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of that representation to a representer. We cannot however represent
the identity and di¬erences of these di¬erent representations in relation
to each other without applying concepts to those representations. A
concept just is a representation of an object by means of a feature which
may be shared by di¬erent objects (including representations them-
selves). These concepts must themselves have contents which are deter-
mined by their relations of identity and di¬erence to each other. Thus,
we can only make sense of the notion of a representation insofar as we
hold that representation to be conceptualizable within the conceptual
framework of a being capable of articulating a set of concepts which it is
capable of self-ascribing. The further point to note is that the systematic
di¬erences between representational contents can be understood as
di¬erences in the functional roles that representations play in judgment
and inference. It is here that the categories enter the picture.

¬§©¬ ¦µ®©® ¦ µ§ ®¤ §©
The categories or pure concepts of the understanding whose legitimacy
Kant wishes to defend are supposed to have their ultimate source in the
basic logical constants or logical functions of thought. The Metaphysical
Deduction claims to be able to derive the categories from the most basic
logical functions involved in judgment. This list of categories and basic
logical functions is supposed to be complete:
 Kant and the demands of self-consciousness
This division is systematically generated from a common principle, namely
from the faculty of judgment (which is as much as the faculty of thinking) and
has not come to be rhapsodically from a search for pure concepts relying on
good luck, of whose completeness one could never be certain, since it is only
inferred by induction without considering that in that case one could never
realize why these concepts and not others belong to pure understanding. (
°“±/ ±°“±°·)

Although Kant chastises Aristotle for his rhapsodic approach to a
doctrine of categories, it is di¬cult to identify an argument in the
Metaphysical Deduction or elsewhere that the table of logical functions
or of categories is complete. Kant seems, however, to have thought that
an analysis of the nature of judgment would force one to assume a
certain set of most basic syntactical forms of judgment. To such syntacti-
cal forms of judgment there would in turn be a corresponding set of
most basic extra syntactic constraints on the way judgments can be
made concerning objects.±
Kant lists twelve categories in four groups, (±) categories of quantity:
unity, plurality, totality, () categories of quality: reality, negation, limi-
tation, () categories of relation: inherence and subsistence, causality
and dependence, interaction, () categories of modality: possibility,
actuality, and necessity ( °/ ±°). These categories are supposed to
arise from the di¬erent ways in which intuition can be connected
together in a unity, just as the twelve basic forms of judgment that Kant
attempts to abstract from term logic are supposed to arise from the
di¬erent fundamental ways in which concepts can be connected to-
gether in the unity of a judgment ( ·/ ±°µ). The general idea is that
categories constitute the di¬erent fundamental kinds of objects that can
be thought by the di¬erent fundamental functions involved in di¬erent
kinds of judging. These forms of judgment are (±) quantity of judgment:
universal, particular, individual, () quality: assertive, negative, in¬nite,
() relation: categorical, hypothetical, disjunctive, () modality: problem-
atic, assertoric, apodictic. Even if Kant had a completeness proof for the
logical constants in his term logic, the connection between the catego-
ries and these logical functions is quite loose. Questions would thus
remain about the completeness of his list of categories.
While categories have a logical meaning that consists in the uni¬ca-
tion of representations in judgment even without sensible conditions,
these logical forms are not yet concepts of objects ( ±·/ ±). They
only become full-¬‚edged concepts of objects when they are given an
extra syntactical content from our experience. For until then the objects

Introducing apperception
that these forms represent are indistinguishable from those forms of
thought themselves. Once logical forms have an object that is distin-
guishable from the forms of thought, they become categories ( ·/
±°µ). A concept a priori that did not have a content somehow dependent
on experience and that did not relate to experience at all would be ˜˜only
the logical form for a concept, but not the concept itself through which
something would be thought™™ ( µ). While we can have concepts of
objects that do not or could not exist in our experience, even such
concepts are formed from concepts that do have a content that is
somehow linked to experience. This content must be at least a condition
for the possibility of experience ( µ“). Such concepts need not be
acquired from experience, but, in the helpful jargon of Kant™s reply to
Eberhard, they must at least be originally acquired in response to
experience and the spatial and temporal structure which makes our
experience what it is. This is what gives such concepts their ˜˜objective
reality™™ and such objective reality is required if our use of such concepts
is to be legitimate.
Now Kant does not seem initially to be willing to extend functional
role to all mental states, but maintains instead that functions consist in
ways of subsuming representations under a concept. He notes that
˜˜concepts are based on the spontaneity of thought, just as sensible
intuitions depend on the receptivity of impressions™™ ( / ). In the
same context, Kant explicitly contrasts the dependence of concepts on
functions with the way in which ˜˜all intuitions as sensible, depend on
a¬ections.™™ The functions involved in our ability to use concepts are
limited to the active taking of things as thus and such to be found
paradigmatically in judgment and inference.
But the initial picture of a sharp distinction between spontaneity and
receptivity, and function and a¬ection soon breaks down. For it turns
out that our experience is inherently concept-laden, so that even when
we are not making judgments, what we sensibly experience is already
conceptualized. While the Deduction begins with the claim that ˜˜intu-
ition does not require the functions of thought in any way™™ and poses the
problem of how categories can apply to objects of intuition given this
independence of intuition from the functions of thought ( ±/ ±), the
argument of the Deduction in favor of the legitimacy of our possession
of categories, that is, what Kant calls pure concepts of the understand-
ing, actually goes through only if Kant can establish the quite di¬erent
claim that intuition depends for its unity, that is, for its ability to
represent determinate objects, on the functions of the understanding:
° Kant and the demands of self-consciousness
˜˜The same function that gives unity to the representations in a judgment,
gives also the mere synthesis of di¬erent representations in one intuition
unity, which expressed generally, is called the pure concept of the
understanding™™ ( ·/ ±°µ).
What we directly experience or intuit has a determinate object, only
insofar as it is already conceptualized by us and thus subject to the same
functions of unity that underlie di¬erent conceptual roles. Indeed, Kant
maintains that the relation of di¬erent contents of cognition to an object
˜˜is nothing but the necessary unity of consciousness, hence also of the
synthesis of the manifold, to connect it in one representation through a
common function :gemeinschaftliche Funktion9 of the mind™™ ( ±°).
Cognition relates to an object insofar as it involves a necessary unity of
consciousness. The necessary unity of consciousness involved in cogni-
tion of an object is a way of representing things that is independent of
the psychological state one happens to be in, because it must be the
same for all of us at all times and places. This way of representing things
is provided by a function of the mind that is the same for all of us at all
times.
Kant must insist that inner perception (introspection) involves sensi-
bility, indeed, inner a¬ection, but also that it has an active and sponta-
neous dimension to it that re¬‚ects its dependence on the functions of
thought that underlie the identity of self-consciousness. And, if Kant is
to successfully argue that the content even of intuitions is dependent on
the kind of identity of function to be found in concepts, but which
ultimately depends on our capacity for representing our numerical
identity in di¬erent experiences, he must argue that even the representa-
tional content involved in intuition is a function of the judgmental and
inferential role which that content plays in judgments and inferences
using concepts. Thus, even though the Deduction starts out by indica-
ting that objects of intuition might be completely independent of the
functions of the understanding, the conclusion of the Deduction must be
that we have no way of understanding what it would be for an object of
intuition to be an object and yet not subject to concepts.

 °    ®   © ®  ¬   ®   ®   ® ¤ ¦µ ®  ©  ®  ¬  ¬ 
So far I have treated Kant™s account of representational content as an
expression of its dependence on the functional role that such content
plays in inference and judgment. In this respect, my interpretation has
obvious similarities to Wilfried Sellars™s functional interpretation of
±
Introducing apperception
thought, apperception, and the subject of apperception. Appealing
apparently to the Kantian idea that ˜˜concepts are based on functions™™
( / ), and that thoughts are constituted by relations between
concepts, Sellars argues that Kant allows for no other characterization
of thought processes than in purely functional terms. He also insists that
Kant™s transcendental self is constituted by functional relations. For
Sellars, the transcendental self is an epistemic principle to which any
true thought must conform. The principle in question is that an I thinks
the thought of a temporal system of states of a¬airs and any actual state
of a¬airs belongs to this temporal system of states of a¬airs. Sellars
notes that the thought of this temporal system involves the thought of a
complex; as such it is synthetic, indeed it is the synthetic unity of
apperception. But it entails an identity of the I that thinks one content
with the I that thinks another content in the system, and thus it entails
what Kant in the B-Deduction calls the analytic unity of apperception.
Now this identity of the I is something that is characterized purely in
terms of its functional role; as such, in principle, it could be embodied in
di¬erent kinds of real bearers. Since we can characterize the transcen-
dental self only functionally, we cannot infer anything about the speci¬c
nature of the transcendent self or ultimate bearer of thought, and thus
we cannot claim that it is a material entity.µ
Because the transcendental self is understood in purely functional
terms, knowledge of that self does not presuppose matter of factual
knowledge of the self as does our access to the transcendent or noumenal
self, that is, the self as an object of understanding alone. Somewhat
surprisingly, Sellars maintains that the states of the empirical self, that is,
the states of self as it is knowable from experience, are also characterized
in purely functional terms. The claim that what we know of our selves
empirically is known in purely functional terms has a more tenuous
connection to the Kantian text.
Sellars acknowledges that Kant takes the states of the empirical self to
be ones which are passive, states that the self is in some sense caused to
have. He even thinks that Kant is legitimate in thinking of some states,
such as perceptions, as passive in that they can be taken to be caused by
the states of material substance.· Although Sellars does not do so, he
might take such states as functional in the sense that they causally
depend on certain inputs. But this would be to use the term ˜˜functional™™
in a new and di¬erent sense than the one that has a basis in the Kantian
text. Patricia Kitcher thinks of Kant as a functionalist in this causal
sense, which she links with the Kantian idea of synthesis. This has two
 Kant and the demands of self-consciousness
rather paradoxical consequences. Kitcher maintains that judgments
have representational character only on the basis of their dependence
on intuitions. In other words, as Kitcher interprets Kant, judgments
have a functional role in representation only in virtue of their depend-
ence on intuition. And synthesis, which Kant insists is a spontaneous
activity of the self, becomes a function of the causal dependence of the
self on stimuli.
Kitcher reconstructs Kant™s position along the lines of a functionalist
cognitive psychology in which personal self-consciousness is a construct
out of impersonal activities of information processing. She insists that an
understanding of the self as an agency for connecting representations
can only be made intelligible by collapsing the transcendental and the
transcendent self into the empirical self, where the transcendental self is
the self as an enabling condition of experience, the transcendent self is
the self as it exists independently of any experience, and the empirical
self is the self that we experience through the changes in our representa-
tions. Kitcher denies the existence of any subject underlying mental
states and giving them unity, but she insists on the reality of mental
states and their unity, and tries to give Kant™s epistemological doctrines
an explicitly psychological interpretation wherever possible.° Although
Kitcher does not emphasize a priori constraints on representation, she
tends to regard such constraints as expressions of innate dispositions of
the mind.
For Kitcher, the self does not determine the content of representa-
tions. Instead the self arises out of that content. The self is nothing but a
system of representations which is interconnected by the nature of its
content, a quasi-causal relation between representational states.± Des-
pite her emphasis on Kant™s response to Hume™s views on personal
identity, Kitcher ascribes to Kant a variant of the bundle theory in
which the Humean constraint of existential independence is relaxed.
Where Hume maintained that all representations are ultimately com-
pletely disconnected from one another, Kitcher rightly has Kant insist
that there are connections between representations. But, since such
connections have no intrinsic connection to a self for Kitcher, she faces a
problem that besets Hume™s conception of the self. If the self is a
construct out of a collection of representations, why then are my
representations in fact mine, that is, on what basis do we think that a
given set of representations belongs to the same self to begin with?
The status of mental unity in Sellars™s functionalist interpretation of
the self is somewhat more di¬cult to assess. Sellars denies that persons

Introducing apperception
are logical constructs out of mental or physical events. He thinks that
persons have a kind of unity to them that Kant would attribute to the
spontaneous activities of the self. Sellars rightly notes that, for Kant,
perception is not purely passive, and that we also engage in other
activities of thought that are more properly thought of as active or
˜˜spontaneous™™ in Kant™s vocabulary. I think a sympathetic reading of
Sellars would take him to be acknowledging that, whereas ˜˜thought
taken by itself is merely logical function, hence pure spontaneity of
connection of the manifold of a merely possible intuition™™ ( ), inner
experience, and hence an understanding of the whole panoply of di¬er-
ent human representational states, is ˜˜no more mere spontaneity of
thought, but also receptivity of intuition, that is, thought of myself
applied to empirical intuition of that same subject™™ ( °). In other
words, it is through the concept-ladenness of sensible experience that
the representational states belonging to such experience can themselves
be understood in terms of the functional roles that properly belong to
concepts and, more speci¬cally, to logical concepts. Logical concepts
are basic because they spell out the most basic forms of conceptual role
in judgment and inference.
For Sellars, the passivity or a¬ectedness of the mind displays itself in
the fact that the states of the empirical self belong to a deterministic
system of events that cannot be understood independently of interacting
material substances. The activity of the mind is displayed in its ability
to reason and understand, capacities that are tied up with pure apper-
ception. Sellars notes that Kant™s theoretical philosophy does not pro-
vide a compelling reason for assuming that the mind should be regarded
as anything but relatively spontaneous, that is, as able to have a take on
objects, but one which is activated by causes outside of it. However,
Sellars does note that Kant takes his notion of the autonomy of practical
reason to require a form of spontaneity that goes beyond the relative
spontaneity required by theoretical reason. And, indeed, the passage
that I have quoted from the Paralogisms concludes with the remark that
in the moral law ˜˜a spontaneity would be found through which our
reality would be determinable without requiring the conditions of em-
pirical intuition™™ ( °“±).
I have already indicated a good deal of sympathy with Sellars™s
interpretation of apperception and its transcendental subject. Here are
some caveats. While Sellars acknowledges the primacy of the transcen-
dental self in the order of knowledge and in practical deliberation about
how we are to live our lives, and even insists that the self so understood
 Kant and the demands of self-consciousness
plays a constitutive role in the manifest image of everyday experience,
he also wishes to argue that the transcendental self is, in a certain sense,
eliminable in the more fundamental scienti¬c image of nature. While
the thinking self is not simply a congery of physical events, it has no
existence that is independent of certain con¬gurations of physical
events. As such, the self is a form of necessary illusion generated by the
¬rst-person point of view. We can dissolve the illusion by shifting to the
objective point of view belonging to the scienti¬c image of human
beings. It would be unfair to say that, since the transcendental or
thinking self is not a part of the objective point of view for Sellars, it
simply drops out of any account of objectivity. But it is fair to say that
Sellars does not really develop the sense in which one can regard the
transcendental self as a basic epistemic condition of experience and it is
unclear how the transcendental self can function as a basic epistemic
condition while also having no fundamental ontological role to play in
experience.
In contrast to the Sellarsian account, I wish to show how Kant carries
out the task of developing objective constraints on experience from the
relation of di¬erent representations to the transcendental or impersonal
representation of self that we have in self-consciousness. In the next
chapter, I take up Kant™s argument to the necessary representation of
numerical identity from the need to be able to associate representations
in order to be able to have any experience at all. First I show how one
can argue with Kant that any discriminatory awareness involves the
capacity to connect di¬erent representations in time. I then develop his
argument that we can only make sense of the capacity to link di¬erent
representations in time by appeal to our ability to associate items in
experience. The key argument is, however, based on the claim that we
can only make sense of this capacity for association by appeal to the
concept of objects that are distinct from our immediate experiences.
Since Kant maintains that the concept of an object requires the possibil-
ity of linking together what we represent from the impersonal stand-
point of transcendental self-consciousness, this leads Kant to argue that
such self-consciousness is a necessary condition for any coherent experi-
ence at all. This, then, is the ultimate basis of Kant™s claim that
apperception can prove its identity with respect to di¬erent representa-
tions and that such representations are therefore subject to functions of
judgment.
° 

Concepts, laws, and the recognition of objects




I claimed in chapter two that Kant™s notion of transcendental appercep-
tion involves a necessary representation of the numerical identity of the
self. I also claimed that transcendental apperception is a capacity that
Kant links to the conditions under which we could recognize any object
of a representation. I want now to turn to Kant™s argument to the
conclusion that a necessary representation of numerical identity is
required if we are to be able to recognize objects that are distinct from
our representations. Kant not only argues that transcendental apper-
ception and recognition of objects go together, he also argues that
recognition of objects must be possible if we are to make sense of even
the most minimal kind of discriminatory awareness. In this way, the
argument becomes crucial not only to a defense of objectivity, but also
to an understanding of the dependence of subjective on objective
experience.
In the ¬rst section of this chapter, I take up Kant™s so-called threefold
synthesis of apprehension, reproduction, and recognition. Here, Kant
¬rst argues that any discriminatory awareness of what we experience
involves the capacity to connect di¬erent temporal perspectives to-
gether. He then argues that this requires the ability to associate items
that we experience at one time with items that we experience at another
time. Such associations in turn require the existence of objects that are
distinct from what we experience from the vantage-point of any given
temporal perspective.
In the next section, I take up Kant™s claim that we can only make
sense of objects that underwrite associations if we think of such objects
as represented by us in the standpoint-independent way that is made
possible by our ability to use concepts. Our ability to use concepts, as
Kant understands them, depends on our capacity to represent things in
the same way from any standpoint that is intelligible to us regardless of
what that standpoint might be. I argue that Kant regards concepts as
µ
 Kant and the demands of self-consciousness
representations that are underwritten by a normative commitment to
laws linking the properties represented by those concepts. It is these laws
that then underwrite our capacity to associate items in experience.
Kant argues that we can only distinguish objects in our experience
that underwrite associations to the extent that representations are linked
together by necessary connections provided by laws. These laws are
then the basis for our knowledge of objects. But we can only know them
because they derive their lawlikeness from our ability to represent them
as expressions of our numerical identity in any arbitrary situation. From
this, Kant concludes that cognition is nothing but the uni¬cation of
di¬erent representations in the impersonal point of view of transcenden-
tal apperception.
Perhaps the key claim in Kant™s argument is that a necessary con-
sciousness of one™s numerical identity as a self goes together with our
concept of an object of experience. This leads him to claim that we must
be able to represent ourselves as numerically identical if our experiences
are to have the kind of associability in virtue of which they may be said
to belong to one experience. Kant draws interesting and far-reaching
conclusions from his claim that experience must be conceptualizable if it
is to be an experience of objects at all. Nature must be such that we are
necessarily able to associate our di¬erent experiences of nature guided
by concepts of the objects that we experience. And this means that
nature must be regarded as uniform with respect to the concepts that we
have, where this uniformity can only mean that we are able to provide a
systematic description of nature in terms of the laws that our concepts
purport to express.

¦     °°    ®  ©  ®       §® © ©  ®
Kant distinguishes between a synthesis of apprehension, of reproduc-
tion, and of recognition, corresponding to a capacity to distinguish
di¬erent contents of consciousness, to associate di¬erent contents of
consciousness, and to recognize di¬erent contents of consciousness by
means of concepts. Ultimately, Kant wishes to argue that the categories
are the a priori concepts required for the necessary connections re-
quired by the synthesis of recognition. Such recognition is itself an
enabling condition for the apprehension and reproduction of items in
experience. In this way, he hopes to show that categories must function
as a priori constraints on recognition if we are to be able to apprehend
items at all.
·
Concepts, laws, and the recognition of objects
Now, in arguing for the need for a synthesis of apprehension, Kant
insists that what we experience may be inherently complex, but it is only
characterizable as complex, indeed as what it is, insofar as we are able to
distinguish ˜˜time in the successive sequence of impressions™™ ( ). To
distinguish di¬erent times, and hence also the contents of di¬erent
times, we must be able to connect the contents of our di¬erent experien-
ces together in time. In this way, we come to grasp time as a whole of
time, and also space as a whole of space. For intuition, through which
we immediately experience items in time and space, ˜˜presents a mani-
fold, but cannot give rise to this manifold as such and indeed in one
representation without a thereby occurring synthesis™™ ( ). The synthesis
of apprehension is concerned with the basic preconceptual level at
which we distinguish temporal perspectives and di¬erent items in per-
ceptual experience.
It has sometimes been suggested that the synthesis of apprehension
already involves transcendental apperception, and that no conceptual
factor is required in order to account for the possibility of self-conscious-
ness of the anticipations and retentions that go into the kind of discrimi-
nation involved in apprehension.± But this is not the way Kant himself
argues. Kant argues that transcendental self-consciousness is required

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