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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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Kant on Self-Identity: The Third Paralogism

Kant on Self-Identity: The Third Paralogism

(p.130) 4 Kant on Self-Identity: The Third Paralogism
Kant's Theory of Self-Consciousness

C. Thomas Powell

Oxford University Press

In the Third Paralogism, Immanuel Kant either addresses directly or gives hints of his views on personal identity, on the moral implications of such identity, and on the problem of other minds. This chapter examines how the argument may fit into Kant's general account of the paralogistic reasoning of rational psychology. It demonstrates that, construed outside the context of this account, Kant's remarks on the Third Paralogism are misleading to the point of unintelligibility. To see the actual structure of the Third Paralogism, Kant's definition of a transcendental paralogism is considered. What Kant invokes is the thesis, taken from the Transcendental Aesthetic, that time is the form of inner sense. It seems reasonable to conclude that in the Third Paralogism Kant is attempting to refute the thesis that self-consciousness of personal identity can be known by empirical observation.

Keywords:   Immanuel Kant, Third Paralogism, personal identity, rational psychology, transcendental paralogism, time, self-consciousness, permanence

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