Kant, Hegel, and the Transcendental Material Conditions of Possible Experience

I argue that Hegel is aware of a crucial problem in Kant’s transcendental account of the conditions of human knowledge. Unless the matter of sensation is sufficiently ordered (and sufficiently varied) we could not make any cognitive judgments. In that case we could not distinguish ourselves from objects we know, and so could not be self-conscious. This is a necessary, formal and transcendental condition of possible human experience. However, it is also (as Kant acknowledged) a material – not a conceptual or an intutive – condition. Consequently, Kant’s idealism cannot account for it. This provides one key to Hegel’s internal critique of Kant’s idealism.
Keywords mental content externalism
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