The question now before us

The question now before us - apperception must be a unity....

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The question now before us, then, is why the use of categories, "concepts of objects in general," are necessary for us to think things as objects of experience. Why cannot empirical concepts, gleaned from the appearances, suffice? Before being in a position to answer this question, we must reopen the notion of unified representation. If a manifold is synthetized and brought to unity under concepts, there must be unity in the consciousness through which this all takes place. That is, it must be one and the same 'I' which performs these functions through its faculties of sensibility, imagination and understanding. But more importantly, I must be able to represent myself as the same in all these representative acts. In so doing, I become conscious of myself as identical throughout them. I cannot call all these representations my own unless I am capable of prefixing 'I think' to them all. Kant, following Leibniz, called self-consciousness 'apperception.' If I am to think myself as one and the same throughout all of my representations, this
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Unformatted text preview: apperception must be a unity. Thus, Kant claims, there is a unity of apperception underlying all acts of combination which I can call my own. This unity he calls "transcendental" because it is the ground for a priori cognition of objects (though we have not yet seen how it is so). The link with categories is that any unity in the pure concepts of understanding is subject to a "higher" or "original" unity, that of apperception. "It is the unity of consciousness that alone constitutes the relation of representations to an object, and therefore their objective validity and the fact that they are cognitions; and upon it therefore rests the very possibility of the understanding" (B137). How the unity of consciousness "constitutes" the relation of representations to an object, and hence supports the objective validity of the categories, becomes the primary task of the Transcendental Deduction....
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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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