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are nothing for me, representations of which I am not conscious, is
consistent with the principle that I can think all my representations so
long as one restricts the meaning of mine to those representations in me
that are something for me. The validity of Kant™s argument thus
depends on the assumption that representations in me that would be
nothing for me cannot be mine at all.
Robert Howell worries with Paul Guyer that Kant falsely infers that I
can become conscious of each representation that happens to be mine
from the fact that I can become conscious of a representation as mine, if
I represent it as mine.± But the point to note here is that Kant under-
stands mineness in a restrictive sense. What is mine is something for me,
as opposed to something of which I might be an owner in a sense that is
cognitively inaccessible to me. I may own something, even though I do
not know that I own it. I might even own something that contingent
circumstances prevent me from ever recognizing as my own. But if I do
not know that I own something, there must at least be some evidential
base for a possible claim to ownership by me. There might be a
misplaced deed or a long-forgotten relative to support my entitlement. I
could appeal to these sources of evidence for my ownership if I were
aware of them. The same general principle of entitlement that applies to
property applies to the ownership of representations or mental states. If
a representation is mine in principle, I must be able to recognize it as
such, even if a representation can be mine without my being conscious
at that time that it is mine.
 Kant and the demands of self-consciousness
I have interpreted Kant™s argument as turning on a distinction
between a weak notion of existence in my consciousness and a stronger
notion of being mine. By contrast, Henry Allison suggests that there can
be representations that are mine yet are nothing for me. He then argues
that one can take the ˜˜I think™™ principle to be restricted to a subset of
my representations, namely, those that function as representations
through which I represent something to myself. While Allison insists
that representations could be mine in some sense without being some-
thing for me, Kant™s argument depends on the assumption that, if a
representation is mine, it is something for me. Kant allows for the logical
possibility of representations in me that are nothing for me. He claims
implicitly that such representations would not a¬ect the validity of the
claim that the ˜˜I think™™ can accompany all my representations. But he
cannot allow for representations that are mine, but nothing for me.
Kant clearly does assume that representations which happen to be in
me, but that I cannot think of as mine, are without cognitive signi¬-
cance. For, without such an assumption, his argument, establishing the
claim that even representations in me that can be given prior to all
thought must be potential contents of I thoughts, would be invalid. For,
after implicitly distinguishing possible representations in me that are
nothing for me from my representations, and arguing that all my
representations are thinkable by me, Kant notes that intuitions are
representations that are independent of thought. Surprisingly, he goes
on to conclude that all contents of intuition in me must be thinkable by
me, where one would have expected him to conclude that only all the
contents of my intuition must be thinkable by me. The initial phase of
Kant™s argument seems to be free of the con¬‚ation of two di¬erent
senses of ownership: ownership in the sense of what can be ascribed by
me to me, and ownership in the weaker sense of what merely exists in
me. But it is at this juncture in the argument that Henrich™s worry, that
Kant falls victim to an ambiguity in the notion of mineness in extending
mineness to all representations that may be represented in me, seems to
have considerable force. However, I think a charitable reading of
Kant™s argument would be that he wishes to understand intuitions in me
as restricted to those that are mine, that is, those that are something for
me. Henrich would also acknowledge that this reading is the one most
consonant with Kant™s aim in this part of the Deduction, although he
worries that Kant may have been taken in by the potential for confusion
involved in the distinction between a representation being in me and
being something for me.

The demands of judgment in the B-Deduction
Now a number of examples have been adduced to show that we are
sometimes incapable of being self-conscious of a certain representation
that occurs in us. This has often been adduced as evidence that Kant
fails to establish that all my representations are self-ascribable. The most
obvious point to make here is that Kant implicitly distinguishes repre-
sentations occurring in us from representations that are ours in the sense
of representations that have some cognitive signi¬cance for us. How-
ever, the examples in question might suggest that representations may
have cognitive signi¬cance and yet not be self-ascribable. It is this
possibility that I wish to address in discussing examples of states of
consciousness that do not seem to be potential states of self-conscious-
ness.
Let me start with Guyer™s example in which another person infers
that I have been dreaming from my rapid eye movements. I do not
remember my dream. Therefore the other person™s inferential evidence
is better than my own introspective knowledge. That person can there-
fore ¬nd representations in me that I do not ¬nd. In fact, it is almost
de¬nitive of a dream state that it is a state of consciousness that is not
also a state of self-consciousness. Hector-Neri Castaneda makes the
˜
same point by appeal to the phenomenon of blind-sight.µ In blind-sight
one perceives things without having the capacity directly to be conscious
of them, so that one can only learn by indirect inference from one™s own
behavior what one has perceived. We might also mention examples in
which the corpus callosum of the brain has been bisected. Such bisec-
tion raises particular problems for the unity of consciousness, since each
of the two hemispheres of the brain is capable of functioning indepen-
dently of the other. Terence Wilkerson notes the more familiar
examples of babies and comatose individuals. They have representa-
tions, but they are not self-conscious or even, strictly speaking, capable
of self-consciousness.· From examples such as these, it is reasonable to
infer that there is consciousness without self-consciousness.
Manfred Baum attempts to respond to the possibility of unconscious
representations that might never become conscious to me by arguing
that the only access to my representations is a ¬rst-person access. He
infers from the privileged access that each of us has to our own represen-
tations that there cannot be representations that cannot become con-
scious to the person who has them. Yet, even if Baum is correct that I
have no direct experience of other individuals™ mental states, I may be in
a better position than they to determine what their mental states are. So
privileged access does not rule out the existence of states that can never
·° Kant and the demands of self-consciousness
become conscious to the person that has them. My inferences based on
indirect evidence of their mental states may be less subject to error than
their ascriptions of representations to themselves based on the immedi-
ate data of their experience. Introspection needs correction and ampli¬-
cation from the third-person point of view. On the other hand, we may
grant the assumption that behavior such as rapid eye movements
provides a good inferential basis for the belief that a person is dreaming,
and thus experiencing a certain representation, without granting the
very strong asymmetry between self-ascription and other-ascription to
which Guyer, for one, is committed. If you can have inferential knowl-
edge that I am dreaming through observation of my rapid eye move-
ments, there is no principled reason why I cannot also come to have
inferential knowledge of this as well. I might see myself later on ¬lm and
conclude that I was dreaming.
Kant allows for representations of which we are not directly con-
scious:
To have representations and not to be conscious of them, seems to contain a
contradiction; for how can we know that we have them if we are not conscious
of them? Locke already made this objection and therefore also rejected the
existence of this kind of representation. “ But we can become conscious of a
representation indirectly [mittelbar], although we are not immediately aware of it.
Such representations are called obscure . . . Thus the ¬eld of obscure represen-
tations is the largest in human beings. (Anthro, Ak. ©©, pp. ±µ“±)
While Kant denies Locke™s thesis that all representations involve con-
sciousness and even self-consciousness, he does assert that there is an
indirect connection between representation and consciousness. We can
know of a representation not only directly, but also indirectly in virtue of
its role in explaining overt verbal and other behavior. Since Kant does
not require that all consciousness involve self-consciousness, there is no
reason to think that he would not concede that I may sometimes become
conscious of a representation as mine only after the fact. And this
suggests that even babies and comatose individuals could become con-
scious after the fact of representational states that they were in while in a
state of unconsciousness. However, unless they were able to become
conscious of their present or past experiences as babies or comatose
individuals, those representations would have no cognitive signi¬cance
for them.
Unlike the A-Deduction, the B-Deduction seems to allow for the
possibility of representations in me or in someone else that have no
cognitive signi¬cance for anyone. Such representations would be no-
·±
The demands of judgment in the B-Deduction
thing for anyone. While we would have no reason to assume the
existence of such representations, Kant now seems to rightly eschew the
veri¬cationist thesis with respect to representation that he advocates in
those passages in the A-Deduction that rule out the very existence of
representations that are nothing for me or anyone else.

°µ  ° °   ° ©  ®  ®¤  ® ©  µ ®   ¦
 ¬¦ - © ¤  ®  ©  
Kant refers to the self-consciousness of the ˜˜I think™™ as pure or original
apperception, a notion he explicitly contrasts with empirical appercep-
tion (section ±,  ±). This pure apperception is said to be original since
it is the source of the representation ˜˜I think™™. This ˜˜I think™™ represents
a logically basic subject of representation, since it refers to whoever may
be the ultimate bearer of that representation. As a ˜˜spontaneous™™
representation ( ±), the occurrence of the representation ˜˜I think™™
cannot be understood solely in terms of the causal history of the person
who has it. Thus in thinking about my representations, I must be repre-
senting those representations of mine in a way which is underdeter-
mined by any empirical facts about myself. I could have had the same
thought in a whole range of di¬erent causal circumstances. So far, it
would seem that the spontaneity of the ˜˜I think™™ might merely mark the
fact that my I thoughts are independent of the particular causal circum-
stances in which I have such thoughts. But Kant goes on to make
stronger and more interesting claims. He links the spontaneity of
thought, its originality, to a consciousness of self that is context-indepen-
dent. The ˜˜I think™™ is supposed to be ˜˜one and the same in all
consciousness™™ ( ±). It must therefore also be the same in the di¬erent
states of consciousness that characterize di¬erent persons. This context-
independence of the ˜˜I think™™ re¬‚ects its independence from any
particular facts about the causal history of particular agents.
Perhaps the most important feature of the ˜˜I think™™ is that it is ˜˜one
and the same in all consciousness.™™ This identity of the ˜˜I think™™ in
di¬erent psychological contexts has implications for an understanding
of the notion of mineness that is linked to cognitive signi¬cance for an I
thinker. The content of my representational states is determined by
conditions which make it possible for those representations to co-occur
in a single consciousness of self. The representations would not other-
wise be my representations. But such mineness is, in a certain sense,
general. It is true of each and every individual; as such it is subject to
· Kant and the demands of self-consciousness
whatever general conditions apply to all consciousness in virtue of the
dependence of such consciousness on a self-consciousness that has the
same general self-referential structure for each individual instance of
self-consciousness. The possibility of my becoming self-conscious of my
representations puts constraints on whatever is represented by me that
turns out to be general in the same way that the ˜˜I think™™ is general:
[A]s my representations (although I may not be conscious of them right away)
they [my representations] must necessarily accord with the condition under
which they can alone stand together in one universal :in einem allgemeinen9 self-
consciousness because they would not otherwise belong to me through all
transitions :durchgangig9. (section ±,  ±-±)
¨

Minimally a general (˜˜allgemeines™™) self-consciousness must involve a
consciousness that the members of a set of representations belong to
oneself. However, since Kant also maintains immediately prior to this
claim that the self-consciousness in question is transcendental because it is
the basis for a priori knowledge (that is, universal and necessary knowl-
edge), he must mean that the self-consciousness in question is an
absolutely general, or universal, consciousness that di¬erent representa-
tions can necessarily belong together. So Kant is not just claiming that
one™s ability to become conscious of a group of representations is a
constitutive feature of what makes them one™s own; he is also claiming
that, because such representation is possible for each of us who can
become self-conscious, we must be able to think of all of these possible
contents of self-consciousness belonging to di¬erent possible individuals
as belonging to one possible global self-consciousness. This is a conscious-
ness that any representation which is of any cognitive relevance to any
person can belong to any other representation that is of cognitive
relevance to that person. The representation in question may then be
represented by that person as a representation of that very person. This
very abstract notion of ownership can only be the capacity to say ˜˜I think™™
with respect to any arbitrary set of representations that one might have.
Kant links ownership of representations to a potential consciousness
of one™s self-identity. One is supposed to be able to become conscious of
the diverse states of consciousness that belong to one. The capacity to
say ˜˜I think™™ with respect to diverse possible representations that I could
regard as mine is the basis for our consciousness of self-identity. But the
self-identity in question is, ¬rst of all, that of any subject in general. It is
only on the basis of that general representation of self-identity that we
are then able to represent our individual self-identity.
·
The demands of judgment in the B-Deduction
Kant™s account of the kind of self-identity that we attain through
self-consciousness has anti-Humean implications, although he agrees
with Hume that individual states of empirical consciousness give one no
consciousness of self-identity. Individual disconnected representations,
Hume™s perceptions, do not even have the resources to express beliefs or
any form of recognitional awareness, since this requires a distinction
and, hence, also a connection between subject and predicate. The
capacity to connect representations in one self-consciousness is what
makes consciousness of the connection between representations poss-
ible. And the same capacity for self-consciousness is the basis of all
consciousness of identity.
Kant™s concern with self-identity, as in the A-Deduction, is with the
enabling role that a representation of self-identity plays in our ability to
understand and use concepts. Self-consciousness is of crucial import-
ance in concept formation and, hence, in all thought. There is a unity to
the way in which what we represent is connected for us (a synthetic unity
in Kant™s terminology). This synthetic unity logically precedes the
formation of any concepts:

A representation that is to be thought as common to di¬erent ones, is thought
as belonging to ones that have apart from it something di¬erent in them,
therefore they must previously be thought to be in synthetic unity with others
(if only possible representations) before I can think the analytic unity of
consciousness that makes them into conceptus communis [common concepts]
in them. And thus the synthetic unity of apperception is the highest point on
which I must support all use of the understanding, even the whole of logic,
and after it, transcendental philosophy, yes, this faculty is the understanding
itself. ( ±n)

In order to represent anything in terms of a sortal or attributive
concept I must grasp what it is that distinguishes the class of objects to
which that concept applies from other possible classes. I must therefore
be able to compare and contrast di¬erent items that are represented by
me. In his logic lectures, Kant divides the procedure of concept forma-
tion into three steps: (±) comparison, through which I compare represen-
tations to one another in a single consciousness, () re¬‚ection, in which I
re¬‚ect on how to grasp di¬erent representations in terms of a certain
unity of consciousness provided by the features that those representa-
tions have in common, and () abstraction, in which I abstract from all
of the features that those representations do not have in common (Logic,
ed. Jasche, Ak. ©, p. ).
¨
· Kant and the demands of self-consciousness
The important point in the present context is that, in order to be able
to engage in the procedure of comparison, re¬‚ection, and abstraction, I
need not only a consciousness in which those items are compared and
contrasted, but also the capacity to represent myself as being the same
subject of representations that represents the one as that which repre-
sents the other items. From such observations, Kant can legitimately
conclude that the analytic unity of any conceptual consciousness, any
ability to grasp what is represented by me in terms of a one over many,
such as a sortal or attributive term, requires a synthetic unity of self-
consciousness, that is, a capacity to represent the contents of representa-
tions together as my representations ( ±). It is this synthetic unity
which is a condition for the formation of concepts and at the same time
the condition for their applicability to objects of experience. It is import-
ant to notice that the synthetic unity in question is one that connects
di¬erent items represented in a universal self-consciousness. It is then
our capacity to represent ourselves as one and the same subject with
respect to all the diverse representations of such a universal self-con-
sciousness that allows us to represent things in the universal and stand-
point-neutral way demanded by Kant™s conception of a concept.
Kant commits himself more explicitly to a link between the stand-
point-neutral identity of the I that serves as subject of self-consciousness,
and the kind of standpoint neutrality involved in having a concept, in his
lectures on Anthropology:

[E]xperience is empirical cognition, but cognition requires re¬‚ection (re¬‚exio),
and hence consciousness of the activity in putting together the manifold of a
representation according to a rule of unity for that manifold, that is, a concept
and thought in general (distinct from intuition). The I of re¬‚ection contains no
manifold in itself and is always one and the same in all judgment, since it is
merely this formality of consciousness. (Ak. ©©, p. ±±)

As universal representations, concepts involve consciousness of fea-
tures common to a possible plurality of particulars ( °/ ··). They
are representations that can be contained in a number of numerically
distinct individual representations or intuitions (Logic, ed. Jasche, Ak. ©,
¨
section ±, p. ±). But what makes such representations universal is that
they represent things in a standpoint-neutral way. This is possible
because, as I thinkers, we can think of ourselves and other things in a
way that is completely independent of any particular facts about us or
the world.
·µ
The demands of judgment in the B-Deduction
 ®   © ®¤  ¬¦ - ® © µ® 
At this point, I need to say something more about the nature of synthetic
unity. Kant is careful to note that the need for synthesis is a feature of
representations that are mine in the sense that they are cognitively
signi¬cant for me. This is true regardless of whether we combine what
we are representing under a concept, or combine it in one spatio-
temporal experience (intuition). Indeed, Kant is committed to our
capacity to conceptually represent any perceptual (intuitive) contents,
since concepts are involved in all thought, and he has already claimed
that the only intuitions that are of any cognitive signi¬cance for us are
ones that we can think of potentially as our own. In order for a
representation to have cognitive signi¬cance for us, we must be able to
distinguish its di¬erent contents. But in order to be able to distinguish
those contents, we must already be able to connect. For Kant, analysis
always presupposes synthesis (section ±µ,  ±°). Representing something
as connected, regardless of whether there is anything already complexly
characterizable there to begin with, involves an activity that one can
refer to as a self-activity. For it is through the activity of connecting and
distinguishing information that the subject establishes the connected-
ness of the object for itself :

[W]e cannot represent anything as connected in the object unless we have
previously connected it ourselves and among all representations connection is the
only one which is not given through objects, but can only be performed by the
subject itself, since it is an act of its self-activity. (section ±µ,  ±°)

The di¬erent bits of information that we experience are only accessible
to us as what they are insofar as we can compare them with each other.
But to compare them we must connect them to each other. It is this fact
about us that makes us discursive intellects. Indeed, although Kant
introduces the notion of a purely intuitive intellect (a God™s eye point of
view) by way of contrast with our discursive intellect, he argues that we
cannot even make sense of such an intellect, so that the theocentric
perspective on the world that has been popular with rationalist philos-
ophers is not even really coherent for him:

That understanding through whose self-consciousness a manifold of intuition
would be given, an understanding through whose representation the objects of
this representation would also exist, would not require a particular act of
· Kant and the demands of self-consciousness
synthesis of the manifold for the unity of consciousness, needed by human
understanding which merely thinks and does not intuit. But it is the ¬rst
principle for human understanding, so that it cannot form the least concept of
an other possible understanding, either one that itself intuits or even of a sensible
intuition, but of another kind than the one grounded in space and time. (section
±·,  ±“±)

For a being with a discursive intelligence, there is a fundamental
distinction to be drawn between the way objects are given to it (receptiv-
ity), and the way it represents those objects as given to it (spontaneity).
An intuitive or non-discursive understanding would not, according to
Kant, require a connection or synthesis that is distinguishable from the
way objects are given to it. In the Critique, Kant accuses the philosophi-
cal tradition of con¬‚ating understanding and intuition. So he cannot
take the idea that ours is a discursive intellect in his sense as uncontested,
for otherwise his philosophical critics can accept the conclusion that he
draws from what is required for experience by a discursive understand-
ing and simply deny that ours is a discursive intellect.
Although the Critique as a whole can be regarded as a defense of the
claim that ours is a discursive intellect, at  ±° Kant adduces the fact
about us that he thinks directly supports the claim that ours is a
discursive intellect. This synthetic fact links cognitive signi¬cance for us
to our being able to make cognitive connections for ourselves. A repre-
sentation is cognitively signi¬cant for me only if I can think of that
representation as a representation that could be mine in the sense that it
is connectible to other representations that I ascribe to it myself. Kant
can then appeal to the claim that it is analytic to all representations that
are mine that they are ascribable by me to me. This mineness of
representations gives even intuitions, including those of space and time
as a whole, their unity ( ±n).
Now the A-Deduction maintains that there is a synthetic a priori
connection between all empirical consciousness and a possible self-
consciousness ( ±±·n). There Kant is concerned with the implications of
self-consciousness for the empirical content of thought. He argues that
an empirical consciousness is only consciousness of an object insofar as it
can be connected to other contents of consciousness in one possible
self-consciousness. In the B-Deduction, Kant takes the need for syn-
thesis to be analytic to self-consciousness. There is, however, an import-
ant distinction between the A-Deduction and the B-Deduction. For the
B-Deduction claim concerns the need for synthesis relative to represen-
tations that are mine:
··
The demands of judgment in the B-Deduction
(±) The thought: these representations given in intuition all belong to me means
as much as I connect them in one self-consciousness, or can at least connect
them there, and even if it is not itself the consciousness of the synthesis of
representations, it presupposes the possibility of the latter, that is, only insofar
as I can grasp that manifold in one consciousness, do I call all those representa-
tions my representations; for otherwise I would have such a multicolored
di¬erent self, as I have representations of which I am conscious . . . now this

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