Philosophical Physics by Vincent Edward Smith

By Vincent Edward Smith

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Concepts in Kant's Logic According to Kant, every concept has both matter and form. The matter of a concept is an object; its form is its generality. 'The origin of concepts as to mere form rests on reflection and abstraction from the difference of things that are designated by a certain representation' (Jdsche Logic § 5 § 91). The mere form of a concept, its logical origins, is a product of a process of reflection and abstraction of the differences of things designated under the same representation.

The mere form of a concept, its logical origins, is a product of a process of reflection and abstraction of the differences of things designated under the same representation. The logical form of a concept is not determined through a characteristic by means of which a concept relates to an object but in terms of general concepts under which more specific general concepts fall. The concern of general logic is not the source of the representations that make up the content of a concept but only with concepts that have already been formed.

In a pre-critical essay entitled, 'The Mistaken Subtilty of the Four Syllogistic Figures', Kant defines a judgement as 'the comparison of a thing with some mark. The thing itself is the subject, the mark is the predicate. The comparison is expressed by the copula 'is' . . which when used alone indicates that the predicate is a mark of the subject' (quoted from Hanna 1990, 340-1). For Kant, a judgement is a comparison between a thing (subject) and an attribute (predicate). A judgement results when a predicate is connected to a subject by the copula.

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