Can't Kant Cognize His Empirical Self? Or, a Problem for (almost) Every Interpretation of the Refutation of Idealism

In Anil Gomes & Andrew Stephenson (eds.), Kant and the Philosophy of Mind: Perception, Reason, and the Self. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 138-158 (2017)
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Kant seems to think of our own mental states or representations as the primary objects of inner sense. But does he think that these states also inhere in something? And, if so, is that something an empirical substance that is also cognized in inner sense? This chapter provides textual and philosophical grounds for thinking that, although Kant may agree with Hume that the self is not ‘given’ in inner sense exactly, he does think of the self as cognized through inner sense. It is also argued that he both does and ought to regard this self as an empirical substance in which our changing representations inhere. In the second part of the chapter it is suggested that this poses a significant problem for most of the leading interpretations of Kant’s anti-sceptical argument in the Refutation of Idealism.
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