Kant's Critique of Pure Reason
TRANSCENDENTAL LOGIC, SECOND DIVISION:
BOOK II: THE DIALECTICAL INFERENCES OF PURE REASON
Chapter II: THE ANTINOMY OF PURE REASON
Section 5: SCEPTICAL REPRESENTATION OF THE COSMOLOGICAL QUESTIONS IN THE FOUR TRANSCENDENTAL IDEAS (p. 436)
Section 6: TRANSCENDENTAL IDEALISM AS THE KEY TO THE SOLUTION OF THE COSMOLOGICAL DIALECTIC (p. 439)
- The cosmological ideas are either too large or too small to deal with whether the unconditioned is in the successive synthesis of appearances: [4/12/94]
- If the world has no beginning, the idea is too large; if it has a beginning, too small.
- If space is unlimited, too large; finite, too small.
- If every appearance in space (matter) is infinitely divisible, too large; if the division of space is to stop at the simple, too small.
- If we assume nothing happens save in accordance with the laws of nature, too large; if we admit freedom as self-caused event, too small.
- If we admit a necessary being, too large; if we hold everything in
the world is contingent, too small.
- Since the cosmological idea has no bearing save upon an object of experience (which has to be in conformity with a possible concept of the understanding) it must be entirely empty and without meaning.
- Its object cannot be made to agree with it.
- Thus the cosmological ideas may rest of an empty and fictitious concept of the manner in which the object of these ideas is given to us.
Section 7: CRITICAL SOLUTION OF THE COSMOLOGICAL CONFLICT OF REASON WITH ITSELF (P. 443)
- Transcendental Idealism: everything intuited in space and time, and therefore all objects of experience possible to us, are nothing but appearances, that is, mere representations, which, in the manner in which they are represented, as extended beings, or as series of alterations, have no independent existence outside our thoughts.
- Admits the reality of the objects of outer intuition as intuited in space, and of all changes in time as represented by inner sense.
- The objects of experience are never given in themselves, but only in experience and have no existence outside of it.
- Everything is real which stands in connection with a perception in
accordance with the laws of empirical advance, but that does not make them real
in themselves. (They just have to be possible objects of experience.)
- The faculty of sensible intuition is strictly a receptivity. It receives representations of objects.
- Transcendental Object: the purely intelligible cause of appearances in general.
- To this we ascribe the whole extent and connection of our possible perceptions.
- It is given in itself prior to all experience.
Back to Section 4: The Absolute Necessity Of A Solution Of The Transcendental Problems Of Pure Reason
- If the conditioned is given, a regress in the series of all its conditions is set us as a task.
- For synthesis of the understanding, which represents things as they are: if the conditioned as well as its condition are things in themselves, then upon the former being given, the regress to the latter is already given.
- For appearances, it is not the case that if the conditioned is given all its conditions are likewise given. Therefore we cannot infer the absolute totality of the series of its conditions.
- This distinction makes it clear that the major premiss of the antinomies takes the conditioned in the transcendental sense of a pure category while the minor premiss takes it in the empirical sense of a concept of the understanding applied to mere appearances.
- In the major premiss the conditioned with its conditions does not carry with it any limitation through time or any concept of succession.
- The minor premiss, being an empirical synthesis, is necessarily
successive and therefore I cannot assume the totality of the synthesis or the
- Sophisma figurae dictionis: the name of the dialectical fallacy committed by both sides in the cosmological conflicts.
- There is a distinction between dialectical opposition and analytical contradiction.
- Analytical Contradiction: asserting that the world is either infinite or not infinite.
- Dialectical Opposition: asserting that the world is either infinite
- This asserts a new predicate about the world.
- The fact is, both may be false.
- Since the world does not exist in itself, independently of the regressive series of my representations, it exists in itself neither as an infinite whole nor as a finite whole. It exists only in the empirical regress of the series of appearances which can never be complete.
- This applies to the other cosmological ideas as well.
- The antinomies vanish when viewed as dialectical oppositions and not real contradictories.
- This gives us indirect proof of the transcendental reality of appearances:
- If the world is a whole existing in itself, it is either finite or infinite.
- But both alternatives are false
- It is therefore also false that the world is a whole existing in itself.
- From this it follows that appearances in general are nothing outside our representations.
Forward to Section 8: The Regulative Principle Of Pure Reason In Its Application To The Cosmological Ideas
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