Karl Ameriks

in Kant's Theory of Mind

Published in print March 2000 | ISBN: 9780198238973
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191597022 | DOI:

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This chapter notes the paradox of the widespread admiration for Kant's criticism of dogmatic arguments about the mind and the scarcity of close analyses of Kant's procedure in his criticism. It also comments on the fact that many readers of the Critique have been put off by the fact that Kant's general doctrine of transcendental idealism immediately seems to bring with it absurd consequences—in particular, the striking implication that we cannot, theoretically, know our own self at all. I argue that Kant's general doctrine has some admirable ‘modest’ and critical dimensions, and that whatever worries one has about his idealism, these can, for the most part, be separated from the main innovations of his theory of the mind, which concern a perceptive unmasking of the so‐called ‘Cartesian’ claims about an immediate mental access to ourselves. In addition, the Introduction summarizes the pattern of the development of Kant's theory throughout his other works, and it gives an overview of Kant's main conclusions about the mind.

Keywords: Cartesianism; idealism; mind; privileged access; transcendental

Chapter.  9470 words. 

Subjects: History of Western Philosophy

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