1

Source: Ch 3, Section 2, Critique of Pure Reason, by Kant, translated by Norman Kemp Smith

I should have hoped to put an end to these idle and fruitless disputations in a direct manner, by an accurate determination of the concept of existence, had I not found that the illusion which is caused by the confusion of a logical with a real predicate (that is, with a predicate which determines a thing) is almost beyond correction. Anything we please can be made to serve as a logical predicate; the subject can even be predicated of itself; for logic abstracts from all content. But a determining predicate is a predicate which is added to the concept of the subject and enlarges it. Consequently, it must not be already contained in the concept.

predicate = [with object] 1. {Grammar & Logic} state, affirm, or assert (something) about the subject of a sentence or an argument of a proposition

I recast user John Lawler's comment: Denote A a human agent, P a predicate; X the argument of P.
A predicates P of X   =   P is predicated by A of X   =    Say( A, P(X) ).

Yet I remain confused. I don't see any human agent here, How do you determine/deduce the meaning of the bolded? How can a subject predicate itself?

Footnote: This bolded phrase features as the first Example Sentence at ODO.

  • It is what it is. Satellites are out tonight; let x equal x. – Tᴚoɯɐuo Feb 3 '15 at 20:09
  • 1
    a subject can be predicated of itself ≠ "a subject predicate[s] itself" – Tᴚoɯɐuo Feb 3 '15 at 20:19
1

Kant's sentence is a passive, so neither the predicating Agent (John Lawler's A) nor the preposition by which marks it is required to be present. In John Lawler's construction

P is predicated by A of X = Say( [A,] P(X))

Kant puts forward an agentless construction in which the "subject" of the predication, X, is also the predicate, P:

X is predicated of X ... for example
A rose is a rose is a rose.
Boys will be boys.
Whatever will be will be.

|improve this answer|||||

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.