The Object of Perception and the Object of Interest: a survey of an issue in Kant

Martin Pokorný

The paper seeks to distinguish, in a robust manner, between Kant’s uses of Dinge an sich selbst and noumenon, and to develop, as a sort of middle term, the Kantian concept of „the transcendental object“, or the undetermined something. The noumenon denotes either (a) the correlate of the activity of a divine spirit, or (b) the monad (of one or another kind) as the entity that unites the determinations postulated by rationalistic speculation. „Things in themselves“ functions as an operative term and may shift, depending on the context, from the noumenon all the way to the undetermined something. The undetermined something is an intellectual function in perception that allows, among other things, for spatial and causal plasticity. We are all constantly, though marginally, aware of this function via our awareness of the constant possibility of a radical change of experiential interest.