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Kant's Thinker,9780199363728

Kant's Thinker



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Oxford University Press, USA
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    Kant's Thinker


Kant's discussion of the relations between cognition and self-consciousness lie at the heart of the Critique of Pure Reason, in the celebrated transcendental deduction. Although this section of Kant's masterpiece is widely believed to contain important insights into cognition and self-consciousness, it has long been viewed as unusually obscure. Many philosophers have tried to avoid the transcendental psychology that Kant employed. By contrast, Patricia Kitcher follows Kant's careful delineation of the necessary conditions for knowledge and his intricate argument that knowledge requires self-consciousness. She argues that far from being an exercise in armchair psychology, the thesis that thinkers must be aware of the connections among their mental states offers an astute analysis of the requirements of rational thought.

The book opens by situating Kant's theories in the then contemporary debates about "apperception," personal identity and the relations between object cognition and self-consciousness. After laying out Kant's argument that the distinctive kind of knowledge that humans have requires a unified self- consciousness, Kitcher considers the implications of his theory for current problems in the philosophy of mind. If Kant is right that rational cognition requires acts of thought that are at least implicitly conscious, then theories of consciousness face a second "hard problem" beyond the familiar difficulties with the qualities of sensations. How is conscious reasoning to be understood? Kitcher shows that current accounts of the self-ascription of belief have great trouble in explaining the case where subjects know their reasons for the belief. She presents a "new" Kantian approach to handling this problem. In this way, the book reveals Kant as a thinker of great relevance to contemporary philosophy, one whose allegedly obscure achievements provide solutions to problems that are still with us.

Author Biography

Patricia Kitcher is Professor of Philosophy at Columbia University. She is the author of Kant's Transcendental Psychology.

Table of Contents

1. Overview
1. Introduction
2. Interpretive Framework
3. Preview
4. Current Work on Kant's 'I-Think'

Part I: Background

2. Locke's Internal Sense and Kant's Changing Views
1. Locke's Influence
2. Locke's Complex Theory of Internal Sense
3. Kant's Varied Reactions
4. 'Inner Sense' in relation to Kantian 'Apperception'
5. Kant's Use of 'Inner Sense'

3. Personal Identity and Its Problems
1. Locke's Problem
2. Leibniz's Criticisms and Additions
3. Kant and Hume
4. Tetens (and Hume)

4. Rationalist Metaphysics of Mind
1. The Role of Rationalism
2. Leibniz's Elegant 'I-theory'
3. Faculties, Powers and Substances
4. Rational Psychology

5. Consciousness, Self-Consciousness and Cognition
1. Introduction
2. Locke's 'Reflection' and Leibniz's 'Apperception'
3. Self-consciousness and Object cognition
4. Self-Consciousness through Self-Feeling
5. Summary

6. Strands of Argument in the Duisburg Nachla?
1. Introduction
2. Kant's Objection to the Inaugural Dissertation
3. Principles of Appearance and Thought in the Duisburg NachlaB Notion of Apperception?
4. What is the Duisburg Nachla?'s Notion of 'Apperception?
5. From the Duisburg NachlaB to the Critique

Part II: Theory

7. A Transcendental Deduction for A Priori Concepts
1. Kant's Goal
2. Clues to the Nature of the Argument
3. The First Premise of the Transcendental Deduction
4. Apriority and Activity
5. A 'Transcendental' Deduction

8. Synthesis: Why and How?
1. Problems to be Solved
2. Kant's Definition
3. Synthesis and Objective Reference
4. Five Syntheses and Their Relations

9. Arguing for Apperception
1. Introduction
2. 'I-Think' as the 'Cogito'; The One-step Deduction from Judgment
3. What Kind of Cognition Is at Issue in the Transcendental Deduction?
4. What is the Principle of Apperception?
5. The Apperceptive Synthesis of Recognition in a Concept
6.Combination and Self-Consciousness in the B Deduction
7. Arguing from the Unity of Apperception to the Necessary Applicability of Categories to Intuitions
8. Transcendental Apperception, Empirical Apperception and 'Mineness'
9. Summary

10. The Power of Apperception
1. Introduction
2. What is the Power/Faculty of Apperception?
3. Does the Faculty of Apperception Endure? Is it the 'Inner Principle' of a Substance?
4. Does the Power of Apperception Initiate Causal Chains or Provide Impressions of Necessary Connection?
5. 'Is it an Experience That I think?'
6. Root Powers, Scientific Ideals and the Ground of Appearances

11. 'I-Think' as the Destroyer of Rational Psychology
1. Understanding Kant's Criticisms
2. Kant's Earlier and Later Treatments of Rational Psychology
3. 'I-Think' as the Vehicle of the Categories
4. 'I-Think' as Analytically Contained in the Concept of Thought
5. Does the Analysis of Cognition Imply the Existence of a Thinker?
6. Why Can't Thinkers Know Themselves as Such?

Part III: Evaluation

12. Is Kant's Theory Consistent?
1. The Old Objection
2. The Most Problematic Passage (A251-52)
3. The Confusion about the Causes of Sensations
4. A Second Look at the Most Problematic Passage
5. Criticizing Rationalist Confusions
6. What Kant's Epistemology and Metaphysics Imply

13. The Normativity Objection
1. Psychologism or Noumenalism?
2. Scrutinizing Sensations and Adding 'Transcendental Content'
3. Forming Concepts and Acquiring the I-Representation
4. Making A Priori Principles Explicit and Testing Instances
5. Normativity and the I-rule

Appendix to Chapter 13: Longuenesse on Concept Formation

14. Is Kant's Thinker (as Such) a Free and Responsible Agent?
1. Introduction
2. Texts Linking Theoretical and Practical Reason
3. Autonomy and Accountability
4. Intellectual Accountability

15. Kant our Contemporary
1. Supporting and Showing Relevance
2. Transcendental Arguments
3. Must Rational Cognition involve Self-consciousness?
4. A Second Hard Problem of Consciousness?
5. Other 'I's

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