Kant and the transparency of the mind

Alexandra M. Newton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


It has become standard to treat Kant’s characterization of pure apperception as involving the claim that questions about what I think are transparent to questions about the world. By contrast, empirical apperception is thought to be non-transparent, since it involves a kind of inner observation of my mental states. I propose a reading that reverses this: pure apperception is non-transparent, because conscious only of itself, whereas empirical apperception is transparent to the world. The reading I offer, unlike the standard one, can accommodate Kant’s claim that the I of pure apperception is the same as the I of empirical apperception.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)890-915
Number of pages26
JournalCanadian Journal of Philosophy
Issue number7
StatePublished - Oct 3 2019


  • Evans
  • Kant
  • Sartre
  • Self-consciousness
  • apperception
  • transparency

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Philosophy


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