Is Kant’s Theoretical Doctrine of the Self Consistent with His Thesis of Noumenal Ignorance?


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The relation between the concepts of the subject of apperception, the phenomenal self, and the noumenal self has long puzzled commentators on Kant’s theoretical account of the self. This paper argues that many of the puzzles surrounding Kant’s account can be resolved by treating the subject of apperception and other transcendental predicates of thinking as a dimension of the noumenal self. Yet this interpretation requires a clarification of how the transcendental predicates of thinking can be attributed to the noumenal self without violating the thesis of noumenal ignorance. The clarification is achieved through a careful analysis of the meaning of the latter thesis. The paper’s interpretation is then shown to be consistent with Kant’s rejection of traditional ontology and with the dual-aspect view. The paper’s final section argues that transcendental predicates are properly construed as logical predicates but must be distinguished from ordinary examples of the latter.
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DOI ipq20094913
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