I will argue that one version of this minority view — derived, with significant modifications from the Neo-Kantian Ernst Cassirer — is correct. My main argument depends on distinguishing the “logical structures,” from Kant’s point of view, of intuitions, schemata, and concepts. Since schemata are intermediaries between concepts and intuitions, Kant’s account of schematic structure has implications for his account of conceptual structure — the structures studied by pure general logic. I’ll look at two concrete cases of schematic structure to substantiate this claim: “real” definitions in mathematics, and “intuitive marks” in perception.


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Date(s) - November 6, 2015
3:30 pm - 5:00 pm

McMaster University, Kenneth Taylor Hall 109


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