The intuition of simultaneity

Zugleichsein and the constitution of extensive magnitudes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Kant's response to 'Hume's problem' in his analysis of the a priori structure of causality as law-governed succession in the Second Analogy of Experience has unquestionably overshadowed the account of simultaneity (Zugleichsein), which follows in the Third Analogy. The analysis of simultaneity in the first Critique relies entirely upon that of succession and is ultimately no more than a more complicated variant of the causal dependence of substances: two objects are experienced as simultaneous only when each of those objects grounds some determination of the other, that is when they are reciprocally determined in dynamic community. By investigating Kant's remark in the third Critique that the experience of the sublime "makes simultaneity intuitable" this paper develops a Kantian analysis of simultaneity that is irreducible to the more prominent analysis of causal succession. This more robust account of simultaneity is then seen to play an essential role in the constitution of the objects of perception (and not only the regulation of their relations) as thematized in the Axioms of Intuition in the Critique of Pure Reason.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)429-444
Number of pages16
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • extensive magnitude
  • mathematical sublime
  • simultaneity

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