What Incongruent Counterparts Show



Abstract: In a recent paper, Robert Hanna argues that Kant's incongruent counterparts example can be mobilized to show that some mental representations, which represent complex states of affairs as complex, do so entirely non-conceptually. I will argue that Hanna is right to see that Kant uses incongruent counterparts to show that there must be a non-conceptual component to cognition, but goes too far in concluding that there must be entirely non-conceptual representations that represent objects as existing in space and time. Kant is deeply committed to the thesis that no representation of a complex state of affairs as complex can be entirely non-conceptual. For Kant, all representations of complex states of affairs as complex (including those of incongruent counterparts) are conceptually structured. I present an interpretation of the Transcendental Aesthetic according to which Kant not only aims at Leibnizian and Newtonian accounts of space and time, but also Hume's. Hume's account fails to make representations of complex states of affairs sufficiently determinate. Kant offers an account later in the Critique that is meant to correct this failing by requiring that all representations of complex states of affairs as complex be conceptually (inferentially) structured.