Kant's Transcendental Psychology

Dissertation, The University of Rochester (1995)

In the Critique of Pure Reason, Kant argues, partly in response to Hume, that the mind brings an elaborate a priori structure to its interactions with the world. In his transcendental psychology, Kant argues for a number of theses about the nature of the mind of a subject that has cognition of empirical objects. This dissertation presents Kant's transcendental psychology and argues against a number of Patricia Kitcher's and Peter Strawson's criticisms. ;As a prelude to Kant's philosophical psychology, I reconstruct Hume's position in my second chapter and argue that his psychological theory of belief formation is inconsistent with the conclusions of his analysis of causal connection. ;My third chapter examines Strawson's "austere" reconstruction of Kant's Transcendental Deduction, from which Strawson attempts to exclude transcendental psychology and Kant's Subjective Deduction. Strawson argues that Kant is inconsistent because his transcendental psychology violates a principle of empirical significance that Strawson attributes to Kant. I argue that Strawson's "austere" version of Kant's argument is incomplete and inconsistent; Kant does not hold Strawson's principle of empirical significance. ;I then turn to a detailed reconstruction of Kant's Subjective Deduction. I argue that it is a regressive argument and that it argues for theses about the faculties necessary for empirical cognition. More specifically, Kant's transcendental unity of apperception has been misunderstood and misrepresented by Strawson, Kitcher, and Wolff. I draw an important distinction between the synthetic unity of representations in empirical judgments and the transcendental unity of the subject that is the ground of synthetic activity. ;My fifth chapter is devoted to Kitcher's interpretation of Kant's transcendental psychology. She argues that the claims of transcendental psychology should be interpreted functionalistically and causally. I argue that Kant's account of the transcendental functions of the mind should not be read causally. I also object to Kitcher's interpretation of apperceptive unity. I argue that she, like many commentators, has not acknowledged the two kinds of apperceptive unity in the Transcendental Deduction. This discussion concludes my defense of Kant's transcendental psychology
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Kant's Subjective Deduction.Nathan Bauer - 2010 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 18 (3):433-460.

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