Beatrice Longuenesse presents an original exploration of our understanding of ourselves and the way we talk about ourselves. In the first part of the book she discusses contemporary analyses of our use of 'I' in language and thought, and compares them to Kant's account of self-consciousness, especially the type of self-consciousness expressed in the proposition 'I think.' According to many contemporary philosophers, necessarily, any instance of our use of 'I'
is backed by our consciousness of our own body. For Kant, in contrast, 'I think' just expresses our consciousness of being engaged in bringing rational unity into the contents of our mental states. In the second part of the book, Longuenesse analyzes the details of Kant's view and argues that contemporary
discussions in philosophy and psychology stand to benefit from Kant's insights into self-consciousness and the unity of consciousness. The third and final part of the book outlines similarities between Kant's view of the structure of mental life grounding our uses of 'I' in 'I think' and in the moral 'I ought to,' on the one hand; and Freud's analysis of the organizations of mental processes he calls 'ego' and 'superego' on the other hand. Longuenesse argues that Freudian metapsychology offers
a path to a naturalization of Kant's transcendental view of the mind. It offers a developmental account of the normative capacities that ground our uses of 'I,' which Kant thought could not be accounted for without appealing to a world of pure intelligences, distinct from the empirical, natural world
of physical entities.
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Number of pages: 278
Weight: 560 g
Dimensions: 159 x 230 x 23 mm
Longuenesses book does not only provide us with a deeper and enriched understanding of Kants understanding of I, but it is also packed with many insightful ideas about how we can relate different notions of various philosophers from different paradigms and disciplines... Most importantly, her treatment of Kant through Freuds ego and superego opens up a new dimension of discussion, and as her argumentation has a deep and solid structure, it is not easy for anyone
working in philosophy of mind and ethics to stay unresponsive to this provocative and thought-provoking comparative analysis. * Caglan Cinar Dilek (Central European University), Phenomenological Reviews *
This ambitious project involves notoriously difficult issues, such as 'self,' 'thought,' and 'consciousness,' but Longuenesse can draw on the ample resources of her highly influential studies of Kant's theories of cognition. I, Me, Mine ... brings an enormous amount of penetrating light to topics and texts that are in desperate need of it. * Patricia Kitcher, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews *