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Article

Self-Affection and Pure Intuition in Kant

Australasian Journal of Philosophy. 2017. Vol. 95. No. 4. P. 627-643.

Are the pure intuitions of space and time, for Kant, dependent upon the understanding's activity? This paper defends the recently popular Self-Affection Thesis (SAT): namely, that the pure intuitions require an activity of self-affection—an influence of the understanding on the inner sense. Two systematic objections to this thesis have been raised: The Independence objection claims that SAT undermines the independence of sensibility; the Compatibility objection claims that certain features of space and time are incompatible with being the products of the understanding's activity. I show that the resources to rebut these objections can be found in Kant's account of causal influence.