Philosophy | University of Northern Colorado
Philosophy | University of Northern Colorado
Home | Profile | Register | Active Topics | Members | Search | FAQ
Username:
Password:
Save Password
Forgot your Password?

 All Forums
 Class Forums - Fall 2012
 PHIL 495-001 - Kant's Critiques
 "I think..."
 New Topic  Reply to Topic
 Printer Friendly
Author  Topic Next Topic  

Amanda Marston
Moderator

16 Posts

Posted - Oct 08 2012 :  1:47:10 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I have read the chapter on the Paralogisms a few times, but I keep getting stuck on Kant's discussion of the "I think." Does Kant think that we are unable to infer anything at all from this proposition, or does he think that it is not a proposition at all (I am thinking of the "cogito, ergo sum")? I know he says it is "understood in a problematical sense, not in so far as it contains a perception of an existence but in regard to its mere possibility..." (A347=B405). And he mentions that we cannot be anything but the subject in relations which constitute judgments, but I think I am missing something, especially when he says, "But this proposition does not signify that I, as an object, am, for myself, a self-subsistent being or substance...perhaps not to be discovered in the thinking self at all" (B407). If it cannot be discovered there, can it be discovered at all? I have lots of questions on this section!!

[Very lightly edited to enhance readability -TT]

Tom Trelogan
Forum Admin

1439 Posts

Posted - Oct 09 2012 :  10:03:41 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Great questions, Amanda! I'll hazard answers if no one else does, but I'd like to give any others who have thoughts about this the opportunity to post their responses first.

But just to underline the urgency of the question as to whether the "I think" is a proposition at all, let me add the observation that in the second paragraph of the chapter (and therefore right at the outset of the entire discussion), Kant rather surprisingly characterizes the "I think" as "the concept—or, if one prefers, the judgment—I think" (A341=B399). Generally, Kant doesn't treat the terms "concept" and "judgment" as if he thinks of them as interchangeable terms in the way he seems to do here.

(PS: I've added to your original post here references to the pagination in the first and second editions for those who aren't using the Meiklejohn translation.)
Go to Top of Page

Sergio Cerrillo
Apprentice

38 Posts

Posted - Oct 10 2012 :  5:45:29 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Amanda, I think that Kant is saying there is no possible way that we will discover it. I say this because he makes it sound as if we have tried to reach it before, but failed. We have thought of the possibilities of "I think" but cannot obtain this particular concept or judgment—whatever particular way Kant is using this terminology. What I am gathering is that he believes that even though we are existing beings, we may not be able to understand the concept of "I think" because we haven't discovered the concept of "self." I could be completely off, but I just wanted to take a stab in the dark to see what Tom had to say.

[Very lightly edited to enhance readability -TT]
Go to Top of Page

Tom Trelogan
Forum Admin

1439 Posts

Posted - Oct 10 2012 :  6:35:34 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
It seems to me, Sergio, that Kant quite clearly thinks that we do have the concept. Isn't it just the substantial I that he thinks may not be discoverable in the thinking self at all?
Go to Top of Page
   Topic Next Topic  
 New Topic  Reply to Topic
 Printer Friendly
Jump To:
Philosophy | University of Northern Colorado © 2004 tkt Go To Top Of Page
This page was generated in 0.09 seconds. Snitz Forums 2000