Kant on Representation and Objectivity [Book Review]

Review of Metaphysics 59 (2):415-416 (2005)
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Abstract

Contrary to most interpretations of the transcendental deduction that take it to depend upon the ideas of personal identity, the “ownership” of mental states, or the ontological unity of the mind, the author argues that Kant’s principal concern is to show how the objective reality of a complex representation is consistent with the spontaneity of the mind. The short answer to this question is that objective reality is consistent with spontaneity precisely because the categories are universal and necessary. Ultimately, as Dickerson emphasizes—and this is the novel claim of the book—the problem addressed within the B-deduction ought to be seen as the representationalist parallel to the semantic question of what it is to understand a complex sign or the question of the unity of a proposition.

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Brandon Look
University of Kentucky

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