Kant: A Very Short Introduction - Study Guide Chapter 3: The Transcendental Deduction Summary & Analysis

Roger Scruton
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Kant believed the fundamental question of metaphysics was how synthetic a priori knowledge is possible, if it is at all. Synthetic a priori knowledge, the reader will recall, is substantive knowledge (that is, something that is not true merely by definition) that can be attained without reference to experience. He approaches the question from two angles, the subjective and objective. The subjective argument is concerned with explaining the faculties of understanding themselves: what it means to hold a belief, the nature of perception, and so on. The objective argument, on the other hand, is concerned with the content of synthetic a priori knowledge.

The subjective argument begins at the most fundamental level: What are the prerequisites for experience? It should be noted that this question does not relate to the objects of perception, but of perception itself. This analysis...

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