Skip to main content Accessibility help
  • Cited by 25
Cambridge University Press
Online publication date:
December 2020
Print publication year:
Online ISBN:

Book description

As the pre-eminent Enlightenment philosopher, Kant famously calls on all humans to make up their own minds, independently from the constraints imposed on them by others. Kant's focus, however, is on universal human reason, and he tells us little about what makes us individual persons. In this book, Katharina T. Kraus explores Kant's distinctive account of psychological personhood by unfolding how, according to Kant, we come to know ourselves as such persons. Drawing on Kant's Critical works and on his Lectures and Reflections, Kraus develops the first textually comprehensive and systematically coherent account of our capacity for what Kant calls 'inner experience'. The novel view of self-knowledge and self-formation in Kant that she offers addresses present-day issues in philosophy of mind and will be relevant for contemporary philosophical debates. It will be of interest to scholars of the history of philosophy, as well as of philosophy of mind and psychology.


‘Katharina T. Kraus provides us with an original and valuable exploration of Kant's specifically regulative idea of the soul and the relation of this idea to inner experience and self-formation. The topics she treats are as important philosophically as they are as matters of Kant interpretation, and her analysis represents a welcome addition to the existing literature.'

Julian Wuerth - Vanderbilt University

'Katharina Kraus’ important book offers a careful discussion of Kant’s account of the self and self-awareness that is both hermeneutically and philosophically rewarding. On her highly original reading of Kant, our self or person is not something we find, but something we must achieve. Kraus develops this deep and difficult idea with impressive ingenuity and sophistication.'

Marcus Willaschek - Goethe-University Frankfurt

'This account of Kant’s psychology, which Kraus establishes with great patience, analytic clarity, technical accuracy, and systematic consequence, is highly innovative and intriguing.It will certainly stir vivid debates in the years to come. Chapters 3 and 4 are particularly convincing, attesting to an excellent knowledge of the existing literature and today’s philosophical debates.'

Stefanie Buchenau Source: Journal of the History of Philosophy

‘Scholars have provided countless studies of Kant’s theory of object cognition. Katharina Kraus has produced the first positive and comprehensive account of Kant’s theory of self-cognition. It is a signature achievement.’

Patricia Kitcher Source: European Journal of Philosophy

‘Kraus’s ambitious and impressively researched book is bound to generate a good deal of debate for the foreseeable future. Anyone interested, not only in Kant’s views on self-knowledge and personhood but also in Kant’s critical system as a whole, should have this book on top of their to-read list.’

Béatrice Longuenesse Source: Philosophical Review

‘Katharina Kraus’s new book is an impressive, wide-ranging treatment of Kant’s theory of self-consciousness and selfhood … its strength lies in the insight she displays in seeing how texts that are familiar to all students of the Critique can be read with subtlety and discernment in new and interesting ways. The account that emerges provides Kant with original answers to questions most readers (I speak of and for myself here) have not even known how to ask before reading her book … For I confess that she has turned me into a learner and an inquirer into the topics she is discussing.’

Allen Wood Source: Kantian Review

‘Katharina Kraus’s Kant on Self-Knowledge and Self-Formation … provides a careful and systematic investigation, along with a nuanced and innovative interpretation, of several overlapping parts of Kant’s philosophy of mind and psychology. It is successful to such a high degree that it is surely the ‘state of the art’ for all future discussion of its topics.’

Clinton Tolley Source: Kantian Review

‘This book deserves to become a standard reference point for any discussion of Kant’s view on the self.’

Pirachula Chulanon - Toronto Metropolitan University

Refine List

Actions for selected content:

Select all | Deselect all
  • View selected items
  • Export citations
  • Download PDF (zip)
  • Save to Kindle
  • Save to Dropbox
  • Save to Google Drive

Save Search

You can save your searches here and later view and run them again in "My saved searches".

Please provide a title, maximum of 40 characters.



Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Book summary page views

Total views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between #date#. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed.