The Self as Simple: The Second Paralogism

C. Thomas Powell

in Kant's Theory of Self-Consciousness

Published in print August 1990 | ISBN: 9780198244486
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191680779 | DOI:
The Self as Simple: The Second Paralogism

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In the Second Paralogism, Immanuel Kant considers the rational psychologist's claim that the soul is simple, a claim which he says is bolstered by an argument which is ‘the Achilles of all dialectical inferences in the pure doctrine of the soul’. This chapter argues that Kant actually presents five arguments in his discussion of the Second Paralogism. The first argument is directed against a constructed opponent of the rational psychologist and appears in the third to sixth premisses of Kant's reformulated version of the Second Paralogism. The second argument is a refutation of the reformulated version of the Paralogism, specifically Moses Mendelssohn's proof of the immortality of the soul. The third and fourth arguments are parallel to those which Kant advances against the two inflations of the First Paralogism. Kant's fifth argument is intended to defuse the significance of the ‘Achilles of all dialectical inferences’. This chapter also looks at a recent criticism, by Roderick Chisholm, of Kant's notion of elanguescence and reality.

Keywords: Immanuel Kant; Second Paralogism; soul; self; rational psychologist; immortality; Moses Mendelssohn; reality; elanguescence; Roderick Chisholm

Chapter.  16676 words. 

Subjects: History of Western Philosophy

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