Hegel‘s Critique of Kant’s Conception of Categories and Concepts

In this paper I consider Hegel’s critique of Kant’s conception of categories and other concepts. I argue that Hegel misunderstands Kant in certain respects: the “thing in itself”, for example, is not held by Kant to lie completely beyond thought, as Hegel claims, but is held by him to be posited by thought. Nonetheless, Hegel is right to charge Kant with presupposing, and not challenging, the traditional distinctions and oppositions between categories (such as “reality” and “negation”) and concepts of reflection (such as “form” and “matter”). This is particularly evident in the “Amphiboly” chapter of the first Critique, in which Kant claims that the concepts of “form” and “matter” are “bound up with all employment of the understanding” (B 322).