The Idea of Transcendental Analysis: Kant, Marburg Neo-Kantianism, and Strawson

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In this paper, I shall discuss the assumption that Kant’s method in the Critique of Pure Reason is a transcendental analysis of experience. In order to do this, I will consider the conception of transcendental analysis that Marburg Neo-Kantianism powerfully introduced into Kant interpretation. I shall first develop a general model of transcendental analysis in the Marburg sense. I shall then ask whether this is a suitable model for the interpretation of the first Critique. Kant’s distinction between the analytic and synthetic method in the Prolegomena seems to contradict this, given that it is a distinction between two different mathematical methods of demonstration. However, I shall argue that any such reading is incompatible with the Critique, and that transcendental analysis is indeed a legitimate interpretative model for understanding Kant. I shall finally turn to Strawson’s conception of descriptive metaphysics, which has strong affinities to Kant and the Marburg school. Most importantly, Strawson helps us to understand three significant aims at which transcendental analysis is directed. Finally, comparing transcendental analysis to dominant conceptions of analysis in philosophy, I shall argue that it constitutes a variety of philosophical analysis sui generis.

Original languageEnglish
JournalBritish Journal for the History of Philosophy
Pages (from-to) 293-314
Number of pages22
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2019

    Research areas

  • Cohen, Kant, Strawson, Transcendental method, analysis

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