Erkenntnis in Kant’s Logical Works

In Violetta L. Waibel, Margit Ruffing & David Wagner (eds.), Natur und Freiheit. Akten des XII. Internationalen Kant-Kongresses. De Gruyter. pp. 1413–1420 (2018)
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In this paper, I shed light on Kant’s notion of Erkenntnis or cognition by focusing on texts pertaining to Kant’s thoughts on logic. Although a passage from Kant’s Logik is widely referred to for understanding Kant’s conception of Erkenntnis, this work was not penned by Kant himself but rather compiled by Benjamin Jäsche. So, it is imperative to determine its fidelity to Kant’s thought. I compare the passage with other sources, including Reflexionen and students’ lecture notes. I argue that several of the text’s peculiarities stem from Jäsche rather than Kant, but that nevertheless Jäsche largely got Kant's view right, with two major exceptions. First, Jäsche’s text fails to reproduce Kant’s key thesis that kennen and verstehen are jointly sufficient for Erkenntnis. Second, Jäsche’s text gives the false impression that Kant holds that animals have consciousness.

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Curtis Sommerlatte
Indiana University, Bloomington (PhD)


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