Chapter

The Unity of Kant’s Active Thinker

Patricia Kitcher

in Transcendental Philosophy and Naturalism

Published in print August 2011 | ISBN: 9780199608553
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191729645 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199608553.003.0004
 						The Unity of Kant’s Active Thinker

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This chapter examines Kant’s theory of the unity of apperception and the argument he offers for it in the transcendental deduction of the Critique of Pure Reason. His theory is that the unity of apperception is created through the conscious synthesizing of materials in rational cognitions. Those conscious acts create and grasp the necessary connection of mental states in a single ‘I’. Because the unity of apperception is a necessary condition for rational cognition, his ‘transcendental argument’ for it is unique to that case. The special features of his argument are shown by comparing his case for mental unity with that offered recently by Quassim Cassam. Kant’s theory of necessary for cognition conscious synthesizing also suggests difficulties for current theories of consciousness.

Keywords: Unity of apperception; transcendental deduction; rational cognition; synthesis; consciousness; necessary connection; Quassim Cassam

Chapter.  7794 words. 

Subjects: History of Western Philosophy

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