The Role of Imagination in Kantian Epistemological theory: Between the First and Second Edition of the Critique of Pure Reason

Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) did not dedicate a special chapter of his works to "imagination," with most of his views on the topic presented in the first edition of the Critique of Pure Reason (known as Edition A of 1781) in the chapter on the deduction of pure concepts, in the section on "Deductions of the pure concepts of the understanding." In the second edition of the book (Edition B of 1787) he went on to modify or omit most of what he had written regarding Transcendental Deduction and the role of the imagination in the process of synthesis. Kant's position led to a disagreement among scholars on the role and importance he attached to the imagination, generating multiple studies. This research thus seeks to clarify the difference between the two editions in the treatment of imagination and its role in producing knowledge. The study is limited to the Critique of Pure Reason and does not consider other works, unless necessary. The author concludes that the difference between the two editions regarding the role of the imagination is not superficial, but rather testifies to a profound change at the very root of Kant's view. This is evident in his writing on the process of "synthesis," which is one of the most important foundations in Kantian theory of knowledge, and specifically so in the manner in which Kant distributes the fundamental tasks of this synthesis to powers of the self. 

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Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) did not dedicate a special chapter of his works to "imagination," with most of his views on the topic presented in the first edition of the Critique of Pure Reason (known as Edition A of 1781) in the chapter on the deduction of pure concepts, in the section on "Deductions of the pure concepts of the understanding." In the second edition of the book (Edition B of 1787) he went on to modify or omit most of what he had written regarding Transcendental Deduction and the role of the imagination in the process of synthesis. Kant's position led to a disagreement among scholars on the role and importance he attached to the imagination, generating multiple studies. This research thus seeks to clarify the difference between the two editions in the treatment of imagination and its role in producing knowledge. The study is limited to the Critique of Pure Reason and does not consider other works, unless necessary. The author concludes that the difference between the two editions regarding the role of the imagination is not superficial, but rather testifies to a profound change at the very root of Kant's view. This is evident in his writing on the process of "synthesis," which is one of the most important foundations in Kantian theory of knowledge, and specifically so in the manner in which Kant distributes the fundamental tasks of this synthesis to powers of the self. 

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