Philosophical Studies

, Volume 164, Issue 1, pp 233-254

First online:

What is nonconceptualism in Kant’s philosophy?

  • Roberto Horácio de Sá PereiraAffiliated withThe Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ) Email author 

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The aim of this paper is to critically review several interpretations of Kantian sensible intuition. The first interpretation is the recent construal of Kantian sensible intuition as a mental analogue of a direct referential term. The second is the old, widespread assumption that Kantian intuitions do not refer to mind-independent entities, such as bodies and their physical properties, unless they are brought under categories. The third is the assumption that, by referring to mind-independent entities, sensible intuitions represent objectively in the sense that they represent in a relative, perspective-independent manner. The fourth is the construal of Kantian sensible intuitions as non-conceptual content. In this paper, I support the alternative view that Kantian sensible representation is to be seen as iconic de re presentation of objects without representational content.


Sensible intuition Non-conceptualism Direct reference De re mode of presentation