Kant’s Philosophy Consciousness of Self and Mind
Despite the fact that Kant stood for the view that consciousness and mind was not part of his area of philosophy, his ideas would still be influential. According to Brook (2008), the ideas that Kant stood by are now part of the cognitive science.
It is argued that Kant’s perspective of mind and his idealism perspectives go hand-in-hand, a phenomenon that is labeled as transcendental idealism. Yet it has also been argued that some points that he held about the mind could be well separated from the idealism point of view. There are three notions that comprehensively define the Kant’s approach on mind. First, the mind can be perceived to consist of an array of abilities, a view that is referred to as the functionalist view. The second notion is based upon elements that require the mind to function effectively. Here, Kant suggests that cognition functionality is informed by perception, as well as concepts. The third element is what Kant referred to as the synthesis. These three notions are now widely applied, as far as the approach to cognition is concerned, and are even pivotal in the cognitive science.
Kant attempted elucidating this practically, rather than limiting himself to theory. He began by reasoning a way he could derive knowledge that is independent of experience, in what he labeled ‘priori’ (Brook, 2008). He held the view that that some structures in the mind must have been in existence even before experience takes over, considering that the use of these structures is often preceded by experience. Kant proceeded that priori truth, which exists both in mind and knowledge are universal and this can only be ascertained by applying the priori methods. The transcendental arguments either existed as priori or contributed to the formation of priori.
Based on Kant’s view, it is impossible for the concepts to work without intuitions. Similarly, intuitions cannot work unless they are concepts. Additionally, experience needs to be built with concepts and perceptions. This describes the interrelation between these concepts. In real practice, it is possible to elucidate this relationship. Simply, it is not possible for one to tell the difference between two things if the information is lacking. To tell that the car is white and not red requires one to have known what white and red are. For information to be important to the mind, it needs to be organized. The act of organization is what is enabled by the synthesis processes.
There are three sets of synthesis process that are required for effective functioning of the mind. These are intuition apprehension, imagination reproduction, and concept recognition. These three synthesis types may be further considered as the correlates to the basic duality concept and intuition. The process of synthesizing apprehension entails input of raw perceptions. On the other hand, recognition synthesis entails internalization of concepts, while the synthesis of production pertains to the reproduction processes such as through imagination, which allows the mind to wander and think.
Furthermore, these are also the correlates of the faculties, which include the sensibility province, understanding province and the imagination province. Reproduction and apprehension are considered inseparable. This is because one process counts on the other. Recognition requires both apprehension and reproduction, yet it is worth noting that apprehension and reproduction do not require recognition. In this regard, it is only the recognition process that counts on the use of the concepts but Kant asserts the three processes are crucial for the object representation. Synthesis acts can only be perceived on what has been built out of experience.
Brook, A. (2008). Kant's View of the Mind and Consciousness of Self. Retrieved on November 17, 2012, from http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/kant-mind/