Kant on Causality

Béatrice Longuenesse

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter is divided into three sections. The first considers Kant's formulation of the problem of causality. It argues that Kant's questioning of the causal principle and his analysis of the concept of cause are best approached in light of his conception of logic, and more particularly in light of his conception of hypothetical judgments and hypothetical syllogisms. The second section considers Kant's proof of the causal principle in the Second Analogy of Experience. This relation provides an indispensable foundation for understanding Kant's argument on the conditions of time perception. However, the argument Kant provides does not appear to support the strong causal principle he claims to prove. This apparent discrepancy between Kant's claim and his actual argument in the specific context of the Second Analogy is a primary reason for the persisting disagreements about the meaning of the Second Analogy. The third section argues that Kant does provide an answer to the difficulty raised. This answer, however, relies not only on the discursive model of thought laid out in the first and second sections but also on Kant's conception of space and time as forms of intuition, as it emerges from the Transcendental Aesthetic and the Transcendental Deduction of the Categories.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationEarly Modern Philosophy
Subtitle of host publicationMind, Matter, and Metaphysics
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9780199835553
ISBN (Print)9780195177602
StatePublished - Jul 14 2005


  • Causal principle
  • Kant
  • Second analogy of experience
  • Space and time

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Arts and Humanities


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