Reply to Michael Friedman


HENRY E. ALLISON | Kant’s Transcendental Deduction. An Analytical-Historical Commentary | Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015


By Henry Allison

I wish to thank Michael Friedman for both his extraordinarily rich discussion, which amounts to a commentary of his own on the B-Deduction, and his generous comments about the import of my own work. Given the detailed nature of his reading of the text, with much of which I am in agreement, I shall not here attempt to comment on his account as a whole, since that would require a reply of almost equal length to his. Instead, I shall focus first on what he suggests is our major point of disagreement, namely, the conceptual-non-conceptual issue, and then consider some of our more specific differences.  

In recent years, the contrast between conceptualist and non-conceptualist readings has become the great divide in interpretations of the Transcendental Deduction. And, as Friedman notes, the focal point of the dispute is the note that Kant attaches to the first paragraph of §26 of the B-Deduction. It reads: Read more


Reply to Alison Laywine


HENRY E. ALLISON | Kant’s Transcendental Deduction. An Analytical-Historical Commentary | Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015


By Henry Allison

At the close of her comments, Alison Laywine notes that she “had the luxury of focusing on just […] one” aspect of my book and she chose my conception of a normative necessity. Assuming that a respondent should focus on a single aspect of a work under discussion, she has certainly chosen correctly, since this is a focal point of my account. Accordingly, I gladly accept her invitation to say more on the topic, and I am grateful for the opportunity that this has provided to clarify my view.

To begin with, by normative necessity I understand the kind of necessity that Kant attributes to empirical judgements or, in the language of the Prolegomena, to judgements of experience. That Kant attributes a kind of necessity to such judgements, despite their empirical or a posteriori grounding is indisputable.  For example, in a passage cited by Laywine, Kant writes: Read more

Robert R. Clewis on Serena Feloj’s “Estetica del disgusto”


SERENA FELOJ | Estetica del disgusto. Mendelssohn, Kant e i limiti della rappresentazione | Carocci 2017


By Robert R. Clewis

Contemporary aesthetics continues to show great interest in negative aesthetic experiences, especially ugliness and disgust, with numerous books and articles recently appearing on both topics. While The Aesthetics of Disgust: Mendelssohn, Kant, and the Limits of Representation is best characterised as a study of the history of (eighteenth-century) philosophy, it is also informed by the contemporary debates in aesthetics and empirical psychology.

It is a stimulating study of how disgust (Ekel) has been developed in the work of Mendelssohn, Kant, and contemporary researchers. Feloj, who recently translated Winfried Menninghaus’s impressive study Ekel (1999), not only investigates the writings of Mendelssohn and Kant, but also examines recent work on disgust by psychologists (Paul Rozin, Jonathan Haidt, Clark McCauley) and phenomenologists (Aurel Kolnai) as well as Martha Nussbaum and Jacques Derrida. The book is divided into equal parts on Mendelssohn (pp. 21–81) and Kant (pp. 83–144), followed by a shorter, third part on contemporary philosophy and empirical research (pp. 145–67). Read more

A Discussion of Henry Allison’s “Kant’s Transcendental Deduction”


HENRY E. ALLISON | Kant’s Transcendental Deduction. An Analytical-Historical Commentary | Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015


By Alison Laywine

The new book by Henry Allison, under discussion here, is the result of an engagement over more than forty years with Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason. It is Allison’s first book-length treatment of the Transcendental Deduction: most welcome, indeed, because it is an opportunity for him to elaborate his understanding of the Deduction beyond the smaller compass of Part Two of Kant’s Transcendental Idealism: an Interpretation and Defense (2004). He carefully examines not just the presentation of the Deduction in the second edition of the Critique from 1787, but also that of the first edition from 1781. He supplements his examination with a careful review of Kant’s writings relevant to the Deduction in the six years between the two editions: not just the Prolegomena, but also Reflexionen 5923–35 and the famous note about the Deduction in the preface to the Metaphysische Anfangsgründe der Naturwissenschaft.

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