Kant on Animal Consciousness

Philosophers' Imprint 11 (2011)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

Kant is often considered to have argued that perceptual awareness of objects in one's environment depends on the subject's possession of conceptual capacities. This conceptualist interpretation raises an immediate problem concerning the nature of perceptual awareness in non-rational, non-concept using animals. In this paper I argue that Kant’s claims concerning animal representation and consciousness do not foreclose the possibility of attributing to animals the capacity for objective perceptual consciousness, and that a non-conceptualist interpretation of Kant’s position concerning perceptual awareness can actively endorse this attribution. Kant can consistently allow that animals have a point of view on the objective world which possesses a distinctive phenomenal character while denying what seems most important to him – viz. that animals have the capacity to take cognitive attitudes towards, and thus self-ascribe, their own representational states.

Links

PhilArchive



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 74,509

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Kant's Treatment of Animals.Holly L. Wilson - 2011 - In Paul Pojman (ed.), Food Ethics. Wadsworth.
Animals, Consciousness, and I-Thoughts.Rocco J. Gennaro - 2009 - In Robert W. Lurz (ed.), The Philosophy of Animal Minds. Cambridge University Press. pp. 184--200.
Representation and a Science of Consciousness.Andrew R. Bailey - 2007 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 14 (1):62-76.
Constituting the Mind: Kant, Davidson, and the Unity of Consciousness.Jeff Malpas - 1999 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 7 (1):1-30.
Duties Regarding Animals.Patrick Kain - 2010 - In Lara Denis (ed.), Kant's Metaphysics of Morals: A Critical Guide. Cambridge University Press. pp. 210--233.
Consciousness: The Transcendalist Manifesto.Mark Rowlands - 2003 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 2 (3):205-21.
The Evolution of Consciousness.Euan M. Macphail - 1998 - Oxford University Press.

Analytics

Added to PP
2011-12-01

Downloads
212 (#57,922)

6 months
10 (#80,233)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Colin McLear
University of Nebraska, Lincoln

References found in this work

Mind and World.John McDowell - 1994 - Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
On a Confusion About a Function of Consciousness.Ned Block - 1995 - Brain and Behavioral Sciences 18 (2):227-–247.
Mind and World.Huw Price & John McDowell - 1994 - Philosophical Books 38 (3):169-181.

View all 70 references / Add more references