Kant exploited the thesis that as species of representations

Kant exploited the thesis that as species of...

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Kant exploited the thesis that as species of representations, bodies are on the same footing as our inner intuitions of ourselves, in order to solve the Cartesian mind/body problem. This problem depends once again on transcendental realism. If body and soul are independently existing beings with nothing in common, it is impossible to understand how they could influence each other. One is driven to extreme positions such as the pre-established harmony ( Leibniz ) or supernatural intervention (Malebranche). But once it is recognized that both have the status of appearance, we can subsume both under causal laws, which after all are only rules for the ordering of appearances. What underlies the appearances is unknown to us, but it is neither body nor thinking thing. (I will return to this point shortly.) To the student of the history of philosophy, this "solution" to the problem of idealism (thopugh not to the mind/body problem) seems to be exactly that proposed by Berkeley , whom Kant characterized as a dogmatic idealist. But in his
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Unformatted text preview: early works Principles of Human Knowledge and Three Dialogues between Hylas and Philonous , Berkeley had argued that the esse of corporeal things is percipi . This can fairly be translated into Kant's jargon by stating that bodies are a species of representation. Thus, Kant's first critics held that transcendental idealism is a "freshened up" version of Berkeleyan idealism. Kant was furious with this characterization of his idealism, accusing his critics of deliberate misrepresentation of his position. In the Prolegomena , he tried to dissassociate himself from Berkeley in two ways. First, (in the Appendix) he noted that there is no a priori element in Berkeley's philosophy. Allison has argued that this makes Berkeley a transcendental realist, and hence open to being called a dogmatic idealist, as in the second edition of the Critique . Be this as it may, it does affect Kant's own description of his own idealism....
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This note was uploaded on 11/09/2011 for the course PSY PSY2012 taught by Professor Scheff during the Fall '09 term at Broward College.

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