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84

BOOK REVIEWS

emotivism and subjectivism are views about value sentences.) Ardal further thinks
that it is " natural " for a reflectivist to be a subjectivist and for an emotionist to be
an emotivist. Hume is thus held to be an emotionist and, less certainly, an emotivist.
Ardal, very usefully, suggests some reasons why Hume appears to be more of a subjectivist than he is. In the first place Hume was over-impressed by the analogy between virtue and vice and secondary qualities (or, at least, over-inclined to press it
as an argumentum ad hominem), despite his own attack on the received doctrine concerning secondary qualities in Treatise Book I, and despite the fact that he held virtue
and vice to be mind-dependent in a way secondary qualities are not. Secondly, the
distinction between having an emotion and judging that one has-the
distinction
over which both emotionism and reflectivism and emotivism and subjectivism divide
-is a vanishing one on Hume's theory of belief.
This is a good and useful book, which very well brings out the too often neglected
complexity, yet substantial consistency, of Hume's ethical thinking.
R. F. ATKINSON
The Bounds of Sense : An essay on Kant's Critique of Pure Reason. By P. F. STRAWSON.
(London: Methuen. 1966. Pp. 296. Price 35s).
The Kantian spirit of Strawson's Individuals doubtless encouraged in many of its
readers the hope that he would embark on a study of the first Critique. He has now
done so, and the book proves to be a stimulating, original and subtle account of this
work. The tasks of exposition and criticism are very different and it is a necessary
condition of success in such an enterprise that the reader should be in no doubt at
any given point which of the two is being undertaken. Strawson meets this requirement, but his text, with its uncompromisingly gritty style, makes quite severe demands
on any reader anxious to keep this essential distinction in the forefront of his mind.
In the first part of the book, 'The Metaphysics of Experience ', Strawson deals
with the Aesthetic, the Transcendental Deduction and the Analogies. In this section,
as throughout, Strawson is more sympathetic to Kant considered as an analyst of
the concept of a possible experience than as a transcendental metaphysician defending
the dubious doctrine of a timeless and supersensible reality. Strawson recognizes the
extremely close interconnection between these two aspects of the Kantian system but
maintains that the more modest Kantian thesis can be defended without leading one
to offensively (i.e., transcendent) metaphysical conclusions. Strawson has two main
grounds for this opinion. The first is what he calls Kant's "principle of significance ",
which is formulated as follows : " There can be no legitimate or even meaningful employment of ideas or concepts which does not relate them to empirical or experiential conditions of their application " (p. 16). Strawson frequently emphasizes the importance
of this principle not only in the context of Kant's thought but as an intrinsically valuable
philosophical insight because he regards it as forming part of " the framework of a
truly empiricist philosophy, freed, on the one hand, from the delusions of transcendent
metaphysics, on the other, from the classical empiricist obsession with the private
contents of consciousness" (p. 19). Strawson's second argument is perhaps more
controversial. He believes that Kant, to a serious degree, misunderstood the nature
of the task which he set himself in the first Critique because he had " no clear and
general conception of the synthetic a priori at all " (p. 43). If this is so, then of course
the problem of the Critique as formulated by Kant, viz. 'How are synthetic a priori
judgments possible ?' is scarcely intelligible. Strawson's discussion of this issue is
extremely brief and he is perhaps open to criticism for dismissing in cavalier fashion a
concept of such central importance for Kant. It is not even clear whether Strawson
thinks that Kant's failure to form a satisfactory concept of the synthetic a priori is
due to the fact that no one can do so because the concept is inherently unintelligible.
Strawson's own interpretation of the a priori he says is " relatively austere ", and
he characterizes it in terms of which the following is a fair sample : "To hold that the
unity of space 'and time was in this sense a priori would be to hold that it was an essential
element in any coherent conception of experience that we could form " (p. 65).
This view is doubtless austere in the sense that it involves fewer philosophical and
quasi-psychological assumptions than does Kant's own position, but it is hardly austere
from the point of view of clarity and logical rigour; as the reviewer in The Times
Literary Supplement has said, we would wish to know more about the definition of this
notion of coherence. It may also be added that an " essential element " cannot mean
" what iq deducible a priori from the concept of experience as such ", otherwise the
whole argument is in danger of collapsing into tautology with the consequent loss of
the essentially Kantian conception of transcendental justification.

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BOOK REVIEWS

85

Another important Kantian conception which provokes Strawson's scepticism,


doubtless rightly, is the doctrine of synthesis set out in the Transcendental Deduction.
He describes it thus: " What is given in sense alone, in mere receptivity, is one thing;
what is made of it by understanding, the active faculty, with the help of its no less
active lieutenant, imagination, the go-between of sense and understanding, is quite
another. The data of sense above are discrete, single, separate, without complexity.
All combination, all connexion, is produced by imagination which assembles and
reproduces as necessary the discrete data of sense, acting always under the control of
understanding, the course of concepts " (p. 97). Strawson goes on to observe that it
is useless to puzzle over the status of these propositions, because they belong to " the
imaginary subject of transcendental psychology ". It is certainly true that the necessity
for the whole apparatus of synthesis rests upon the assumption that what is given is
kind of snowstorm of sensations. Yet it is also puzzling
unrelated and discrete-a
that this view, on the face of it not very plausible though commonly held at the time,
is nowhere explained or justified by Kant; although experiences must be connected
why should they not be given as connected, as some of the evidence found by Gestalt
psychologists seems to show ? It is not of course clear whether Kant's assumption
should be understood in a way which makes this, or any other empirical evidence,
relevant to its truth or falsity, and this fact supports Strawson's opinion that it is
useless to attempt to pursue the matter far.
In the final part of this section, Strawson deals with Kant's treatment of substance
and causality. He rightly emphasizes here the distinction between objective and subjective time-relations and discusses with considerable subtlety and clarity the problem
of specifying the conditions under which this distinction can be drawn. This part of
the book, and the first section of the next part which deals with Kant's attack on
rational psychology, seems to me wholly admirable and likely to be the starting-point
of much profitable philosophical thinking. Although Strawson devotes close attention
to these topics, he does not regard the Dialectic as a whole as much of a success. " All
that is actually achieved is negative: the exposure of the illusion in the Cartesian
concept of the soul; the refutation of the proofs of God's existence; the exhibition of
certain cosmological questions as at least highly problematic in character. The rest is
unplausible claim and fallacious argument " (p. 156). Like many others, Strawson is
even more sceptical about the doctrine of the thing-in-itself, which he discusses in
the penultimate section on the metaphysics of Kant's idealism. He observes that
" the principle of significance appears as something quite independent of the structure
of transcendental idealism" (p. 243). This is something of an understatement, in
view of the fact that there is here a prima facie incompatibility. However, it may be
that Strawson's objections to transcendental idealism are in part due to his failure
to recognize an element of agnosticism in Kant's doctrine of the thing-in-itself. This
may be detected, for example, in the Postulates of Empirical Thought, especially the
second : " That which is bound up with the material conditions of experience, that is,
with sensation, is actual " (B 266). If we interpret 'is actual ' to mean 'is real ', or
'exists', which seems reasonable, then it follows that on Kant's view we are not permitted to say that noumena exist-or, of course, that they do not exist either. If there
is anything in this, then Strawson is hardly justified in saying tout court that one of the
doctrines of metaphysical idealism is that " there exists the sphere of supersensible
reality, of things, neither spatial nor temporal, as they are in themselves " (p. 236).
However, a qualification must be made here. As Strawson points out, Kant certainly
held that the noumenal self exists and acts in a way that is literally unintelligible because incapable of being brought under the schematized category of cause. It may be
that there is implicit in Kant's thought a distinction between the noumenal self and
other things-in-themselves.
Like Kant, Strawson betrays no uneasiness in writing of
things-in-themselves in both the singular and the plural. It is doubtful whether on
Kantian principles this language is permissible, though its historical basis in Leibniz's
theory of monads is clear enough. There can be no criteria of differentiation between
noumena and hence the question 'How many ? ' is in principle unanswerable-a state
of affairs which surely disqualifies us from using the singular and the plural. The same
point may be put by asking : How does Kant know that there are many noumena and
not just one great big one ?
Strawson concludes this impressive book with an ingenious defence of a modified
"phenomenal " version of Kant's theory of geometry as the construction of concepts
in pure intuition. In revising Kant's theory thus, and interpreting it in terms of spatial
appearances, Strawson minimizes the quasi-logical importance which geometrical
construction has in the Kantian system. As he observes, " rigour in mathematics turns
on logic, not on looks " (p. 286); it is perhaps worth citing in Kant's words the kind
of puzzle which he thought geometrical construction could solve. " Thus there is no
contradiction in the concept of a figure which is enclosed within two straight lines,
since the concepts of two straight lines and of their coming together contain no negation

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86

BOOK REVIEWS

of a figure. The impossibility arises not from the concept in itself but in connection
with its construction in space, that is, from the conditions of space and of its determination " (A 221).
C. K. GRANT
Die Kantkritik des jungen Hegel. By INGTRAUD G6OLAND. (Frankfurt am Main:
Vittorio Klostermann. 1966. Pp. x + 251. Price paper DM 18.55).
The authoress is an Assistant to Professor W. Brocker in Kiel. In the Preface which
he contributes to her book he says it is a well-known fact that Hegel adopted Fichte's
interpretation of Kant and that this was a topsy-turvy one. Thus when Hegel claimed
that his philosophy was the destination to which Kant and Fichte blazed the trail,
he was right about Fichte but wrong about Kant. "The real Kant has basically remained unknown to Hegel, so that a real discussion between Kant and Hegel is a task
left to us ". This book is a contribution to this task.
The authoress is learned and she has done her best to establish difficult propositions,
but she has not the gift of style, and her book is hard reading. She professedly confines
herself to the " young " Hegel, by which she means the Hegel of the Jugendschriften,
the Jena essays, and the Phenomenology. She does, however, draw on the Logic, the
Encyclopaedia, and the History of Philosophy. It may therefore be a pity that she did
not deal simply with all those passages in Hegel's works where he is explicitly expounding Kant, or differing from him, or criticizing him. The major part of her book deals
with the Phenomenology in which Kant is occasionally alluded to by implication, though
never by name, and in which the adjective 'Kantian' occurs but twice.
As may be expected, the authoress can draw attention to several places where
Hegel's criticism of Kant, or difference from him (between these attitudes she does
not distinguish), demand a verdict in Kant's favour. I quote only three examples:
(i) In the Jena Logic Hegel's criticism of Kant on cause and effect ignores Kant's schematism and his association of this category with time. (ii) Hegel's criticism of the
well-known " otherwise there would be no deposits " in K.p. V. takes no account of
what follows. Kant's expression of his point may be unfortunate, but his meaning is
that if there are deposits, then they involve binding obligations, and this is immune
from Hegel's criticism. This point against Hegel is put more clearly and more succinctly in J. Maier's Hegel's Criticism of Kant, which is not included in the authoress's
bibliography. (iii) Hegel has not grasped Kant's doctrine of the Kingdom of Ends
which is expounded in the Grundlegung, and the authoress can quote many passages
from that work to confute things said in the Phenomenology. It has always seemed
strange to me that Hegel never mentions or even seems to have been acquainted with
the Grundlegung. It appeared when he was still a schoolboy and he may have regarded
it as superseded by K.p. V.
That Hegel was misled by Fichte does not appear to be proved. If both these
philosophers misinterpreted Kant, they did so independently. Hegel read Kant at
Tiibingen, and he had twice studied K.p. V. before he ever read Fichte (the evidence
is clear in his correspondence with Schelling and Holderlin). His acceptance of K.p. V.
is writ large in the earlier Jugendschriften; his admiration of Kant's book on religion
is clear in a letter of 1794. By 1800, however, he had come to believe that beyond
Kant's Moralitdt there was a higher moral sphere, which later he was to call Sittlichkeit.
Consequently in some of his criticisms of Kant's ethics, he was standing on ground
that was not Kant's.
I suggest that an understanding and evaluation of the young Hegel's criticism of
Kant depends on answering a question which the authoress does not raise, namely:
How did the enthusiastic Kantian of 1794 become a critic of Kant by 1800 ? My answer
would attach far more importance to his study of religion, history, and Greek philosophy
than to the supposed influence of Fichte, Holderlin, and Schelling.
To suppose that Hegel, influenced by Fichte, misunderstood Kant is like supposing
(as has happened) that a twentieth century critic can understand Plato better than
Aristotle did. Hegel was steeped in Kant : Kant, he said, was his education. He revered
Kant as the founder of German philosophy, a master whom Hegel's contemporaries
were ignoring. Many, he said, would think his numerous references to Kant superfluous,
but he persisted because, in his view, for all his difference from his master, Kant was
the Bahnbrecher.
Of course Hegel's presuppositions and standpoint were not Kant's. He thought
that Fichte had "completed"
the Critical Philosophy. Kant thought differently.
Thus it is not surprising that Professor Br6cker should say that there was no real
conversation between Kant and Hegel. C. Stommel said the same in a Halle Dissertation in 1876. He is quoted in Wyneken's Hegels Kritik Kants (1898), but that is not
in the authoress's bibliography either.
T. M. KNOx

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