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Epistemic normativity in Kant's “Second Analogy”

Hutton, J; (2019) Epistemic normativity in Kant's “Second Analogy”. European Journal of Philosophy , 27 (3) pp. 593-609. 10.1111/ejop.12424. Green open access

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In the “Second Analogy,” Kant argues that, unless mental contents involve the concept of causation, they cannot represent an objective temporal sequence. According to Kant, deploying the concept of causation renders a certain temporal ordering of representations necessary, thus enabling objective representational purport. One exegetical question that remains controversial is this: how, and in what sense, does deploying the concept of cause render a certain ordering of representations necessary? I argue that this necessitation is a matter of epistemic normativity: with certain causal presuppositions in place, the individual is obliged to make a judgment with certain temporal contents, on pain of irrationality. To make this normatively obligatory judgment, the subject must place her perceptual representations in a certain order. This interpretation fits Kant's text, his argumentative aims, and his broader views about causal inference, better than rival interpretations can. This result has important consequences for the ongoing debate over the role of normativity in Kant's philosophy of mind.

Type: Article
Title: Epistemic normativity in Kant's “Second Analogy”
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1111/ejop.12424
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1111/ejop.12424
Language: English
Additional information: © 2018 The Authors. European Journal of Philosophy Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Arts and Humanities
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Dept of Philosophy
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10085382
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