Kantian Journal

2020 Vol. 39. No. 3

Kant über Sein und Zeit und Denken und Sein. Selbsterkenntnis durch Selbstaffektion

Abstract

In the Cartesian tradition of discussing the structure of the micro-judgement “I think” Kant‘s treatment deserves extraordinary attention. Under the idiomatic heading of self-affection he delivers a micro-analysis of this judgment, contributing in a unique way to the clarification of a singular case of self-knowledge: In this case the thinking subject 1. thematises the act of judging “I think” by conferring on this act the specific logical, categorical form, 2. intuits this act under the temporal form of successively using “I ...” as subject and “… think” as predicate, 3. identifies him-/herself — at the same time — with the subject logically structuring this act as well as with the subject intuiting the successively existing subject of this judging act, and 4. recognises him-/herself as identical in these two different cognitive roles. By this very analysis Kant shows that the eminent micro-judgement-act “I think” has the complex, though paradigmatic substructure of each human subject recog­nising his/her identity as thinking / judging and temporally existing while thinking / judging.

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The Problem of the Relationship between Apperception, Self-Consciousness and Consciousness in Kant’s Critical Philosophy

Abstract

Kant does not provide clear-cut definitions of apperception, consciousness, and self-consciousness and everywhere uses these terms as synonyms, which creates the problem of the relationship between these faculties. The importance of this problem stems from the colossal significance of each of the above-mentioned faculties which are intimately connected with Kant’s formulation of the key tasks of transcendental philosophy. The prime task is to discover the categories of understanding and to prove the legitimacy of their use, a task that is further complicated by the difference between the editions of the Critique of Pure Reason in terms of the argumentation in the section on the deduction of categories and Kant’s concept of apperception. Accordingly, the author seeks to clarify the purpose of each of the above-mentioned faculties and to establish their inter-relationship. To this end the author analyses the functional roles of consciousness, self-consciousness and apperception in solving the main tasks of the first Critique. It turns out that consciousness is a reflexive cognitive capacity which provides access to representations in our soul and allows us to distinguish them and to connect them. Self-consciousness is the mode of the functioning of consciousness which makes it possible to study three objects of consciousness: internal and external representations of the subject, the synthetic activity of understanding and our soul. Apperception is the Latin synonym of the concept of Selbstbewußtsein and is aimed at studying the unity of our representations. Because Kant distinguishes multiple kinds of unity, there are different names for apperception. Kant uses the concept of Apperzeption as a synonym of self-consciousness because his concept of consciousness follows the Leibniz-Wolffian tradition.

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