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Kant and the Philosophy of MindPerception, Reason, and the Self$
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Anil Gomes and Andrew Stephenson

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198724957

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: July 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198724957.001.0001

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Can’t Kant Cognize Himself? Or, a Problem for (Almost) Every Interpretation of the Refutation of Idealism

Can’t Kant Cognize Himself? Or, a Problem for (Almost) Every Interpretation of the Refutation of Idealism

Chapter:
(p.138) 8 Can’t Kant Cognize Himself? Or, a Problem for (Almost) Every Interpretation of the Refutation of Idealism
Source:
Kant and the Philosophy of Mind
Author(s):

Andrew Chignell

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198724957.003.0008

Kant seems to think of our own mental states or representations as the primary objects of inner sense. But does he think that these states also inhere in something? And, if so, is that something an empirical substance that is also cognized in inner sense? This chapter provides textual and philosophical grounds for thinking that, although Kant may agree with Hume that the self is not ‘given’ in inner sense exactly, he does think of the self as cognized through inner sense. It is also argued that he both does and ought to regard this self as an empirical substance in which our changing representations inhere. In the second part of the chapter it is suggested that, if this is correct, it poses a significant problem for most of the leading interpretations of Kant’s anti-sceptical argument in the Refutation of Idealism.

Keywords:   Kant, inner sense, self, self-knowledge, scepticism, self-consciousness, introspection, idealism

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