A Modified Version of Kant's Theory of Cognition

Author: Melnick, Arthur

Source: International Journal of Philosophical Studies, Volume 9, Number 4, 1 November 2001 , pp. 459-483(25)

Publisher: Routledge, part of the Taylor & Francis Group

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According to Kant's theory of thought or cognition, thoughts are rules for empirical reactions in the compass of spatial and temporal constructions. Theses rules function to represent our situation in relation to all the ways it is proper to interact with reality. After outlining Kant's theory, I present a modified version in which rules are identified with executive mechanisms for behavioural output. Following Kant, I show how such rules can pertain to the past in terms of mechanisms for being beyond or past stages of temporal constructions. This identification of rules with mechanisms allows for a real definition of the truth of thoughts as the active realizability of the mechanisms that thoughts are. I show how this modified version can encompass the full scope of even relativistic spatio-temporal reality, and indicate why this theory deserves consideration as against rival descriptive and causal theories of cognition.

Keywords: Cognition; Kant; Rules; Space; Time; Truth

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09672550110081258

Publication date: November 1, 2001

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