Max Velmans on Kant

Quotes from Max Velmans, Understanding Consciousness

p. 202 «Uncertainty appears to be intrinsic to representational knowledge. Kant’s view that the thing itself in unknowable is nevertheless extreme.»

p. 202 «We necessarily base our interactions with the world on the experiences, concepts and theories we have of it, and these representations enable us to interact with it quite well. Kant’s extreme position is in any case self-defeating. If we can know nothing about the ‘real’ world, then no genuine knowledge of any kind is possible whether in philosophy or science — in which case one cannot know that the thing itself is unknowable, or anything else.»

p. 202 «Interpreted in Kant’s way, a theory of knowledge grounded in a ‘thing itself’ is also internally inconsistent. If the appearances of the external world are not representations of the thing itself, then these appearances cannot really be representations, as there is nothing else for them to be representation of. Conversely, if they are representations of the things itself, the latter cannot be unknowable.»


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