Kant's Critique of Pure Reason
II. TRANSCENDENTAL DOCTRINE OF METHOD
Chapter 2: THE CANON OF PURE REASON
Section 3: OPINING, KNOWING AND BELIEVING (p. 645)
Back to Section 2: The Ideal of the Highest Good, as a Determining Ground of the Ultimate End of Pure Reason
- If a judgment is valid for everyone, its ground is objectively sufficient and the holding of it is entitled conviction.
- If the ground of a judgment lies in the special character of the subject, it is entitled persuasion.
- Persuasion is mere illusion.
- Truth depends on agreement with the object.
- The judgments of every understanding must be in agreement with each other.
- The touchstone whereby we decide whether holding a thing to be true is conviction or persuasion is external.
- It must be possible to communicate it and find it valid for all human reason.
- There is at least a presumption that the ground of the agreement of all judgments with each other rests upon the object, which proves the truth of the judgment.
- Persuasion cannot be subjectively distinguished from conviction.
- We have to test validity against the understanding of others.
- I cannot assert anything, that is, declare it necessarily valid for everyone, save as it gives rise to conviction.
- The holding of a thing to be true has three degrees:
- Opining: holding a judgment which is consciously insufficient both subjectively and objectively.
- Believing: holding a judgment which is sufficient subjectively but insufficient objectively.
- Knowing: holding a judgment which is sufficient both subjectively and objectively.
- Subjective sufficiency is termed conviction (for myself).
- Objective sufficiency is termed certainty (for everyone).
- I must never presume to opine without knowing at least something by means of which the judgment secures connection with truth.
- The law of connection must be certain.
- Opining is never permissible in judging by means of pure reason or in the principles of morality.
- It is only from the practical point of view that the theoretically insufficient holding of a thing to be true can be termed believing.
- The subjective grounds upon which we may hold something to be true are not permissible in speculative questions.
- The practical point of view is either in reference to:
- Skill which is concerned with optional and contingent ends.
- Morality which is concerned with absolutely necessary ends.
- Once an end is accepted, the conditions of its attainment are hypothetically necessary.
- It is sufficient if I know with certainty that no one can have any knowledge of any other conditions which lead to the proposed end.
- Contingent belief, which yet forms the ground for the actual employment of means to certain actions is entitled pragmatic belief.
- Pragmatic belief always exists in some specific degree according to the interests at stake.
- In purely theoretical judgments there is an analogon of practical judgments to which the term belief is appropriate and which we may entitle doctrinal belief.
- This is when we are dealing with an object about which nothing can be done by us and in regard to which our judgment is therefore purely theoretical. We may regard ourselves of having sufficient grounds but there is no existing means of arriving at certainty.
- The doctrine of the existence of God is a doctrinal belief.
- Doctrinal belief is unstable; we often lose hold of it, owing to the speculative difficulties which we encounter, although in the end we always return to it.
- With Moral Belief it is absolutely necessary that something must happen.
- The end is completely established.
- There is only one possible condition under which this end can connect with all other ends and thereby have practical validity, namely that there be a God and a future world.
Forward to Chapter 3: The Architectonic of Pure Reason
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