[LaPoM] Fwd: [MaFLa] invitation to a philosophy talk on`Kant's Case for the Syntheticity of Mathematical Judgments in the First Critique and Afterwards`

Laszlo E. Szabo leszabo at phil.elte.hu
Wed May 18 05:59:06 CEST 2011




----------  Forwarded Message  ----------

Subject: [MaFLa] invitation to a philosophy talk on`Kant's Case for the 
Syntheticity of Mathematical Judgments in the First Critique and Afterwards`
Date: Tuesday, May 17, 2011, 02:44:16 PM
From: "Krisztina Biber" <Biberk at ceu.hu>
To: whatson at ceu.hu, mafla at phil.elte.hu


The CEU Department of Philosophy cordially invites you to a talk 
by
Katherine Dunlop (Brown University)
on
`Kant's Case for the Syntheticity of Mathematical Judgments in the First
 Critique and Afterwards`
 
Friday, 3 June, 2011, 4.00 PM, Zrinyi 14, Room 411
 
ABSTRACT
In the _Critique of Pure Reason_, especially the "Doctrine of Method" portion, 
Kant seems to argue that mathematical judgments are synthetic  because they 
are justified by "pure intuition", where intuition represents  particulars (and 
pure intuition is a priori). 
But it is not easy to understand how representation of a particular can 
justify a priori  conclusions. In this paper, I develop a further reason to 
seek an another way to understand Kant's argument that mathematical judgments 
are synthetic. I show that the position Kant takes in the first Critique is 
vulnerable to objections made by followers of Christian Wolff in the 1790s. 
These opponents argued that the predicate of any mathematical judgment could 
be incorporated into an appropriate definition of its subject. The judgment 
would then be justified by conceptual analysis--without any contribution from 
intuition--and so would be analytic. Kant is vulnerable to the objection 
because he maintains that mathematical definitions are "arbitrary". I argue, 
however, that Kant has the resources to withstand the objection. Kant can 
argue that the definitions introduced by the Wolffians presuppose the same 
cognitive capacities used to prove the result in question, in particular, the 
capacity to construct figures in space. However, this cognitive power is not 
easily understood as representation of a particular, i.e., intuition as Kant 
defines it in the first Critique. Kant should instead maintain that definitions 
of concepts presuppose, on the part of the sensible faculty, general 
constructive abilities. I show that Kant indeed formulates his view this way 
in response to the Wolffians.
 
 

-----------------------------------------
-- 
L a s z l o  E.  S z a b o
Professor of Philosophy
DEPARTMENT OF LOGIC, INSTITUTE OF PHILOSOPHY
EOTVOS UNIVERSITY, BUDAPEST
http://phil.elte.hu/leszabo
_______________________________________________
LaPoM - Logic and Philosophy of Mathematics (Student and Faculty Seminar)
Department of Logic, Institute of Philosophy
Faculty of Humanities, Eotvos University, Budapest
http://phil.elte.hu/LaPoM



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