Kant on Intentionality, Magnitude, and the Unity of Perception

European Journal of Philosophy 22 (4):505-528 (2011)
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Abstract

This paper addresses a number of closely related questions concerning Kant's model of intentionality, and his conceptions of unity and of magnitude [Gröβe]. These questions are important because they shed light on three issues which are central to the Critical system, and which connect directly to the recent analytic literature on perception: the issues are conceptualism, the status of the imagination, and perceptual atomism. In Section 1, I provide a sketch of the exegetical and philosophical problems raised by Kant's views on these issues. I then develop, in Section 2, a detailed analysis of Kant's theory of perception as elaborated in both the Critique of Pure Reason and the Critique of Judgment; I show how this analysis provides a preliminary framework for resolving the difficulties raised in Section 1. In Section 3, I extend my analysis of Kant's position by considering a specific test case: the Axioms of Intuition. I contend that one way to make sense of Kant's argument is by juxtaposing it with Russell's response to Bradley's regress; I focus in particular on the concept of ‘unity’. Finally, I offer, in Section 4, a philosophical assessment of the position attributed to Kant in Sections 2 and 3. I argue that, while Kant's account has significant strengths, a number of key areas remain underdeveloped; I suggest that the phenomenological tradition may be read as attempting to fill precisely those gaps

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Author's Profile

Sacha Golob
King's College London

Citations of this work

Kantian Conceptualism/Nonconceptualism.Colin McLear - 2020 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Types of Representational Content in Kant.Hemmo A. Laiho - 2019 - Kantian Journal 38 (1):30-54.
Two Functions of Perception in Kant.Hemmo Laiho - 2020 - Con-Textos Kantianos 1 (11):272-290.
The Mereology of Representation.Jessica Leech - 2016 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 116 (2):205-228.
Perceptual Content and the Unity of Perception.David de Bruijn - 2022 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 60 (4):540-569.

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References found in this work

Mind and World.John Henry McDowell - 1994 - Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
A treatise of human nature.David Hume & A. D. Lindsay - 1739 - Oxford,: Clarendon press. Edited by L. A. Selby-Bigge.
A treatise of human nature.David Hume & D. G. C. Macnabb (eds.) - 1739 - Oxford,: Clarendon press.
Principia ethica.George Edward Moore - 1903 - Mineola, N.Y.: Dover Publications. Edited by Thomas Baldwin.

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