Camp, Ty D. (2010-01). From the schematic to the symbolic: the radical possibilities of the imagination in Kant's third Critique. Master's Thesis. Thesis uri icon


  • In this thesis it is argued that Kant's Copernican turn depends on his doctrine of the imagination, and that by understanding the role of imagination as symbolic rather than schematic, the resources are provided to show that his critical philosophy has more radical possibilities than those of his post-Kantian critics. To display this, it is first pointed out that the crucial role the imagination plays in Kant's Copernican turn is not fully developed in his first Critique. Next, it is argued that Kant's doctrine of the imagination is not fully realized until the third Critique in which Kant radicalizes his notion of constructivism by introducing a distinction between determinative and reflective judgments. Finally, it is suggested that while Hegel believes that Kant?s idealism is not dynamic enough to support a full-fledged constructivism, in fact, when Kant?s mature doctrine of the imagination is taken into account, this is no longer the case because Kant believes that our particular experiences of the world unfold artistically and creatively according to the work of the imagination. It is suggested, therefore, that in many ways Kant anticipates the developments of thinkers such as Hegel and other post- Kantians and may even continue to lie beyond them.

ETD Chair

  • George, Theodore  Professor and Texas A&M Presidential Impact fellow, Head of the Department of Philosophy

publication date

  • January 2010