Kant and Rödl on the Identity of Self-Consciousness and Objectivity

Studi Kantiani:141-158 (2020)
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Sebastian Rödl’s 2018 book articulates and unfolds the thought that judgment’s self-consciousness is identical with its objectivity. This view is laid forth in a Hegelian spirit, against the spirit of Kant’s merely formal or transcendental idealism. I review Rödl’s central theses and then offer a criticism of his reading of Kant. I hold that we can agree with Rödl that self-consciousness is identical with objectivity (though only in a ‘formal’ sense). We can also agree with Rödl that this identity enables us to see the completeness and the incompleteness of judgment as two sides of one coin. And, it is not necessary to reject the formality or ‘emptiness’ of Kant’s ‘I think’ in order to establish these points. Indeed, the virtues of these theses flows directly from such notions in Kant. And, because Rödl need not reject the central features of Kant’s formal idealism, he also need not locate them as the source of the need for a turn to Hegel.
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