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Chapter 2 - Self-cognition and self-assessment

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 November 2014

Alix Cohen
Affiliation:
University of Edinburgh
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Summary

This chapter explores Immanuel Kant's views on the cognitive faculties to establish what, if anything, can be done to compensate for the limits of introspective self-observation. By replacing empirical psychology with his own anthropology, Kant makes it clear that one should not study the soul by itself. He notes that the soul is sometimes regarded as the organ of inner sense just as the ear and eyes are organs of outer sense. What Kant is proposing instead is an anthropology that correlates the soul with mind and spirit. The chapter proposes that Kant's notion of an interior sense initiates that function and signals the transition to the idea that self-cognition is not a project of self-description but of self-assessment. The overall self-determination involved in the sublime and in the development of moral character goes further in that both move to the level of judgment and reason.
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Kant's Lectures on Anthropology
A Critical Guide
, pp. 18 - 37
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2014

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