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and indeed construct, bodies and selves through the manner in which
we associate representations, or rather simple sensations. Then he notes
that association of representations means forming some kind of connec-
tion between those representations in consciousness. He then argues
that any connection that might hold between individual representations
in a particular consciousness must be such that it is consistent with the
uni¬ability of those representations in self-consciousness. The move
from an empirical a¬nity or associability of representations in an
individual empirical consciousness to the idea that empirical associ-
ations are governed by a priori principles of associability is based on the
idea that any perceptions that can be connected in any particular
consciousness must conform to the conditions under which they can be
associated with other representations in an arbitrary consciousness. The
idea of the universal associability of representations in one possible
self-consciousness is then all that an object that exists independently of
my particular associations could be.
Henry Allison has criticized Kant™s argument for taking a tack similar
to Berkeley™s notorious argument to the incoherence (˜˜repugnance™™) of
the notion of unperceived matter.µ On this reconstruction, Kant argues
as follows: things that appear to me, such as cinnabar, tables, chairs,
etc., exhibit regularities that support associations connecting them to-
gether in various ways. These regularities are necessary. For only if
appearances can be connected together in consciousness, and hence can
be associated, do they exist at all. Something represented by me that
cannot be a possible object of consciousness would be nothing at all.
Therefore all appearances must be necessarily associable. The argu-
µ Kant and the demands of self-consciousness
ment involves a fallacious shift between two di¬erent meanings of
˜˜appearance,™™ corresponding to di¬erent senses in which consciousness
can be unitary. An appearance in the subjective sense, an appearance±,
is an internal accusative of consciousness (a represented qua represen-
ted). It would be nothing at all, if it could not be represented. An
appearance in the objective sense, an appearance, or a phenomenon in
Kant™s technical vocabulary, is an intersubjectively accessible object.
This is an object that is independent of any particular mind or spatio-
temporal perspective. If one thinks that appearances± are necessarily
associable, then we may infer the existence of appearances that under-
lie appearances.±. But what reason does one have to think that appear-
ances± must be representable together by a subject?
Representations are entities that play a role in understanding the
behavior of animals and human beings. If such entities are assigned a
role that makes them cognitively meaningless, then there is no reason to
assume their existence at all. The key claim however is that, in order for
such representations to be cognitively signi¬cant, they must have di¬er-
ential relations to other representations that we can represent to our-
selves. Appearances must provide some ground for the association of
appearances±. This is what it is for them to be in themselves associable
and thus susceptible to conceptual interpretation. Without this objective
basis for associability, one would not be able to conceptualize the
episodes in question and thus one would not be able to represent oneself
as a numerically identical subject through these di¬erent experiences. It
is only if those experiences allow for the application of concepts to them
that it is possible to represent oneself as the numerically same subject
with respect to them.
Similarity relations between concepts are themselves to be under-
stood in terms of their systematic relation to other concepts and repre-
sentations in a possible self-consciousness. Not all di¬erences in repre-
sentational content can come from experience itself, since there must be
some way of thinking of the relations between representations that is
independent of any particular experience, if we are to be able to
represent their similarity relations as such at all. We must think of our
experience, both representations and their objects (what is represented
by them), as conforming on the whole to the conditions under which we
can apply such concepts to experience, since this is the only way we have
of making sense of experience, and giving any determinate content to
our representations or thinking of ourselves as using concepts and
forming judgments:
µ
Concepts, laws, and the recognition of objects
All error into which the human understanding can fall is only partial and in
every erroneous judgment there must be something true. For a total error would
be a complete contradiction against the laws of the understanding and reason.
How could it arise as such in any way from the understanding, and insofar as it
is a judgment, be held for a product of the understanding! (Logic, ed. Jasche, Ak.
¨
©, p. µ)
We can be mistaken in particular beliefs or representations of objects,
but the very conditions under which we can make sense of the content of
our representations precludes us from being completely wrong in all of
our beliefs. The content of our representations (our beliefs) is linked to
what is intelligible for us. In this way global skepticism is rejected.

 µ®©¦  © ® ¤       © µ ®© ¦ ®  µ 
Kant™s argument to the transcendental a¬nity of nature suggests that
nature must be uniform in every respect if there is to be self-conscious-
ness. He wants to claim that there is su¬cient uniformity in cinnabar
with respect to its properties for us to have the notion of how cinnabar
looks to standard observers under standard circumstances. Deviation
from standard conditions will be made sense of in terms of a change in
causal conditions. He assumes the validity of the prediction that, if
cinnabar was red in the past, then it will be red in the future, since the
future resembles the past. But, of course, this can mean at best that
cinnabar has the dispositional property of appearing as red to standard
observers under standard conditions. Such conditions will be deter-
mined in causal terms. Cinnabar is a di¬cult case because it may be
observed to be both red and black depending on other causal factors
such as oxidation. Its redness and blackness are dispositional properties
connected both to the absence or presence of oxygen and to the manner
in which our eyes process radiation of a certain wavelength.
One could take nature to be uniform with respect to some Goodman-
type predicate such as the ˜˜brackness™™ of cinnabar. If something has the
property of brackness then it will be red before ±°° and black after that
date. It would be contradictory to say that nature is uniform with respect
to both of these properties. Nature cannot be uniform in respect to every
concept either. If nature is uniform with respect to the concept ˜˜red,™™
we will not be able to think of it as uniform with respect to the concept
˜˜gred™™ and vice versa, where the latter concept is to be understood as
˜˜being red prior to ±·· and being green thereafter.™™ For, if we take the
predicate ˜˜gred™™ as basic, we may then de¬ne ˜˜red™™ as ˜˜gred before
° Kant and the demands of self-consciousness
±·· and redd afterwards,™™ where redd would be a predicate de¬ned in
the red vocabulary as ˜˜red after ±··.™™ Since mutually inconsistent
universal conditional hypotheses involving both normal predicates and
Goodman predicates can be formulated which are equally supported by
available evidence, nature cannot be taken to be uniform in every
respect. Some constraints are needed which will allow one to distinguish
legitimate from pseudo-lawlike judgments. Even if experience exhibits
regularity with respect to some concept or other, this is not enough to
guarantee regularity under laws. More needs to be said about the kinds
of regularity to be allowed.
Predicates are projectible, if they allow projection from observed to
unobserved cases. Redness rather than brackness belongs to the group
of predicates that we hold to be projectible on intuitive grounds. Red-
ness is more deeply entrenched in our belief system. Projectible predi-
cates are predicates that ¬gure in generalizations expressing lawlike
connections between events rather than merely accidental regularities
of co-occurrence. Such predicates allow the universal conditional hy-
potheses containing them to be con¬rmed by positive instances. This
means that the truth of singular empirical judgments that are instanti-
ations of those hypotheses increase their credibility. Projectible will need
to be distinguishable from non-projectible predicates. The uniformity of
nature will also have to be restricted to projectible predicates. Otherwise
there will be no fact of the matter about whether there is a change in
state of some substance from time t± to t.
If cinnabar is brack, then the change from redness to blackness at
t=±°° will not be a true change, since it is not a change in the brackness
of that substance, whereas the persistence of the color red after that date
would actually require further explanation, since it would involve a loss
of brackness. It is certainly tempting to exclude Goodman predicates
based on the Kantian demand for temporal neutrality. But, as the
reference to causation and change suggests, the demand works both
ways. From the point of view of the vocabulary using brackness, redness
would itself need to be de¬ned in temporal terms, i.e. as the having of
the property of brackness prior to ±°° and of another property which
may be called wreckness after that date.
In order to respond to the challenge of Goodman predicates, Kant
must establish some basis for a priori constraints on which concepts can
serve as concepts of a possible experience. Only in this way will he be
able to isolate the causal conditions governing particular experiences in
any plausible way. Kant, in fact, has the sketch of an a priori answer to
±
Concepts, laws, and the recognition of objects
this kind of problem. He demands systematic uni¬cation of concepts as
a regulative principle governing universal conditional hypotheses of the
kind which play a role in theories. Systematic uni¬cation should exclude
Goodman predicates by restricting the range of acceptable predicates to
projectible predicates. Our choice of projectible predicates must be
justi¬ed by reference to the best background theory that we have
available to us. Our background theory will have to be not only strongly
supported by available evidence, but also constrained by regulative
principles governing the best way of systematically unifying the informa-
tion gleaned from this evidence in a theory.
Non-natural Goodman-type predicates cannot be ruled out on an
individual basis. But, if we think of our concepts as possessing constitut-
ive systematic relations to each other, then it is plausible to assume that
they must confront experience as a systematic totality, rather than on a
one-by-one basis as Humeans are inclined to believe. Hume™s account
of induction is not, in fact, up to drawing plausible distinctions between
natural and non-natural predicates. The problem is that Hume would
have such predicates depend for their support on present experience of
constant conjunctions of perceptions. But there will always be non-
natural predicates that can ¬nd experiential support equal to that to be
had for so-called natural predicates. These non-natural predicates can
only be excluded by rejecting a molecularist account of concept applica-
tion. The problem with non-natural predicates is that they cannot be
systematically deployed and still maintain their non-natural meaning.
One can ¬nd non-natural predicates corresponding to any given set of
natural predicates, but one cannot construe all concepts as having such
non-natural meaning.
Concepts are systematically related to each other in a manner that is
both parasitic on the numerical identity of the self and a condition for its
possibility. Thus, if self-consciousness is possible in experience, then one
must conceive of experience as subject to concepts whose content is
systematically interrelatable and relatable to that self-consciousness.
This connection between the systematic unity of concepts and the
identity of self-consciousness lies behind Kant™s interpretation of the
di¬erences between concepts on the model of di¬erences in the content
of what is represented by a spectator from di¬erent standpoints:

One can regard every concept as a point, which, as the standpoint of a
spectator, has its horizon, that is, a set of things, that can be represented and as
it were surveyed from it. But to the di¬erent horizons, that is, kinds, that are
 Kant and the demands of self-consciousness
determined by that same number of concepts, one can think of a shared
horizon from which one observes them all from a point in the middle which is
the higher kind, until ¬nally the highest kind is the universal and true horizon
which is determined from the standpoint of the highest concept, and contains
all the manifold under it as kinds, species, and subspecies. ( µ/ )
Our representations and, more directly, our concepts ¬gure in a
systematic unity that relates our concepts to each other systematically.
Systematic uni¬ability is an a priori constraint on experience. From
Kant™s point of view, inquiry is guided by the assumption that nature is
characterized by a transcendental a¬nity among its concepts. Nature is
transcendentally a¬nite with respect to concepts insofar as nature
allows itself to be understood in terms of a system of concepts. We must
think of nature as conceptualizable in terms of a system of concepts
which could, in principle, be articulated by us in some systematic way to
the extent that we think of nature as something that we can represent in
terms of a self-consciousness that is basically impersonal.
While the transcendental a¬nity of nature is, in many ways, the
linch-pin of Kant™s argument for the a priori validity of the categories, it
seems to be describable with equal justi¬cation as a transcendental
deduction of the synthetic a priori maxims of unity, multiplicity, and
relatedness or a¬nity. These ideas of reason provide the transcendental
justi¬cation for the assumption that the complex conceptual hierarchies
to be found in highly articulated theories are indeed applicable to
nature. The hierarchical organization of concepts in a theory allows
every event to be brought under not only a true generalization, but also
a generalization that will be helpful in making predictions about other
events. In fact, the problem of uniformity under concepts and laws
reveals the close connection that must be demanded between under-
standing and reason.
The A-Deduction requires the uniformity of nature and, indeed, the
lawlikeness of nature for any understanding or recognition of the world
as what it is. But by the time one reaches the Transcendental Dialectic (
/ ·), it becomes apparent that any attempt to formulate the unity
and laws of nature is necessarily hypothetical. The attempt to formulate
an abstract conception of nature that is uniform with respect to all
conceivable concepts generates antinomies. We do have to think of
nature as conceptualizable by us, and hence as organized into a system
of natural kinds that we can understand. But we cannot know a priori
what that system must be like in its particulars, since there are a number
of equally plausible, but mutually exclusive, alternatives. This does not

Concepts, laws, and the recognition of objects
mean that there must be mutually exclusive empirically adequate sys-
tematic characterizations of nature. For we do not have su¬cient
evidence to do more than provide a projection of what an empiricaly
adequate system of the world would be like.
In the Appendix to the Transcendental Dialectic, Kant regards the
notion of a¬nity primarily as a property of concepts rather than as a
property of their objects (that is, of the manifold itself ), as he does in the
Deduction. But the notion of a¬nity developed in the Appendix has
transcendental rather than purely logical force. It expresses a transcen-
dental assumption to the e¬ect that nature is susceptible to explanation
in terms of the hypothesis of conceptual relatedness. Thus, the a¬nity in
question is ¬rst of all constituted by a set of similarity relations between
concepts, but these similarity relations between concepts must also be
relevant to the objects that are interpreted in terms of those concepts,
and hence to what Kant calls the manifold. This is brought home
forcefully in the following passage:
If there were such a great di¬erence among appearances, I do not want to say of
form (for in this respect they may be similar to each other), but with respect to
content, i.e. with respect to the multiplicity :Mannigfaltigkeit9 of existing
beings, that the sharpest human understanding could not ¬nd the least similar-
ity between them by comparing the one with the other (a case which is
conceivable), then the logical law of kinds would not take place at all, nor even a
concept of a kind, or any general concept of any kind, indeed there would not
even be understanding which only has to do with such. The logical principle of
kinds presupposes therefore a transcendental one, if it should be applied to
nature (by which I understand only objects that are given to us). ( µ“µ/
±“)
The transcendental principle of similarity between kinds seems to be
precisely what Kant needs in order to be able to claim that association is
based on some principle which makes occurrences associable in them-
selves. This transcendental principle of similarity seems to have its
ultimate source in the fact that we must regard all representations as
potential candidates for self-consciousness.
The systematic interest of reason in its pursuit of uni¬cation is limited
in its empirical signi¬cance to the conditions governing the legitimate
acquisition and application of empirical concepts. But even Kant thinks
that the attempt to come up with precise a priori constraints on which
concepts can function as concepts of empirical objects overtaxes both
the understanding and reason. Each attempt to provide a speci¬c
understanding of the a¬nity of nature is necessarily hypothetical. It
 Kant and the demands of self-consciousness
must be based on a projected unity of nature that transcends what we
know through experience even though it is subject to revision in the face
of recalcitrant experience.· The hypothetical character of any unity of
nature demotes the synthetic principles a priori that function as criteria
for the truth of our empirical judgments to the status of regulative rather
than constitutive principles of experience. This is true even though we
are unable to apply concepts without the background assumption about
experience with which they provide us. Kant insists, to be sure, that the
law of reason, that one must look for unity in nature according to
principles of reason, is itself necessary:
Without it [the law of reason] we would have no reason, without reason no
coherent use of the understanding, and without that no su¬cient condition of
empirical truth, so that in respect to the latter we must presuppose the
systematic unity of nature indeed as objectively valid and necessary. ( µ±/
·)
A proof of the transcendental a¬nity of nature is involved in Kant™s
justi¬cation of the validity of the categories. For these categories are
supposed to provide a general notion of the lawlikeness of nature and its
susceptibility to interpretation by means of empirical concepts. But,
even were this project completely successful, there would still be room
for the use of the organizational powers of reason and its ideas in
attempting to formulate more speci¬c models of objective a¬nity and
speci¬c laws of nature. It is these models that then guide the inductive
enterprise of science. The principles that reason formulates are indeed
synthetic and a priori, but they do not determine the character which
objects of experience must have. They cannot tell us how individual
objects of experience must be, but principles of reason do have an
objective validity that transcends mere thought-economy. They allow us
(provisionally) to determine whether our representations are true of the
objects of which they seem to be true. In regulating our search for
empirically adequate lawlike connections between natural objects as
well as between natural objects and their properties ( / ±),
principles of reason provide substantive constraints on which of our
representations can be true. Principles of reason are thus crucial in
providing the necessary connectedness among our experiences that
Kant takes to guarantee the correspondence of our representations with
their object, that is with an empirical reality that is distinct from those
representations ( ±°µ).
° 

Self-consciousness and the demands of judgment
in the B-Deduction



Kant™s most sophisticated treatment of how self-consciousness con-
strains the character of experience is to be found in the B-Deduction. In
the A-Deduction, in which the notion of judgment is only mentioned
once in describing the powers of the understanding ( ±), Kant™s
argument turned on the enabling conditions of recognition. The B-
Deduction establishes objectivity by way of a more explicit appeal to the
normative demands placed on experience by the possibility of forming
judgments about what is experienced. Kant ¬rst argues that any cogni-
tively signi¬cant content is a potential candidate for representation in a
consciousness of self that potentially includes all representations whatso-
ever. He then argues that whatever is a candidate for self-consciousness
is also something to which we can apply concepts and hence a candidate
for judgment.
Judgments make an implicit claim to objectivity by making a truth
claim. In forming a judgment, we commit ourselves to the truth of the
proposition that is asserted by the judgment. It might be thought that
this truth could merely be a truth for me or for someone else. In this
case, the truth would be merely subjective. However, such a subject-
relative conception of truth would not do the job that we assign to the
notion of truth, namely to capture the way things are independently of
an individual point of view or take on the way the world is. For this
reason, Kant accepts the nominal de¬nition of truth as correspondence
with an object even though there is no way to determine whether a
judgment corresponds to an object independently of whether that
judgment coheres with other judgments.
The claim to truth made by judgment, and with it the presumption
that the proposition asserted by the judgment corresponds with an
object, is the ground for the normative claim made by a judgment. This
normative ground of judgment ultimately has its source in the possibility
of representing the content asserted by a judgment in an impersonal
µ
 Kant and the demands of self-consciousness
way. The possibility of representing the contents of judgment imperso-
nally, in turn, is based on the fact that consciousness of one™s particular
point of view as a representer is parasitic on the possibility of represen-
ting oneself in an impersonal manner.

˜ ˜ ©  © ® «™ ™ © ®    - ¤  ¤µ   ©  ®
Kant introduces the idea that the unity of self-consciousness is the
normative source of all content that can have any cognitive signi¬cance
for us in a passage that is as famous and controversial as any in his whole
corpus:
The I think must be able to accompany all my representations; for otherwise
something would be represented in me which could not be thought at all, which
would mean as much as that this representation would either be impossible or
at least nothing for me. That representation which can be given prior to all
thought is intuition. Therefore all the manifold of intuition has a necessary
relation to the: I think in the same subject in which this manifold is to be
encountered. ( ±)
Kant™s initial aim in this passage is to show that I can think all my
representations. He apparently means that all my representations, taken
collectively, as well as distributively, are ascribable by me to me. To
establish the initial conclusion, Kant assumes for the sake of argument
that it is not the case that all my representations are thinkable by me.
From this, he claims that it would follow that something would be
represented in me that could not be thought at all. In other words, he
assumes that, if something in me is to be represented by anyone, it must
be represented by me. From this, he concludes that, if I cannot think a
representation in me, then no one else can either. Although he initially
seems to reject the possibility of representations in me that cannot be
thought, he then goes on to concede that there might be such represen-
tations, although they would be nothing for me.
The existence of thoughts in me that are not thinkable would certainly
entail a contradiction. A thought that could not be thought would be an
impossible representation. But it is not so obvious that I must be able to
think of all thoughts in me as my thoughts. Now Kant does not initially
argue for the claim that all thoughts must be potential candidates for
self-consciousness. One might argue that to have a thought of something
is to judge or at least entertain the possibility that something is the case. It
seems plausible to maintain that one cannot have thoughts in this sense
without being somehow aware that one is having them. However, Kant
·
The demands of judgment in the B-Deduction
has a less direct and ultimately more persuasive argument linking all
(discursive) thought to self-consciousness. The argument for that claim
comes later. For the time being, I will simply assume that an argument for
the claim that all thoughts are potential I thoughts is forthcoming.
Now one can see that Kant™s principle that the ˜˜I think™™ must be able
to accompany all my representations would be established if there could
not be representations in me that are nothing for me. It is reasonable to
assume that, if a representation in me is to be something for me, it must
be something that I can think of as mine. If only such representations
were possible, it would seem that all representations in me would have to
be thinkable by me. But Kant™s suggestion that there might be represen-
tations in me that are nothing for me seems to throw a monkey-wrench
in the argument. In restricting representations that are mine to those
that are thinkable by me, one leaves open the possibility of representa-
tions other than thoughts in me, i.e. intuitions, that are not thinkable at
all. The point to note here is that the existence of representations that

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