Concept Negation in Kant

In: History of Philosophy & Logical Analysis
Mark Siebel Department of Philosophy, School of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Oldenburg Oldenburg Germany

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Kant distinguishes concept negation from copula negation. While the latter results in a negative judgement, i.e. a judgement denying a property of certain objects, the former gives rise to a negative concept, such as ‘immortal’. Since Kant’s remarks on concept negation are scattered and inconclusive, five interpretations are worked out and put to the test: logical negation, pseudo-negation, attribution of a zero degree, possibility-restricted negation and genus-restricted negation. Whereas the first four interpretations fail for a number of reasons, genus-restricted negation turns out to be tenable.

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