Review: Keller, Kant and the Demands of Self-Consciousness [Book Review]

Philosophical Review 110 (2):272-275 (2001)


In his Critique of Pure Reason, Kant makes the interesting, but obscure claim that the normative constraints that constitute the objectivity of our representations have their source ultimately in transcendental apperception. Keller focuses on this claim. He interprets Kant’s condition of transcendental apperception as the claim that I must represent myself in an impersonal way, and he argues that impersonal self-consciousness is a necessary condition under which I can distinguish my particular take on things from the way things are independently of my own perspective on them. He elaborates his interpretation and defense of the condition of transcendental self-consciousness by discussing its role in each of the central arguments in the Critique in which the notion importantly figures: the transcendental deduction in both the first edition and in the second, the Analogies of Experience, the Paralogisms, and the second-edition refutation of idealism.

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William F. Bristow
University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee

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