<< . .

. 10
( : 30)



. . >>




Kant develops and supports the claim to objectivity implicit in judgment
by ¬rst arguing that all judgment that is dependent on a speci¬c
subject-matter dependent judgment derives its content from spatio-
temporal experience and then by arguing that we can represent all
objects in space and time together in a manner that is standpoint-
neutral. This standpoint-neutral manner of representing objects in
space and time is due to their relation to a possible self-consciousness. As
contents of consciousness, objects in space and time are representable in
a manner that depends on the spatio-temporal standpoint of the observ-
ing consciousness. However, this standpoint-dependent perspective is
itself only intelligible relative to a possible standpoint-independent per-
spective from which the standpoint of the observer becomes cognitively
accessible.
By appealing to the standpoint-neutral constraints on representing
standpoint-dependent truths, it is possible to justify the objectivity claim
made by judgment. Objectivity then consists in the way things must be
represented in space and time so that they are the same for all observers
at all spatio-temporal locations. Kant seeks to make it comprehensible
how even subjective experiences can be regarded as subject to objectiv-
ity constraints. The key thesis here is that subjective experiences are
inherently dependent on the way things present themselves to the
spatio-temporal point of view of some consciousness. But this particular
point of view is only intelligible as a speci¬c perspective that one can
take as a self. In self-consciousness one is then, in principle, able to
combine the di¬erent possible spatio-temporal points of view in a single
encompassing objective point of view. It is because the individual
perspectives of diverse subjective experiences themselves presuppose a
single comprehensive point of view of which they are the perspectives,
that subjective experiences are subject to objectivity constraints.

·
 Kant and the demands of self-consciousness

  °   ¬   ¦    °   ¦    µ   µ  
Initially, Kant™s argument for the objective validity and empirical reality
of the categories seems to be complete by section ° at the end of the ¬rst
step in his two-step proof. Thus, his transcendental deduction seems to be
complete. He takes himself to have shown that categories act as con-
straints on the empirical contents of judgments made by any possible
self-consciousness. But he soon claims in section ± that he has only just
begun his proof. This has given rise to the much debated problem of the
proof structure of the B-Deduction. The question of the proof structure is
of some importance to my general argument. For I wish to argue against
the leading interpretations that Kant does not need to appeal to an ad hoc
assumption of spatial and temporal unity in order to support his argument
from the self-ascribability of representations to their being subject to
conceptual constraints that allow us to form judgments about them.
Kant summarizes what he takes himself already to have proven in the
form of a syllogism (section °,  ±). The major term of the syllogism
and initial premise of the argument states that the content of intuition
must be subject to the unity of self-consciousness, since this unity of
self-consciousness makes the unity of what we sensibly experience poss-
ible. This is what he takes himself to have established by section ±·. The
middle term of the syllogism injects the idea that data are brought under
self-consciousness in general through logical functions of judgment.
This is supposed to be established in section ±“±. The notion of a
logical function is not mentioned explicitly in section ±, but Kant has
developed the idea that the objective import of judgment is based on its
relation to impersonal self-consciousness, and he has already argued in
the Metaphysical Deduction of the Categories that categories are de-
rived from the logical functions underlying thought by applying such
logical functions to objects. Assuming that the way objects may be given
to us is through empirical intuition, he then concludes that anything
given through a unitary empirical intuition is determined with respect to
the forms of judgment. For it is through being determined in respect to
the logical functions of judgment that contents are brought into a
˜˜consciousness in general™™ (Bewusstsein uberhaupt) (section °,  ±). The
¨
important thing to note here is that every cognitively signi¬cant (spatio-
temporal) intuition is given to us as part of an intuition that is unitary in
the sense that it can be represented by us as belonging to our own
consciousness. But this need not yet involve a representation of how the
object of such an intuition would ¬gure in a consciousness in general,

The unity of intuition: completing the B-Deduction
that is, in an impersonal consciousness. The task of showing what the
objective position in consciousness and intuition is of such an object falls
to the category:

A manifold that is contained in an intuition that I call mine is represented as
belonging to the necessary unity of self-consciousness by means of the synthesis of
the understanding, and this occurs by means of the category [ ±]. The basis
for the proof depends on the represented unity of intuition through which an
object is given that always includes a synthesis of the manifold given to an
intuition and already contains the relations of the latter to the unity of apper-
ception. ( ±n)

According to Kant™s de¬nition of the categories, categories are not
just forms of judgment, but ways in which data are determined by
thought to ¬t forms of judgment (section ±). Application of the category
of substance to experience determines, for instance, whether informa-
tion provided by sensibility is to be represented by a singular or an
attributive term. Given that anything represented by us in a single
empirical intuition is supposed to be subject to the categories, the
conclusion of the argument must be that we have knowledge whenever
we have a unitary empirical intuition, that belongs to a consciousness in
general, that is, an empirical intuition that is the same for each of us.
The initial conclusion in section ° limits the domain of application that
categories have to information in unitary empirical representations,
thus seeming to allow for the possibility of non-unitary intuitions. But
the ¬nal conclusion in section ° seems to close o¬ the possibility of
non-unitary intuitions by lifting the restriction: ˜˜Therefore the manifold
of a given intuition necessarily stands under categories™™ ( ±). The
possibility of non-unitary intuitions is at any rate di¬cult to take very
seriously in Kant™s epistemology, since intuitions are de¬ned as unitary
and immediate representations.±
Although it is now generally agreed that the B-Deduction argument
consists of a proof in two steps, with the argument from sections ±µ to ± as
one step and the argument from sections  to · as the other, what is
supposed to be shown in each step is very much a matter of debate. There
are ¬ve di¬erent basic approaches that have been taken to the proof
structure in the more recent literature: (±) according to the Henrich
interpretation,the argument of the ¬rst step is synthetic, but is restricted to
the applicability of categories to unitary intuitions, while in the second
step the applicability of categories to all of our sensible intuitions is
demonstrated. () According to the interpretation ¬rst suggested by
° Kant and the demands of self-consciousness
Tenbruck and developed by Bernhard Thole and Henry Allison, the ¬rst
¨
step shows that categories apply only to possible objects of intuition,
relying on a second step for a proof that they apply to actual empirical
objects. The ¬rst step is then analytic, while only the argument of the
second is synthetic. () The approach defended by Brouillet, Wagner,
and, more recently, by Howell, takes the ¬rst step to show that categories
apply to intuitions in general and the second to show that they apply to
objects of our empirical intuition. () According to Baum™s interpreta-
tion, the second step of the proof is required in order to demonstrate that
space and time are intuitions in the sense required by the ¬rst part.µ (µ)
McCann argues that the ¬rst step of the Deduction is based on the analytic
principle of apperception that all my representations can be represented
by me as mine. The concept of an object in general and the a priori
concepts that specify it are derived from the unity of this apperception. In
the second step, Kant then purportedly argues that one cannot so much as
think of oneself as an individual thinking thing without having determi-
nate knowledge of oneself. From this it follows that the existence of a
determinate self-consciousness entails the validity of categories that apply
to objects of sensory experience.
Henrich attributes some confusion to Kant about his own proof-
intentions in an e¬ort to explain away those passages (especially in
section ±) in the ¬rst step which appear to claim that any manifold of
our intuition belongs to a unitary self-consciousness (see  ±,  ±µ“
±). Kant is supposed to slide from ascribing unity to any representa-
tion which is mine in some restricted sense to ascribing unity to all
representations in me. But, if he is guilty of this error, why should he
then attempt to prove the latter claim in an additional step? The
principle of charity discourages one from accepting Henrich™s proposal
as a reconstruction of Kant™s own intended purpose for the second half
of his proof.· It is also di¬cult to see how an appeal to space and time
would help to establish the fact that all intuitions must be unitary, if that
unity depends, as Henrich claims that it does, on powers of synthesis by
the understanding, the scope of which are themselves in doubt.
One can object to the second interpretation of the ¬rst step as an
analytic argument that this makes it implausible to refer to the ¬rst step
as a bona ¬de ¬rst step in a two-step proof, since the burden of proof has
then been shifted to the second step. The decisive di¬culty for the
second view seems to me however to be that Kant insists in his summary
of the ¬rst step in section ° that ˜˜any manifold insofar as it is given in
one empirical intuition is determined in respect to one of the logical
±
The unity of intuition: completing the B-Deduction
functions through which it is namely brought to one consciousness in
general™™ (section °,  ±). Kant thinks he has already established the
possibility of empirical judgment and empirical knowledge in the ¬rst
step. In fact, he introduces cognitions (˜˜Erkenntnisse™™) into the ¬rst step
in the B-Deduction through the claim that they ˜˜consist in the determi-
nate relation of given representations to an object™™ (section ±·,  ±·).
The speci¬c contribution of the second step cannot therefore be a proof
that categories are objectively real. The notion of determination is used
by Kant to characterize a feature of the object of judgment which is
precisely not determined by logic alone. For instance, which concept
will serve as predicate and which as subject in a judgment will be
determined by which concept is held to refer to a substance and which
to its accident. This point is made in section ± ( ±“±), a passage to
which Kant himself refers in the next sentence of section °. Kant must
therefore believe himself already to have proven that the categories have
not only objective, but also empirical reality by the time he has com-
pleted the ¬rst step of the proof. This objection also seems to be enough
to reject the third interpretation. The conditional claim that the Baum
interpretation ascribes to the ¬rst step in the proof is hard to identify in
the text. It is also di¬cult to see why Kant would not think that the
Aesthetic already simply supplies the antecedent premise that we have a
priori knowledge of space and time to the conditional claim without an
additional step in the proof.
McCann is certainly right that in the second step of the Deduction,
Kant wants to show that all states of my empirical self are subject to the
categories. However, a central point of Kant™s is also that not all
experiences that I have as a particular empirically knowable individual
are instances of objective judgment or knowledge of the kind requiring
the application of categories. How do the categories apply to such
subjective experiences if they are constraints on objective judgment?
McCann misses this important dimension of Kant™s argument, and thus
leaves the nature of subjective experience a mystery for Kant, because
he con¬‚ates all empirical consciousness of self with empirical knowledge
of the self. McCann argues that by making self-knowledge a necessary
condition for consciousness of oneself as a thinking being one is able to
meet a Cartesian skeptic who endorses the cogito argument, but rejects
our possession of any knowledge of the content of our mental or physical
states. But, curiously enough, McCann quotes a passage from the
Refutation of Idealism in which Kant expressly disconnects the certain-
ty of the cogito from any claims of self-knowledge:
 Kant and the demands of self-consciousness
Certainly, the representation ˜˜I am,™™ which expresses the consciousness that
can accompany all thought, immediately includes in itself the existence of a
subject; but it does not so include any knowledge of that subject, and therefore
also no empirical knowledge, that is, no experience of it. ( ··)

Nothing in the Deduction does anything to undermine a Cartesian
skeptic who accepts the existential claim embodied in the conditions
governing the assertion of the proposition ˜˜I think,™™ but rejects the
existence of external bodies. However, section  of the Deduction does
argue with the Refutation that knowledge of inner states is parasitic on
knowledge of outer states.
It seems to be speci¬cally the problem of self-knowledge that leads
Kant to divide the argument of the B-Deduction into two steps. Since he
de¬nes knowledge in terms of judgment in the B-Deduction, and judg-
ment has an objective force that the so-called perceptual judgments of
the Prolegomena do not, the implication of Kant™s new theory of judgment
appears to be that no knowledge of inner states is possible. For inner
states seem to be precisely states that are inherently subjective. This
suggests that there is no such thing as self-knowledge and that there are
no inner objects of judgment. Since categories are de¬ned in terms of
that with respect to which logical functions of judgments are deter-
mined, the implication is that categories do not apply to inner states. A
whole dimension of experience appears to resist use of the categories.
Kant needs to block this implication of his new theory of judgment,
without undermining the link he has established between judgment,
objectivity, and self-consciousness.
At the same time he must meet the serious objection that his theory of
self-knowledge renders transcendental idealism as a whole incoherent.
The clever critic Pistorius had argued in his ±· review of the
Prolegomena that transcendental idealism is incoherent because the thesis
that things in themselves are unknowable cannot apply to self-knowl-
edge without undermining the possibility of anything genuinely appear-
ing at all. Pistorius could not:
convince himself that the sensations given in time would be merely phenomena
just as the intuitions given in space, because he cannot help himself past the
di¬culty that because our inner sensations or representations would not then
be things in themselves, but appearances, there would be nothing but mere
illusion :Schein9and no real object would remain to which something would
appear. How is one to think it possible that representations which one must
after all presuppose as real [reell] or as things in themselves, if one wants to
explain at all how appearing :Scheinen9 is possible, can themselves be an

The unity of intuition: completing the B-Deduction
illusion :Schein9, and what is it through which and in which this illusion
:Schein9 exists?±°
Consciousness of oneself must be of a bearer that is not itself a mere
appearance, if there is to be any representer to which inner and outer
objects of any kind are to appear. Otherwise, appearance becomes total
illusion. At the same time, self-knowledge and knowledge in general
must be restricted to objects as they must appear to us spatially and
temporally, if the categories are to apply necessarily to all the objects to
which they do apply.
In contrast to the di¬erent reconstructions of the argument in the
Deduction, I wish to argue that the ¬rst step attempts to show that all
cognitively signi¬cant contents of our representations are candidates for
judgments determined by categories. Cognitively signi¬cant contents
are candidates for judgment, because they are potential candidates for
the kind of impersonal self-consciousness expressed by the proposition
˜˜I think.™™ One might worry that the restriction of the argument to
cognitively signi¬cant representations would leave the argument in the
¬rst step incomplete. However, there is no reason to think of the
argument for objectivity in the ¬rst step as essentially incomplete, since
Kant has no need to be concerned with the status of representations that
are completely beyond anyone™s ken. Why then is a second step needed
in Kant™s proof? Kant needs to show how all sensible representational
contents can be candidates for judgment requiring categories. In this
way, Kant can sustain the claim of judgment to objectivity and still
provide room for subjective experiences.
Before the second step, Kant claims to have abstracted the second
step from the manner in which data belonging to an empirical intuition
are given. He now wants to explain how it is possible for the categories
to apply to all objects:
In what follows (section ), it will be shown through the way that empirical
intuition is given in sensibility that its unity is none other than that which the
category prescribes according to the previous section ° to a given intuition in
general and by thus explaining their validity a priori with respect to all objects
of our senses the Deduction will be attained for the ¬rst time. (section ±,  ±µ)
Since Kant has already concluded that any manifold given in an
empirical intuition will have to be subject to the categories, in the second
step, he can only be concerned with demonstrating how the validity of
the categories with respect to all empirical objects is to be explained,
that is, he wants to show how a priori knowledge of all objects of
 Kant and the demands of self-consciousness
experience is possible. Thus in section  he notes that he ¬rst argued for
the categories as a priori cognitions of objects belonging to an intuition
in general (sections °“±), and now wants to explain how categories can
apply to all objects that may present themselves to our senses.
Kant thinks that an a priori claim must be necessarily true of all the
objects of which it is true. And he thinks that this implies that the objects
of which an a priori claim is true can only be objects as they must appear
to us. This is why he invokes his conception of transcendental idealism
to show that the categories must apply to all objects of experience and
only to objects of experience. First, he argues that judgment and
cognition, including mathematical knowledge, is restricted to the form
of objects belonging to our experience (sections “). He then argues
that judgment and hence the categories that provide contentual con-
straints on judgment necessarily apply even to our inner experience,
even though not every inner experience is per se an object of judgment
(section ). While inner states are necessarily subject to a pre-judgmen-
tal temporal synthesis that makes them candidates for judgment, the
judging subject is conscious of itself in a way that is independent of such
temporal synthesis (section µ). Kant concludes his argument by noting
that any object of empirical consciousness in any sense, and hence all
inner states, belong to space and time that have their unity in virtue of
their cognitive signi¬cance for self-consciousness. Thus, even the subjec-
tive experiences that belong to my empirical self must be subject to the
laws that allow one to form a single empirical space and time in which
every object has a determinate position for an objective judgment.

 ¬ ¦- ®  ©µ ®  ,  ¬ ¦ -« ® · ¬ ¤ § , ® ¤
 µ       
Kant does not just restrict the role of the transcendental self-conscious-
ness expressed in the proposition ˜˜I think p™™ to concepts, judgments,
and inferences. He argues that any representational content that is to
have any cognitive signi¬cance for any one of us, must be a representa-
tional content that is a potential content of the proposition ˜˜I think p.™™
The world is not simply a construction of the self. But the world is
something which the self must construct for itself on the basis of informa-
tion it receives. The self must be able to view information provided by
receptivity as information for it. In order for the self to view information
as its own, it must be able to interpret and hence to conceptualize
experience. This means that even those representations that have a
µ
The unity of intuition: completing the B-Deduction
content that depends on our receiving information from the world must
be potential contents of the proposition ˜˜I think p.™™ Such representa-
tional contents are potential candidates for judgments of the form ˜˜I
think p™™ because they are experienced by us in a manner that is already
concept-laden. However, the representational contents provided by
receptivity are not themselves concepts, judgments, or inferences.
Rather they are contents that are concept-laden because they are
potential candidates for the kind of self-consciousness expressed in the
proposition ˜˜I think p.™™
The most fundamental distinction within our capacity for receiving
information is that between information that is internal to our own
particular point of view as particular individuals endowed with self-
consciousness and that of information that is external to our own point of
view as particular self-conscious beings. The distinction between what is
external and what is internal to representation is not one that is entailed
by thought in its most general sense. However, any ¬nite rational being
endowed with self-consciousness will have to be able to draw a distinction
between what is internal to its own point of view and what is external to
that point of view. Due to the nature of ¬nite self-consciousness there
must be objects that present themselves to a being that is conscious of
itself in such a way that it represents them as internal to its point of view
and in such a way that it represents others as external to its point of view.
For without the distinction between the internal and the external, there is
no determinate consciousness of oneself as a distinct individual at all.
Such consciousness is implicitly contrastive. For there to be a contrast
there must be some distinction between the way things are for me and the
way they are externally to me.
Creatures that have a sense of self that they can articulate have the
ability to attribute experiences to themselves and thereby to distinguish
themselves from other objects and other selves. The ability to ascribe a
multiplicity of di¬erent episodes belonging to experience to oneself as
opposed to attributing it to some other individual, accounts for the
general sense in which what is experienced by a self is inner to the self. In
order for the self to be conscious of facts about itself as a distinctive
individual, the self must be given to itself in a way which distinguishes it
from other selves. The particular experience which distinguishes one
individual self from another may be referred to as what is inner to that
self. What is inner is juxtaposed to what is outer in experience. What is
outer in experience is just what is outside of the self as representer while
what is inner is what makes the representer™s point of view what it is.
 Kant and the demands of self-consciousness
The distinction between the internal and the external would seem to
lapse for a non-¬nite rational being, at least for a being that was
non-¬nite in every respect. But unless a ¬nite rational being can draw a
distinction between the inner and the outer, it will not be able to
distinguish the way things appear to it from its own point of view from
the way they might appear to some other possible point of view. Such a
being would have no grip on the idea that it itself has beliefs. Unless one
can allow for the possibility that one™s own beliefs might be di¬erent
from those of someone else, one does not have the notion that one holds
them for either the right or the wrong reasons. But then there is no
reason to think that one is a (¬nite) rational being at all. Even a
non-¬nite rational being would need to be able to represent things, but it
would not need to regard its point of view as distinct from the point of
view of the whole universe.
Now, even if the very notion of ¬nite rationality requires some
distinction between the inner and the outer, this does not give any
indication how such a distinction must be drawn. Kant makes two
rather controversial moves here. First, he argues that there is a form of
inner and a form of outer experience, then he maintains that the only
distinction we have between the inner and the outer is one we make in
terms of time and space. He concludes that the form according to which
we must order our inner states is time, while the form according to
which we must order our outer states is space.
Kant insists that the di¬erence between what is internal and what is
external to a certain ¬nite point of view is to be expressed in terms of the
distinction between states that are essentially tied to a certain point of
view and those that are, in principle, independent of a certain perspec-
tive. Past, present, and future are essentially dependent on a temporal
point of view, while temporal properties or relations that are indepen-
dent of a particular point of view seem to depend for their existence on
spatial relations. From this, Kant concludes that time and space are the
only forms in terms of which we can make sense of objects given to the
self. He refers to these forms as the forms of receptivity and, more
speci¬cally, as the forms of our sensibility. He maintains, quite plausibly,
that the content of our experience is essentially spatial and temporal
because the faculty through which we receive information about the
world represents the world to us spatially and temporally.
Kant argues for the claim that there must be a form of inner and outer
sense in the following way: in order to be able to relate sensations to
objects that are external to each other or internal to our point of view
·

<< . .

. 10
( : 30)



. . >>