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Transcendental Apperception: Consciousness or Self-Consciousness? Comments on Chapter 9 of Patricia Kitcher's Kant's Thinker

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  31 January 2014

Ralf Busse*
Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz Email:


A core thesis of Kitcher's is that thinking about objects requires awareness of necessary connections between one's object-directed representations ‘as such’ and that this is what Kant means by the transcendental unity of apperception. I argue that Kant's main point is the spontaneity or ‘self-made-ness’ of combination rather than the requirement of reflexive awareness of combination, that Kitcher provides no plausible account of how recognition of representations ‘as such’ should be constituted and that in fact Kant himself appears to lack the theoretical resources to clearly distinguish between (first-level) consciousness and self-consciousness or apperception properly so-called.

Symposium on Patricia Kitcher's Kant's Thinker
Copyright © Kantian Review 2014 

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