On interpreting Kant's thinker as Wittgenstein's 'I'

Although both Kant and Wittgenstein made claims about the “unknowability” of cognitive subjects, the current practice of assimilating their positions is mistaken. I argue that Allison’s attempt to understand the Kantian self through the early Wittgenstein and McDowell’s linking of Kant and the later Wittgenstein distort rather than illuminate. Against McDowell, I argue further that the Critique’s analysis of the necessary conditions for cognition produces an account of the sources of epistemic nonnativity that is importantly different from McDowell’s own account in terms of a ‘second nature’ created through ‘Bildung’. Finally, I argue that Kant’s epistemic analyses also lead to a model of the cognitive self that answers two contemporary questions: why should we refer to selves at all? in what dies the unity of a subject of thought consist?
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DOI 10.2307/2653402
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