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The Early Modern Subject Revisited – Responses to Barth, Lenz, Renz and Wunderlich

Udo Thiel
From the journal Kant-Studien

Abstract:

Responding to comments on The Early Modern Subject, this paper focuses on a strictly limited range of issues: methodology, Descartes on consciousness, and Locke and Hume on personal identity. 1) Ursula Renz’s comments prompt an explanation of the notion of development in historical studies of philosophy. 2) Contra Christian Barth, although it is difficult to determine what kind of self-relation consciousness is for Descartes on the basis of the texts, it is argued that a higher-order reading is a more plausible interpretation than a first-order reading. 3) It is shown that Locke’s account of personal identity can usefully be characterized as ‘subjectivist’, in spite of Martin Lenz’s objections. 4) And finally, in consideration of Falk Wunderlich’s comments, the paper argues against both a traditional ‘ontological’ reading and a ‘sceptical realist’ interpretation of Hume’s bundle theory of the mind.

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Published Online: 2016-9-27
Published in Print: 2016-9-27

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