Week 2 - The Ideality of Space & Time

It’s volleyball day! So campus is closed and we are not meeting. I’ll post a link to a video (probably this weekend) discussing Kant’s conception of space and time as a priori and non-conceptual representations. We’ll try and understand what it means to say that space and time are merely “forms” of intuition, the arguments for the view, and how it stands up to relevant alternatives.


I broke up discussion of the project of the synthetic a priori and its relation to the structure of the book and general and the Transcendental Aesthetic in particular into three parts. Lots more to discuss on Discord and over the next few weeks!


  • CPR: Transcendental Aesthetic (B33-73; Guyer & Wood, 172-92)
    • We’ll focus primarily on Kant’s discussion of space
  • Prolegomena: §§6-10, §13 (Hatfield 32-5, 37-8)
    • This expands a bit on the notion of “givenness” and intuition’s role in cognition, from what Kant discusses in the Critique.
  • Optional: Parsons, The Transcendental Aesthetic
    • This is a classic and helpful overview of the entirety of the Transcendental Aesthetic, with a focus on space.
  • Optional: Janiak, Kant’s Views on Space and Time
    • Also a very helpful overview. Does a bit more than Parsons to situate Kant in the historical context of debates concerning space and time.
  • Optional: Shabel, Kant’s Argument from Geometry
    • A recent attempt to defend Kant against some classic objections concerning the structure of Kant’s argument concerning space and Euclidean geometry.
  • Optional: Einstein, Geometry and Experience
    • Einstein’s classic repudiation of a Kantian conception of space. The first sentence of the third paragraph is widely quoted and succictly states Einstein’s differnce from Kant.
  • Optional: Allais, Kant’s Argument for Transcendental Idealism in the Transcendental Aesthetic
    • A helpful way of thinking about Kant’s argument for Transcendental Idealism as deriving from his conception of the role of intuition in cognition.
  • Optional: Notes on the Transcendental Aesthetic


  • What is an “intuition”?
  • What does it mean to say that an intuition has a “pure form”?
  • What is the difference (if any) between intuition and sensation?
  • What is an “appearance”
  • What is the relationship between pure intuition and mathematics?