Kant on the Logical Origin of Concepts



In his lectures on general logic Kant maintains that the generality of a representation (the form of a concept) arises from the logical acts of comparison, reflection and abstraction. These acts are commonly understood to be identical with the acts that generate reflected schemata. I argue that this is mistaken, and that the generality of concepts, as products of the understanding, should be distinguished from the classificatory generality of schemata, which are products of the imagination. A Kantian concept does not provide mere criteria for noting sameness and difference in things, but instead reflects the inner nature of things. Its form consists in the self-consciousness of a capacity to judge (i.e. the Concept is the ‘I think’).