The Scope of Inner Sense: The Development of Kant's Psychology in the Silent Decade

Con-Textos Kantianos 3:1-19 (2016)
Corey W. Dyck
University of Western Ontario
In this paper I argue, contrary to a widely influential account of Kant’s development in the “silent decade,” that key changes in his empirical and rational psychology throughout the 1770’s are traceable to changes in the scope he assigns to inner sense. Kant’s explicit inclusion of our access to the I or soul within the scope of inner sense in the early 1770’s (after its apparent exclusion in the Dissertation) yields a more robust empirical psychology. Given the Wolffian character of Kant’s pre-Critical conception rational psychology, this in turn provides a firmer foundation for the rational cognition of the soul, as exemplified in Kant’s treatment in the ML1 notes. Even so, I contend that Kant’s eventual rejection of the pretenses of rational psychology to offer cognition of the soul likewise has its basis in his later exclusion of any access to the I from the scope of inner sense, which also reveals a previously unnoticed continuity between his pre-Critical and Critical conceptions of rational psychology.
Keywords Kant  inner sense  soul  psychology
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