A History of Philosophy in Epitome - novelonlinefull.com
You’re read light novel A History of Philosophy in Epitome Part 11 online at NovelOnlineFull.com. Please use the follow button to get notification about the latest chapter next time when you visit NovelOnlineFull.com. Use F11 button to read novel in full-screen(PC only). Drop by anytime you want to read free – fast – latest novel. It’s great if you could leave a comment, share your opinion about the new chapters, new novel with others on the internet. We’ll do our best to bring you the finest, latest novel everyday. Enjoy
Things are connected in s.p.a.ce and in time. By virtue of this universal connection, the world is one united whole; the essence of the world consists in the manner of its connection. But this manner cannot be changed. It can neither receive any new ingredients nor lose any of those it possesses. From the essence of the world spring all its changes. In this respect the world is a machine. Events in the world are only hypothetically necessary in so far as previous events have had a certain character; they are accidental in so far as the world might have been directed otherwise. In respect to the question whether the world had a beginning in time, Wolff does not express himself explicitly.
Since G.o.d is independent of time, but the world has been from eternity in time, the world therefore is in no case eternal in any sense like G.o.d. But according to Wolff, neither s.p.a.ce nor time has any substantial being. Body is a connected thing composed of matter, and possessing a moving power within itself. The powers of a body taken together are called its nature, and the comprehension of all being is called nature in general. That which has its ground in the essence of the world is called natural, and that which has not, is supernatural, or a wonder. At the close of his cosmology, Wolff treats of the perfection and imperfection of the world. The perfection of a world consists in the harmony with each other of every thing which exists conjointly and successively. But since every thing has its separate rules, the individual must give up so much from its perfection as is necessary for the symmetry of the whole.
3. RATIONAL PSYCHOLOGY.--The soul is that within us which is self-conscious. In the self-consciousness of the soul are itself and other objects. Consciousness is either clear or indistinct. Clear consciousness is thought. The soul is a simple incorporeal substance.
There dwells within it a power to represent to itself a world. In this sense brutes also may have a soul, but a soul which possesses understanding and will is mind, and mind belongs alone to men. The soul of man is a mind joined to a body, and this is the distinction between men and superior spirits. The movements of the soul and of the body harmonize with each other by virtue of the preestablished harmony. The freedom of the human soul is the power according to its own arbitrament, to choose of two possible things that which pleases it best. But the soul does not decide without motives, it ever chooses that which it holds to be the best. Thus the soul would seem impelled to its action by its representations, but the understanding is not constrained to its representations of that which is good and bad, and hence also the will is not constrained, but free. As a simple being the soul is indivisible, and hence incorruptible; the souls of brutes, however, have no understanding, and hence enjoy no conscious existence after death. This belongs alone to the human soul, and hence the human soul alone is immortal.
4. NATURAL THEOLOGY.-Wolff uses here the cosmological argument to demonstrate the existence of a G.o.d. G.o.d might have made different worlds, but has preferred the present one as the best. This world has been called into being by the will of G.o.d. His aim in its creation was the manifestation of his own perfection. Evil in the world does not spring from the Divine will, but from the limited being of human things.
G.o.d permits it only as a means of good.
This brief aphoristic exposition of Wolff's metaphysics, shows how greatly it is related to the doctrine of Leibnitz. The latter, however, loses much of its speculative profoundness by the abstract and logical treatment it receives in the hands of Wolff. For the most part, the specific elements of the monadology remain in the background; with Wolff, his simple beings are not representative like the Monads, but more like the Atoms. Hence there is with him much that is illogical and contradictory. His peculiar merit in metaphysics is ontology, which he has elaborated far more strictly than his predecessors. A mult.i.tude of philosophical terminations owe to him their origin, and their introduction into philosophical language.
The philosophy of Wolff, comprehensible and distinct as it was, and by its composition in the German language more accessible than that of Leibnitz, soon became the popular philosophy, and gained an extensive influence. Among the names which deserve credit for their scientific treatment of it, we may mention _Thumming_, 1697-1728; _Bilfinger_, 1693-1750; _Baumeister_, 1708-1785; _Baumgarten_ the esthetic, 1714-1762; and his scholar _Meier_, 1718-1777.
THE GERMAN CLEARING UP.
Under the influence of the philosophy of Leibnitz and Wolff, though without any immediate connection with it, there arose in Germany during the latter half of the eighteenth century, an eclectic popular philosophy, whose different phases may be embraced under the name of the German clearing up. It has but little significance for the history of philosophy, though not without importance in other respects. Its great aim was to secure a higher culture, and hence a cultivated and polished style of reasoning is the form in which it philosophized. It is the _German_ counterpart of the _French_ clearing up. As the latter closed the realistic period of development by drawing the ultimate consequence of materialism, so the former closed the idealistic series by its tendency to an extreme subjectivism. To the men of this direction, the empirical, individual Ego becomes the absolute; they forget every thing else for it, or rather every thing else has a value in their eyes only in proportion as it refers and ministers to the subject by contributing to its demands and satisfying its inner cravings. Hence the question of immortality becomes now the great problem of philosophy (in which respect we may mention _Mendelssohn_, 1727-1786, the most important man in this direction); the eternal duration of the individual soul is the chief point of interest; objective ideas or truths of faith, _e. g._ the personality of G.o.d, though not denied, cease to have an interest; it is held as a standing article of belief that we can know nothing of G.o.d. In another current of this direction, it is moral philosophy and esthetics (_Garvey_, 1742-1798; _Engel_, 1741-1802; _Abbt_, 1738-1766; _Sulzer_, 1720-1779) which find a scientific treatment, because both these preserve a subjective interest. In general, every thing is viewed in its useful relations; the useful becomes the peculiar criterion of truth; that which is not useful to the subject, or which does not minister to his subjective ends, is set aside. In connection with this turn of mind stands the prevailing teleological direction which the investigations of nature a.s.sumed (_Reimarus_, 1694-1765), and the utilitarian character given to ethics. The happiness of the individual was considered as the highest principle and the supreme end (_Basedow_, 1723-1790). Even religion is contemplated from this point of view. Reimarus wrote a treatise upon the "_advantages_" of religion, in which he attempted to prove that religion was not subversive of earthly pleasure, but rather increased it; and _Steinbart_ (1738-1809) elaborated, in a number of treatises, the theme that all wisdom consists alone in attaining happiness, _i. e._ enduring satisfaction, and that the Christian religion, instead of forbidding this, was rather itself the true doctrine of happiness. In other particulars Christianity received only a temperate respect; wherever it laid claim to any authority disagreeable to the subject (as in individual doctrines like that of future punishment), it was opposed, and in general the effort was made to counteract, as far as possible, the positive dogma by natural religion.
Reimarus, for example, the most zealous defender of theism and of the teleological investigation of nature, is at the same time the author of the Wolfenb.u.t.tel fragments. By criticizing the Gospel history, and every thing positive and transmitted, and by rationalizing the supernatural in religion, the subject displayed its new-found independence. In fine, the subjective standpoint of this period exhibits itself in the numerous autobiographies and self-confessions then so prevalent; the isolated self is the object of admiring contemplation (_Rousseau_, 1712-1778, and his confessions); it beholds itself mirrored in its particular conditions, sensations, and views-a sort of flirtation with itself, which often rises to sickly sentimentality. According to all this, it is seen to be the extreme consequence of subjective idealism which const.i.tutes the character of the German clearing up period, which thus closes the series of an idealistic development.
TRANSITION TO KANT.
The idealistic and the realistic stage of development to which we have now been attending, each ended with a one-sided result. Instead of actually and internally reconciling the opposition between thought and being, they both issued in denying the one or the other of these factors. Realism, on its side, had made matter absolute; and idealism, on its side, had endowed the empirical Ego with the same attribute-extremes in which philosophy was threatened with total destruction. It had, in fact, in Germany as in France, become merged in the most superficial popular philosophy. Then _Kant_ arose, and brought again into one channel the two streams which, when separate from each other, threatened to lose themselves amid the sands. Kant is the great renovator of philosophy, who brought back to their point of divergence the one-sided efforts which had preceded him, and embraced them in their unity and totality. He stands in some special and fitting relation either antagonistic or harmonious to all others-to Locke no less than to Hume, to the Scottish philosophers no less than to the English and French moralists, to the philosophy of Leibnitz and of Wolff, as well as to the materialism of the French and the utilitarianism of the German clearing up period. His relation to the development of a partial idealism and a one-sided realism is thus stated: Empiricism had made the Ego purely pa.s.sive and subordinate to the sensible external world-idealism had made it purely active, and given it a sovereignty over the sensible world; Kant attempted to strike a balance between these two claims, by affirming that the Ego as practical is free and autonomic, an unconditioned lawgiver for itself, while as theoretical it is receptive and conditioned by the phenomenal world; but at the same time the theoretical Ego contains the two sides within itself, for if, on the one side, empiricism may be justified upon the ground that the material and only field of all our knowledge is furnished by experience, so on the other side, rationalism may be justified on the ground that there is an apriori factor and basis to our knowledge, for in experience itself we make use of conceptions which are not furnished by experience, but are contained apriori in our understanding.
In order, now, that we may bring the very elaborate framework of the Kantian philosophy into a clearer outline, let us briefly glance at its fundamental conceptions, and notice its chief principles and results.
Kant subjected the activity of the human mind in knowing, and the origin of our experience, to his critical investigation. Hence his philosophy is called critical philosophy, or criticism, because it aims to be essentially an examination of our faculty of knowledge; it is also called transcendental philosophy, since Kant calls the reflection of the reason upon its relation to the objective world, a transcendental reflection (transcendental must not be confounded with transcendent), or, in other words, a transcendental knowledge is one "which does not relate so much to objects of knowledge, as to our way of knowing them, so far as this is apriori possible." The examination of the faculty of knowledge, which Kant attempts in his "_Critick of Pure Reason_," shows the following results. All knowledge is a product of two factors, the knowing subject and the external world. Of these two factors, the latter furnishes our knowledge with experience, as the matter, and the former with the conceptions of the understanding, as the form, through which a connected knowledge, or a synthesis of our perceptions in a whole of experience first becomes possible. If there were no external world, then would there be no phenomena; if there were no understanding, then these phenomena, or perceptions, which are infinitely manifold, would never be brought into the unity of a notion, and thus no experience were possible. Thus, while intuitions without conceptions are blind, and conceptions without intuitions are empty, knowledge is a union of the two, since it requires that the form of conception should be filled with the matter of experience, and that the matter of experience should be apprehended in the net of the understanding's conceptions. Nevertheless, we do not know things as they are in themselves. _First_, because the categories, or the forms of our understanding prevent. By bringing that which is given as the material of knowledge into our own conceptions as the form, there is manifestly a change in respect of the objects, which become thought of not as they are, but only as we apprehend them; they appear to us only as they are trans.m.u.ted into categories. But besides this subjective addition, there is yet another. _Secondly_, we do not know things as they are in themselves, because even the intuitions which we bring within the form of the understanding's conceptions, are not pure and uncolored, but are already penetrated by a subjective medium, namely, by the universal form of all objects of sense, s.p.a.ce and time.
s.p.a.ce and time are also subjective additions, forms of sensuous intuition, which are just as originally present in our minds as the fundamental conceptions or categories of our understanding. That which we would represent intuitively to ourselves we must place in s.p.a.ce and time, for without these no intuition is possible. From this it follows that it is only phenomena which we know, and not things in themselves separate from s.p.a.ce and time.
A superficial apprehension of these Kantian principles might lead one to suppose that Kant's criticism did not essentially go beyond the standpoint of Locke's empiricism. But such a supposition disappears upon a careful scrutiny. Kant was obliged to recognize with Hume that the conceptions, cause and effect, substance and attribute, and the other conceptions which the human understanding sees itself necessitated to think in the phenomena, and in which every one of its thoughts must be found, do not arise from any experience of the sense. For instance, when we become affected through different senses, and perceive a white color, a sweet taste, a rough surface, &c., and predicate all these of one thing, as a piece of sugar, there come from without only the plurality of sensations, while the conception of unity cannot come through sensation, but is a category or conception borne over to the sensations from the mind itself. But instead of denying, for this reason, the reality of these conceptions of the understanding, Kant took a step in advance, a.s.signing a peculiar province to this activity of the understanding, and showing that these forms of thought thus furnished to the matter of experience are immanent laws of the human faculty of knowledge, the peculiar laws of the understanding's operations, which may be obtained by a perfect a.n.a.lysis of our thinking activity. (Of these laws or conceptions there are twelve, viz., unity, plurality, totality; reality, negation, limitation; substantiality, causality, reciprocal action; possibility, actuality, and necessity.)
From what has been said we can see the three chief principles of the Kantian theory of knowledge:
1. WE KNOW ONLY PHENOMENA AND NOT THINGS IN THEMSELVES.-The experience furnished us by the external world becomes so adjusted and altered in its relations (for we apprehend it at first in the subjective framework of s.p.a.ce and time, and then in the equally subjective forms of our understanding's conceptions), that it no longer represents the thing itself in its original condition, pure and unmixed.
2. NEVERTHELESS EXPERIENCE IS THE ONLY PROVINCE OF OUR KNOWLEDGE, AND THERE IS NO SCIENCE OF THE UNCONDITIONED.-This follows of course, for since every knowledge is the product of the matter of experience, and the form of the understanding, and depends thus upon the co-working of the sensory and the understanding, then no knowledge is possible of objects for which one of these factors, experience, fails us; a knowledge alone from the understanding's conceptions of the unconditioned is illusory since the sensory can show no unconditioned object corresponding to the conception. Hence the questions which Kant places at the head of his whole Critick; how are synthetical judgments apriori possible? _i. e._ can we widen our knowledge apriori, by thought alone, beyond the sensuous experience? is a knowledge of the supersensible possible? must be answered with an unconditional negative.
3. Still, if the human knowledge makes no effort to stride beyond the narrow limits of experience, _i. e._ to become transcendent, it involves itself in the greatest contradictions. The three ideas of the reason, the psychological, the cosmological, and the theological, viz. (_a_) the idea of an absolute subject, _i. e._ of the soul, or of immortality, (_b_) the idea of the world as a totality of all conditions and phenomena, (_c_) the idea of a most perfect being-are so wholly without application to the empirical actuality, are so truly regulative, and not const.i.tutive principles, which are only the pure products of the reason, and are so entirely without a correspondent object in experience, that whenever they are applied to experience, _i. e._ become conceived of as actually existing objects, they lead to pure logical errors, to the most obvious paralogisms and sophisms. These errors, which are partly false conclusions and paralogisms, and partly unavoidable contradictions of the reason with itself, Kant undertook to show in reference to all the ideas of the reason. Take, _e. g._ the cosmological idea. Whenever the reason posits any transcendental expressions in reference to the universe, _i. e._ attempts to apply the forms of the finite to the infinite, it is at once evident that the ant.i.thesis of those expressions can be proved just as well as the thesis. The affirmation that the world has a beginning in time, and limits in s.p.a.ce, can be proved as well as, and no better than its opposite, that the world has no beginning in time, and no s.p.a.cial limits. Whence it follows that all speculative cosmology is an a.s.sumption by the reason. So also with the theological idea; it rests on bare logical paralogisms, and false conclusions, as Kant, with great acuteness, shows in reference to each of the proofs for the being of a G.o.d, which previous dogmatic philosophies had attempted.
It is therefore impossible to prove and to conceive of the existence of a G.o.d as a Supreme Being, or of the soul as a real subject, or of a comprehending universe. The peculiar problems of metaphysics lie outside the province of philosophical knowledge.
Such is the negative part of the Kantian philosophy; its positive complement is found in the "_Critick of the Practical Reason_." While the mind as theoretical and cognitive is wholly conditioned, and ruled by the objective and sensible world, and thus knowledge is only possible through intuition, yet as practical does it go wholly beyond the given (the sense impulse), and is determined only through the categorical imperative, and the moral law, which is itself, and is therefore free and autonomic; the ends which it pursues are those which itself, as moral spirit, places before itself; objects are no more its masters and lawgivers, to which it must yield if it would know the truth, but its servants, which it may use for its own ends in actualizing its moral law. While the theoretical mind is united to a world of sense and phenomena, a world obedient to necessary laws, the practical mind, by virtue of the freedom essential to it, by virtue of its direction towards an absolute aim, belongs to a purely intelligible and supersensible world. This is the practical idealism of Kant, from which he derives the three practical postulates of the immortality of the soul, moral freedom, and the being of a G.o.d, which, as theoretical truths, had been before denied.
With this brief sketch for our guidance, let us now pa.s.s on to a more extended exposition of the Kantian Philosophy.
Immanuel Kant was born at Konigsberg in Prussia, April 22, 1724. His father an honest saddlemaker, and his mother a prudent and pious woman, exerted a good influence upon him in his earliest youth. In the year 1740 he entered the university, where he connected himself with the theological department, but devoted the most of his time to philosophy, mathematics, and physics. He commenced his literary career in his twenty-third year, in 1747, with a treatise ent.i.tled "_Thoughts concerning the true estimate of Living Forces_." He was obliged by his pecuniary circ.u.mstances to spend some years as a private tutor in different families in the neighborhood of Konigsberg. In 1755 he took a place in the university as "_privat-docent_," which position he held for fifteen years, during which time he gave lectures upon logic, metaphysics, physics, mathematics, and also, during the latter part of the time, upon ethics, anthropology, and physical geography. At this period he adhered for the most part to the school of Wolff, though early expressing his doubts in respect of dogmatism. From the publication of his first treatise he applied himself to writing with unwearied activity, though his great work, the "_Critick of pure Reason_," did not appear till his fifty-seventh year, 1781. His "_Critick of the practical Reason_," was issued in 1787, and his "_Religion within the bounds of pure Reason_," in 1793. In 1770, in his forty-sixth year, he was chosen ordinary professor of logic and metaphysics, a chair which he continued to fill uninterruptedly till 1794, when the weakness of age obliged him to leave it. Invitations to professorships at Jena, Erlangen, and Halle, were given him and rejected. As soon as he became known, the n.o.blest and most active minds flocked from all parts of Germany to Konigsberg, to sit at the feet of the sage who was master there. One of his worshippers, Reuss, professor of philosophy at Wurzburg, who abode but a brief time at Konigsberg, entered his chamber, declaring that he had come one hundred and sixty miles in order to see Kant and to speak with him.-During the last seventeen years of his life he occupied a little house with a garden, in a quiet quarter of the city, where his calm and regular mode of life might be undisturbed. His habits of life were very simple. He never left his native province even to go as far as Dantzic. His longest journeys were to visit some country-seats in the environs of Konigsberg. Nevertheless, as his lectures upon physical geography testify, he acquired by reading the most accurate knowledge of the earth. He knew all of Rousseau's works, of which _Emile_ at its first appearance detained him for a number of days from his customary walks. Kant died February 12, 1804, in the eightieth year of his life.
He was of medium stature, finely built, with blue eyes, and always enjoyed sound health till in his latter years, when he became childish.
He was never married. His character was marked by an earnest love of truth, great candor, and simple modesty.
Though Kant's great work, the "Critick of pure Reason," which created an epoch in the history of philosophy, did not appear till 1781; yet had he previously shown an approach towards the same standpoint in several smaller treatises, and particularly in his inaugural dissertation which appeared in 1770, "_Concerning the form and the principles of the Sense-World and that of the Understanding_." Kant himself refers the inner genesis of his critical standpoint to Hume. "I freely confess," he says, "that it was David Hume who first roused me from my dogmatic slumber, and gave a different direction to my investigations in the field of speculative philosophy." The critical view therefore first became developed in Kant as he left the dogmatic metaphysical school, the Wolffian philosophy in which he had grown up, and went over to the study of a sceptical empiricism in Hume. "Hitherto," says Kant at the close of his Critick of pure Reason, "men have been obliged to choose either a dogmatical direction, like Wolff, or a sceptical one, like Hume. The critical road alone is yet open. If the reader has had pleasure and patience in travelling along this in my company, let him now contribute his aid in making this by-path into a highway, in order that that which many centuries could not effect may now be attained before the expiration of the present, and the reason become perfectly content in respect of that which has. .h.i.therto, but in vain, engaged its curiosity." Kant had the clearest consciousness respecting the relation of his criticism to the previous philosophy. He compares the revolution which he himself had brought about in philosophy with that wrought by Copernicus in astronomy, "Hitherto it has been a.s.sumed that all our knowledge must regulate itself according to the objects; but all attempts to make any thing out of them apriori, through notions whereby our knowledge might be enlarged, proved, under this supposition, abortive. Let us, then, try for once whether we do not succeed better with the problems of metaphysics, by a.s.suming that the objects must regulate themselves according to our knowledge, a mode of viewing the subject which accords so much better with the desired possibility of a knowledge of them apriori, which must decide something concerning objects before they are given us. The circ.u.mstances are in this case precisely the same as with the first thoughts of Copernicus, who, finding that his attempt to explain the motions of the heavenly bodies did not succeed, when he a.s.sumed the whole starry host to revolve around the spectator, tried whether he should not succeed better, if he left the spectator himself to turn, and the stars on the contrary at rest."
In these words we have the principle of a subjective idealism, most clearly and decidedly expressed.
In the succeeding exposition of the Kantian philosophy we shall most suitably follow the cla.s.sification adopted by Kant himself. His principle of cla.s.sification is a psychological one. All the faculties of the soul, he says, may be referred to three, which are incapable of any farther reduction; knowing, feeling, and desire. The first faculty contains the principles, the governing laws for all the three. So far as the faculty of knowledge contains the principles of knowledge itself, is it theoretical reason, and so far as it contains the principles of desire and action, is it practical reason, while, so far as it contains the principles which regulate the feelings of pleasure and pain, is it a faculty of judgment. Thus the Kantian philosophy (on its critical side) divides itself into three criticks, (1) Critick of pure _i. e._ theoretical reason, (2) Critick of practical reason, (3) Critick of the judgment.
I. CRITICK OF PURE REASON.-The critick of pure reason, says Kant, is the inventory in which all our possessions through pure reason are systematically arranged. What are these possessions? When we have a cognition, what is it that we bring thereto? To answer these questions, Kant explores the two chief fields of our theoretical consciousness, the two chief factors of all knowledge, the sensory and the understanding.
Firstly: what does our sensory or our faculty of intuition possess apriori? Secondly: what is the apriori possession of our understanding?
The first of these questions is discussed in the transcendental _aesthetics_ (a t.i.tle which we must take not in the sense now commonly attached to the word, but in its etymological signification as the "science of the apriori principles of the sensory"); and the second in the transcendental _Logic_ or _a.n.a.lytics_. Sense and understanding are thus the two factors of all knowledge, the two stalks-as Kant expresses it-of our knowledge, which may spring from a common root, though this is unknown to us: the sensory is the receptivity, and the understanding the spontaneity of our cognitive faculty; by the sensory, which can only furnish intuitions, objects become _given_ to us; by the understanding, which forms conceptions, these objects become _thought_. Conceptions without intuitions are empty; intuitions without conceptions are blind.
Intuitions and conceptions const.i.tute the reciprocally complemental elements of our intellectual activity. What now are the apriori principles respectively of our knowledge, through the sense and through the thought? The first of these questions, as already said, is answered by
1. THE TRANSCENDENTAL aeSTHETICS.-To antic.i.p.ate at once the answer, we may say that the apriori principles of our knowledge through the sense, the original forms of sensuous intuition, are s.p.a.ce and time. s.p.a.ce is the form of the external sense, by means of which objects are given to us as existing outside of ourselves separately and conjointly; time is the form of the inner sense, by means of which the circ.u.mstances of our own soul-life become objects to our consciousness. If we abstract every thing belonging to the matter of our sensations, s.p.a.ce remains as the universal form in which all the materials of the external sense must be arranged. If we abstract every thing which belongs to the matter of our inner sense, time remains as the form which the movement of the mind had filled. s.p.a.ce and time are the highest forms of the outer and inner sense. That these forms lie apriori in the human mind, Kant proves, first, directly from the nature of these conceptions themselves; and, secondly, indirectly by showing that without apriori presupposing these conceptions, it were not possible to have any certain science of undoubted validity. The first of these he calls the _metaphysical_, and the second the _transcendental discussion_.
(1.) In the _metaphysical discussion_ it is to be shown, (_a_) that s.p.a.ce and time are apriori given, (_b_) that these notions belong to the sensory (aesthetics) and not to the understanding (logic), _i. e._ that they are intuitions and not conceptions, (_a_) That s.p.a.ce and time are apriori is clear from the fact that every experience, before it can be, must presuppose already a s.p.a.ce and time. I perceive something as external to me; but this external presupposes s.p.a.ce. Again, I have two sensations at the same time and successively; this presupposes time, (_b_) s.p.a.ce and time, however, are by no means conceptions, but forms of intuition, or intuitions themselves. For in every universal conception the individual is comprehended under it, and is not a part of it; but in s.p.a.ce and time, all individual s.p.a.ces and times are parts of and contained within the universal s.p.a.ce and the universal time.
(2.) In the _transcendental discussion_ Kant draws his proof indirectly by showing that certain sciences, universally recognized as such, can only be conceived upon the supposition that s.p.a.ce and time are apriori.
A pure mathematics is only possible on the ground that s.p.a.ce and time are pure and not empirical intuitions. Kant comprises the whole problem of the Transcendental aesthetics in the question-how are pure mathematical sciences possible? The ground, says Kant, upon which pure mathematics moves, is s.p.a.ce and time. But now mathematics utters its principles as universal and necessary. Universal and necessary principles, however, can never come from experience; they must have an apriori ground; consequently it is impossible that s.p.a.ce and time, out of which mathematics receives its principles, should be first given aposteriori; they must be given apriori as pure intuitions. Hence we have a knowledge apriori, and a science which rests upon apriori grounds; and the matter simply resolves itself into this, viz.: whosoever should deny that apriori knowledge can be, must also at the same time deny the possibility of mathematics. But if the fundamental truths of mathematics are intuitions apriori, we might conclude that there may be also apriori conceptions, out of which, in connection with these pure intuitions, a metaphysics could be formed. This is the positive result of the Transcendental aesthetics, though with this positive side the negative is closely connected. Intuition or immediate knowledge can be attained by man only through the sensory, whose universal intuitions are only s.p.a.ce and time. But since these intuitions of s.p.a.ce and time are no objective relations, but only subjective forms, there is therefore something subjective mingled with all our intuitions, and we can know things not as they are in themselves, but only as they appear to us through this subjective medium of s.p.a.ce and time. This is the meaning of the Kantian principle, that we do not know things in themselves, but only phenomena. But if on this account we should affirm that all things are in s.p.a.ce and time, this would be too much; they are in s.p.a.ce and time only for us,-all phenomena of the external sense appearing both in s.p.a.ce and in time, and all phenomena of the inner sense appearing only in time. Notwithstanding this, Kant would in no ways have admitted that the world of sense is mere appearance. He affirmed, that while he contended for a transcendental ideality, there was, nevertheless, an empirical reality of s.p.a.ce and time: things external to ourselves exist just as certainly as do we and the circ.u.mstances within us, only they are not represented to us as they are in themselves and in their independence of s.p.a.ce and of time. As to the question, whether there is any thing in the thing itself back of the phenomena, Kant intimates in the first edition of his Critick, that it is not impossible that the Ego and the thing-in-itself are one and the same thinking substance. This thought, which Kant threw out as a mere conjecture, was the source of all the wider developments of the latest philosophy. It was afterwards the fundamental idea of the Fichtian system, that the Ego does not become affected through a thing essentially foreign to it, but purely through itself. In the second edition of his Critick, however, Kant omitted this sentence.
The Transcendental aesthetics closes with the discussion of s.p.a.ce and time, _i. e._ with finding out what is in the sensory apriori. But the human mind cannot be satisfied merely with the receptive relation of the sensory; it does not simply receive objects, but it applies to these its own spontaneity, and attempts to think these through its conceptions, and embrace them in the forms of its understanding. It is the object of the _Transcendental a.n.a.lytic_ (which forms the first part of the _Transcendental Logic_), to examine these apriori conceptions or forms of thought which lie originally in the understanding, as the forms of s.p.a.ce and time do in the intuitive faculty.
2. THE TRANSCENDENTAL a.n.a.lYTIC.-It is the first problem of the a.n.a.lytic to attain the pure conceptions of the understanding. Aristotle had already attempted to form a table of these conceptions or categories, but he had collected them empirically instead of deriving them from a common principle, and had numbered among them s.p.a.ce and time, though these are no pure conceptions of the understanding, but only forms of intuition. But if we would have a perfect, pure, and regularly arranged table of all the conceptions of the understanding, or all the apriori forms of thought, we must look for a principle out of which we may derive them. This principle is the judgment. The general fundamental conceptions of the understanding may be perfectly attained if we look at all the different modes or forms of the judgment. For this end Kant considers the different kinds of judgment as ordinarily pointed out to us by the science of logic. Now logic shows that there are four kinds of judgment, viz., judgments of
_Quant.i.ty._ _Quality._ _Relation._ _Modality._ Universal, Affirmative, Categorical, Problematical, Plurative, Negative, Hypothetical, a.s.sertive, Singular. Illimitable. Disjunctive. Apodictic.
From these judgments result the same number of fundamental conceptions or categories of the understanding, viz.:
_Quant.i.ty._ _Quality._ _Relation._ _Modality._ Totality, Reality, Substance and Possibility and inherence, impossibility, Multiplicity, Negation, Cause and Being and dependence, not-being, Unity. Limitation. Reciprocal action. Necessity and accidence.
From these twelve categories all the rest may be derived by combination.
From the fact that these categories are shown to belong apriori to the understanding, it follows, (1) that these conceptions are apriori, and hence have a necessary and universal validity, (2) that by themselves they are empty forms, and attain a content only through intuitions. But since our intuition is wholly through the sense, these categories have their validity only in their application to the sensuous intuition, which becomes a proper experience only when apprehended in the conceptions of the understanding.-Here we meet a second question; how does this happen? How do objects become subsumed under these forms of the understanding, which for themselves are so empty?
There would be no difficulty with this subsumption if the objects and the conceptions of the understanding were the same in kind. But they are not. Because the objects come to the understanding from the sensory, they are of the nature of the sense. Hence the question arises: how can these sensible objects be subsumed under pure conceptions of the understanding, and fundamental principles (judgments apriori), be formed from them? This cannot result immediately, but there must come in between the two, a third, which must have some thing in common with each, _i. e._ which is in one respect pure and apriori, and in another sensible. The two pure intuitions of the Transcendental aesthetics, s.p.a.ce and time, especially the latter, are of such a nature. A transcendental time determination, as the determination of coetaneousness, corresponds on the one side to the categories, because it is apriori, and on the other side to the phenomenal objects, because every thing phenomenal can be represented only in time. The transcendental time determination, Kant calls in this respect the transcendental _schema_, and the use which the understanding makes of it, he calls the transcendental _schematism_ of the pure understanding. The schema is a product of the imaginative faculty, which self-actively determines the inner sense to this, though the schema is something other than a mere image. An image is always merely an individual and determinate intuition, but the schema merely represents the universal process of the imagination, by which it furnishes for a conception a proper image. Hence the schema can only exist in the conception, and never suffers itself to be brought within the sensuous intuition. If, now, we consider more closely the schematism of the understanding, and seek the transcendental time determination for every category, we find that:
(1) _Quant.i.ty_ has for a universal schema _the series of time_ or number, which represents the successive addition of one and one of the same kind. I can only represent to myself the pure understanding conception of greatness, except as I bring into the imagination a number of units one after another. If I stop this process at its first beginning, the result is unity; if I let it go on farther I have plurality; and if I suffer it to continue without limit, there is totality. Whenever I meet with objects in the phenomenal world, which I can only apprehend successively, I am directed to apply the conception of greatness, which would not be possible without the schema of _the series of time_.