The Aporia of Inner Sense

The Self-Knowledge of Reason and the Critique of Metaphysics in Kant


This work - the first full-length account of its theme in English - identifies Kant’s doctrine of inner sense as a central, and problematic, element within the ‘architectonic of pure reason’ of the first Critique. Its exegesis exposes two, variant construals of the character and capacities of inner sense: the first, ‘positive’ construal functions in Kant’s account of the nature of knowledge in the Transcendental Analytic, while the second, ‘negative’ construal functions in Kant’s account of the limits of knowledge in the Transcendental Dialectic. Green shows how this variance underlies, and destabilizes, the basic intention of Kant’s theoretical philosophy, to give an account of both the nature, and the limits, of cognition. The work complements detailed analysis with an exhaustive review of English, French, and German scholarship on the doctrine. An Appendix on Kant’s recently discovered ‘Vom inneren Sinne’ fragment evinces Kant’s continued concern with this doctrine, and a Conclusion intimates the importance of Fichte’s and Schelling’s identification of the ‘aporia of inner sense’ to the subsequent development of transcendental idealism.


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Biographical Note

Garth W. Green (M.A., Religion, Boston University; M.A., Philosophy, University of Leuven [Belgium], Ph.D., Boston University, Philosophy of Religion) is Assistant Professor of Philosophy of Religion at Boston University.

Review Quotes

"The thesis – very profound, very learned, and detailed -- of Professor Green recommends itself. It is obvious that we are introduced to an authentically speculative temperament, and to an extremely well-trained philosopher and scholar, who manifests exceptional gifts of both reflection and analysis. His work attests to an exhaustive knowledge of Kant (and, elsewhere, of Fichte, and therefore of German idealism). The author does not spare his reader; he is analytical, elaborate, and remains constantly in close proximity to the text, indeed with a remarkable mastery. The analytical attitude chosen by Professor Green ensures the solidity of his exposition."
Xavier Tilliette (review of Garth Green's thesis as member examining committee, 2002)

Table of contents

Volume Foreword

1. Introduction; An Aporia of Inner Sense?

2. The Self-Knowledge of Reason; The Transcendental Topic and The Atopicality of Time

I. Critique of Pure Reason; A General Introduction

II. Materialiter sic Dicta
i. Per Modum Recipientis
ii. Situs corporis
iii. Situs temporis

III. Idealiter sic Dicta
i. Form and Function
ii. Self-consciousness and Self-cognition
a. A First Attempt at Deduction
b. A Second Attempt at Deduction
iii. An Analytic of (Synthetic) Principles
iv. A Problematic Idealism
v. Seelenlehre, Weltwissenschaft, Gotteserkenntnis

3. Conclusion; The Antinomy Between Theory of Knowledge and Critique of Metaphysics in Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason

4. Appendix; The Aporia of Inner Sense and The Vom Inneren Sinne Fragment: A Principle for the Development of Transcendental Philosophy?




All scholars, societies, and libraries interested in Kant’s Theoretical Philosophy, German Idealism, Fichte, Self-Consciousness, Metaphysics, Epistemology, Philosophy of Time, Rational Psychology, Rational Theology.


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