Philosophy colloquium: Daniel Sutherland

Title: Kant on the Singularity of Intuition

By Daniel Sutherland  (University of Chicago at Illinois, Philosophy)

Date: Thursday March 9, 2023

Time: 15.30-17.00 

Room: H-232

Abstract: The difference between the contributions of concept and intuitions to human cognition is fundamental to Kant’s critical philosophy. Kant states that concepts are general and mediate representations, while intuitions are singular and immediate representations. Virtually all Kant scholars have understood the singularity of intuition as consisting in the representation of a single individual or object. I argue that this is mistaken. I argue that the form of intuition is a mode of representing singularly, which does not itself require the representation of individuals and objects. I argue that intuition allows us to represent indeterminate extent such as space and time without representing parts and represents it in a singular way. Moreover, representing extent singularly underlies the singularity of individuals or objects represented in space and time.

About the speaker: Daniel Sutherland received his PhD from UCLA in 1998, was a Postdoctoral Fellow in the History and Philosophy of Science Department of Indiana University from 1998-99, and came to UIC in 1999. His primary interests include the relationship between philosophy, mathematics and science in the work of Immanuel Kant, and mathematical cognition more generally. He was a visiting professor at Harvard University in Spring 2006, and taught at the University of Chicago in Fall 2008. He has been awarded grants by the NSF (2006-7) and the American Philosophical Society (2010-11). Some of his publications are “Kant’s Philosophy of Mathematics and the Greek Mathematical Tradition,” Philosophical Review (2004), “The Role of Magnitude in Kant’s Critical Philosophy,” Canadian Journal of Philosophy (2005), “Kant on Arithmetic Algebra, and the Theory of Proportions,” Journal of the History of Philosophy (2006), “From Kant to Frege: Numbers, Pure Units, and the Limits of Conceptual Representation,” Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement (2008), and “Philosophy and Geometrical Practice in Leibniz, Wolff, and the Early Kant,” in Discourse on a new Method: Reinvigorating the Marriage of History and Philosophy of Science (2010). His book entitled Kant’s Mathematical World: Mathematics, Cognition, and Experience (Cambridge University Press, 2021) presents a novel reconstruction of Kant’s philosophy of mathematics and his account of the mathematical character of the world. 





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