Kant and the Subject of Critique
On the Regulative Role of the Psychological Idea
Publication Year: 2012
Immanuel Kant is strict about the limits of self-knowledge: our inner sense gives us only appearances, never the reality, of ourselves. Kant may seem to begin his inquiries with an uncritical conception of cognitive limits, but in Kant and the Subject of Critique, Avery Goldman argues that, even for Kant, a reflective act must take place before any judgment occurs. Building on Kant’s metaphysics, which uses the soul, the world, and God as regulative principles, Goldman demonstrates how Kant can open doors to reflection, analysis, language, sensibility, and understanding. By establishing a regulative self, Goldman offers a way to bring unity to the subject through Kant’s seemingly circular reasoning, allowing for critique and, ultimately, knowledge.
Published by: Indiana University Press
Series: Studies in Continental Thought
Title Page, Copyright, Dedication
Introduction: The Circularity of Critique
This book opens with a dilemma: Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason (Kritik der reinen Vernunft) begins by rejecting the possibility of knowledge of things in themselves (noumena), restricting itself to investigating appearances (phenomena). In this way Kant is able to uncover the conditions of the possibility of experience, deducing the faculties of cognition from this limited field of appearances. But...
1. The Ideas of Reason
What, in the end, does Kant have to say about the self, the subject as the locus of both cognition and action, the I whose reason tends toward both theoretical and practical pursuits? Such a question is more elusive than one might expect from a writer who so carefully addresses the intricacies of our cognitive faculties. The difficulty of such a task, as well as Kant’s ambivalence toward it...
2. The Boundary of Phenomena and Noumena
To explain the human tendency toward metaphysics as a “natural institution” that permits us to perform a task that “cannot rightly be required of metaphysics proper” would appear to point to the moral use of metaphysical inquiry that follows from the critique of the cosmological antinomies in the Transcendental Dialectic of the Critique of Pure Reason. However, since Kant terms the above...
3. The Designation of the Region of Experience in the Critique of Pure Reason
In the wide-ranging First Introduction to the Critique of Judgment, Kant reiterates the general conclusion of the Critique of Pure Reason, explaining that “the whole of nature [die gesamte Natur] as the totality of all objects of experience constitutes a system in accordance with transcendental laws, namely those that the understanding itself gives a priori.”1 While nature, within the critical project...
4. Transcendental Reflection: Interpreting the Amphiboly via §76 of the Critique of Judgment
Having demonstrated the need for an explanation of the conception of experience with which Kant’s analysis begins, we must now pursue such a question within the confines of the Critique of Pure Reason if we are to avoid claiming that Kant was initially blind to the presuppositions of the critical enterprise. In §76 of the Critique of Judgment, Kant announces the possibility of addressing the...
5. The Paralogisms of Pure Reason: In Search of a Regulative Principle for Transcendental Reflection
In the preface to the first edition of the Critique of Pure Reason, in what stands as the opening salvo of critical philosophy, Kant writes that although questions concerning “the faculty of thinking [das Vermögen zu denken]”—the mind, or reason, in the broadest and most undifferentiated sense—are important, they are not an essential part of the Transcendental Deduction, nor are...
6. Transcendental Method: The Orientation of Critique
In his 1786 essay “What Does It Mean to Orient Oneself in Thinking? [Was heißt: sich im Denken orientieren?]”1 Kant introduces a conception of orientation that addresses not merely our spatial orientation among material objects but also our speculative orientation in thought. In connecting these two realms of orientation, concerning the sensible and the intelligible, respectively, Kant...
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