Kant and the scientific study of consciousness

Thomas Sturm, Falk Wunderlich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


We argue that Kant's views about consciousness, the mind-body problem and the status of psychology as a science all differ drastically from the way in which these topics are conjoined in present debates about the prominent idea of a science of consciousness. Kant never used the concept of consciousness in the now dominant sense of phenomenal qualia; his discussions of the mind-body problem center not on the reducibility of mental properties but of substances; and his views about the possibility of psychology as a science did not employ the requirement of a mechanistic explanation, but of a quantification of phenomena. This shows strikingly how deeply philosophical problems and conceptions can change even if they look similar on the surface. © The Author(s) 2010.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)48-71
JournalHistory of the Human Sciences
Publication statusPublished - 2 Aug 2010


  • Consciousness
  • Immanuel Kant
  • Introspection
  • Materialism
  • Psychology


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