Has no special designation in list of concepts because it serves only to introduce all our thought.
Enables us to distinguish two objects - body and soul.
The sole text of rational psychology.
Rational Doctrine of the Soul
Built on the single proposition 'I think.'
All concepts of pure psychology arise from these elements through combination, i.e. immateriality, personality, spirituality, animality, immortality.
Through the 'I' which thinks, nothing further is represented than a transcendental subject of the thoughts =X.
It is bare consciousness.
It is a simple and empty representation.
It is known only through its thoughts which are predicates.
The 'I think' is taken problematically, not in so far as it may contain an existent (cogito ergo sum). [this would be empirical].
Points out that it is strange that we take the seemingly empirical proposition 'I think' and form a universal judgment that everyone thinks.
The Paralogisms of Pure Reason (second edition) (p. 368)
In all judgments I am the determining subject of that relation which constitutes the judgment. The 'I' that thinks can be regarded always as subject. But that does not mean that I, as object, am for myself a self-subsistent being or substance.
That the 'I' of apperception (the 'I' in every act of thought) is one is an analytic proposition. But that does not mean that the thinking 'I' is a simple substance. That proposition would be synthetic.
That I am identical with myself is analytic. But this identity does not concern any intuition of the subject and therefore cannot signify the consciousness of the identity of one's own substance.
That I distinguish my existence as that of a thinking being from things outside me is analytic. But I do not learn whether this consciousness of myself would be possible apart from the things outside me.
First Syllogism on which all of rational psychology is based:
That which cannot be thought otherwise than as subject does not exist otherwise that as subject and is, therefore substance.
A thinking being, considered merely as such, cannot be thought otherwise than as subject.
THEREFORE:, it exists also only as subject, that is, as substance.
Explication of fallacy:
In the major premiss we speak of a being that can be thought in general, in every relation including as it may be given in intuition.
In the minor premiss, we speak of it only is so far as it regards itself, as subject and not in relation to the intuition through which it is given as object to thought.
A valid conclusion would be 'In thinking my existence,
I cannot employ myself save as subject of the judgment.'
Refutation of Mendelssohn's Proof of the Permanence of the Soul (p. 372)
If you trace the conclusion of the first syllogism backwards you come to the existence of these thinking beings.
These beings are conscious of their existence independently of outer things.
They are able to determine that existence in respect to the permanence which is a necessary characteristic of substance.
Thus they are committed to idealism (a la Berkeley).
If we proceed analytically and start from the proposition 'I think,' as a
proposition that already includes existence as given, we arrive at the
In (2) it has not been determined whether I can exist (and be thought as subject only).
In (3) we say nothing about the constitution or subsistence of the subject.
Materialism must be wrong because in space there is nothing real which can be simple (by #3).
Spiritualism cannot explain existence either because:
'I exist thinking' is an empirical proposition and can determine my existence only in relation to my representations in time. For this I require something permanent.
Thus it is impossible, by means of simple self consciousness, to
determine the manner in which I exist, as substance or accident.
Therefore: Rational Psychology is only a discipline, not a doctrine. It sets limits on speculative reason in this field.
Rational Psychology owes its origin to a misunderstanding:
The unity of consciousness (which underlies the categories) is mistaken for intuition of the subject as object, and the category of substance is then applied to it.
The subject, in which the representation of time has its original
ground, cannot thereby determine its own existence in time.
Conclusion, in Regard to the Solution of the Psychological Paralogism (p. 380)
The dialectical illusion in Rational Psychology arises from confusing an idea of reason (the idea of pure intelligence) with the undetermined concept of a thinking being in general.
I think a possible experience and abstract from all actual experience then conclude I exist apart from experience.
Confuses possible abstraction from my empirically determined
existence with the supposed consciousness of a possible separate
The task of explaining the communion between body and soul therefore lies outside the field of human knowledge.
General Note on the Transition From Rational Psychology to Cosmology (p. 381)
Thinking, taken by itself, is merely the logical function.
When I am conscious of myself simply as thinking:
I am considering how my selfhood may be given in intuition.
The 'I' that thinks is mere appearance.
However, when I think it is not mere appearance. In the consciousness of myself in mere thought I am the being itself, although nothing in myself is thereby given for thought.
'I exist thinking' is not a mere logical function.
It determines the subject (which is then at the same time object) in respect of existence.
It cannot take place without inner sense, the intuition of which presents the object as appearance.