Kant's Transcendental Deduction

Kant's Transcendental Deduction

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Alison Laywine
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In this book, Alison Laywine considers the mystery of the Transcendental Deduction in Immanuel Kant's Critique of Pure Reason (1781). What is it supposed to accomplish and how? Laywine argues that Kant's peculiar adaptation of his early account of a world is the key to this mystery. Collecting evidence from the Critique and other writings by Kant--in order to identify what he took himself to be doing on his own terms--she holds that Kant deliberately adapted elements of his early metaphysics both to set the agenda of the Deduction and to carry it out. Laywine highlights how the most important metaphysical element in Kant's thought was his early account of a world; a world is not just the sum-total of all substances created by God, but a whole unified by the universal laws of community prescribed by God that externally relate any given substance to all others. From this conception of a world, Kant then extracted a way to conceive key elements in the Deduction: experience as the whole of all possible appearances unified by the universal laws human understanding gives to nature.