Immanuel Kant: The Concept of Concept

‘I don’t exactly know what Orangeness is, Professor, but I sure know how to pick an Orange. Or do I?’

Immanuel Kant, whose roots go back directly to Aristotle, defined the domain of Academic Philosophy for over two centuries.

‘Thought’ proffered Immanuel Kant ‘is cognition by means of conception’.

What’s a ‘Conception’? That sounds like a difficult idea with more syllables. Let’s start with ‘Concept’.

A ‘Concept’ says the Dictionary, is a: ‘a General Notion or Idea; a Conception’.

Great. So what’s an ‘Idea’? The Dictionary says it’s a: ‘Thought, Conception or Notion.’

We’ll, OK. So what’s a ‘Conception’? The Dictionary says it’s a: ‘Notion, Idea, Concept’.

Cognition is a concept. A Concept is that which is ‘conceptually differentiable’. But ‘conceptually differentiable’ is itself a concept.

A concept has a public understanding while ‘conception’ is just a private view. Yet concept is for you a conception and conception becomes a concept in the dictionary, unchanged regardless of who looks at it.

Concept; Conception; Concept of Conception; Conception of Concept. All Concepts; or are they Conceptions?

What is the ‘Orangeness’ in an Orange?


How do you miraculously, unhesitatingly, repeatedly manage to identify an Orange?

What is common between a sliced and a peeled Orange? A ripe and a rotten Orange? A nibbled Orange and a fresh one?

A picture of an Orange, the sound ‘Orange Juice’, the taste of Orange pop, the smell of Orange peel, the touch of Orange pip, the letters ‘O R A N G E’, on a page. The negation: ‘Not-Orange’.

Orangeness is an idea, a concept. A thought. But then, what is an ‘Orange’?