Counting subjects

Synthese 162 (3):373 - 384 (2008)
  Copy   BIBTEX


Kolak’s arguments for the thesis ‘there is only one person’ in fact show that the subject-in-itself is not a countable entity. The paper argues for this assertion by comparing Kolak’s concept of the subject with Kant’s notion of the transcendental unity of apperception (TUAP), which is a formal feature of experience and not countable. It also argues the point by contrasting both the subject and the TUAP with the notion of the individual human being or empirical self, which is the main concern standard theories of personal identity such as those of Williams, Parfit and Nozick. Unlike the empirical self, but rather like Kant’s TUAP, the subject-in-itself cannot be counted because it is not an object or substance, despite Kolak’s thesis that there is only one. The paper also maintains that Kolak’s contention that the subject is an entity hinges on a strong and less plausible interpretation of Kant’s transcendental idealism.



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 93,031

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

The Two Dimensions of Kant's Concept of Subject.Jianjun Wang - 2006 - Philosophy and Culture 33 (9):165-180.
The Concept of 'I' in Kant's First Critique.Adriano Kurle - 2023 - In Agemir Bavaresco, Evandro Pontel & Jair Tauchen (eds.), Setenário. Porto Alegre, RS, Brazil: Editora Fundação Fênix. pp. 41-56.
Kant on Empirical Self-Consciousness.Janum Sethi - 2024 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 102 (1):79-99.


Added to PP

63 (#262,902)

6 months
5 (#711,233)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Garrett Thomson
College of Wooster

Citations of this work

Add more citations

References found in this work

Philosophical explanations.Robert Nozick - 1981 - Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
Practical Ethics.Peter Singer - 1979 - New York: Cambridge University Press. Edited by Susan J. Armstrong & Richard George Botzler.
Critique of Pure Reason.I. Kant - 1787/1998 - Philosophy 59 (230):555-557.
Practical Ethics.Peter Singer - 1979 - Philosophy 56 (216):267-268.

View all 10 references / Add more references