Chapter

The Transcendental Deduction: Objective Knowledge and the Unity of Self‐Consciousness

Paul Crowther

in The Kantian Aesthetic

Published in print March 2010 | ISBN: 9780199579976
Published online May 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780191722615 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199579976.003.0002
The Transcendental Deduction: Objective Knowledge and the Unity of Self‐Consciousness

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This chapter addresses and revises a foundational feature of Kant's epistemology, namely the Transcendental Deduction. It shows how Kant's argument attempts to prove that the objective unification of a sensible manifold (achieved through the categories) and the objective unity of self-consciousness (or, as Kant sometimes terms it, the ‘pure’ or ‘original unity’ of ‘apperception’) are reciprocally dependent. One cannot have the one without the other. Kant's arguments on these lines (in the revised ‘B’-version of the Critique of Pure Reason) are analyzed critically. His basic position is then reconstructed in a more viable form. This involves three stages that make use of ideas from Gareth Evans and Shaun Gallagher. Special attention is paid to the role of the categories and productive imagination in the ontogenesis of experience.

Keywords: Kant; epistemology; Transcendental Deduction; Critique of Pure Reason; objective unification; unity of self-consciousness; Gareth Evans; Shaun Gallagher; productive imagination; objective knowledge

Chapter.  10572 words. 

Subjects: Aesthetics and Philosophy of Art

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