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Kant on self-consciousness

Klaudat, Andre Nilo; (1998) Kant on self-consciousness. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

The purpose of this thesis is to provide an account of Kant's view on self-consciousness. I give an answer, from the perspective of Kant's philosophy, to the questions of what are the features of self-consciousness and how it participates in making knowledge possible. I argue that Kant's view on self-consciousness is developed along two lines of argument. In the first, self-consciousness is constrained by the account of how the categories necessarily agree with the objects of experience. Thinking - the manifestation of self-consciousness par excellence - is shown to be objective insofar as the categories establish a relation between representations and its objects. This point helps to explain the main feature of Kant's view on self-consciousness: its self-sufficiency. Self-consciousness does not need, for its possibility, empirical criteria for the identification of a subject of experience. The second line of argument concerns what conditions the categories in their work. Kant, in this respect, claims that transcendental apperception is the a priori ground of all concepts, and this issue involves the notion of a transcendental subject. I show that transcendental apperception, in the guise of the transcendental subject, is that ground by being what makes the performance-aspect of the movements of a corporeal agent possible. This agent must, however, be conceived as corporeal, and thus far his movements reveal the ability to develop techniques necessary for the judgement of independently existing objects. The study is carried out against the background of Cartesianism and Classical Empiricism. The claims that emerge from Kant's analysis of transcendental apperception in the two lines of argument permit one to clarify, finally, Kant's point that his predecessors confuse self-consciousness with self-knowledge.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: Kant on self-consciousness
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Thesis digitised by ProQuest.
Keywords: Philosophy, religion and theology; Kant, Emmanuel
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10106258
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