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Kant's Theory of Self-Consciousness$
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C. Thomas Powell

Print publication date: 1990

Print ISBN-13: 9780198244486

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198244486.001.0001

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The Self and the Transcendental Deduction

The Self and the Transcendental Deduction

(p.11) 1 The Self and the Transcendental Deduction
Kant's Theory of Self-Consciousness

C. Thomas Powell

Oxford University Press

In the Transcendental Deduction, Immanuel Kant tries to answer the question of whether it is possible to experience a unitary self. Kant's more explicit discussion in the Paralogisms of the self and self-knowledge draws so heavily on the cryptic and difficult account in the Transcendental Deduction that the Paralogisms are almost incoherent when detached from the Deduction. This chapter examines Kant's account of the epistemic self as it is presented in the Transcendental Deduction. Regarding the Subjective Deduction, this chapter argues that what Kant is really doing there is analysing the relation between the synthesis of representations and the necessary conditions of the representation of the self as a continuant subject. Kant also demonstrates that experience necessarily involves knowledge of objects, and he demonstrates this necessity independently of, but in parallel with, the necessity of the representation of a unitary experiencing subject.

Keywords:   Immanuel Kant, self, Transcendental Deduction, Subjective Deduction, representation, experience, knowledge, Objective Deduction

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