Kant's transcendental and empirical psychology of cognition

One of the perennially intriguing questions regarding Kant’s approach to the human sciences is the relation between his ‘transcendental psychology’ and empirical cognitive psychology. In this paper I compare his analysis of the a priori conditions of human cognition in the Critique of pure reason with his empirical account of the human cognitive faculties in his Anthropology from a pragmatic point of view. In comparing his approach to self-consciousness, sensibility, imagination, and understanding in these two works, I argue that Kant distinguishes between the transcendental and empirical aspects of the human cognitive faculties, and regards the transcendental functions as configuring the empirical faculties of human consciousness, or as giving them the structure that they require to become faculties of cognition. I then show that the cognitive faculties of human beings may vary in their empirical operation, even while they are configured by the same transcendental structure. Finally, I characterize Kant’s transcendental psychology in the first Critique as an account of the faculties that are required for a mind to be an agent or subject of cognition, corresponding to his account of the conditions that are required universally and necessarily for something to be an object of cognition.Keywords: Immanuel Kant; Anthropology; Psychology; Cognition; Transcendental; Empirical
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DOI 10.1016/j.shpsa.2008.09.012
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References found in this work BETA
Immanuel Kant (2007). Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals. In Elizabeth Schmidt Radcliffe, Richard McCarty, Fritz Allhoff & Anand Vaidya (eds.), Late Modern Philosophy: Essential Readings with Commentary. Blackwell Pub. Ltd.
I. Kant (1984). Critique of Pure Reason. Philosophy 59 (230):555-557.

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Citations of this work BETA
Katharina T. Kraus (2011). Kant and the 'Soft Sciences'. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 42 (4):618-624.
Thomas Sturm (2012). What's Philosophical About Kant's Philosophy of the Human Sciences? Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 43 (1):203-207.

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