Categories, intuitions and Kantian space-time


  • Adán Sús Departamento de Filosofía, Facultad de Filosofía y Letras, Universidad de Valladolid



Space-time, pure intuition, Kant, simultaneity


Kant states that space and time are a priori conditions of experience, while apparently being committed to the euclidean nature of space and absolute simultaneity. His defense of the a priori character of spatio-temporal notions stems from taking them as pure intuitions, so its newtonian nature would derive from the configuration of what Kant names as intuition. Nevertheless, according to some recent discussions, it is not clear what intuition means for Kant and how space-time is determined from it. In this paper I look into the debate about the origin of the synthesis of pure intuition that, according to Kant, would determine the spatio-temporal structure. I discuss to what extent taking into account the participation of categories in such a synthesis might have an effect on the commitment that, according to the kantian perspective, one should have with respect to the metric being determined a priori. My conclusion is that kantian analysis can incorporate the idea of a spatio-temporal metric that is not given, in the sense of universally and necessarily, a priori.


Author Biography

Adán Sús, Departamento de Filosofía, Facultad de Filosofía y Letras, Universidad de Valladolid

Departamento de Filosofía. Facultad de Filosofía y Letras. Universidad de Valladolid.

“The Physical Significance of Symmetries from the Perspective of Conservation Laws”. Forthcoming in Towards a Theory of Spacetime Theories (ed. Dennis Lehmkuhl), Einstein's Studies, Springer.

“La materia oscura y las hipótesis científicas.” Forthcoming in Quo Vadis Ciencia? Publicacions de la Universitat Politécnica de Catalunya.

“On the explanation of inertia”, Journal for General Philosophy of Science (2014), 45, 293-315.

“Dark matter, the Equivalence Principle and modified gravity”, Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics (2014), 45, 66-71.

“Absolute Objects and General Relativity: Dynamical Considerations.” in EPSA: Philosophical Issues in the Sciences. Launch of the European Philosophy of Science Association, vol. II, Mauro Dorato, Miklós Rédei and Mauricio Suárez (ed) Springer: Berlin and New York, 2010.

“Action-Reaction: Matter-Geometry interaction in GR”, Proceedings of the VI SLMFCE Conference, 2009.

Participación en Proyectos de Investigación:
Proyecto: "Explicación y representación en las ciencias: análisis monistas y pluralistas" (FFi2012-37354), Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad, 2013-2016.
Proyecto: Space and Time: from the Manifest to the Scientific Image (FFI2011-29834-C03-03). Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación, 2012-2014.
Proyecto: Spacetime as Background: from Classical to Quantum Physics. Ministerio de Ciencia y Educación, 2009-2011.


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How to Cite

Sús, A. (2016). Categories, intuitions and Kantian space-time. Revista De Humanidades De Valparaíso, (8), 223–249.




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