Abstract

This article attempts to reconstruct Kant's view on the self-opacity of the empirical subject by exploring three aspects of his work: the unconscious, moral incentives and moral genealogy, and rule-following practice. 'Self-opacity' means that one is unable to give an account of one's everyday activity, of why in one's everyday life one thinks and acts in the way one does. Kant's view thus recast gives us a sobering insight into our ordinary way of life. The insight is that we are confronted with such self-opacity concerning that area of our activity to which the aforesaid three things apply. That is, a large part of our everyday activity is at bottom opaque to ourselves. This reading of Kant has two implications. First, it enriches our interpretation of Kant. Second, the aforesaid sobering insight is potentially an encouraging message because it may help us cultivate our self-understanding for our everyday life.