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  • Print publication year: 2020
  • Online publication date: August 2020

Chapter 7 - Transcendental Reflection

Summary

Chapter 7 analyzes the Appendix to the Transcendental Analytic entitled “On the Amphiboly of the Concepts of Reflection.” Using Leibniz’s monadology as a prism, Kant here seeks to account for the ultimate premises of his critique and intended reform of metaphysics. More specifically, the chapter conceives of this critique as a variety of transcendental reflection that is guided by four pairs of concepts, including sameness and difference. In order to contextualize this account, the chapter briefly discusses Wolff’s and Baumgarten’s treatment of these concepts. Commentators generally assume that the activity called transcendental reflection is carried out in the Critique of Pure Reason alone. The chapter argues, by contrast, that Kant distinguishes the version of transcendental reflection that informs the ontology of his predecessors from the critical version enacted in the Critique. On this basis, it outlines Kant’s understanding of the difference between a Leibnizian employment of the concepts of reflection and his own.