Kant's first paralogism

Philosophical Review 119 (4):449–495 (2010)
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Abstract
In “The Paralogisms of Pure Reason” Kant seeks to explain how rationalist philosophers could have arrived at the dogmatic conclusion that the self is a substance. His diagnosis has two components: first, the positing of “Transcendental Illusion”—a pervasive intellectual illusion that predisposes us to accept as sound certain unsound arguments for substantive theses about the nature of the self; second, the identification of the relevant fallacy we commit when we succumb to this illusion. This paper explains how these two elements combine to produce the doctrine that the self is a substance. It is argued that Kant has a novel, ingenious—and even somewhat plausible—account of how the rational psychologist might arrive at this view-- one that involves identifying a fundamental confusion about the nature of conceivability.
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First archival date: 2015-11-21
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2010-10-29

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