On Strawson on Kantian Apperception

South African Journal of Philosophy 27 (3):257-271 (2008)
*The version archived here is the corrected version* NOTE: a reworked version of this article will appear in my next book "Original Apperception: Self-Consciousness in Kant and German Idealism"; a work-in-progress version can be downloaded via below wix link to my website http://dschulting.wixsite.com/dennisschulting //ABSTRACT: Strawson famously argues that Kant’s argument for the necessary conditions of experience can only be retained once freed from a priori synthesis. Strawson claims that a purely ‘analytical connexion’ between experience and the object of experience is conceptually inferable from a thoroughly analytic premise concerning the capacity for self-ascription of representations. In this paper, I take issue with the way in which Strawson construes the analyticity of the principle of self-ascription or what Kant calls the principle of transcendental apperception. More particularly, I shall argue that Strawson’s unity argument, viz. his construal of the unity of consciousness, on which the principle of self-ascription depends, suffers from a modal fallacy. Whilst arguing this, I shall suggest that a priori synthesis is required even for analytic unity of consciousness to be possible. [Note: on p. 265n.19 reach should be r-each (subscript), and on p. 269 square symbol should be universal quantifier].
Keywords Kant  Strawson  Apperception
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DOI 10.4314/sajpem.v27i3.31516
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