This book is about Kant's account of human understanding, of our capacity to form concepts of, and to be conscious of, things in the world. It argues that the conditions which Kant lays down for understanding - conditions about the autonomy of thought, and about the relation of concepts to objects and of language to experience - cannot be satisfied within his overall picture of understanding as representing something to oneself. The argument proceeds through a discussion of the nature of concept-possession and the relation of concepts to objects, to what it is to be conscious of anything, and what it is to follow a rule. Wittgenstein's insights on these issues have a direct bearing on Kant's problems. If Kant's conditions are to be satisfied, understanding must be seen, not as a capacity for mental representation, for having ideas, but as a capacity for action. Professional philosophers with an interest in Kant and Wittgenstein, philosophers of the mind, philosophers of language.
`interesting book ... For anyone interested in both Kant and Wittgenstein, in both the theory of intentionality and the philosophy of language, "The Unity of Understanding" will be intriguing and suggestive.'
The Review of Metaphysics
'an integrated and prfound account that merits full attention and discussion'
Arthur Melnick, International Studies in Philosophy
'brilliant little essay ... The scholarly quality of the essay is impressive. Schwyzer's style is elegant throughout. Not only does he take great pains to explain clearly what Kant means; he also articulates in relatively simple terms, employing a minimum of jargon, what difficulties are that must be faced in the next stage of the essay. The book really is, therefore, a unified essay, and in its combination of faithfulness to both texts and problems it is a
model contribution to philosophy.'
Newton Garver, SUNY at Buffalo, Con. Philophical Reviews, V.XI, no. 5 - V.XII, no. 2 (Oct 91 - Jan 92)
`deal with deep, important problems that are central to any adequate understanding and evaluation of Kant's critical philosophy ... In what may be the most interesting section for current readers, Schwyzer offers a careful discussion of the disunity of Kant's picture of human understanding'
`For any analytic philosophers who have yet to be convinced of the value of Kant's Analytic for contemporary philosophy of mind, this book is well worth reading.'
Introduction; How are the Concepts of Objects Possible?; A Reconsideration; The Idea of a Transcendental Deduction; Sentience, Apperception, and Language; Consciousness as Rule-Governed; Conclusion.