Some Comments to R. Aquila's Paper ‘Kantian Appearances, Intentional Gegenstände, and Some Varieties of Phenomenalism’

 
PIIS123456780010286-5-1
DOI10.18254/S271326680010286-5
Publication type Article
Status Published
Authors
Affiliation: State Academic University of the Humanities
Address: Moscow, Russian Federation
Affiliation: University of Tennessee
Address: Knoxville USA
Journal nameStudies in Transcendental Philosophy
EditionVolume 1 Issue 1
Abstract

In my commentary, I write, firstly, of the dualistic (ambivalent) use of the concept ‘appearance’ by Kant and, secondly, of the need for a semantic (referential)  interpretation of the Kantian concept ‘‘appearance’ as opposed to intentional interpretation of R.Aquilla. In his reply to my objections, R. Aquila precisies his initial position and gives additional arguments in it’s favor.

KeywordsKant, transcendental philosophy, appearance, semantic (reference) interpretation of Kant’s concept ‘appearance’, intentional interpretation of appearance
AcknowledgmentThis research was supported financially by of Russian Foundation for Basic Research (Project No. 19–011–00925а
Received26.06.2020
Publication date06.07.2020
Number of characters50986
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1

Sergey Katrechko

2

Some comments to R. Aquila's paper ‘Kantian Appearances, Intentional Gegenstände, and Some Varieties of Phenomenalism’ 1. On the Dualistic (Ambivalent) Understanding of Appearances in Kant2

1. In my letter to R. Aquila (July 19, 2018) I supplemented my comments with some relevant (explanatory) fragments from my texts and unpublished reports in the form of annexes. Here I publish my comments without these applications.

2. More precisely, it is better to speak about ‘outer appearances’ [A366–80], or appearances of ‘outer intuition [A372], or appearances of ‘outer sense/perception’ [A374–5].
3

To begin with, the term “appearance” is used by Kant [in Critique] ambivalently (dualistic)3. Firstly, as an indication of objective appearance (appearances–1; as “objects of [possible] experience” [BXXX, A8/B12, A93/B126, B165, A141/B180, A182/B225, A246/B303]4 or «external objects (or bodies)” [А373]; comp. with apprehension a house [A190-1/В235-6]) and, secondly, as a designation of subjective appearance (appearances–2 as “objects of consciousness/mind” [A189/B235]). And Kant, as a rule, does not specify meaning (sense) his use of the term, and, therefore, it is necessary to involve the context in order to understand this (see, for example, ‘dual’ pass. [B147] and, especially, pass. [B164]5). The 2nd class of appearance is an empirical one, because it is formed by apprehension (or synthesis of imagination) the manifold of sensibility (in a sensible intuition) [А76/B102; A100, B143]. The 1st class comes out as appearance only in the transcendental sense — these are spatial “objects of experience”, i.e. ordinary bodies (things). From the empirical (pre-Kantian) point of view, objective appearances–1 are actually existing material things that acquire the status of appearance only in the context of distinction (difference) “thing–in–itself vs. appearance”. Although both classes of appearance are (cor)related with each other, but they are not identical: appearance–1 is spatial, appearance–2 is not. On the scheme below (see Fig.1 and Fig.2), objective appearance–1 (as presentation) and subjective appearance–2 (as representation) can be arranged as follows6:

Fig. 1

4 Fig. 2
5 From the semantic point of view, subjective appearance refer to objective appearance (as their objects** (or reference); Gegenstand7), and transcendental object acts as the reference/object** of objective appearance (see pass. [A108-9]). To clarify the status of objective appearance we use the analogy of the telescope. Objective appearance corresponds to the image of the object (the Moon as thing–in–itself) on the lens of the telescope, and subjective appearance is our (mental) image of the object (the Moon). In this extent, our sense organs can be compared with input devices: they supply our mind with initial information about the external world for its further processing, which Kantian threefold syntheses are. Let us also note that when Kant speaks of intuitive acts through which objects are given to us, he means exactly objective appearance, although he sometimes describes them in terms of apprehension: see, for example, successive apprehension a house in pass. [A190-1/В235-6]. Thus, Kant as it were merges objective and subjective appearances, wrongly transferring the process of formation (synthesis, constitution) of subjective appearance to objective appearance: he is right that objective appearance is also constructed by our mind, but the use of apprehension for the formation of not only mental images (appearance–2) but also spatial bodies (appearance–1; such as a house) is only an analogy. Undoubtedly, bodies (appearance–1) are a synthesis of the a priori form of space and (being ‘successive apprehension’ [A191/В236]) sensible material (manifold) given by intuition (as matter of appearance [A20/B34], or we construct a straight line by ‘drawing of this line (motion)’ [B154, 292], ‘thus synthetically bring about a determinate combination of the given manifold [of points]’ [В138] (comp. physical (house) vs. geometric (line) object), but as Kant writes: “I as it were draw its shape/image [i.e. appearance–1]” [B162]8, but not the house itself [appearance–2], which exists not in our mind, but in space. Therefore, the use of intentional/phenomenological approach in interpreting appearance–1 by transferring the results for appearance–2, as well as the question of the exact correlation of appearance–1 and appearance–2, requires clarification and justification. 7. Here I distinguish the ‘object’ (germ. das Objekt) and the ‘object**’ (germ. der Gegenstand). For more details, see: «Let us note that Kant uses a number of objective terms: thing, object (germ. das Objekt), object** (germ. der Gegenstand) — which, along with the general semantic core (“objectness”), have different semantic nuances… Here we distinguishan object and an object**… An object (Objekt) is an epistemological something that opposes the subject in one way or another (distinctions/differences "object vs. subject"; cf.: ‘An object, however, is that in the concept of which the manifold of a given intuition is united.’ [B137]). An object** (Gegenstand) is a semantic (or intentional – ?) something, the object** (Gegenstand) of representation as sign (distinctions/differences "object** (Gegenstand) vs. representation (Vorstellung)"; see pass. [A108–9]: ‘All representations, as representations, have their object (object**; Gegenstand)… ‘[A108]». See [Katrechko S.L. The Nature of Appearance in Kant’s Transcendentalism: a Semantico–Cognitive Analysis // Kantovskiiy sbornik, 2018, T.37, № 3. pp.31–55; >>>> )].

8. See: “I make the empirical intuition of a house into perception through apprehension of its manifold, my ground is the necessary unity of space and of outer sensible intuition in general, and I as it were draw its shape in agreement with this synthetic unity of the manifold in space.” [B162].
6 2. On Semantic and Intentional (Phenomenological) Approach to the Interpretation of Appearance
7 Intentional approach (Brentano, Husserl, and R. Aquila) is aimed at analyzing the ‘internal’ relationship between acts of consciousness (noesis) and its object/object** (noema, intentionatiol object). Semantic approach (Frege, and S. Katrechko9) is aimed at analyzing the ‘external’ referential relation between the representation (appearance) and its reference/denotation as an “external” object**10. In this case, semantic ‘external’ analysis may include ‘internal’ intentional analysis (as its part). 9. See: [Katrechko S.L. Priroda kantovskogo javlenija: semanticheskiiy analiz [The Nature of the Kantian Appearance: Semantic Analysis] // Transcendental'nyiy povorot v sovremennoiy filosofii (3): priroda transcendental'noiy filosofii. Sbornik tezisov mej`dunarodnogo seminara «Transcendental'nyiy povorot v sovremennoiy filosofii». Moskva: Fond CGI, 2018, pp.36–49; >>>> ]. See also: [Katrechko S.L. The Nature of Appearance in Kant’s Transcendentalism: a Semantico–Cognitive Analysis //Kantovskiiy sbornik, 2018, T.37, № 3. pp.31–55; >>>> ].

10.  In both cases, we talk about the correlation of a representation with an object** (see footnote №7 above), but in the case of intentional analysis, the object** acts as an ‘internal’ [intentional] object** (object–1) or content of representation, and in the case of semantic analysis, — as an ‘external’ object** (object–2; reference), or what the representation refers to. Thus, it can be said that object–1 refers to object–2, but intentional approach neutralizes this reference.
8 Pass. [A108-9] is a key in this case, we interpret it semantically11: transcendental object gives an objective reality to all our empirical concepts12, which means that, being not a intuition, it does not belong to our sensuality (subjectivity), it is not ‘internal’, but ‘external’ (in the transcendental sense) object. In this case (also), transcendental object as the “non-sensible [or intelligible] cause of appearance (thus not itself appearance)” [A288/B344; A494/B522] determines the objective objective–objectual (gegenstänslich) nature of our knowledge/intuition/appearances (the function of objectification of appearances)13. Through transcendental object all manifoldness is combined (cf. “to take together” [A99]) into one (pre–)object, so that we appearance not just apprehended sensuous manifold, but synthesized into the [one] (pre–)object some “unity of intuition to come from this manifold” [A99]. This is transcendental object’s function of ‘uniting in the (pre–)object**’ (or the function of objectification**) of sensuous manifold “through which all of the manifold given in an intuition is united in a concept of the object” [В139]14 (see also the passage (footnote) from my texts ; comp. with Cassirer’s maxim (thesis)16]). [Then we finish extension-of-definition of already constituted (pre–)object in the full–fledged object using the concepts [empirical and a priori] of understanding (through Kant’s synthesis of recognition and/or schematism)]. 11. See footnote №11 above. For more details, see [Katrechko S.L. The Nature of Appearance in Kant’s Transcendentalism: a Semantico–Cognitive Analysis // Kantovskiiy sbornik, 2018, T.37, № 3. pp.31–55; >>>> . But (although) the pass. “All representations, as representations, have their object (object**; Gegenstand)” [A108] (as the presence of the representation of its object**, or the indication of representation on/to the object), we can treat semantically (as I: the transcendental object as sense (Frege)) or intentionally (as you: the transcendental object as intentional object (Brentano, Husserl).

12. See: “The pure concept of this transcendental object (which in all of our cognitions is really always one and the same = X) is that which in all of our empirical concepts in general can provide relation to an object, i.e. objective reality.” [109]. Cf. ‘That is the aim of the copula is in them : to distinguish the objective unity of given representations from the subjective.” ([B141-2]; my italics — K.S.)

13. For more details see [Katrechko, S.L. Kant's Appearance as an Objective–Objectual [gegenständlich] Representation, in: Proceedings of the International Workshop “Transcendental Turn in Contemporary Philosophy-2: Kant's appearance, its ontological and epistemic status”, Moscow: Foundation for Humanities, p. 33–40; >>>> [Russian] or [Katrechko S.L. Kant’s Appearance as an Objective–Objectual Representation, in: Con–Textos Kantianos, №7, 2018, pp.44–59; >>>> ]. See also [Katrechko S.L. Transcendentalizm Kanta kak realisticheskaja teorija opyta/poznanija (analiz struktury kantovskogo kopernikanskogo perevorota), in: Filosofija i nauka: problemy sootnesenija. M.: RGGU, Kn.1, p.213–226; >>>> [Russian]].

14. Textually in the 2nd ed. Kant writes about ‘the transcendental unity of apperception’ [В139], but he differs here (in pass.[В139ff]) objective unity (see title: § 18 “What objective unity of self-consciousness is”) and subjective unity (of consciousness, self-consciousness) and the “objective unity united in a concept of the object’ is equivalent to the object = Х, or transcendental object, of 1st ed. [A104–5; 109; 250]. In [A105] Kant writes, that “the unity that the object [i.e. =X, or transcendental object. — K.S.] makes necessary can be nothing other than the formal unity of the consciousness in the synthesis of the manifold of the representations.”

15. «Kant in the 1st ed. of Critique ascribes transcendental object two functions: 1) denotation (reference) of appearance, because “appearances, not insofar as they are (as representations) objects, but rather only insofar as they designate an object.” [A190/B235]; and 2) non-sensible (intelligible) causes of appearance [B344; A493-4/B522]. It seems that these functions are in conflict, and therefore =X ‘disappears’ from the 2nd ed. of Critique (see [Robinson H. The Disappearing X, in: Proceedings of the 9th International Kant Congress, Berlin: De. Gruyter, 2001, vol. 2, pp. 418–428]; see also [Allison H.E. Kant’s concept of the transcendental object, in: Kant-Studien 59(1–4), 1968, pp.165–186]). However, it is not true. In § 18 Kant emphasizes that the transcendental object is an object analogue of transcendental unity of apperception, i.e., the realization of its uniting function [of synthesis]. Therefore, the transcendental object is not just denotation of appearance, but it is the ‘cause’ (ground, function) of its [object] formation and so it plays a central role in the objectification and/or objectification** of appearances» [Katrechko S.L. Specifika kantovskogo transcendentalizma i koncept «vesh'–sama–po–sebe» [Kant's transcendentalism and the thing in itself] // Kantovskiiy sbornik, 2017, T.36, № 4, p. 79 fn; >>>> ]. Let us pay attention that grammatically ‘formula’ of perception has to be expressed more precisely on adverbial language, not adjectival one. If an empirical realist fixed the knowledge of the perception by adjectival–judgment ‘I see a red apple’, than a transcendental idealist will more precisely fix this by adverbial– judgment: ‘I see something as a [red] apple’. This adverbial reading makes clearer the primary sense of the introduced by Kant concept ‘transcendental object’, which corresponds to the grammatical ‘something’, or ‘the object of a sensible intuition in general’ [A253], “which in all of our cognitions is really always one and the same = X" [A109; A253].

16. “We cognize not [physical] objects/thing in the world, but we cognize the world objective-ly [or ‘thing-ly’; through transcendental object].” [Cassirer E. Determinismus Und Indeterminismus in der Modernen Physik Historische Und Systematische Studien Zum Kausalproblem, 1937, p.165; my inserts in […] — K.S.)

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1. Aquila R. Intentional Objects and Kantian Appearances //Philosophical Topics, Vol. 12, No. 2, Essays on Kant's Critique of Pure Reason, 1981, pp. 9–37.

2. Katrechko S.L. Transcendentalizm Kanta kak realisticheskaja teorija opyta/poznanija (analiz struktury kantovskogo koperni-kanskogo perevorota), in: Filosofija i nauka: problemy sootnesenija. M.: RGGU, Kn.1, p.213–226; https://www.academia.edu/30347748/.

3. Katrechko S.L. Kantovskoe javlenie kak ob"ektivno–ob"ektnoe (predmetnoe) predstavlenie //Kantovskiiy sbornik, 2017, Tom 36, № 3, pp.7–20; https://journals.kantiana.ru/kant_collection/3665/10177/.

4. Katrechko, S.L. Kant’s Appearance as an Objective–Objectual Representation, in: Con-Textos Kantianos (International Journal of Philosophy, №7, 2018, pp.44–59 (https://www.con-textoskantianos.net/index.php/revista/article/view/310).

5. Katrechko S.L. Priroda kantovskogo javlenija: semanticheskiiy analiz //Transcendental'nyiy povorot v sovremennoiy filosofii (3): priroda (specifika) transcendental'noiy filosofii. Sbornik tezisov mej`dunarodnogo nauchnogo seminara «Transcendental'nyiy povorot v sovremennoiy filosofii» (g. Moskva, 19–22 aprelja 2018 g.) / Otv. red. S.L. Katrechko. – Moskva: Fond CGI, GAUGN-Press, 2018, S.36–49 (https://www.elibrary.ru/item.asp?id=35291720).

6. Katrechko S.L. Priroda javlenija v transcendentalizme Kanta: semantiko-kognitivnyiy analiz [The Nature of Appearance in Kant’s Transcendentalism: a Semantico–Cognitive Analysis] //Kantovskiiy sbornik (nauch-nyiy j`urnal), 2018, T.37, № 3. s.31–55 (https://www.elibrary.ru/item.asp?id=36930196&).

7. Katrechko S.L. Specifika kantovskogo transcendentalizma i koncept «vesh'–sama–po–sebe» [Kant's transcendentalism and the thing in itself] //Kantovskiiy sbornik, 2017, T.36, №4, s.68–87 (https://journals.kantiana.ru/kant_collection/3699/10222/).

8. Aquila R. Things in Themselves and Appearances: Intentionality and Reality, in: Archiv fur Geschichte der Philosophie. 1979. Vol. 61. pp. 293–308.

9. Aquila R. Representational Mind: A Study of Kant's Theory of Knowledge, Indiana University Press, 1983.

10. Aquila R. Hans Vaihinger and Some Recent Intentionalist Readings of Kant, Journal of the History of Philosophy. Vol. 41, № 2 (2003), pp.231–250.

11. Aquila R. The Transcendental Idealisms of Kant and Sartre, in: S. Baiasu (ed.). Comparing Kant and Sartre. 2016. pp. 217–255.

12. Aquila R. Cartesian Consciousness and the Transcendental Deduction of the Categories // Jahrbuch des deutschen Idealismus, 2013, pp.3–24 (in: International Yearbook of German Idealism, 11 (2013; published 2016).

13. Aquila R. Husserl and Frege on Meaning, in: Journal of the History of Philosophy, Vol.12, Number 3, July 1974, pp. 377–383.

14. Allison H.E. Kant’s concept of the transcendental object, in: Kant-Studien 59 (1–4), 1968, pp.165–186.

15. Barker S.F. Appearing and appearances in Kant // The Monist. 1967. Vol. 51, №3, pp.426–441.

16. Cassirer E., Determinismus Und Indeterminismus in der Modernen Physik Historische Und Systematische Studien Zum Kausal-problem, 1937, p.165.

17. Frege G. ‘Uber Sinn und Bedeutung’, in Zeitschrift fur Philosophie und philosophische Kritik, 100, pp.25–50.

18. Follesdal D. Brentano and Husserl on Intentional Objects and Perception, in: H. Dreyfus, ed., Husserl, Intentionality and Cognitive Science (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1982), pp.31–41 (see also the articles on noema in this collection).

19. Follesdal D. Husserl's Notion of Noema, in: Journal of Philosophy (October 1969), v.66(20), pp.680–687 (see also: Follesdal D. Husserl und Frege: ein Beitrag zur Beleuchtung der Entstehung der phanomenologischen Philosophie. Avhandlinger utgitt av det Norske videnskaps-akademi i Oslo. 2:Hist.-filos. klasse, 1958, no. 2. Oslo: I kommisjon hos Aschehoug, 1958).

20. Kersey E.M. The Noema, Husserlian, and Beyond: An Annotated Bibliography of English Language Sources,” Philosophy Re-search Archives 9, 1983, pp. 62–90.

21. Robinson H. The Disappearing X, in: Proceedings of the 9th International Kant Congress, Berlin: De. Gruyter, 2001, vol. 2, pp. 418–428.

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