Date of Award


Degree Type

Closed Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Melissa McBay Merritt - Chair

Second Advisor

Jessica Berry

Third Advisor

Sebastian Rand


In this paper I argue, with many leading commentators, that Kant is a conceptualist. I support this conclusion, argued for independently by Hannah Ginsborg and John McDowell, by appeal to the analyticity of Kant’s apperception principle in the transcendental deduction. I argue that the apperception principle, if taken as an analytic proposition, implies that any mental representation that figures into discursive cognition is the product of a priori synthesis. I further argue that making a priori synthesis a condition for the possibility of any mental representation is sufficient to make mental representation conceptual in the relevant sense. This, I argue, strongly suggests that Kant is a conceptualist.