Date of Award
Master of Arts in Philosophy
The ultimate aim of this essay is to explicate and justify Kant's transcendental deduction of the category of causality. To put the matter simply, it seeks to show that there are causal relations. This is successfully accomplished 1f it can be shown, granting _ the empirical reality of time as a necessary condition of experience, that the empirical. reality of causal relations is a necessary condition of the empirical. reality of time.
This demonstration involves three steps. First, it is argued that the empirical reality of something permanent is a necessary condition of the empirical reality of time. (This is preceded by an argument for the claim that time is a necessary form of intuition). This follows from the fact that the intuitive representation of time involves the idea of a unity (i.e., time) which remains numerically identical despite the manifold of passing moments contained in it. It is then argued that the empirical reality of time involves the empirical. reality of a phenomenon which emood1es the property of numerical identity across time, and which, hence, is permanent. This is a fundamental contention of the "First Analogy.”
Secondly, it is argued that the empirical. reality of matter is a necessary condition of the empirical reality of something permanent. This argument centers on the notion of a numerically identical object to which different appearances may be related. It is concluded that the possession of spatial relations is a necessary condition of the possession of numerical identity, and further, that being in space makes possible the distinction between the (permanent) object and its representation. This contention is contained, in modified form, in the second edition "Refutation of Idealism."
Thirdly, it is argued that the empirical reality of causal relations is a necessary condition of the empirical reality of matter. Taking matter to be that which is capable of alteration, the argument focuses upon the concept of objective succession. It is contended that the concept of objective succession involves the notion of a necessary, or, irreversible sequence of representations, that is, a sequence determined by the object. Significantly, the necessity of this notion does not follow by virtue of an analysis of the given concept of objective succession, but rather, stems from the need to add, in synthetic manner, a scheme, or, "supporting intuition," which will render the concept "serviceable" in experience. The argument for causality is presented in the "Second Analogy."
By simple logical deduction, then, it is concluded that the empirical reality of causal relations is a necessary condition of the empirical reality of time. Given the fact of experience, and the empirical reality of time as its necessary condition, it follows necessarily that there are causal relations, which is what was to be proven.
Bower, Kenneth John, "A Student of Kant's "Second Analogy"" (1975). Open Access Master's Theses. Paper 1531.