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Kant and the Philosophy of MindPerception, Reason, and the Self$
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Anil Gomes and Andrew Stephenson

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198724957

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: July 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198724957.001.0001

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A Kantian Critique of Transparency

A Kantian Critique of Transparency

(p.158) 9 A Kantian Critique of Transparency
Kant and the Philosophy of Mind

Patricia Kitcher

Oxford University Press

Many contemporary philosophers have defended the ‘transparency’ thesis: How a subject answers the question of whether she believes that p is not by an inner glance; rather, that question is answered in the same way as the question of the truth of p. Several proponents (most prominently Gareth Evans) suggest that they take some of their inspiration for the thesis from Kant. By contrast, this chapter argues that Kant would have opposed the transparency thesis. His investigations into the necessary conditions for cognition show that only a self-conscious subject could have a belief. In that case, the base step for self-ascription, belief about the world, must already involve self-consciousness. Kant does not (at least at his better moments) think that subjects understand themselves as thinkers or believers through inner glances, but through engaging in rational thought.

Keywords:   Kant, self-consciousness, self-knowledge, rational cognition, other minds, Gareth Evans

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