Date of Award

2013

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Philosophy

Abstract

In the literature on Immanuel Kant there is no systematic account of the derangement of the constitutive cognitive faculties from an exclusively philosophical point of view. This dissertation opens the path for the development of such an account. It does so by presenting Kant's positive account of the proper functioning of the constitutive cognitive faculties, namely, sensibility, imagination, and understanding. As such, the dissertation offers a series of "prolegomena" to a Kantian theory of the derangement of the cognitive faculties. At the foundation of Kant's theory of cognition is the transcendental unity of apperception, the original ground of cognition. Through its power of synthesis, the transcendental subject constitutes objects of experience and discovers itself as pure self-consciousness. The distinction between the pure "I" of transcendental apperception and the "I" as object of inner sense is shown to be crucial to Kant's account of cognition. The difficult birth of the categories as intelligible forms is analyzed, and an interpretation is presented of Kant's controversial distinction between judgments of perception and judgments of experience. We further highlight the role played by the synthesis of the imagination in the subjective constitution of the object as a possible determinable object. With this model in place, we turn to Kant's account of what can go wrong in human cognition, preparing the way for a future study of Kant's full-blown theory of cognitive mental derangement.

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