Empirical consciousness explained: Self-affection, (self-)consciousness and perception in the B deduction

Kantian Review 11:29-54 (2006)
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Few of Kant’s doctrines are as difficult to understand as that of self-affection. Its brief career in the published literature consists principally in its unheralded introduction in the Transcendental Aesthetic and unexpected re-appearance at a key moment in the Deduction chapter in the B edition of the first Critique. Kant’s commentators, confronted with the difficulty of this doctrine, have naturally resorted to various strategies of clarification, ranging from distinguishing between empirical and transcendental self-affection, divorcing self-affection from the claims of self-knowledge with which Kant explicitly connects it, and, perhaps least justified of all, ignoring the doctrine altogether. Yet the connection between self-affection and central Critical doctrines (such as the transcendental synthesis of the imagination) marks all of these strategies as last resorts. In this paper, I seek to provide a clearer outline of the constellation of those issues which inform Kant’s discussion of self-affection. More particularly, I intend to explain the crucial role played by self-affection in the account of the transcendental conditions of perception provided late in the B Deduction.
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New Essays on Human Understanding.Leibniz, Gottfried Wilhelm

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The Bloomsbury Companion to Kant.Schulting, Dennis (ed.)

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