Pre-Conditions of Knowledge 3

Part of the Synthese Library book series (SYLI, volume 244)


Up to now we have established that there must be a certain form of relations between the possible knower, the possible subject-matter and a set of requirements making all this possible. The form constraint does very roughly mean that the relation between the knower and the known must have the structure of a subject-object relation. In that structure the I-perspective represents the logic of the subject-position, and the object (of thought) the logic of the subject-matter position. Neither has any non formal impact, being but a set of requirements for a possible cognitive situation. We need to break out of this, and to do that we need to establish the subject as an individual who adopts the I-perspective, and the object as something that could be known, for that something cannot be just the position in which it must find itself in a cognitive situation, nor can the knower be the complimentary position.


Vantage Point Numerical Identity Formal Constraint Epistemic Situation Prima Facie Reason 
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  1. 4.
    Kant (1929) was very clear on this point. This is why he allowed that the world could be such that our cognitive powers would be inapplicable. Should the world present something, but not anything admitted by these constraints it would necessarily be, in Kantian terms, nothing to us.Google Scholar
  2. 7.
    Franz Brentano (1930) points out that “strawberries as an object of thought” are precisely what I do not and cannot consume.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of MelbourneAustralia

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