The Nature of Appearance in Kant’s Transcendentalism: A Semantico-Cognitive Analysis

Kantian Journal 37 (3):41-55 (2018)
Download Edit this record How to cite View on PhilPapers
Abstract
The concept of appearance within the framework of the transcendental distinction between “appearance” and “thing in itself” is the cornerstone of Kant’s transcendental philosophy. However, its conceptual status seems largely uncertain. This uncertainty is the reason for a wide range of interpretations of Kant’s transcendental idealism. A paradigmatic example is the contemporary confrontation between the “two objects” theory and the “two aspects” theory. In this paper, I develop a semantico-cognitive approach to Kant’s transcendentalism in general as well as to his conception of appearance in particular. Its use makes it possible to clarify both the metaphysical and ontological status of appearance. I show that, from the metaphysical point of view, the specificity of appearance is given by the transcendental triad “object (thing in itself) — appearance — representation.” Within this triad, on the one hand, appearance differs from both thing in itself (external to us) and the representation (within us). On the other hand, appearance as an object of empirical intuition mediates the objective thing and its subjective representation. The introduction of the concept of appearance allows Kant to solve the semantic problem of the conformity of the representation to the object. In this case, appearance is not an object, but just a designation of the object (KrV, B 235). Thus, appearance cannot be understood ontologically as a physical object or a relation. At the same time, an appearance is not identical to its representation, since the former is an object or content of the latter. Applying G. Frege’s “semantic triangle” to the analysis of Kant’s concept of appearance, I show that the transcendental object functions as the sense (Sinn) of the appearance and that the empirical thing in itself is its reference (Bedeutung).
PhilPapers/Archive ID
KATTNO-3
Revision history
Archival date: 2019-04-12
View upload history
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Added to PP index
2019-04-12

Total views
6 ( #39,215 of 38,956 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
6 ( #34,844 of 38,956 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks to external links.