XI KANT KONGRESS, XI Congresso Kantiano Internazionale

Kant's Theory of Perception

Andrew Francis Roche

Edificio: Palazzo dei Congressi
Sala: sala Verri
Data: 22 maggio 2010 - 14:30
Ultima modifica: 13 aprile 2010


What is Kant’s theory of perception? In particular, what is for Kant the nature of the “mind-world relation” unique to the perception of objects? Should we read Kant as holding that we directly experience our sensible representations and thereby, indirectly, experience objective reality? This would be a sense-datum analysis of Kant’s theory of perception. Or should we read Kant as holding that we directly experience objective reality itself, with our sensible representations bringing us into contact with that reality but not themselves being (at least not normally) objects of experience? This would be an intentionalist analysis of Kant. In Part I of my paper, I consider how sense-datum and intentionalist readings of Kant fare. I argue that neither captures important aspects of his thought. In Part II, I defend a synthesis of sense-datum and intentionalist readings, paying special attention to Kant’s notion of inner sense. In Part III, I modify this analysis to account for his transcendental idealism, although I also articulate the difficulties that Kant’s idealism creates for (what I argue is) his underlying theory of perception.