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Idealistic Studies

Volume 50, Issue 3, Fall 2020

Christian Martin
Pages 233-259

Kant on Concepts, Intuitions, and the Continuity of Space

This paper engages with Kant‘s account of space as a continuum. The stage is set by looking at how the question of spatial continuity comes up in a debate from the 1920s between Ernst Cassirer and logical empiricist thinkers about Kant‘s conception of spatial representation as a pure intuition. While granting that concrete features of space can only be known empirically, Cassirer attempted to save Kant‘s conception by restricting it to the core commitment of space as a continuous coexistent manifold. Cassirer did not however come up with a transcendental argument for spatial continuity. The paper presents such an argument by providing a reading of Kant‘s from which it transpires that Kant does not simply rely on supposed into the continuity of space. It is by way ofinstead that we can know space to be continuous and Kant’s distinction between intuitions and concepts does hinge on such knowledge.

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