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Philosophy : Kant - Essay Example

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It is believed to be the base of understanding knowledge. Descartes statement indicates that he believes in the notion of consciousness and the self. When one thinks about himself, that is proof enough that there is a consciousness as he is able to think. And with that, he proves to himself that his self is in fact existing as he is able to prove his own consciousness by thinking. His proposition, I think therefore I am, is based on clarity and self-evidence of the statement. It is not based on inference, assumption or abstract thought. His statement in itself proves his point that since he is thinking, he is existing. How can one not exist when he is thinking about himself? Kant is one of the critics of Descartes’ idea of the self and consciousness. Descartes believes that the reason for the existence of one’s consciousness is something else that is external to the mind, like a physical world or a God. Kant does not believe so. He does not accept that there is another object that causes consciousness. He believes that the consciousness is both the subject and the object. This means that the consciousness in itself is the reason or the cause, and the effect or the result of its existence. It does not need anything outside of it for it to exist. Kant’s theory of judgment tries to explain the connection between the unity of consciousness and awareness of an object, the subject and the object association....
re the same, meaning they are united and something outside of one’s consciousness is just a necessary connection to make one’s consciousness function. Kant believes that one’s consciousness is both the reason and the effect. How can one know that he is conscious when he is not conscious of himself. Kant’s perspective just goes to show that Descartes’ opinion about the consciousness is incorrect. Descartes believes that there is a cause and effect process that happens in defining one’s consciousness. As he implied in his philosophical statement, his consciousness is existing because he is thinking. He is real because he is able to think. There is a cause and effect process that is happening between thinking and realizing or believing that he exists. Kant rejects Descartes’ view of the self and the consciousness because he believes that one’s experience is one’s own. This means that if he knows he has experienced something then he is conscious of it that the experience is his own. It would be strange to say that you know something happened to you or that you experienced something but that experience was another person’s. With Descartes, consciousness and self-consciousness makes no difference. They have the same impact and meaning to the individual. With Kant, he distinguishes consciousness and self-consciousness. Having a conscious experience is different from being conscious that you are experiencing something. The first scenario shows only that you are conscious but the second situation indicates your acceptance that you are conscious of your own consciousness. I believe that Kant’s view of self and consciousness is better. How can one not be conscious of one’s own consciousness? There is no cause and effect between one’s consciousness and ...Show more


I think therefore I am. That is a philosophical statement that shows Descartes’ belief in the self and his consciousness. The statement is an English translation of the Latin Cogito ergo sum…
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Philosophy Essay: Kant
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