XI KANT KONGRESS, XI Congresso Kantiano Internazionale

The Quantity of Judgments and the Categories of Quantity. A Problem in the Metaphysical Deduction

Mirella Capozzi

Edificio: Palazzo dei Congressi
Sala: sala Beccaria
Data: 22 maggio 2010 - 14:30
Ultima modifica: 13 aprile 2010


In the KrV and in Prolegomena the table of judgments establishes a one-to-one correspondence between the quantity of judgments and the categories of quantity: universal judgment corresponds to unity, particular judgment to plurality, singular judgment to totality. Let us call (A) this correspondence. Many commentators have dismissed (A) as obviously ‘wrong’. They would consider ‘right’ only a one-to-one correspondence in which: universal judgment corresponds to totality, particular judgment to plurality, singular judgment to unity. Let us call (B) this correspondence.
In a well known paper Frede and Krüger claimed that the correspondence in KrV and Prolegomena is not wrong because, when Kant speaks qua logician, he means correspondence (A), when he when he speaks qua metaphysician he means correspondence (B).
I suggest that this is against the letter and the spirit of Kant’s view of what it means to use a logical Leitfaden to find the categories as Denkformen. I intend to show that correspondence (A) takes into account the well known distinction between omnitudo distributiva and omnitudo collectiva occurring in many logic textbooks (e.g. J. Wallis, C. Wolff, J. P. Reusch, M. Knutzen). In particular, Knutzen argues that ‘all’ is 1) a distributive ‘all’ in a truly universal judgment like ‘All men are mortal’, 2) a collective ‘all’ in a judgment like ‘All the Apostles, as to number, were twelve’, which then is not universal but a singular judgment. Many texts show that Kant shares this view, e.g. Reflexion 4694: “Omnitudo distributiva est universalitas, Collectiva: totalitas, totalitas absoluta: Universitas”.
On these grounds it is possible to maintain that correspondence (A) conveys Kant’s conviction that singular judgment - which also allows for omnitudo collectiva - is the only adequate clue to the category of totality, meant as a category related to those of unity and plurality, but still independent of them. This is important because for Kant we must be able to think non-denumerable totalities, as it is the case with the infinite.