The singularity and the unity of transcendental consciousness in Kant

History of European Ideas 30 (3):349-376 (2004)
Authors
Richard E. Aquila
University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Abstract
Transcendental consciousness is described by Kant as 'the one single thing' in which 'as in the transcendental subject, our perceptions must be encountered.' The unity of that subject depends on intellectual functions. I argue that its singularity is just the same as that of Kant's pre-intellectual 'form' of spatiotemporal 'intuition.' This may seem excluded by Kant's claim that it is through intellect that 'space or time are first given as intuitions.' But while preintellectual form is insufficient for space and time as distinct 'things,' it is sufficient for the constitution of a 'single thing' indifferently construable as both. Contrary to what are typically seen as the main differences between Kant and Hume on identity of 'self,' there is thus already a difference in play below the level of either's concern with the sorts of connections available for the combining, or illusion of combining, of manifolds of 'impressions' or 'ideas.'
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DOI 10.1016/j.histeuroideas.2004.06.006
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