4 research outputs found

    Kant and the Pre-Conceptual Use of the Understanding

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    Does Kant hold that we can have intuitions independently of concepts? A striking passage from § 13 of the Critique of Pure Reason appears to say so explicitly. However, it also conjures up a scenario where the categories are inapplicable to objects of intuition, a scenario presumably shown impossible by the following Transcendental Deduction. The seemingly non-conceptualist claim concerning intuition have therefore been read, by conceptualist interpreters of Kant, as similarly counterpossible. I argue that the passage in question best supports an underappreciated middle position where intuition requires a pre-conceptual use of the understanding. Such pre-conceptual use of the understanding faces both textual and systematic objections. I show that these objections can be rebutted

    Consciousness as Inner Sensation: Crusius and Kant

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    What is it that makes a mental state conscious? Recent commentators have proposed that for Kant, consciousness results from differentiation: A mental state is conscious insofar as it is distinguished, by means of our conceptual capacities, from other states and/or things. I argue instead that Kant’s conception of state consciousness is sensory: A mental state is conscious insofar as it is accompanied by an inner sensation. Interpreting state consciousness as inner sensation reveals an underappreciated influence of Crusius on Kant’s view, solves some long-standing puzzles concerning Kant’s difficult doctrine of self-affection, and sheds light on his theory of inner experience

    Every man has his price: Kant's argument for universal radical evil

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    ABSTRACT Kant famously claims that we have all freely chosen evil. This paper offers a novel account of the much-debated justification for this claim. I reconstruct Kant’s argument from his affirmation that we all have a price – we can all succumb to temptation. I argue that this follows a priori from a theoretical principle of the Critique of Pure Reason, namely that all empirical powers have a finite, changeable degree, an intensive magnitude. Because of this, our reason can always be overpowered by sensible inclinations. Kant moreover holds that this necessary feature of our moral psychology should not have been the case: We ought to instead be like the divine human being, for whom the moral law yields a greater incentive than any possible temptation. On Kant’s view, we are thus responsible for having a price, and the synthetic a priori fact that we do proves that we each made an initial choice of evil

    Intensive Consciousness : Kant's Theory of Inner Sense

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    In this thesis, I present and defend an interpretation of Kant's theory of inner sense. This theory is central to the Critique of Pure Reason, but it has proven difficult to grasp. I suggest that inner sense provides us with a point of view, and that this point of view is constituted by the degree of clarity and distinctness of our representations