Kant and the Early Moderns

Princeton University Press

For the past 200 years, Kant has acted as a lens--sometimes a distorting lens--between historians of philosophy and early modern intellectual history. Kant's writings about Descartes, Leibniz, Locke, Berkeley, and Hume have been so influential that it has often been difficult to see these predecessors on any terms but Kant's own. In Kant and the Early Moderns, Daniel Garber and Béatrice Longuenesse bring together some of the world's leading historians of philosophy to consider Kant in relation to these earlier thinkers.

These original essays are grouped in pairs. A first essay discusses Kant's direct engagement with the philosophical thought of Descartes, Leibniz, Locke, Berkeley, or Hume, while a second essay focuses more on the original ideas of these earlier philosophers, with reflections on Kant's reading from the point of view of a more direct interest in the earlier thinker in question. What emerges is a rich and complex picture of the debates that shaped the "transcendental turn" from early modern epistemology, metaphysics, and philosophy of mind to Kant's critical philosophy.

The contributors, in addition to the editors, are Jean-Marie Beyssade, Lisa Downing, Dina Emundts, Don Garrett, Paul Guyer, Anja Jauernig, Wayne Waxman, and Kenneth P. Winkler.

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About the author

Daniel Garber is professor of philosophy at Princeton University and the author of Descartes Embodied and Descartes' Metaphysical Physics. B�atrice Longuenesse is professor of philosophy at New York University. Her books include Kant on the Human Standpoint and Kant and the Capacity to Judge (Princeton).
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Additional Information

Publisher
Princeton University Press
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Published on
Aug 10, 2008
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Pages
257
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ISBN
9780691137018
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
Philosophy / Ethics & Moral Philosophy
Philosophy / History & Surveys / General
Philosophy / History & Surveys / Modern
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This content is DRM protected.
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Béatrice Longuenesse
Béatrice Longuenesse presents an original exploration of our understanding of ourselves and the way we talk about ourselves. In the first part of the book she discusses contemporary analyses of our use of 'I' in language and thought, and compares them to Kant's account of self-consciousness, especially the type of self-consciousness expressed in the proposition 'I think.' According to many contemporary philosophers, necessarily, any instance of our use of 'I' is backed by our consciousness of our own body. For Kant, in contrast, 'I think' just expresses our consciousness of being engaged in bringing rational unity into the contents of our mental states. In the second part of the book, Longuenesse analyzes the details of Kant's view and argues that contemporary discussions in philosophy and psychology stand to benefit from Kant's insights into self-consciousness and the unity of consciousness. The third and final part of the book outlines similarities between Kant's view of the structure of mental life grounding our uses of 'I' in 'I think' and in the moral 'I ought to,' on the one hand; and Freud's analysis of the organizations of mental processes he calls 'ego' and 'superego' on the other hand. Longuenesse argues that Freudian metapsychology offers a path to a naturalization of Kant's transcendental view of the mind. It offers a developmental account of the normative capacities that ground our uses of 'I,' which Kant thought could not be accounted for without appealing to a world of pure intelligences, distinct from the empirical, natural world of physical entities.
Béatrice Longuenesse
Béatrice Longuenesse presents an original exploration of our understanding of ourselves and the way we talk about ourselves. In the first part of the book she discusses contemporary analyses of our use of 'I' in language and thought, and compares them to Kant's account of self-consciousness, especially the type of self-consciousness expressed in the proposition 'I think.' According to many contemporary philosophers, necessarily, any instance of our use of 'I' is backed by our consciousness of our own body. For Kant, in contrast, 'I think' just expresses our consciousness of being engaged in bringing rational unity into the contents of our mental states. In the second part of the book, Longuenesse analyzes the details of Kant's view and argues that contemporary discussions in philosophy and psychology stand to benefit from Kant's insights into self-consciousness and the unity of consciousness. The third and final part of the book outlines similarities between Kant's view of the structure of mental life grounding our uses of 'I' in 'I think' and in the moral 'I ought to,' on the one hand; and Freud's analysis of the organizations of mental processes he calls 'ego' and 'superego' on the other hand. Longuenesse argues that Freudian metapsychology offers a path to a naturalization of Kant's transcendental view of the mind. It offers a developmental account of the normative capacities that ground our uses of 'I,' which Kant thought could not be accounted for without appealing to a world of pure intelligences, distinct from the empirical, natural world of physical entities.
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