By John Perry
This can be a list of conversations of Gretchen Weirob, a instructor of philosophy at a small Midwestern
college, and of her associates. The conversations happened in her clinic room at the 3 nights
before she died from accidents sustained in a motorbike twist of fate. Sam Miller is a chaplain and a long-
time buddy of Weirob’s; Dave Cohen is a former scholar of hers.
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Extra resources for A Dialogue on Personal Identity and Immortality
Concepts are required in order to make judgements about that which is given in sensation. Kants view is that even the most simple of perceptual experiences involves an act of conceptualization whereby the given is synthesized (combined) and ordered. The experience of perceiving a table in front of me involves applying concepts of existence and table and so on. Kant thus aligns himself against the empiricist tradition according to which the mind is a blank slate and simply receives sensory impressions from objects presented to us.
As an enlightenment philosopher, Kant remained deeply committed to the defence of human reason. It is the principles and ideas of reason, he contended, that ground human progress and dignity. Although reasons pretences to transcendent knowledge in the theoretical sphere need to be subjected to critique, he nevertheless held that reason has a positive and necessary role to play in virtually all human endeavours.
Indeed, it is Kants claim that what such objects would be like independently of these sensible conditions is unknown to us. We are now in a position to examine what Kant means by things-inthemselves. A thing-in-itself is an object considered independently of human sensibility. The concept of the thing-in-itself is thus essentially a way of thinking objects in such a way that abstracts from our own sensible capacities. The 22 I M M A N U E L K A N T: CRITIQUE OF PURE REASON problem, for Kant, is that when we abstract from all those conditions under which any real object could be given to us in sensation, we thereby abstract from all the empirical content.