Transcendental apperception is the uniting and building of coherent consciousness out of different elementary inner experiences (differing in both time and topic, but all belonging to self-consciousness). E.g. the experience of "passing of time" relies on this transcendental unity of apperception, according to Kant.
There are six steps to transcendental apperception:
- All experience is the succession of a variety of contents (an idea taken from David Hume).
- To be experienced at all, the successive data must be combined or held together in a unity for consciousness.
- Unity of experience therefore implies a unity of self.
- The unity of self is as much an object of experience as anything is.
- Therefore, experience both of the self and its objects rests on acts of synthesis that, because they are the conditions of any experience, are not themselves experienced.
- These prior syntheses are made possible by the categories. Categories allow us to synthesize the self and the objects.
- Glendinning (1999, 26, 40-41).
- Glendinning, Simon, ed. 1999. The Edinburgh Encyclopedia of Continental Philosophy. Vol. 1999, pt. 2. Edinburgh: Edinburgh UP. ISBN 0-7486-0783-8.
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