Kantian Journal

2013 Issue №3(45)

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Maimon’s critique of I. Kant’s theory of analytic judge-ments



The article deals with Maimon’s critical reinterpretation of Kant’s theory of analytic judgments. Maimon contributed to the history of the German Idealism primarily through his criticism of Kant’s theoretical philosophy, which largely predetermined some ideas of Fichte and later exerted a certain influence on the thinkers of some very different schools (from Marburg Neo-Kantianism to Deleuze). Maimon’s attitude toward Kant’s views on the nature of analytic judgments underwent an essential change in the process of his theoretical evolution: while in “Essay on Transcendental Philosophy” (1790) he had generally agreed with the definitions given to them by Kant, in “Essay Towards a New Logic or Theory of Thought” (1794) he already accomplished a detailed criticism of Kant’s differentiation between analytic and synthetic judgments. According to Maimon, the definition given to analytic judgments by Kant deprived these judgments of the status of thinking at all, since it reduced them to the extraction of something, which the thinking had already ins erted in to the concept, from the same concept. Maimon proposed his own formulation of the difference between analytic and synthetic judgments, based on his theory of a real cognition as of a connection of a definable (subject) and a definition (predicate). According to this formulation, he defined analytic judgments as the ones in which thinking proceeded from a given definite to the definable that is contained in it. Therefore in his philosophy analytic judgments became full-fledged cognitive acts, which differed from the synthetic ones only in that they provided cognition not of some new objects, but of the ones which had already been thought of. Thereby Maimon substantially broadened the area of analytic judgments at the cost of the synthetic ones, which ultimately allowed him to reinterpret the relation of the formal and transcendental logic, and also to subject the formal logic itself to a thorough revision.


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