Kant's Critique of Pure Reason


Section 3B) Second Analogy: Principle of Succession in Time in Accordance with the Laws of Causality (p. 218)


All alterations take place in conformity with the law of the connection of cause and effect.


  1. The preceding principle shows that all appearances of succession in time are alterations, not coming-to-be.
  2. I perceive that appearances follow one another.
    • Thus I am connecting two perceptions.
    • This is a synthetic faculty of imagination.
  3. The objective relation of appearance of succession is not determined through perception.
    • In order that this relation be known as determined, it must be so thought that it is thereby determined as necessary which came first.
    • Necessity can only come from a pure concept of understanding.
    • In this case it is cause and effect.
  4. The apprehension of the manifold of appearance is always successive.
  5. Appearances, simply in virtue of being representations, are not in any way distinct from their apprehension.
  6. We do not know if the parts of the object follow one another.
    • Subjective Succession: example of looking at a house top to bottom or left to right. This is arbitrary succession.
    • Objective Succession: That order in the manifold of appearance according to which, in conformity with a rule, that which happens follows that which precedes. Applies to events.
    • Appearance never goes backwards to some preceding time, but it does stand in relation to some preceding time.
    • There must lie in that which precedes an event, the condition of a rule according to which this event necessarily follows.
    • The event, as conditioned, thus affords reliable evidence of some condition. This condition is what determines the event.
    • We have to show that we never ascribe succession to the object.
    • When I perceive that something happens this representation contains the consciousness that there is something preceding. Only by reference to what preceded does the appearance acquire its time relation.
    • The rule is that the condition under which an event necessarily follows lies in what precedes the event.
      • Called the Principle of Sufficient Reason.
      • It is the ground of possible experience.
THEREFORE: The relation of cause to effect is the condition of the objective validity of our empirical judgments.


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