Discussion Questions for the
Critique of Pure Reason, #2
For next time, you will be reading the
Introduction to the Critique and the Transcendental Aesthetic.
Both of these sections make important contributions to Kant's
1. In the Introduction, Kant makes two important distinctions.
The first is between analytic and synthetic judgments. What is
the basis for this distinction? Give an example of each type
2. The second distinction is between a priori and a posteriori
judgments. What is the basis of this distinction? Give an example
3. Why are synthetic judgments a priori especially important
for Kant? What types of judgment are of this type? Why is it
an important advance over Hume?
The Analogies are one important culmination
of Kant's argument about the conditions necessary for the possibility
of experience. In particular, in the second Analogy, Kant argues,
contra Hume, that experience is only possible if the principle
of causality applies, i.e., all events are caused. It is also
about the clearest argument there is in the Critique,
although you may not think that that amounts to very much. In
any case, you should study it carefully.
1. The three Analogies are supposed to be analogies with the
three modes of time. What are time's three modes and how to the
three categories of relation provide analogies to them?
2. In the first Analogy, Kant argues that substance must be conserved.
How does he support this contention? Why is it that there must
be a permanent in our experience?
3. The second Analogy discusses our apprehension of an event,
arguing that only if we conceive of an event as caused can we
justify claiming that we have perceived an event.
a. How does Kant define an event as an objective occurrance in
the phenomenal world?
b. What differentiates our apprehension of an event from our
apprehension of anything, since all of our apprehensions are
successive? I.e., how do we differentiate the apprehension of
a succession from the succession of our apprehensions?
c. What role does a causal law play in our apprehension of an
[Note: I've just tried to break down into its constituent moments
the analysis that Kant gives of causality in the second Analogy.]
4. The third Analogy concerns the category of coexistence. How
does Kant justify the claim that all substances are in "thoroughgoing