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I have a question regarding Kant 's...
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I have a question regarding Kant 's sources of metaphysical cognition.

Firstly, I'm not quite sure what he means by cognition in the first place, I don't see it clearly defined anywhere yet. Does he just mean "action of thinking about"?

he says (in ss1 of the prolegomena) that the sources of metaphysical cognition cannot be empirical.

now, he says the Principals of such cognition include fundamental propositions taken from beyond experience, but im not sure if these propositions are synonmomous with the source of such cognition or if they are a product of it.

so, what does he mean by source here?

I think he might be referring to the ability to cognisize and where it comes from, since he goes on to say that the (metaphysical) cognition is a priori and from pure understanding and reason, differentiating it from outer experience and inner "empirical psychology" (empirischen Psychologie).

now I have a problem with this too, mainly in how he assumed that one even has any form of intuitive reasoning outside of experience (yes it's a very fundamental doubt) he compared this "pure philosophical" cognition to Mathematical cognition and for further understanding referred to a section of the CPR.

in this section pure Mathematical cognition is said to cognisize through reason "from the construction of concepts" through "nonemperical intuition" that intuition being "an individual object" (this constructed concept being valid for all intuitions of the same concept, I dont doubt this universality but cant get myself to agree with his claim of nonempirical intuition)

to cement my doubt I find this to be the most ludicrous statement in the CPR (ill post all the passages my doubt refers to when I got on my computer)

>The shape of a cone will be able to be made intuitable without any empirical assistance at all, in accordance with the concept alone, but the colour of this cone will have to be given beforehand, in one or another experience.
I find that neither of those intuitions are possible, even the shape, without empirical assistance.

also, even if metaphysical cognition concerns itself with or bases itself on principles of things beyond experience how does that necessarily imply that the source of the cognition itself must be beyond experience?
>>
From the prolegomena:

Let us consider first the sources of metaphysical knowledge.
The very concept of metaphysics ensures that the
sources of metaphysics can’t be empirical. ·If something
could be known through the senses, that would automatically
show that it doesn’t belong to metaphysics; that’s
an upshot of the meaning of the word ‘metaphysics’·. Its
basic propositions can never be taken from experience, nor
can its basic concepts; for it is not to be physical but
metaphysical knowledge, so it must lie beyond experience.
•Outer experience is the source of physics properly so-called,
and •inner experience is the basis for empirical psychology;
and metaphysical knowledge can’t come from either of these.
It is thus knowledge a priori—knowledge based on pure
understanding and pure reason.
Mathematics also answers to that description. To mark
off metaphysics from mathematics as well as from empirical
enquiries, we’ll have to call it pure philosophical knowledge.
In this phrase, ‘pure’ means ‘not empirical’; and ‘philosophical’
stands in contrast to ‘mathematical’. The difference
between these two ways of using reason—the mathematical
and the philosophical—is something I needn’t go into here; I have adequately described it in my Critique of Pure Reason.
So much for the sources of metaphysical knowledge.

Full-text: http://www.earlymoderntexts.com/assets/pdfs/kant1783.pdf
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>>7688303
1. Kant's conception of Reason is such that it belongs strictly on the 'soul'/consciousness divide of things. When he talks about his apriori axioms he is referring to a kind of disembodied reason that we probably have trouble grasping today, especially since for us logic is no longer something sacred. He means I think, external input, versus what would happen if you were to run the possible configurations of our logic, purely playing with themselves.

2. The bit about the cone means that it would never have to be shown to the individual. He does say all experience draws from the Noumenon, and I don't remember if he addresses this specifically, but he's saying, given an understanding of space, and reason, which he supposes is a priori, we mentally construct a cone, and not a color.

I think this appears to us as odd today because sight and mathematical logic don't seem so different anymore, but what he's saying is internally consistent. If you can imagine geometrical descriptions, you can imagine whatsoever configuration you are asked to. Color on the other hand can't simply be given in that way, you can't explain what it is a priori. It might not be true but it makes sense given what he postulates.

3. Well what is the alternative, that experience and its objects are creating things beyond themselves? I don't see why you care about the source, when he's more so implying that one is interacting with the other.

I think you're having a hangup on the distinction between empirical and experiential?
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>When he talks about his apriori axioms he is referring to a kind of disembodied reason that we probably have trouble grasping today

I know he's referring to this but I have personal contentions about this disembodied reason "existing".

>. He does say all experience draws from the Noumenon, and I don't remember if he addresses this specifically, but he's saying, given an understanding of space, and reason, which he supposes is a priori, we mentally construct a cone, and not a color.

But all those faculties of space, reason, or anything else can only come from empirical observation, right?

A rather odd example but, say someone was born without the ability to feel or move or see. You could never explain the concept of a cone or any magnitude in general (Kant talks about mathematics being mostly a priori interested in magnitudes) to him, right?

And so, if he lost this ability go cognisize cones after he lost his sight and movement/touch, surely that cognition would have to be derived from his sight and movement/touch?

> If you can imagine geometrical descriptions, you can imagine whatsoever configuration you are asked to
As I said in my OP, I have no issues with the universality of this, my problem lies with:
>If you can imagine geometrical descriptions
>If
I don't see how geometrical descriptions could possibly be imagined without some empirical backing.

>Well what is the alternative, that experience and its objects are creating things beyond themselves?

I wouldn't use the word "creating", I'd use the word "speculating about".

>I don't see why you are about the source, when he's more so implying that one is interacting with the other.
I'm reading the book from a very personal "I want to see if I can agree with what he has to say" outlook right now.

>I think you're having a hangup on the distinction between empirical and experiential?

How are these different?

I actually don't follow the above post's translation but the Cambridge one, and here too (like in the above post) experience and empirical are almost synonymous right (with the latter being defined as "what is based on" the former)?

What am I missing there?
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>>7688366
>A rather odd example but, say someone was born without the ability to feel or move or see. You could never explain the concept of a cone or any magnitude in general (Kant talks about mathematics being mostly a priori interested in magnitudes) to him, right?
Kant's theory is that such a person could in fact understand the cone if they could have a purely logical experience, which does make sense if you abide by his understanding of reason, which you clearly don't because 'i have personal contentions about this disembodied reason;

I think the heart of the issue might be in
>How are these different?

You seem to be imaging any possible experience in terms of a kind of integrated interaction of human mind and external world in space and time. Crucially, for Kant, space and time are not absolutes, they belong to the category of Reason.

Kant does not primally differentiate between experience and beyond. His fundamental, highest division is between the apparatus of philosophy, and that which it effects operations on. To Reason he imparts space, time, the logical operations, his categories, to the other he imparts qualia, and the various empirical conclusions that are the fruit of qualia and the Reasoned operations. It's a bizarre system, but it doesn't contradict itself. The category of beyond he doesn't even say anything about to my knowledge. He defines it quite simply as In-itself, and he never makes much of a point of doing anything else with it.
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>>7688405
>Kant's theory is that such a person could in fact understand the cone if they could have a purely logical experience,

I see, yes, I find that idea ludicrous, I suppose I'll still read the rest of his work, maybe I'll come to agree with his disembodied reason.

>You seem to be imaging any possible experience in terms of a kind of integrated interaction of human mind and external world in space and time. Crucially, for Kant, space and time are not absolutes, they belong to the category of Reason.
I see what you mean but I don't see the difference between experience and empirical here.

>Kant does not primally differentiate between experience and beyond. His fundamental, highest division is between the apparatus of philosophy, and that which it effects operations on
What do you mean by that which it effects operations on? What is this?

>Reason he imparts space, time, the logical operations, his categories, to the other he imparts qualia, and the various empirical conclusions that are the fruit of qualia and the Reasoned operations.
Well, I don't see how "reason" mixes with qualia, rather I'd say that in the former our perceptions can be more conveniently illustrated and agreed upon by many while in the latter it is a little harder. Considering Wittgenstein's Beetle in a Box , the Beetles of qualia are harder to describe while the Beetles of Mathematics (for example) are easier to describe. They're all still Beetles though?

>The category of beyond
I actually haven't read Kant completely so I don't know what you're saying here, I posed this question because it seemed like a very fundamental disagreement.

>It's a bizarre system, but it doesn't contradict itself.
I'd agree, but then the same can be said of a purely empirical system that take to liberty to make assumptions of something of any contentious topic (causes from example) just as Kant seems (to me) to take the liberty to assume the existing of the some kind of a priori intuition of things (even if these things are analytic).
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>>7688405
Thanks a lot for your response by the way! Are you a philosophy student by any chance?
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>>7688466
>What do you mean by that which it effects operations on?
you reference Wittgenstein in your next segment, I think we have to remember that Kant wouldn't understand Wittgenstein. For Kant there is absolutely nothing wrong with dividing reality in that way, they aren't just less or harder to understand, they are the very basic divisions of reality that make reality itself. The only other division he had of that level was the Othering of the Noumenon, which is basically the point at which a philosopher says 'this we cannot know'.
>I'd agree, but then the same can be said of a purely empirical system that take to liberty to make assumptions of something of any contentious topic (causes from example) just as Kant seems (to me) to take the liberty to assume the existing of the some kind of a priori intuition of things (
I do understand the similarity but I believe they're different. In empiricism, even in Kant's day, there were different rules, there was above all uncertainty, and that is simply how it works, better or worse. What Kant was identifying in his Critique was that which was unquestionable. In that context it means that which applies to all, and what he found, in the context of inquiry into everything and an absolute measurement of that which we can stand upon, were his axioms of Reason. And he attributes them to a different category than the rest of experience, which you do not, because he cares most of all about that which can be trusted in inquiry, whereas you are a 21st disciple of philosophy, your primary concern is not that question, and wouldn't have been even 100 years ago, so it makes sense that you seek a different fundamental division.

By the way I am not disagreeing with you about anything, I am only offering an interpretation of Kant, and only a slight one at that- I've read him only as far as I found enjoyable.
>>7688473
No, not at all unfortunately.
>>
> In empiricism, even in Kant's day, there were different rules, there was above all uncertainty, and that is simply how it works, better or worse.

Ah, you mean people honestly believed in the possibility of induction not working out?
In the Prologue to the Prolegomena Kant does talk about people solving Hume's problem through "common sense" and how this was not satisfactory as it did not make sense to not use common sense for scientific inquiry (we don't just think of things as evident without reasoning) but use it when you hit a road block.

So, this opposition seems to be rooted in the need for a "reasonable" reason to affirm causation, I suppose I might still agree with his conclusions as "unquestionable" though, provided I agree that what he says is sourced from a priori intuition independent of empirical observation is still unquestionable, because of some other reason.

>No, not at all unfortunately.
Shucks, I sometimes get insecure about how a real student of philosophy would dismiss my doubts and concerns and thoughts as elementary/dumb, which would be bad since I would be disregarded by those I can learn the most from.
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>>7688582
>So, this opposition seems to be rooted in the need for a "reasonable" reason to affirm causation, I suppose I might still agree with his conclusions as "unquestionable" though, provided I agree that what he says is sourced from a priori intuition independent of empirical observation is still unquestionable, because of some other reason.
I believe you're missing the point. Kant is disregarding the entire division itself and inventing his own. Kant emphatically does not care about the reality or consistency of the objects of Reason in experience. He cares about the way in which they are formed, and the rules they absolutely follow. If you must, think of it as a psychology, a manner of human intuition.
> I sometimes get insecure about how a real student of philosophy would dismiss my doubts and concerns and thoughts as elementary/dumb
They most definitely will. I will without even really bothering, you've said nothing that would make me care about the slightest of your thoughts and I haven't even applied myself to the subject, people who devote decades of their life to understanding these topics and have an innate capacity for them will barely glance at you. If you want to make anything of yourself you need to begin with aptitude and secondarily will. You know very well how to learn, I don't have to tell you. Go and read as much as you can, attack it as much as you can, invent as much as you can of your own, try above all to continue to make sense of both that which is easily understandable and which is nigh unintelligible.

You seem to be using your intelligence more for presentation than understanding or creation, I would advise against it however uncomfortable it might be.
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>>7688602
>Kant emphatically does not care about the reality or consistency of the objects of Reason in experience.
Eek, this was hard to read. In Kant's Logic he specifically states that the rules of experience, and its consistnecy with itself points to a higher function/order of the mind, which he later deduces to the apriori given the structure of experience itself. He actually invents his own philosophical tool in doing so, in philosophical lingo, this is known as the transcendental argument. Basically it can be summarized as follows:

1. You have a given, say experience (which is seemingly rule-ordered, and law-abiding within itself).
2. Give the given, what must be true in order for the given to be true?
3. And thus he finds the categories, judgement, principles of understanding, schema, etc.


OP, it will take too long addressing all the errors posted in this thread. Although there is this one girl or guy on /lit/ that is pretty knowledgeable on Kant, hopefully he/she comes on and refutes some of the points made in this thread, seeing that I'm too lazy doing so.

Read Kant's Logic besides the Prog., and go to the UC Davis website for Kant, watch some lectures. It will take you awhile before you start understanding Kant. Don't come to /lit/ for advice on Kant, it'll be more detrimental than helpful. Kant's subtly won't be given justice here.
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>>7688678
>he specifically states that the rules of experience, and its consistnecy with itself points to a higher function/order of the mind, which he later deduces to the apriori given the structure of experience itself.

That is not later, he does that in the introduction to his Critique. you may not have read further than that but others have.

Your '3' points there are a kind of absurd shotgun which have no resemblance to anything approaching a shcema.

The very saddest thing about this is that you clearly were taught by(an incompetent) professor to attempt to make sense of Kant and you are incapable of realizing that what you say here
> He actually invents his own philosophical tool in doing so, in philosophical lingo, this is known as the transcendental argument. Basically it can be summarized as follows:

1. You have a given, say experience (which is seemingly rule-ordered, and law-abiding within itself).
2. Give the given, what must be true in order for the given to be true?
3. And thus he finds the categories, judgement, principles of understanding, schema, etc.


Is the exact same as this:
>Kant does not primally differentiate between experience and beyond. His fundamental, highest division is between the apparatus of philosophy, and that which it effects operations on. To Reason he imparts space, time, the logical operations, his categories, to the other he imparts qualia, and the various empirical conclusions that are the fruit of qualia and the Reasoned operations


you have not even understood Descartes, look you think Aristotle is sunbeam. the most you can understand is Voltaire, put in crystal for your fleshy eyes, you speak the term lazy because running through a field or just even feeling your body would be anathema to your dwindling beats
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>>7688303
I can't believe people are this stupid that they guy hung up on such basic shit.
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>>7688767
Hey, OP here, care to help me out please?
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>>7688303

Hey OP - this thread has been a mixed bag of good descriptions and flawed interpretations, in my opinion. As you consider the responses you've gotten, and the ones I'm about to give, you'll have to hold several conflicting viewpoints in mind more or less simultaneously, and weigh them against one another - which, serendipitously enough, is good practice for colliding your mind with Kant's; you'll experiment with different ways of reading his claims (as you've apparently been doing), testing the consistency of your interpretations with what he says elsewhere, refining your views as you watch his system take grander scope, and hopefully detecting the subtle and sometimes maddening ways he modifies his claims throughout his writings.

Two of the most basic things you'll need to grasp, I believe, are Kant's distinction between form and matter, and Kant's division of the human mind into largely separate faculties. Bear with me, because I'll gradually cater my explanations and counter-claims to the specific issues raised by you and other anons here - and I apologize in advance if I'm telling you things you already know.
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>>7690691

You can start to think of Kant's form/matter distinction by beginning with Aristotle's. For something like a statue, its form is its characteristic shape, like the famous figure of Michelangelo's David; the matter of this statue is marble, but we can imagine different materials being structured into the same famous form: David made out of wood, or ice, or cheese. The form can even persist as if its contents, its matter, what-is-formed, gradually gets replaced with new materials of a different kind; imagine David's marble toes turning into gold, this gold spreading up through his legs and torso towards his head and down his arms, as blue plastic now spreads from his toes up his legs and gradually replaces the gold, and on and on with whatever newly appearing solids, colors, textures, temperatures you wish.

Now imagine whether or not you could enter a museum and perceive in front of you, on a pedestal, the pure form of Michelangelo's David, without any matter. You couldn't, could you? There would be nothing to see, nothing to touch - nothing to sense in any way. Between you and the wall you're facing, there would only be the transparent air above the pedestal, where at best you could draw in imagination the outline of David's profile, or imagine the marble statue in front of you, without having an actual visual perception of that outline or statue materialize on the pedestal. Form can't be experienced on its own - it's not an object, but an *element* that plays an indispensable role in the existence of an object. Its counterpart element is matter, content; matter is the determinable, and form is the determination. Wherever you recognize structure, order, determinate relations, regularity, you recognize form; wherever you recognize content, filling, data, unpredictable input, you recognize matter. It's only after you've become conscious, experiencing the world and its objects, that you can reflect on the difference between matter and form, separating in your mind what can't be perceived separately in actual experience.

For this same reason, you also can't experience pure matter without any form; even the simplest sensory content you could imagine, like a visual patch of red or an auditory tone of C#, still has some form, some structure: the color occupies a spatial field, within which you could divide quadrants in external relations of above and below and to-the-right-of and to-the-lower-left-of one another; the sound continues over a span of time, within which you could identify shorter spans of time, sequentially ordered into relations of before and after one another. Sensory data needs form in order to appear, just as the pure forms of space and time need to be filled by sensations in order to appear.
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>>7690697

The pure forms of space and time, along with the raw sensory content structured by them, belong to one part of the human mind - a faculty called "sensibility." Sensibility is a predominately receptive capacity of the mind; when your mind enters into relation with some thing-in-itself that's independent of your mind, the immediate consequences that arise within your mind arise within sensibility. These consequences are raw sensory data, which are forced to appear within sensibility's innate forms of space and time. Sensibility provides the representations that human consciousness is of, and such representations are called "intuitions."

So far I've emphasized the form/matter distinction as it pertains to sensations - but human minds require more than just sensations in order to be conscious. This is where a different faculty of the human mind comes into play - a faculty that doesn't generate sensations, but rather generates thoughts, concepts. This other faculty is called "understanding," and it has forms of its own: the 12 purely logical functions of judgement, by which all sorts of contentful terms can be ordered into intelligible relations. Take a proposition like "All cats are under 1,000 pounds in weight," which is composed of several different concepts: "cats," "1,000," "weight," "pounds," etc. The understanding naturally takes these individual concepts and unites them into a single whole, yet without losing sight of their individuality; this consciousness of plurality-in-unity is an example of synthesis. Some of the 12 basic ways the understanding can form purely logical judgments are: "All S are P," "This S is P," "No S is P," "If P then Q," "Either P or Q." Each is a pure form of thinking, regardless of how we fill in the variables, or if we fill in the variables at all.
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>>7690702

But what is such thinking *about*? If the understanding has its own innate forms, and any formal element needs a complimentary material element, then what is the matter taken up into these conceptual forms? The matter is spatiotemporal intuition, given by the faculty of sensibility to the faculty of understanding. The forms of sensibility themselves are able to serve as the content of thought-form; thus, Kant calls thinking about intuitions "representation of representation." The intuitions of sensibility are rendered thinkable by a process called "schematism," in which the understanding's purely logical functions of judgement are translated into the form of time (so we could equally say that the understanding's concepts are rendered sensible); after all, sensibility and understanding, despite the major differences in the nature of their operations, must still together yield a whole conscious human experiencer. The middle ground that allows for their cooperation is the schema of pure time, and when the understanding's 12 pure forms of judgment are thus mixed schematically with the pure time determinations of before/after, those forms of judgment lose their intelligible purity (since they're no longer within the mere understanding, but rather combine with a form of sensibility), but gain the ability to be *about* whatever raw sensory data might be spatiotemporally given in empirical intuition. That is, the 12 logical functions of judgement have become the 12 categories of experience.

In experience, the understanding imposes a higher level of form upon already-spatiotemporally-ordered sensuous appearances; experience is "empirical" because unpredictable sense data (colors, temperatures, textures, sounds, tastes) is encountered - that is, is given a posteriori - though always encountered as structured by the forms of sensibility and known through the forms of understanding. But after living in the natural world for a while, we can philosophically reflect on our experience and separate the various elements of that experience, distinguishing the material/determined elements of our experience from the formal/determining elements, and we can even imagine removing all sensory data from the world, leaving only the pure understanding and pure sensibility to construct objects out of their combined a priori resources; objects like geometric figures which we draw in pure intuition under the guidance of the understanding's intelligence. The mutual accommodation between understanding and sensibility is what's required for knowledge, and whether the understanding synthesizes empirical intuitions to yield actual experience, or whether the understanding synthesizes pure intuitions to yield mathematics and the synthetic a priori laws of natural experience, the result is "cognition" (or at least this is the best way to understand the term "cognition" at first). Kant's introductory to Transcendental Logic (A50/B74) puts this forward pretty famously.
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>>7690708

To add more tangles to all of this, Kant's practical philosophy (morals, ethics, politics) uses terms like "cognition" and "matter" in ways that are somewhat different from the way those terms are employed in his theoretical philosophy (natural science and its underlying epistemology/metaphysics). But if you have a firm enough grasp of how he uses those terms in the Critique of Pure Reason and Prolegomena (and other mainly theoretical works), you shouldn't have too much trouble figuring out what Kant means by them in his practical works. It's all part of getting acclimated to the man's mind as well as anybody else ever can.

So:

> I'm not quite sure what he means by cognition in the first place, I don't see it clearly defined anywhere yet.

I'm not sure I've ever read him explicitly define it.

> Does he just mean "action of thinking about"?

This seems like a safe interpretation, as long as we remember the "about" - that there must be some content, either pure or empirical, that such thinking has for its object.

> the sources of metaphysical cognition cannot be empirical.

Because if whatever is derived from empirical data inherits the unpredictability and particularity, the lack of necessity and universality, that characterizes the a posteriori. But metaphysical cognition, if it is possible at all, would involve our being conscious of its necessity and universality.

> he says the Principals of such cognition include fundamental propositions taken from beyond experience, but im not sure if these propositions are synonmomous with the source of such cognition or if they are a product of it.

The sources, in cooperation, produce the principles; principles can be expressed as propositions, such as the synthetic a priori propositions of the forms of nature (like "whatever happens must have a cause" and "an object of experience can be divided indefinitely into smaller and smaller extensive magnitudes.")

> so, what does he mean by source here?

Mental faculties like sensibility and understanding (also reason, and judgement in its reflecting capacity); Kant could probably call the raw sense data that arises within sensibility a source of cognition, since it's an element in our knowledge of the world - but raw sense data wouldn't be a source of metaphysical cognition per se, since such cognition is a priori while sense data is given a posteriori. At best, sense data is a prerequisite for the reflection that leads to metaphysical cognition, insofar as we can only engage in synthetic a priori cognition after our consciousness has been activated by the sensations of the world in which we've lived for a while.

> I think he might be referring to the ability to cognisize and where it comes from

Yep
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>>7690712

> since he goes on to say that the (metaphysical) cognition is a priori and from pure understanding and reason

Understanding synthesizes the already-spatiotemporally-ordered manifold of spatiotemporal appearances, thus imposing a higher level of order onto it, as I described, and this conceptual synthesis constitutes nature, the world; the faculty of reason, with its own a priori forms, imposes yet a higher level of order onto nature, which doesn't constitute (make up) nature, but guides ("regulates") our exploration of nature.

> differentiating it from outer experience and inner "empirical psychology" (empirischen Psychologie).

Since both of these contain empirical data (which is prohibited by the a priority of metaphysical cognition), the former data represented in outer sense and the latter data represented in inner sense.

> now I have a problem with this too, mainly in how he assumed that one even has any form of intuitive reasoning outside of experience

The empirical data of experience activates our consciousness, presenting the human mind with occasion upon which understanding/rationality can operate on something determinate, contentful; if a human mind couldn't receive sensory intuitions, it would be forever unconscious. But after we're familiar with conscious experience, we can reflect on it, recognizing and mentally experimenting with the a priori conditions of that experience - for example, constructing geometrical objects in pure intuition, or trying (and failing) to think of logically contradictory concepts, or trying (and failing) to imagine objects we could never experience (like a smallest physical particle or edge of space).

> even if metaphysical cognition concerns itself with or bases itself on principles of things beyond experience how does that necessarily imply that the source of the cognition itself must be beyond experience?

I think this question is phrased a bit vaguely - but "beyond" here means "at the basis of," "the condition of the possibility of." Metaphysical cognition (in its theoretical use, at least) doesn't deal with what is knowable independently of all possible human experience, because if X could not be contained in a possible experience then X could not be "known" at all.

I'd like to respond to some of the other claims made in this thread, but that will have to wait for a while.
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I wish more threads on /lit/ where like this one.
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>>7690792
read something difficult and start to discuss it (not that i do, but i hope you will increase the quality)
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>>7690712
>At best, sense data is a prerequisite for the reflection that leads to metaphysical cognition, insofar as we can only engage in synthetic a priori cognition after our consciousness has been activated by the sensations of the world in which we've lived for a while.

I actually just got to a portion in the book where he covers this today, quoting form the The Transcendental Aesthetic:

>All thinking, however, whether it do so directly, or indirectly, by means of certain characters, must ultimately relate to intuitions, and hence, for us, to sensibility, for no object can be given to us in any way.

I suppose that makes my quip about the man without any sensory inputs completely invalid, Kant isn't talking about this man? I suppose?

This is the part of what I said that is wrong that I am referring to:

>A rather odd example but, say someone was born without the ability to feel or move or see. You could never explain the concept of a cone or any magnitude in general (Kant talks about mathematics being mostly a priori interested in magnitudes) to him, right?
>Kant's theory is that such a person could in fact understand the cone if they could have a purely logical experience, which does make sense if you abide by his understanding of reason, which you clearly don't because 'i have personal contentions about this disembodied reason

That complicates things then, I don't quite understand what he means by "a priori" if all thinking whether direct (sensation? intuition?) or indirect (understanding?) must relate to intuitions.

Would the forms of appearance etc then "lie ready" in the mind "a priori" even if one does not have sensibility (like the blind unfeeling man)? And this potential would only be actualized through sensibility?

I'm sorry I actually haven't read that much of Kant yet (I'm trying to address my doubts as soon as they come up), and I haven't actually completed thoroughly reading your post, I'll do so when I get back from college.

Thank you so much for your response! It is very helpful!
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>>7688339

> He does say all experience draws from the Noumenon

Yes, insofar as the noumenal thing-in-itself is the ground of the consequences that arise within sensibility as raw sense data.

> we mentally construct a cone, and not a color.

Yes, since color is an empirically given quality, whereas the geometric properties of a cone are merely determinations of pure space, which as you say is intuited a priori.

>>7688366

> I have personal contentions about this disembodied reason "existing".

This might not assuage your suspicions, but technically Kant wouldn't say that this faculty of reason "exists" in the way that trees and houses and planets or even human nervous systems "exist." The domain of existence is the domain of the phenomenal, of being-as-appearance; but human reason is at the level of being-in-itself, which grounds the phenomenal world. The difference between mere "being" and "existence" is the difference between what can be merely thought (since the noumenal does not include spatiotemporal determinations) and what can be properly known. (Of course, different translations might render the terms "being" and "existence" differently, or might not acknowledge the distinction of terms at all.)

> But all those faculties of space, reason, or anything else can only come from empirical observation, right?

No, those faculties are a priori, comprising the mind's innate functions; what comes from empirical observation is the sensory data that is given to those faculties for the production of knowledge.

> without the ability to feel or move or see. You could never explain the concept of a cone or any magnitude in general (Kant talks about mathematics being mostly a priori interested in magnitudes) to him, right?

If a person could never sense anything, that person's consciousness would never become activated.

> And so, if he lost this ability go cognisize cones after he lost his sight and movement/touch, surely that cognition would have to be derived from his sight and movement/touch?

If a person lost his/her ability to sense, after being able to for good portion of his/her life, then the person could still cognize pure geometrical cones in a priori intuition, as long as the person understands the mathematical concepts that define a cone, which are necessary to guide the intuitive construction of the cone a priori.
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>>7688366

> I wouldn't use the word "creating", I'd use the word "speculating about".

Any theoretical speculation about things that couldn't be contained in a possible experience, however alluring, cannot yield knowledge, but is bound to lead the mind's faculties into contradiction with one another - or, as Kant sometimes phrases it (less accurately, it seems to me) will lead human reason into conflict with itself.

What's interesting is that Kant's practical philosophy requires that the human mind reach for things that could never be experienced - like God and the immortality of the soul - though not in a way that yields objective knowledge of such things, but in a way that can yield subjective conviction sufficient for ethics.

>>I think you're having a hangup on the distinction between empirical and experiential?
> How are these different?

"Empirical" denotes an element within "experiential." Experience contains sensory data, which is unpredictable and thus we must wait for it to be revealed to us a posteriori; but in addition, experience is governed by a priori forms, contributed by the knowing subject's own mind.

>>7688405

> Kant's theory is that such a person could in fact understand the cone if they could have a purely logical experience

To flesh out this response: such a person could understand the concept a cone, but this would be insufficient for the complete representation of a cone, since a cone is a geometrical object, which involves space, which is a form of intuition, not of understanding. Humans, of course, can't have a purely logical experience, since logic results from the understanding, but experience requires the cooperation of understanding with sensibility (and experience would be vastly different from what we're familiar with - if it wouldbe possible at all - without the additional contributions of reason andreflecting judgement).

> You seem to be imaging any possible experience in terms of a kind of integrated interaction of human mind and external world in space and time

It's not obvious to me how this error was made by the anon you're responding to.
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>>7688405

> Kant does not primally differentiate between experience and beyond.

Yes he does, unless I'm misunderstanding your use of words here. It's the very differentiation you mention next - between the knowing subject's apparatus of mental faculties on the one hand, and what's independent of the knowing subject's mental faculties on the other hand.

> His fundamental, highest division is between the apparatus of philosophy, and that which it effects operations on.

I'd phrase it: the division between the subject's mental apparatus of faculties, and that-in-itself which grounds the phenomenal consequences within the knowing subject's cooperating faculties.

> To Reason he imparts space, time, the logical operations, his categories,

"Reason" taken generally, as synonymous with "the mind." More specifically, the faculty of reason is one faculty among several that comprise the human mind. Kant himself often isn't clear about this difference, and the reader has to rely on the context to grasp how the term "reason" is being used.

> to the other he imparts qualia, and the various empirical conclusions that are the fruit of qualia and the Reasoned operations.

Well, he identifies the thing-in-itself as the *ground* of qualia (irreducible sensory qualities intuited by the subject within sensibility - assuming you understand "qualia" in the same way I do). Kant can't technically "impart" qualia to noumena, because things-in-themselves are not red or 200 degrees fahrenheidt or shrill-sounding etc.

Such qualia rather attach to appearances, which are the consequence of how our receptive faculty of intuition relates to noumena.

These spatiotemporal sensuous appearances then occasion judgements of the understanding (in this case, a posteriori - empirical, as you say - judgements) and conclusions of reason.

> The category of beyond he doesn't even say anything about to my knowledge. He defines it quite simply as In-itself, and he never makes much of a point of doing anything else with it.

The noumenal domain of things-in-themselves becomes extremely imporant in the Critique of Practical Reason, and quite important in the Critique of Judgement, among a number of Kant's other major works. In the Critique of Pure Reason and Prolegomena, though, he's mainly concerned with clearing room for their thinkability, showing that they aren't logically contradictory or inconsistent with his system (in fact, that his system requires us to think of noumena as the correlate of phenomena) while denying that we can have knowledge of them.
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>>7688303
To get a good grasp of Kant's concepts of space and time is really quite difficult. He differentiates between concepts, intuitions, representation, and much more, in very precise, elaborate, and sometimes overlapping terminology.

To begin with, everything appearing to consciousness is a representation. What of? Of "things-in-themselves," as he calls them, which can never be directly "present" to us or "immediately" known. So Kant judges that something indeed exists "independent of" the mind, setting its limits. But obviously the mind can never "know" this side of things... things as they "really" are "when minds aren't around," so to speak.

The closest we get to some immediate or "unmediated" idea of things is the sensory "intuition" of something. For example, we "see" something: A waterfall. But of course we can only see it or "make sense of it" through the elaborate structure of our eyes. So the waterfall is already "represented": by our eyes, but also by a whole structure of "intuitions" and formal "concepts." The same for every sensibly intuited thing. The waterfall is "synthesized" out of this portfolio of representations.

(Note: Kant does not mean this in the psychological sense of constructions of "neurons" or "instincts," which only begs the question of what these "things" are. He is trying to infer the logical conditions for the very possibility of any "experience." By carefully analyzing experiences or appearances, he attempts to deduce what must already be entailed for all of them to be possible. Hence a priori, or what is prior to the experience.)

Now, Kant identifies a number of primary, irreducible concepts (such as "substance" and "cause") that must always already be part of an experience. He calls these "categorical" concepts or "categories." We might say that "space" and "time" are among these irreducible categories. But, in fact, it is a little more difficult than that. Space and time are even more fundamental.

Kant argues that we cannot conceive of any object without thinking of it "outside" of us "in" space, for example. Yet we can, sort of, think of space without things "in" it: Pure "outer space." Thus space cannot be abstracted from the empirical idea of "things"; we cannot start with "things," then imagine "space." Instead, things are "represented," mediated, and formed through spatialization: the empirical theory that ideas are all caused by sensations "from outside" presupposes this "outside."
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>>7692576

So space and time are the very deepest "forms" of the very possibility of anything "appearing" to us. Personally, I tend to picture them as the (0,0) ("origin point") of a Cartesian grid that opens up into the coordinate system in which everything can appear and also be measured. I can only repeat, Kant is not easy. He is attempting to restructure the modern view of mind to resolve problems with Descartes' rationalism, Hume's empiricism, Newtonian determinism, Enlightenment freedom, and more. So don't be discouraged if it seems hard to "get."
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>>7692576
>>7692580

Yes! This anon very, very much gets it.

One thing that was hard for me to grasp about Kant's system was the claim that spatial things like waterfalls, houses, food, the moon and stars, really exist outside of your skull - that appearances aren't merely two-dimensional visual perceptions that mimic depth like a movie screen, but that spatial perception actually includes real depth that your body navigates through, just as spatial perception is also built up from sensations of touch and hearing and smell; AND that to be "real," to be "actual," to "exist," is not to be a thing-in-itself. In other words, that to exist in space simply *is* to be represented externally, via outer sense; that an object can be wholly outside of your skull without being independent of your mind.
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