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History Of Modern Philosophy by Richard Falckenberg

Part 7 out of 13

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of Leibnitz, for which antitheses (_e.g._, sensation and thought, feeling
and cognition, good and evil, duty and inclination) fade into mere
differences of degree.

[Footnote 1: The following have done especially valuable service in the
investigation of the development of Kant's doctrine: Paulsen (_Versuch
einer Entwickelungsgeschichte der Kantischen Erkenntnisstheorie_, 1875),
B. Erdmann, Vaihinger, and Windelband. Besides Hume and Leibnitz, Newton,
Locke, Shaftesbury, Rousseau, and Wolff exercised an important influence
on Kant.]

In the beginning of this chapter we have indicated how the new ideal of
knowledge, under whose banner Kant brought about a reform of philosophy,
grew out of the conflict between the rationalistic (dogmatic) and the
empirical (skeptical) systems. This combines the Baconian ideal of the
extension of knowledge with the Cartesian ideal of certainty in knowledge.
It is synthetic judgments alone which extend knowledge, while analytic
judgments are explicative merely.[1] _A priori_ judgments alone are
perfectly certain, absolutely universal, and necessarily valid; while _a
posteriori_ judgments are subjectively valid merely, lack necessity, and,
at best, yield only relative universality.[2] All analytic judgments are _a
priori_, all empirical or _a posteriori_ judgments are synthetic. Between
the two lies the object of Kant's search. Do _synthetic judgments a priori_
exist, and how are they possible?

[Footnote 1: "All bodies are extended" is an analytic judgment; "all bodies
possess weight," a synthetic judgment. The former explicates the concept
of the subject by bringing into notice an idea already contained in it and
belonging to the definition as a part thereof; it is based on the law of
contradiction: an unextended body is a self-contradictory concept. The
latter, on the contrary, goes beyond the concept of the subject and adds
a predicate which had not been thought therein. It is experience which
teaches us that weight is joined to matter, a fact which cannot be derived
from the concept of matter. Almost all mathematical principles are
synthetic, and here, as will be shown, it is not experience but "pure
intuition" which permits us to go beyond the concept and add a new mark
to it.]

[Footnote 2: The Scholastics applied the term _a priori_ to knowledge from
causes (from that which precedes), and _a posteriori_ to knowledge from
effects. Kant, following Leibnitz and Lambert, uses the terms to designate
the antithesis, knowledge from reason and knowledge from experience. An _a
priori_ judgment is a judgment obtained without the aid of experience. When
the principle from which it is derived is also independent of experience it
is absolutely _a priori_, otherwise it is relatively _a priori_.]

Two sciences discuss the _how_, and a third the _if_ of such judgments,
which, at the same time, are ampliative and absolutely universal and
necessary. The first two sciences are pure mathematics and pure natural
science, of which the former is protected against doubt concerning its
legitimacy by its evident character, and the latter, by the constant
possibility of verification in experience; each, moreover, can point to
the continuous course of its development. All this is absent in the third
science, metaphysics, as science of the suprasensible, and to its great
disadvantage. Experiential verification is in the nature of things denied
to a presumptive knowledge of that which is beyond experience; it lacks
evidence to such an extent that there is scarcely a principle to be found
to which all metaphysicians assent, much less a metaphysical text-book
to compare with Euclid; there is so little continuous advance that it is
rather true that the later comers are likely to overthrow all that their
predecessors have taught. In metaphysics, therefore, which, it must be
confessed, is actual as a natural tendency, the question is not, as in
the other two sciences, concerning the grounds of its legitimacy, but
concerning this legitimacy itself. Mathematics and pure physics form
synthetic judgments _a priori_, and metaphysics does the same. But the
principles of the two former are unchallenged, while those of the third
are not. In the former case the subject for investigation is, Whence this
authority? in the latter case, Is she thus authorized?

Thus the main question, How are synthetic judgments _a priori_ possible?
divides into the subordinate questions, How is pure mathematics possible?
How is pure natural science possible, and, How is metaphysics (in two
senses: metaphysics in general, and metaphysics as science) possible? The
Transcendental _Aesthetic_ (the critique of sensibility or the faculty
of intuition) answers the first of these questions; the Transcendental
_Analytic_ (the critique of the understanding), the second; and the
Transcendental _Dialectic_ (the critique of "reason" in the narrower sense)
and the Transcendental _Doctrine of Method (Methodenlehre)_, the third. The
Analytic and the Dialectic are the two parts of the Transcendental "Logic"
(critique of the faculty of thought), which, together with the Aesthetic,
forms the Transcendental "Doctrine of Elements" _(Elementarlehre)_, in
contrast to the Doctrine of Method. The _Critique of Pure Reason_ follows
this scheme of subordinate division, while the _Prolegomena_ co-ordinates
all four parts in the manner first mentioned.

Let us anticipate the answers. Pure mathematics is possible, because there
are pure or _a priori intuitions_ (space and time), and pure natural
science or the metaphysics of phenomena, because there are _a priori
concepts_ (categories) _and principles_ of the pure understanding.
Metaphysics as a presumptive science of the suprasensible has been possible
in the form of unsuccessful attempts, because there are _Ideas_ or concepts
of reason which point beyond experience and look as though knowable objects
were given through them; but as real science it is not possible, because
the application of the categories is restricted to the limits of
experience, while the objects thought through the Ideas cannot be
sensuously given, and all assumed knowledge of them becomes involved in
irresolvable contradictions (antinomies). On the other hand, a science is
possible and necessary to teach the correct use of the categories, which
may be applied to phenomena alone, and of the Ideas, which may be applied
only to our knowledge of things (and our volition), and to determine the
origin and the limits of our knowledge--that is to say, a transcendental
philosophy. In regard to metaphysics (knowledge from pure reason), then,
this is the conclusion reached: Rejection of transcendent metaphysics (that
which goes beyond experience), recognition and development of immanent
metaphysics (that which remains within the limits of possible experience).
It is not possible as a metaphysic of things in themselves; it is possible
as a metaphysic of nature (of the totality of phenomena), and as a
metaphysic of knowledge (critique of reason).

The interests of the reason are not exhausted, however, by the question,
What can we know? but include two further questions, What ought we to do?
and, What may we hope? Thus to the metaphysics of nature there is added
a metaphysics of morals, and to the critique of theoretical reason, a
critique of practical reason or of the will, together with a critique of
religious belief. For even if a "knowledge" of the suprasensible is denied
to us, yet "practical" grounds are not wanting for a sufficiently certain
"conviction" concerning God, freedom, and immortality.

After carrying the question of the possibility of synthetic judgments _a
priori_ from the knowledge of nature over to the knowledge of our duty,
Kant raises it, in the third place, in regard to our judgment concerning
the subjective and objective purposiveness of things, or concerning their
beauty and their perfection, and adds to his critique of the intellect
and the will a critique of the faculty of aesthetic and teleological

The Kantian philosophy accordingly falls into three parts, one theoretical,
one practical (and religious), one aesthetic and teleological.

* * * * *

Before advancing to our account of the first of these parts, a few
preliminary remarks are indispensable concerning the presuppositions
involved in Kant's critical work and on the method which he pursues. The
presuppositions are partly psychological, partly (as the classification of
the forms of judgment and inference, and the twofold division of judgments)
logical, either in the formal or the transcendental sense, and partly
metaphysical (as the thing in itself). Kant takes the first of these from
the psychology of his time, by combining the Wolffian classification of the
faculties with that of Tetens, and thus obtains six different faculties:
lower (sensuous) and higher (intellectual) faculties of cognition, of
feeling, and of appetition; or sensibility (the capacity for receiving
representations through the way in which we are affected by objects),
understanding (the faculty of producing representations spontaneously and
of connecting them); the sensuous feelings of pleasure and pain, taste;
desire, and will. The understanding in the wide sense is equivalent to the
higher faculty of cognition, and divides further into understanding in the
stricter sense (faculty of concepts), judgment (faculty of judging), and
reason (faculty of inference). Of these the first gives laws to the faculty
of cognition or to nature, the second laws to taste, and the third laws to
the will.

The most important of the fundamental assumptions concerns the relation,
the nature, and the mission of the two faculties of cognition. These do
not differ in degree, through the possession of greater or less
distinctness--for there are sensuous representations which are distinct and
intellectual ones which are not so--but specifically: Sensibility is the
faculty of intuitions, understanding the faculty of concepts. Intuitions
are particular, concepts general representations. The former relate to
objects directly, the latter only indirectly (through the mediation of
other representations). In intuition the mind is receptive, in conception
it acts spontaneously. "Through intuitions objects are _given_ to us;
through concepts they are _thought_." It results from this that neither of
the two faculties is of itself sufficient for the attainment of knowledge,
for cognition is objective thinking, the determination of objects, the
unifying combination or elaboration of a given manifold, the forming of a
material content. Rationalists and empiricists alike have been deceived
in regard to the necessity for co-operation between the senses and the
understanding. Sensibility furnishes the material manifold, which of itself
it is not able to form, while the understanding gives the unifying form, to
which of itself it cannot furnish a content. "Intuitions without concepts
are _blind_" (formless, unintelligible), "concepts without intuitions are
_empty_" (without content). In the one case, form and order are wanting; in
the other, the material to be formed. The two faculties are thrown back on
each other, and knowledge can arise only from their union.

A certain degree of form is attained in sense, it is true, since the chaos
of sensations is ordered under the "forms of intuition," space and time,
which are an original possession of the intuiting subject, but this is
not sufficient, without the aid of the understanding, for the genesis of
knowledge. In view of the _a priori_ nature of space and time, though
without detraction from their intuitive character (they are immediate
particular representations), we may assign pure sensibility to the higher
faculty of cognition and speak of an intuiting reason.

The forms of intuition and of thought come from within, they lie ready in
the mind _a priori_, though not as completed representations. They are
functions, necessary actions of the soul, for the execution of which a
stimulus from without, through sensations, is necessary, but which, when
once this is given, the soul brings forth spontaneously. The external
impulse merely gives the soul the occasion for such productive acts, while
their grounds and laws are found in its own nature. In this sense Kant
terms them "originally acquired," and in the Introduction to the _Critique
of Pure Reason_ declares that although it is indubitable that "all our
knowledge begins _with_ experience (impressions of sense), yet it does not
all arise _from_ experience." That a representation or cognition is _a
priori_[1] does not mean that it precedes experience in time, but that
(apart from the merely exciting, non-productive stimulation through
impressions already mentioned) it is independent of all experience, that it
is not derived or borrowed from experience.

[Footnote 1: The terms _a priori_ representation and pure representation
(concept, intuition) are equivalent; but in judgments, on the other hand,
there is a distinction. A judgment is _a priori_ when the connection takes
place independently of experience, no matter whether the concepts connected
are _a priori_ or not. If the former is the case the _a priori_ judgment is
pure (mixed with nothing empirical); if the latter, it is mixed.]

The material of intuition and thought is given to the soul, received by
it; it arises through the action of objects upon the senses, and is always
empirical. Intuition is the only organ of reality; in sensation the
presence of a real object as the cause of the sensation is directly
revealed. When Kant's transcendental idealism was placed by a reviewer on a
level with the empirical idealism of Berkeley, which denies the existence
of the external world, he distinctly asserted that it had never entered
his mind to question the reality of external things. Further, after the
existence of real things affecting the senses had been transformed in
his mind from a basis of the investigation into an object of inquiry,
he endeavored to defend this assumption (which at first he had naively
borrowed from the realism of pre-scientific thought) by arguments, but
without any satisfactory result.[1]

[Footnote 1: The task of confirming the existence of things in themselves
changes under his hands into another, that of proving the existence of
external phenomena. "That external objects are real as representations"
Berkeley had never disputed.]

On the basis of the inseparability of sensibility and understanding the
ideal of knowledge--an extension of knowledge to be attained by _a priori_
means (p. 333)--experiences a remarkable addition in the position that the
rational synthesis thus obtained must be a knowledge of reality, must be
applied to matter given in intuition. To the question, "How are synthetic
judgments _a priori possible_?" is joined a second equally legitimate
inquiry, "How do they become _objectively valid_, or applicable to objects
of experience?" The principle from which their validity is proved--they are
applicable to objects of experience because _without them experience would
not be possible_, because they are _conditions of experience_--like the
criterion of apriority (strict universality and necessity), is one of the
noetic assumptions of the critical theory.[1]

[Footnote 1: Cf. Vaihinger, _Kommentar_, i. pp. 425-430.]

Inasmuch as its investigation relates to the conditions of experience the
Kantian criticism follows a method which it itself terms _transcendental_.
Heretofore, when the metaphysical method had been adopted, the object had
been the suprasensible; and when knowledge had been made the object of
investigation, the method followed had been empirical, psychological. Kant
had the right to consider himself the creator of noetics, for he showed it
the transcendental point of view. Knowledge is an object of experience, but
its conditions are not. The object is to explain knowledge, not merely to
describe it psychologically,--to establish a new science of knowledge from
principles, from pure reason. That which lies beyond experience is
sealed from our thought; that which lies on this side of it is still
uninvestigated, though capable and worthy of investigation, and in
extreme need thereof. Criticism forbids the _transcendent_ use of reason
(transcending experience); it permits, demands, and itself exercises the
_transcendental_[1] use of it, which explains an experiential object,
knowledge, from its conditions, which are not empirically given.

[Footnote A: Kant applies the term _transcendental_ to the knowledge (the
discovery, the proof) of the _a priori_ factor and its relation to objects
of experience. Unfortunately he often uses the same word not only to
designate the _a priori_ element itself, but also as a synonym for
transcendent. In all three cases its opposite is _empirical_, namely,
empirico-psychological investigation by observation in distinction from
noetical investigation from principles; empirical origin in distinction
from an origin in pure reason, and empirical use in distinction from
application beyond the limits of experience.]

There is, apparently, a contradiction between the empiristic result of the
Critique of Reason (the limitation of knowledge to objects of experience)
and its rationalistic proofs (which proceed metaphysically, not
empirically), and, in fact, a considerable degree of opposition really
exists. Kant argues in a metaphysical way that there can be no metaphysics.
This contradiction is solved by the distinction which has been mentioned
between that which is beyond, and that which lies within, the boundary of
experience. That metaphysic is forbidden which on the objective side soars
beyond experience, but that pure rational knowledge is permissible and
necessary which develops from principles the grounds of experiential
knowledge existing in the subject. In the Kantian school, however, these
complementary elements,--empirical result, transcendental or metaphysical,
properly speaking, pro-physical method,--were divorced, and the one
emphasized, favored, and further developed at the expense of the other.
The empiricists hold to the result, while they either weaken or completely
misunderstand the rationalism of the method: the _a priori_ factor, says
Fries, was not reached by _a priori_, but by _a posteriori_, means, and
there is no other way by which it could have been reached. The constructive
thinkers, Fichte and his successors, adopt and continue the metaphysical
method, but reject the empirical result. Fichte's aim is directed to
a system of necessary, unconscious processes of reason, among which,
rejecting the thing in itself, he includes sensation. According to
Schelling nature itself is _a priori_, a condition of consciousness. This
discrepancy between foundation and result continues in an altered form even
among contemporary thinkers--as a discussion whether the "main purpose"
of Criticism is to be found in the limitation of knowledge to possible
experience, or the establishment of _a priori_ elements--though many, in
adherence to Kant's own view, maintain that the metaphysics of knowledge
and of phenomena (immanent rationalism) is the only legitimate metaphysics.

%1. Theory of Knowledge.

(a) The Pure Intuitions (Transcendental Aesthetic).%--The first part of the
Critique of Reason, the Transcendental Aesthetic, lays down the position
that _space and time_ are not independent existences, not real beings, and
not properties or relations which would belong to things in themselves
though they were not intuited, but _forms of our intuition_, which have
their basis in the subjective constitution of our, the human, mind. If we
separate from sensuous intuition all that the understanding thinks in it
through its concepts, and all that belongs to sensation, these two forms of
intuition remain, which may be termed pure intuitions, since they can be
considered apart from all sensation. As subjective _conditions_ (lying in
the nature of the subject) through which alone a thing can become an object
of intuition for us, they precede all empirical intuitions or are
_a priori_.

Space and time are neither substantial receptacles which contain all
that is real nor orders inhering in things in themselves, but forms of
intuition. Now all our representations are either pure or empirical in
their origin, and either intuitive or conceptual in character. Kant
advances four proofs for the position that space and time are not empirical
and not concepts, but pure intuitions: (1) Time is not an empirical
concept which has been abstracted from experience. For the coexistence or
succession of phenomena, _i.e._, their existence at the same time or at
different times (from which, as many believe, the representation of time
is abstracted), itself presupposes time--a coexistence or succession is
possible only in time. It is no less false that space is abstracted from
the empirical space relations of external phenomena, their existence
outside and beside one another, or in different places, for it is
impossible to represent relative situation except in space. Therefore
experience does not make space and time possible; but space and time first
of all make experience possible, the one outer, the other inner experience.
They are postulates of perception, not abstractions from it. (2) Time is a
necessary representation _a priori_. We can easily think all phenomena away
from it, but we cannot remove time itself in view of phenomena in general;
we can think time without phenomena, but not phenomena without time. The
same is true of space in reference to external objects. Both are conditions
of the possibility of phenomena. (3) Time is not a discursive or general
concept. For there is but one time. And different times do not precede the
one time as the constituent parts of which it is made up, but are mere
limitations of it; the part is possible only through the whole. In the same
way the various spaces are only parts of one and the same space, and can
be thought in it alone. But a representation which can be given only by
a single object is a particular representation or an intuition. Because,
therefore, of the oneness of space and time, the representation of each
is an intuition. The _a priori_, immediate intuition of the one space is
entirely different from the empirical, general conception of space, which
is abstracted from the various spaces. (4) Determinate periods of time
arise by limitation of the one, fundamental time. Consequently this
original time must be unlimited or infinite, and the representation of it
must be an intuition, not a concept. Time contains in itself an endless
number of representations (its parts, times), but this is never the
case with a generic concept, which, indeed, is contained as a partial
representation in an endless number of representations (those of the
individuals having the same name), and, consequently, comprehends them all
under itself, but which never contains them in itself. The general concept
horse is contained in each particular representation of a horse as a
general characteristic, and that of justice in each representation of a
definite just act; time, however, is not contained in the different times,
but they are contained in it. Similarly the relation of infinite space to
the finite spaces is not the logical relation of a concept to examples of
it, but the intuitive relation of an unlimited whole to its limited parts.

The _Prolegomena_ employs as a fifth proof for the intuitive character of
space, an argument which had already appeared in the essay _On the Ultimate
Ground of the Distinction of Positions in Space_. There are certain spatial
distinctions which can be grasped by intuition alone, and which are
absolutely incapable of comprehension through the understanding--for
example, those of right and left, above and below, before and behind. No
logical marks can be given for the distinction between the object and its
image in the mirror, or between the right ear and the left. The complete
description of a right hand must, in all respects (quality, proportionate
position of parts, size of the whole), hold for the left as well;
but, despite the complete similarity, the one hand cannot be exactly
super-imposed on the other; the glove of the one cannot be worn on the
other. This difference in direction, which has significance only when
viewed from a definite point, and the impossibility mentioned of a
congruence between an object (right hand) and its reflected image (left
hand) can be understood only by intuition; they must be seen and felt, and
cannot be made clear through concepts, and, consequently, can never be
explained to a being which lacks the intuition of space.

In the "transcendental" exposition of space and time Kant follows this
"metaphysical" exposition, which had to prove their non-empirical, and
non-discursive, hence their _a priori_ and intuitive, character, with
the proof that only such an explanation of space and time could make it
conceivable how synthetic cognitions _a priori_ can arise from them. The
principles of mathematics are of this kind. The synthetic character of
geometrical truths is explained by the intuitive nature of space, their
apodictic character by its apriority, and their objective reality or
applicability to empirical objects by the fact that space is the condition
of (external) perception. The like is true of arithmetic and time.

If space were a mere concept, no proposition could be derived from it which
should go beyond the concept and extend our knowledge of its properties.
The possibility of such extension or synthesis in mathematics depends on
the fact that spatial concepts can always be presented or "constructed" in
intuition. The geometrical axiom that in the triangle the sum of two sides
is greater than the third is derived from intuition, by describing the
triangle in imagination or, actually, on the board. Here the object is
given through the cognition and not before it.--If space and time were
empirical representations the knowledge obtained from them would lack
necessity, which, as a matter of fact, it possesses in a marked degree.
While experience teaches us only that something is thus or so, and not that
it could not be otherwise, the axioms, (space has only three dimensions,
time only one; only one straight line is possible between two points),
nay, all the propositions of mathematics are strictly universal and
apodictically certain: we are entirely relieved from the necessity of
measuring all triangles in the world in order to find out whether the sum
of their angles is equal to two right angles, and we do not need, as in the
case of judgments of experience, to add the limitation, so far as it is yet
known there are no exceptions to this rule. The apriority is the _ratio
essendi_ of the strict necessity involved in the "it must be so" _(des
Soseinmuessens_), while the latter is the _ratio cognoscendi_ of the former.
Now since the necessity of mathematical judgments can only be explained
through the ideality of space, this doctrine is perfectly certain, not
merely a probable hypothesis.--The validity of mathematical principles for
all objects of perception, finally, is based on the fact that they are
rules under which alone experience is possible for us. It should be
mentioned, further, that the conceptions of change and motion (change of
place) are possible only through and in the representation of time. No
concept could make intelligible the possibility of change, that is, of the
connection of contradictory predicates in one and the same thing, but the
intuition of succession easily succeeds in accomplishing it.

The argument is followed by conclusions and explanations based upon it;
(1) Space is the form of the outer, time of the inner, sense. Through the
outer sense external objects are given to us, and through the inner sense
our own inner states. But since all representations, whether they have
external things for their objects or not, belong in themselves, as mental
determinations, to our inner state, time is the formal condition of all
phenomena in general, directly of internal (psychical) phenomena, and,
thereby, indirectly of external phenomena also. (2) The validity of the
relations of space and time cognizable _a priori_ is established for all
objects of possible experience, but is limited to these. They are valid
for _all phenomena_ (for all things which at any time may be given to our
senses), but only for these, not for things as they are _in themselves_.
They have "empirical reality, but, at the same time, transcendental
ideality." As external phenomena all things are beside one another in
space, and all phenomena whatever are in time and of necessity under
temporal relations; in regard to all things which can occur in our
experience, and in so far as they can occur, space and time are
objectively, therefore empirically, real. But they do not possess absolute
reality (neither subsistent reality nor the reality of inherence); for if
we abstract from our sensuous intuition both vanish, and, apart from the
subject (_N.B._, the transcendental subject, concerning which more below),
they are naught. It is only from man's point of view that we can speak
of space, and of extended, moveable, changeable things; for we can know
nothing concerning the intuitions of other thinking beings, we have no
means of discovering whether they are bound by the same conditions which
limit our intuitions, and which for us are universally valid. (3) Nothing
which is intuited in space is a thing in itself. What we call external
objects are nothing but mere representations of our sensibility, whose
true correlative, the _thing in itself_, cannot be known by ever so deep
penetration into the phenomenon; such properties as belong to things in
themselves can never be given to us through the senses. Similarly nothing
that is intuited in time is a thing in itself, so that we intuit ourselves
only as we appear to ourselves, and not as we are.

The merely empirical reality of space and time, the limitation of their
validity to phenomena, leaves the certainty of knowledge within the limits
of experience intact; for we are equally certain of it, whether these forms
necessarily belong to things in themselves, or only to our intuitions
of things. The assertion of their absolute reality, on the other hand,
involves us in sheer absurdities (that is, it necessitates the assumption
of two infinite nonentities which exist, but without being anything real,
merely in order to comprehend all reality, and on one of which even our own
existence would be dependent), in view of which the origin of so peculiar
a theory as the idealism of Berkeley appears intelligible. The critical
theory of space and time is so far from being identical with, or akin to,
the theory of Berkeley, that it furnishes the best and only defense against
the latter. If anyone assumes the absolute or transcendental reality of
these forms, it is impossible for him to prevent everything, including even
our own existence, from being changed thereby into mere illusion. But
the critical philosopher is far from degrading bodies to mere illusion;
external phenomena are just as real for him as internal phenomena, though
only as phenomena, it is true, as (possible) representations.

Phenomenon and illusion are not the same. The transcendental distinction
between phenomena and things in themselves must not be confused with the
distinction common to ordinary life and to physics, in accordance with
which we call the rainbow a mere appearance (better, illusion), but the
combination of sun and rain which gives rise to this illusion the thing
in itself, as that which in universal experience and in all different
positions with respect to the senses, is thus and not otherwise determined
in intuition, or that which essentially belongs to the intuition of the
object, and is valid for every human sensibility (in antithesis to that
which only contingently belongs to it, and is valid only for a special
position or organization of this or that sense). Similarly an object always
appears to grow smaller as its distance increases, while in itself it is
and remains of some fixed size. And this use of words is perfectly
correct, in the _physical or empirical_ sense of "in itself"; but in the
_transcendental_ sense the raindrops, also, together with their form and
size, are themselves mere phenomena, the "in itself" of which remains
entirely unknown to us. Kant, moreover, does not wish to see the
subjectivity of the forms of intuition placed on a level with the
subjectivity of sensations or explained by this, though he accepts it as
a fact long established. The sensations of color, of tone, of temperature
are, no doubt, like the representation of space in that they belong only to
the subjective constitution of the sensibility, and can be attributed to
objects only in relation to our senses. But the great difference between
the two is that these sense qualities may be different in different persons
(the color of the rose may seem different to each eye), or may fail to
harmonize with any human sense; that they are not _a priori_ in the same
strict sense as space and time, and consequently afford no knowledge of the
objects of possible experience independently of perception; and that they
are connected with the phenomenon only as the contingently added effects of
a particular organization, while space, as the condition of external
objects, necessarily belongs to the phenomenon or intuition of them. _It is
through space alone that it is possible for things to be external objects
for us_. The subjectivity of sensation is individual, while that of space
and time is general or universal to mankind; the former is empirical,
individually different, and contingent, the latter _a priori_ and
necessary. Space alone, not sensation, is a _conditio sine qua non_ of
external perception. Space and time are the sole _a priori_ elements of
the sensibility; all other sensuous concepts, even motion and change,
presuppose perception; the movable in space and the succession of
properties in an existing thing are empirical data.

In confirmation of the theory that all objects of the senses are mere
phenomena, the fact is adduced that (with the exception of the will and the
feelings, which are not cognitions) nothing is given us through the senses
but representations of relations, while a thing in itself cannot be known
by mere relations. The phenomenon is a sum total of mere relations. In
regard to matter we know only extension, motion, and the laws of this
motion or forces (attraction, repulsion, impenetrability), but all these
are merely relations of the thing to something, else, that is, external
relations. Where is the inner side which underlies this exterior, and
which belongs to the object in itself? This is never to be found in the
phenomenon, and no matter how far the observation and analysis of nature
may advance (a work with unlimited horizons!) they reach nothing but
portions of space occupied by matter and effects which matter exercises,
that is, nothing beyond that which is comparatively internal, and which,
in its turn, consists of external relations. The absolutely inner side
of matter is a mere fancy; and if the complaint that the "inner side" of
things is concealed from us is to mean that we do not comprehend what
the things which appear to us may be in themselves, it is unjust and
irrational, for it demands that we should be able to intuit without
senses, in other words, that we should be other than men. The transcendent
questions concerning the noumenon of things are unanswerable; we know
ourselves, even, only as phenomena! A phenomenon consists in nothing but
the relation of something in general to the senses.

It is indubitable _that_ something corresponds to phenomena, which,
by affecting our sensibility, occasions sensations in us, and thereby
phenomena. The very word, the very concept, "phenomenon", indicates a
relation to something which is not phenomenon, to an object not dependent
on the sensibility. _What_ this may be continues hidden from us, for
knowledge is impossible without intuition. Things in themselves are
unknowable. Nevertheless the idea (it must be confessed, the entirely empty
idea) of this "transcendental object", as an indeterminate somewhat = _x_
which underlies phenomena, is not only allowable, but, as a limiting
concept, unavoidable in order to confine the pretensions of sense to the
only field which is accessible to it, that is, to the field of phenomena.

The inference "space and time are nothing but representations and
representations are in us, therefore space and time as well as all
phenomena in them, bodies with their forces and motions, are in us," does
not accurately express Kant's position, for he might justly reply that,
according to him, bodies as phenomena are in different parts in space from
that which we assign to ourselves, and thus without us; that space is the
form of external intuition, and through it external objects arise for us
from sensations; but that, in regard to the things in themselves which
affect us, we are entirely ignorant whether they are within or without us.

It can easily be shown by literal quotations that there were distinct
tendencies in Kant, especially in the first edition of his principal
work, toward a radical idealism which doubts or denies not merely the
cognizability, but also the existence of objects external to the subject
and its representations, and which degrades the thing in itself to a mere
thought in us, or completely does away with it (_e.g._, "The representation
of an object as a thing in general is not only insufficient, but, ...
independently of empirical conditions, in itself contradictory "). But
these expressions indicate only a momentary inclination toward such a view,
not a binding avowal of it, and they are outweighed by those in which
idealism is more or less energetically rejected. That which according to
Kant _exists outside the representation of the individual_ is twofold: (1)
the unknown things in themselves with their problematical characteristics,
as the ground of phenomena; (2) the phenomena "themselves" with their
knowable immanent laws, and their relations in space and time, as possible
representations. When I turn my glance away from the rose its redness
vanishes, since this predicate belongs to it only in so far and so long
as it acts in the light on my visual apparatus. What, then, is left? That
thing in itself, of course, which, when it appears to me, calls forth in me
the intuition of the rose. But there is still something else remaining--the
phenomenon of the rose, with its size, its form, and its motion in the
wind. For these are predicates which must be attributed to the phenomenon
itself as the object of my representation. If the rose, as determined in
space and time, vanished when I turned my head away, it could not, unless
intuited by a subject, experience or exert effects in space and time, could
not lose its leaves in the wind and strew the ground with its petals.
Perception and thought inform me not merely concerning events of which I am
a witness, but also of others which have occurred, or which will occur, in
my absence. The process of stripping the leaves from the rose has actually
taken place as a phenomenon and does not first become real by my subsequent
representation of it or inference to it. The things and events of the
phenomenal world exist both before and after my perception, and are
something distinct from my subjective and momentary representations of
them. The space and time, however, in which they exist and happen are
not furnished by the intuiting individual, but by the supra-individual,
_transcendental consciousness_ or generic reason of the race. The
phenomenon thus stands midway between its objective ground (the absolute
thing in itself) and the subject, whose common product it is, as a relative
thing in itself, as a reality which is independent of the contingent and
changing representation of the individual, empirical subject, which is
dependent for its form on the transcendental subject, and which is the only
reality accessible to us, yet entirely valid for us. The phenomenal world
is not a contingent and individual phenomenon, but one necessary for all
beings organized as we are, a phenomenon for humanity. My representations
are not the phenomena themselves, but images and signs through which I
cognize phenomena, _i.e._, real things as they are for me and for every man
(not as they are in themselves). The reality of phenomena consists in the
fact that they can be perceived by men, and the objective validity of my
knowledge of them in the fact that every man must agree in it. The laws
which the understanding (not the individual understanding!) imposes upon
nature hold for phenomena, because they hold for every man. Objectivity is
universal validity. If the world of phenomena which is intuited and known
by us wears a different appearance from the world of things in themselves,
this does not justify us in declaring it to be mere seeming and dreaming; a
dream which all dream together, and which all must dream, is not a dream,
but reality. As we must represent the world> so it is, though for us, of
course, and not in itself.

Many places in Kant's works seem to argue against the intermediate position
here ascribed to the world of phenomena--according to which it is less than
things in themselves and more than subjective representation--which, since
they explain the phenomenon as a mere representation, leave room for only
two factors (on the one hand, the thing in itself = that in the thing which
cannot be represented; on the other, the thing for me = my representation
of the thing). In fact, the distinction between the phenomenon "itself"
and the representation which the individual now has of it and now does not
have, is far from being everywhere adhered to with desirable clearness; and
wherever it is impossible to substitute that which has been represented
and that which may be represented or possible intuitions for "mere
representations in me," we must acknowledge that there is a departure
from the standpoint which is assumed in some places with the greatest
distinctness. The latter finds unequivocal expression, among other places,
in the "Analogies of Experience" and the "Deduction of the Pure Concepts
of the Understanding," Sec. 2, No. 4 (first edition). The second of these
passages speaks of one and the same universal experience, in which all
perceptions are represented in thoroughgoing and regular connection, and of
the thoroughgoing affinity of phenomena as the basis of the possibility
of the association of representations. This affinity is ascribed to the
objects of the senses, not to the representations, whose association is
rather the result of the affinity, and not to the things in themselves, in
regard to which the understanding has no legislative power.

The relation between the thing in itself and the phenomenon is also
variable. Now they are regarded as entirely heterogeneous (that which can
never be intuited exists in a mode opposed to that of the intuited and
intuitable), and now as analogous to each other (non-intuitable properties
of the thing in itself correspond to the intuitable characteristics of the
phenomenon). The former is the case when it is said that phenomena are in
space and time, while things in themselves are not; that in the first of
these classes natural causation rules, and in the second freedom; that
in the one-conditioned existence alone is found, in the other
unconditioned.[1] But just as often things in themselves and phenomena are
conceived as similar to one another, as two sides of the same object,[2]
of which one, like the counter-earth of the Pythagoreans, always remains
turned away from us, while the other is turned toward us, but does not
reveal the true being of the object. According to this each particular
thing, state, relation, and event in the world of phenomena would have its
real counterpart in the noumenal sphere: un-extended roses in themselves
would lie back of extended roses, certain non-temporal processes back of
their growth and decay, intelligible relations back of their relations in
space. This is approximately the relation of the two conceptions as in part
taught by Lotze himself, in part represented by him as taught by Kant.
Herbart's principle, "So much seeming, so much indication of being" (_wie
viel Schein so viel Hindeutung aufs Sein_), might also be cited in
this connection. That which continually impelled Kant, in spite of his
proclamation of the unknowableness of things in themselves, to form ideas
about their character, was the moral interest, but this sometimes threw its
influence in favor of their commensurability with phenomena and sometimes
in the opposite scale. For in his ethics Kant needs the intelligible
character or man as noumenon, and must assume as many men in themselves (to
be consistent, then, in general, as many beings in themselves) as there are
in the world of phenomena. But for practical reasons, again, the causality
of the man in himself must be thought of as entirely different from, and
opposed to, the mechanical causality of the sense world. Kant's judgment
is, also, no more stable concerning the value of the knowledge of the
suprasensible, which is denied to us. "I do not _need_ to know what
things in themselves may be, because a thing can never be presented to me
otherwise than as a phenomenon." And yet a natural and ineradicable need of
the reason to obtain some conviction in regard to the other world is said
to underlie the abortive attempts of metaphysics; and Kant himself uses
all his efforts to secure to the practical reason the satisfaction of this
need, though he has denied it to the speculative reason, and to make good
the gap in knowledge by faith. From the theoretical standpoint an extension
of knowledge beyond the limits of phenomena appears impossible, but
unnecessary; from the practical standpoint it is, to a certain extent,
possible and indispensable.

[Footnote 1: Kant's conjectures concerning a common ground of material and
mental phenomena, and those concerning the common root of sensibility and
understanding, show the same tendency. On the one hand, duality, on the
other, unity.]

[Footnote 2: "Phenomenon, which always has _two sides_, the one when the
object in itself is considered (apart from the way in which it is intuited,
and just because of which fact its character always remains problematical),
the other when we regard the form of the intuition of this object, which
must be sought not in the object in itself, but in the subject to whom the
object appears, while it nevertheless actually and necessarily belongs
to the phenomenon of _this object_." "This predicate "--_sc_., spatial
quality, extension--"is attributed to things only in so far as _they_
appear to us."]

There is, then, a threefold distinction to be made: (1) _Things in
themselves_, which can never be the object of our knowledge, because our
forms of intuition are not valid for them. (2) _Phenomena_, things for us,
nature or the totality of that which either is or, at least, may be the
object of our knowledge (here belong the possible inhabitants of the moon,
the magnetic matter which pervades all bodies, and the forces of attraction
and repulsion, though the first have never been observed, and the second is
not perceptible on account of the coarseness of our senses, and the
last, because forces in general are not perceptible; nature comprehends
everything whose existence "is connected with our perceptions in a possible
experience"[1]). (3) _Our representations_ of phenomena, _i.e._, that of
the latter which actually enters into the consciousness of the empirical
individual. In the realm of things in themselves there is no motion
whatever, but at most an intelligible correlate of this relation; in the
world of phenomena, the world of physics, the earth moves around the sun;
in the sphere of representation the sun moves around the earth. It is true,
as has been said, that Kant sometimes ignores the distinction between
phenomena as related to noumena and phenomena as related to
representations; and, as a result of this, that the phenomenon is either
completely volatilized into the representation[2] or split up into an
objective half independent of us and a representative half dependent on us,
of which the former falls into the thing in itself,[3] while the latter is
resolved into subjective states of the ego.

[Footnote 1: "Nothing is actually given to us but the perception and the
empirical progress from this to other possible perceptions." "To call a
phenomenon a real thing antecedent to perception, means ... that in the
_progress of experience_ we must meet with such a perception."]

[Footnote 2: Phenomena "are altogether in me," "exist only in our
sensibility as a modification of it." "There is nothing in space but that
which is actually represented in it." Phenomena are "mere representations,
which, if they are not given in us (in perception) nowhere exist."]

[Footnote 3: Here Kant is guilty of the fault which he himself has
censured, of confusing the physical and transcendental meanings of "in
itself." He forgets that the thing, if it is momentarily not intuited or
represented by me, and therefore is not immediately given for me as an
individual, is nevertheless still present for me as man, is mediately
given, that is, is discoverable by future search. That which is without
my present consciousness is not for this reason without all human
consciousness. In fact, Kant often overlooks the distinction between actual
and possible intuition, so that for him the "objects" of the latter slip
out of space and time and into the thing in itself. To the "transcendental
object we may ascribe the extent and connection of our possible
perceptions, and say that it is given in itself before all experience." In
it "the real things of the past are given."]

After the possibility and the legitimacy of synthetic judgments _a
priori_ have been proved for pure mathematics upon the basis of the
pure intuitions, there emerges, in the second place, the problem of the
possibility of _a priori_ syntheses in pure natural science, or the
question, Do pure concepts exist? And after this has been answered in the
affirmative, the further questions come up, Is the application of these,
first, to phenomena, and second, to things in themselves, possible and
legitimate, and how far?

%(b) The Concepts and Principles of the Pure Understanding (Transcendental
Analytic).%--Sensations, in order to become "intuition" or the perception
of a phenomenon, needed to be ordered in space and time; in order to become
"experience" or a unified knowledge of objects, intuitions need a synthesis
through concepts. In order to objective knowledge the manifold of intuition
(already ordered by its arrangement in space and time) must be connected in
the unity of the concept. Sensibility gives the manifold to be connected,
the understanding the connecting unity. The former is able to intuit only,
the latter only to think; knowledge can arise only as the result of their
union. Intuitions depend on affections, concepts on functions, that is, on
unifying acts of the understanding.

To discover the pure forms of thought it is necessary to isolate the
understanding, just as an isolation of the sensibility was necessary above
in order to the discovery of the pure forms of intuition. We obtain the
elements of the pure knowledge of the understanding by rejecting all that
is intuitive and empirical. These elements must be pure, must be concepts,
further, not derivative or composite, but fundamental concepts, and their
number must be complete. This completeness is guaranteed only when the pure
concepts or _categories_ are sought according to some common principle,
which assigns to each its position in the connection of the whole, and
not (as with Aristotle) collected by occasional, unsystematic inquiries
undertaken at random. The table of the forms of judgment will serve as a
guide for the discovery of the categories. Thought is knowledge through
concepts; the understanding can make no other use of concepts than to judge
by means of them. Hence, since the understanding is the faculty of judging,
the various kinds of connection in judgment must yield the various pure
"connective-concepts" (_Verknuepfungsbegriffe_.--K. Fischer) or categories.

In regard to quantity, every judgment is universal, particular, or
singular; in regard to quality, affirmative, negative, or infinite; in
regard to relation, categorical, hypothetical, or disjunctive; and in
regard to modality, problematical, assertory, or apodictic. To these
twelve forms of judgment correspond as many categories, viz., I., Unity,
Plurality, Totality; II., Reality, Negation, Limitation; III., Subsistence
and Inherence (Substance and Accident), Causality and Dependence (Cause and
Effect), Community (Reciprocity between the Active and the Passive);
IV., Possibility--Impossibility, Existence--Non-existence,

The first six of these fundamental concepts, which have no correlatives,
constitute the mathematical, the second six, which appear in pairs,
the dynamical categories. The former relate to objects of (pure or of
empirical) intuition, the latter to the existence of these objects (in
relation to one another or to the understanding). Although all other _a
priori_ division though concepts must be dichotomous, each of the four
heads includes three categories, the third of which in each case arises
from the combination of the second and first,[1] but, nevertheless, is an
original (not a derivative) concept, since this combination requires a
special _actus_ of the understanding. Universality or totality is plurality
regarded as unity, limitation is reality combined with negation, community
is the reciprocal causality of substances, and necessity is the actuality
given by possibility itself. Kant omits, as unnecessary here, the useful,
easy, and not unpleasant task of noting the great number of derivative
concepts _a priori_ (predicables) which spring from the combination of
these twelve original concepts (predicaments = categories) with one
another, or with the modes of pure sensibility,--the concepts force,
action, passion, would belong as subsumptions under causality, presence
and resistance under community, origin, extinction, and change under
modality,--since his object is not a system, but only the principles of
one. His liking or even love for this division according to quantity,
quality, relation, and modality, which he always has ready as though it
were a universal key for philosophical problems, reveals a very strong
architectonic impulse, against which even his ever active skeptical
tendency is not able to keep up the battle.

[Footnote 1: Concerning this "neat observation," Kant remarked that it
might "perhaps have important consequences in regard to the scientific form
of all knowledge of reason." This prophecy was fulfilled, although in a
different sense from that which floated before his mind. Fichte and Hegel
composed their "thought-symphonies" in the three-four time given by Kant.]

In view of the derivation of the forms of thought from the forms of
judgment Kant does not stop to give a detailed proof that the categories
are concepts, and that they are pure. Their discursive (not intuitive)
character is evident from the fact that their reference to the object is
mediate only (and not, as in the case of intuition, immediate), and their
_a priori_ origin, from the necessity which they carry with them, and which
would be impossible if their origin were empirical. Here Kant starts from
Hume's criticism of the idea of cause. The Scottish skeptic had said that
the necessary bond between cause and effect can neither be perceived nor
logically demonstrated; that, therefore, the relation of causality is an
idea which we--with what right?--add to perceived succession in time. This
doubt (without the hasty conclusions), says Kant, must be generalized, must
be extended to the category of substance (which had been already done by
Hume, pp. 226-7, though the author of the Critique of Reason was not aware
of the fact), and to all other pure concepts of the understanding. Then we
may hope to kindle a torch at the spark which Hume struck out. The problem
"It is impossible to see why, because something exists, something else must
necessarily exist," is the starting point alike of Hume's skepticism and
Kant's criticism. The former recognized that the principle of causality
is neither empirical nor analytic, and therefore concluded that it is an
invention of reason, which confuses subjective with objective necessity.
The latter shows that in spite of its subjective origin it has an objective
value; that it is a truth which is independent of all experience, and yet
valid for all who have experience, and for all that can be experienced.

Of the two questions, "How can the concepts which spring from our
understanding possess objective validity?" and, "How (through what means
or media) does their application to objects of experience take place?"
the first is answered in the Deduction of the Pure Concepts of the
Understanding, and the second in the chapter on their Schematism.

The _Deduction_, the most difficult portion of the Critique, shows that the
objective validity of the categories, as concepts of objects in general,
depends on the fact that _through them alone experience_ as far as regards
the form of thought _is possible, _i.e._, it is only through them that any
object whatever can be thought. All knowledge consists in judgments; all
judgments contain a connection of representations; all connection--whether
it be conscious or not, whether it relates to concepts or to pure or
empirical intuitions--is an _act of the understanding_; it cannot be given
by objects, but only spontaneously performed by the subject itself. We
cannot represent anything as connected in the object unless we have
ourselves first connected it. The connection includes three conceptions:
that of the manifold to be connected (which is given by intuition), that
of the act of synthesis, and that of the unity; this last is two-fold,
an objective unity (the conception of an object in general in which the
manifold is united), and a subjective unity (the unity of consciousness
under which or, rather, through which the connection is effected). The
categories represent the different kinds of combination, each one of these,
again, being completed in three stages, which are termed the Synthesis of
Apprehension in Intuition, the Synthesis of Reproduction in Imagination,
and the Synthesis of Recognition in Concepts. If I wish to think the time
from one noon to the next, I must (1) grasp (apprehend) the manifold
representations (portions of time) in succession; (2) retain or renew
(reproduce) in thought those which have preceded in passing to those which
follow; (3) be conscious that that which is now thought is the same
with that thought before, or know again (recognize) the reproduced
representation as the one previously experienced. If the mind did not
exercise such synthetic activity the manifold of representation would not
constitute a whole, would lack the unity which consciousness alone can
impart to it. Without this _one_ consciousness, concepts and knowledge of
objects would be wholly impossible. The unity of pure self-consciousness
or of "transcendental apperception" is the postulate of all use of the
understanding. In the flux of internal phenomena there is no constant
or abiding self, but the unchangeable consciousness here demanded is a
precedent condition of all experience, and gives to phenomena a connection
according to laws which determine an object for intuition, _i.e._, the
conception of something in which they are necessarily connected.[1]
Reference to an object is nothing other than the necessary unity of
consciousness. The connective activity of the understanding, and with
it experience, is possible only through "the synthetic unity of pure
apperception," the "I think," which must be able to accompany all my
representations, and through which they first become _mine_.

[Footnote 1: Object is "that which opposes the random or arbitrary
determination of our cognitions," and which causes "them to be determined
in a certain way _a priori_."]

Experience (in the strict sense) is distinguished from perception
(experience in the wide sense) by its objectivity or universal validity. A
judgment of perception (the sun shines upon the stone and the stone becomes
warm) is only subjectively valid; while, on the other hand, a judgment of
experience (the sun warms the stone) aims to be valid not only for me and
my present condition, but always, for me and for everyone else. If the
former is to become the latter, an _a priori_ concept must be added to
the perception (in the above case, the concept of cause), under which the
perception is subsumed. The category determines the perceptions in view of
the form of the judgment, gives to the judgment its reference to an object,
and thus gives to the percepts, or rather, concepts (sunshine and warmth),
necessary and universally valid connection. The "reason why the judgments
of others" must "agree with mine" is "the unity of the object to which they
all relate, with which they agree, and hence must also all agree with one

Though the categories take their origin in the nature of the subject, they
are objective and valid for objects of experience, because experience is
possible alone through them. They are not the product, but the ground
of experience. The second difficulty concerns their applicability to
phenomena, which are wholly disparate. By what means is the gulf between
the categories, which are concepts and _a priori_, and perceptions, which
are intuitous and empirical, bridged over? The connecting link is supplied
by the imagination, as the faculty which mediates between sensibility and
understanding to provide a concept with its image, and consists in the
intuition of time, which, in common with the categories, has an _a priori_
character, and, in common with perceptions, an intuitive character, so that
it is at once pure and sensuous. The subsumption of phenomena or empirical
intuitions under the category is effected through the _Schemata_[1] of the
concepts of the understanding, _i.e._, through _a priori_ determinations
of time according to rules, which relate to time-_series_, time-_content_,
time-_order_, and time-_comprehension_, and indicate whether I have to
apply this or that category to a given object.

[Footnote 1: The schema is not an empirical image, but stands midway
between this (the particular intuition of a definite triangle or dog) and
the unintuitable concept, as a general intuition (of a triangle or a dog
in general, which holds alike for right- and oblique-angled triangles, for
poodles and pugs), or as a rule for determining our intuition in accordance
with a concept.]

Each category has its own schema. The schema of quantity is number, as
comprehending the successive addition of homogeneous parts. Filled time
(being in time) is the schema of reality, empty time (not-being in time)
the schema of negation, and more or less filled time (the intensity of
sensation, indicating the degree of reality) the schema of limitation.
Permanence in time is the sign for the application of the category of
substance;[1] regular succession, for the application of the concept of
cause; the coexistence of the determinations of one substance with those of
another, the signal for their subsumption under the concept of reciprocity.
The schemata of possibility, actuality, and necessity, finally, are
existence at any time whatever (whensoever), existence at a definite time,
and existence at all times. By such schematic syntheses the pure concept
is brought near to the empirical intuition, and the way is prepared for an
application of the former to the latter, or, what is the same thing, for
the subsumption of the latter under the former.

[Footnote 1: This determination is important for psychology. Since
the inner sense shows nothing constant, but everything in a continual
flux,--for the permanent subject of our thoughts is an identical activity
of the understanding, not an intuitable object,--the concept of substance
is not applicable to psychical phenomena. Representations of a permanent
(material substances) exist, indeed, but not permanent representations. The
abiding self (ego, soul) which we posit back of internal phenomena is, as
the Dialectic will show, a mere Idea, which, or, rather, the object of
which, maybe "thought" as substance, it is true, but cannot be "given" in
intuition, hence cannot be "known."]

As a result of the fact that the schematism permits a presentation of the
categories in time intuition antecedent to all experience, the possibility
is given of synthetic judgments _a priori_ concerning objects of possible
experience. Such judgments, in so far as they are not based on higher
and more general cognitions, are termed "principles," and the system of
them--to be given, with the table of the categories as a guide, in
the _Analytic of Principles_ or the Doctrine of the Faculty of
Judgment--furnishes the outlines of "pure natural science." When thus
the rules of the subsumption to be effected have been found in the pure
concepts, and the conditions and criteria of the subsumption in the
schemata, it remains to indicate the principles which the understanding,
through the aid of the schemata, actually produces _a priori_ from its

The principle of quantity is the _Axiom of Intuition_, the principle of
quality the _Anticipation of Perception_; the principles of relation
are termed _Analogies of Experience_, those of modality _Postulates
of Empirical Thought in General_. The first runs, "All intuitions are
extensive quantities"; the second, "In all phenomena sensation, and the
real which corresponds to it in the object, has an intensive quantity,
i.e., a degree." The principle of the "Analogies" is, "All phenomena, as
far as their existence is concerned, are subject _a priori_ to rules,
determining their mutual relation in time" (in the second edition this is
stated as follows: "Experience is possible only through the representation
of a necessary connection of perceptions"). As there are three modes of
time, there result three "Analogies," the principles of permanence, of
succession (production), and of coexistence. These are: (1) "In all changes
of phenomena the substance is permanent, and its quantum is neither
increased nor diminished in nature." (2) "All changes take place according
to the law of connection between cause and effect"; or, "Everything that
happens (begins to be) presupposes something on which it follows according
to a rule." (3) "All substances, in so far as they are coexistent, stand in
complete community, that is, reciprocity, one to another." And, finally,
the three "Postulates": "That which agrees with the formal conditions of
experience (in intuition and in concepts) is possible," "That which is
connected with the material conditions of experience (sensation) is actual"
(perception is the only criterion of actuality). "That which, in its
connection with the actual, is determined by universal conditions of
experience, is (exists as) necessary."

As the categories of substance and causality are specially preferred to the
others by Kant and the Kantians, and are even proclaimed by some as the
only fundamental concepts, so also the principles of relation have an
established reputation for special importance. The leading ideas in the
proofs of the "Analogies of Experience"--for in spite of their underivative
character the principles require, and are capable of, proof--may next be

The time determinations of phenomena, the knowledge of their duration,
their succession, and their coexistence, form an indispensable part of our
experience, not only of scientific experience, but of everyday experience
as well. How is the objective time-determination of things and events
possible? If the matter in hand is the determination of the particulars of
a fight with a bloody ending, the witnesses are questioned and testify:
We heard and saw how A began the quarrel by insulting B, and the latter
answered the insult with a blow, whereupon A drew his knife and wounded his
opponent. Here the succession of perceptions on the part of the persons
present is accepted as a true reproduction of the succession of the actual
events. But the succession of perceptions is not always the sure indication
of an actual succession: the trees along an avenue are perceived one after
the other, while they are in reality coexistent. We might now propose the
following statement: The representation of the manifold of phenomena is
always successive, I apprehend one part after another. I can decide whether
these parts succeed one another in the object also, or whether they
are coexistent, by the fact that, in the second case, the series of
my perceptions is reversible, while in the first it is not. I can, if I
choose, direct my glance along the avenue in such a way that I shall begin
the second time with the tree at which I left off the first time; if I wish
to assure myself that the parts of a house are coexistent, I cause my eye
to wander from the upper to the lower portions, from the right side to the
left, and then to perform the same motions in the opposite direction. On
the other hand, it is not left to my choice to hear the thunder either
before or after I see the lightning, or to see a passing wagon now here,
now there, but in these cases I am bound in the succession of my sensuous
representations. The possibility of interchange in the series of
perceptions proves an objective coexistence, the impossibility of this,
an objective succession. But this criterion is limited to the immediate
present, and fails us when a time relation between unobserved phenomena is
to be established. If I go at evening into the dining room and see a vessel
of bubbling water, which is to be used in making tea, over a burning spirit
lamp, whence do I derive the knowledge that the water began, and could
begin, to boil only after the alcohol had been lighted, and not before?
Because I have often seen the flame precede the boiling of the water, and
in this the irreversibility of the two perceptions has guaranteed to me the
succession of the events perceived? Then I may only assume that it is very
probable, not that it is certain, that in this case also the order of the
two events has been the same as I have observed several times before. As a
matter of fact, however, we all assert that the water could not have come
into a boiling condition unless the generation of heat had preceded; that
in every case the fire must be there before the boiling of the water can
commence. Whence do we derive this _must_? Simply and alone from the
thought of a causal connection between the two events. Every phenomenon
_must_ follow in time that phenomenon of which it is the effect, and must
precede that of which it is the cause. It is through the relation of
causality, and through this alone, that the objective time relation of
phenomena is determined. If nothing preceded an event on which it must
follow according to a rule,[1] then all succession in perception would be
subjective merely, and nothing whatever would be objectively determined by
it as to what was the antecedent and what the consequent in the phenomenon
itself. We should then have a mere play of representations without
significance for the real succession of events. Only the thought of a rule,
according to which the antecedent state contains the necessary condition of
the consequent state, justifies us in transferring the time order of our
representations to phenomena.[2] Nay, even the distinction between
the phenomenon itself, as the object of our representations, and our
representations of it, is effected only by subjecting the phenomenon to
this rule, which assigns to it its definite position in time after another
phenomenon by which it is caused, and thus forbids the inversion of the
perceptions. We can derive the rule of the understanding which produces the
objective time order of the manifold from experience, only because we have
put it into experience, and have first brought experience into being by
means of the rule. We recapitulate in Kant's own words: The objective
(time) relation of phenomena remains undetermined by mere perception (the
mere succession in my apprehension, if it is not determined by means of a
rule in relation to an antecedent, does not guarantee any succession in
the object). In order that this may be known as determined, the relation
between the two states must be so conceived (through the understanding's
concept of causality) that it is thereby determined with necessity which of
them must be taken as coming first, and which second, and not conversely.
Thus it is only by subjecting the succession of phenomena to the law of
causality that empirical knowledge of them is possible. Without the concept
of cause no objective time determination, and hence, without it, no

[Footnote 1: "A reality following on an empty time, that is, a beginning of
existence preceded by no state of things, can as little be apprehended as
empty time itself."]

[Footnote 2: "If phenomena were things in themselves no one would be able,
from the succession of the representations of their manifold, to tell how
this is connected in the object."]

That which the relation of cause and effect does for the succession[1] of
phenomena, the relation of reciprocity does for their coexistence, and that
of substance and accident for their duration. Since absolute time is not an
object of perception, the position of phenomena in time cannot be directly
determined, but only through a concept of the understanding. When I
conclude that two objects (the earth and the moon) must be coexistent,
because perceptions of them can follow upon one another in both ways, I
do this on the presupposition that the objects themselves reciprocally
determine their position in time, hence are not isolated, but stand in
causal community or a relation of reciprocal influence. It is only on the
condition of reciprocity between phenomena, through which they form a
whole, that I can represent them as coexistent.

[Footnote 1: Against the objection that cause and effect are frequently,
indeed in most cases, simultaneous (_e.g._ the heated stove and the warmth
of the room), Kant remarks that the question concerns the order of time
merely, and not the lapse of time. The ball lying on a soft cushion is
simultaneous, it is true, with its effect, the depression in the cushion.
"But I, nevertheless, distinguish the two by the time relation of dynamical
connection. For if I place the ball on the cushion, its previously smooth
surface is followed by a depression, but if there is a depression in the
cushion (I know not whence) a leaden ball does not follow from it."]

Coexistence and succession can be represented only in a permanent
substratum; they are merely the modes in which the permanent exists. Since
time (in which all change takes place, but which itself abides and does not
change) in itself cannot be perceived, the substratum of simultaneity and
succession must exist in phenomena themselves: the permanent in relation
to which alone all the time relations of phenomena can be determined, is
substance; that which alters is its determinations, accidents, or special
modes of existing. Alteration, _i.e._, origin and extinction, is true of
states only, which can begin and cease to be, and not of substances, which
change (_sich veraendern_), i.e., pass from one mode of existence into
another, but do not alter (_wechseln_), i.e., pass from non-existence into
existence, or the reverse. It is the permanent alone that changes, and
its states alone that begin and cease to be. The origin and extinction of
substances, or the increase and diminution of their quantum, would remove
the sole condition of the empirical unity of time; for the time relations
of the coexistent and the successive can be perceived only in an identical
substratum, in a permanent, which exists always. The law "From nothing
nothing comes, and nothing can return to nothing," is everywhere assumed
and has been frequently advanced, but never yet proved, for, indeed, it is
impossible to prove it dogmatically. Here the only possible proof for it,
the critical proof, is given: the principle of permanence is a necessary
condition of experience. The same argument establishes the principle of
sufficient reason, and the principle of the community of substances,
together with the unity of the world to be inferred from this. The three
Analogies together assert: "All phenomena exist in one nature and must so
exist, because without such a unity _a priori_ no unity of experience,
and therefore no determination of objects in experience, would be
possible."--In connection with the Postulates the same transcendental proof
is given for a series of other laws of nature _a priori_, viz., that in the
course of the changes in the world--for the causal principle holds only for
effects in nature, not for the existence of things as substances--there
can be neither blind chance nor a blind necessity (but only a conditional,
hence an intelligible, necessity); and, further, that in the series of
phenomena, there can be neither leap, nor gap, nor break, and hence no
void--_in mundo non datur casus, non datur fatum, non datur saltus, non
datur hiatus_.

While the dynamical principles have to do with the relation of phenomena,
whether it be to one another (Analogies), or to our faculty of cognition
(Postulates), the mathematical relate to the quantity of intuitions and
sensations, and furnish the basis for the application of mathematics
to natural science.[1] An extensive quantity is one in which the
representation of the parts makes the representation of the whole possible,
and so precedes it. I cannot represent a line without drawing it in
thought, i.e., without producing all parts of it one after the other,
starting from a point. All phenomena are intuited as aggregates or as
collections of previously given parts. That which geometry asserts of
pure intuition (i.e., the infinite divisibility of lines) holds also of
empirical intuition. An intensive quantity is one which is apprehended only
as unity, and in which plurality can be represented only by approximation
to negation = 0. Every sensation, consequently every reality in phenomena,
has a degree, which, however small it may be, is never the smallest, but
can always be still more diminished; and between reality and negation there
exists a continuous connection of possible smaller intermediate sensations,
or an infinite series of ever decreasing degrees. The property of
quantities, according to which no part in them is the smallest possible
part, and no part is simple, is termed their continuity. All phenomena
are continuous quantities, i.e., all their parts are in turn (further
divisible) quantities. Hence it follows, first, that a proof for an empty
space or empty time can never be drawn from experience, and secondly, that
all change is also continuous. "It is remarkable," so Kant ends his proof
of the Anticipation, "that of quantities in general we can know one
_quality_ only _a priori_, namely, their continuity, while with regard to
quality (the real of phenomena) nothing is known to us _a priori_ but their
intensive _quantity_, that is, that they must have a degree. Everything
else is left to experience."

[Footnote 1: In each particular science of nature, science proper (i.e.,
apodictically certain science) is found only to the extent in which
mathematics can be applied therein. For this reason chemistry can never
be anything more than a systematic art or experimental doctrine; and
psychology not even this, but only a natural history of the inner sense or
natural description of the soul. That which Kant's _Metaphysical Elements
of Natural Science_, 1786--in four chapters, Phoronomy, Dynamics,
Mechanics, and Phenomenology--advances as pure physics or the metaphysics
of corporeal nature, is a doctrine of motion. The fundamental determination
of matter (of a somewhat which is to be the object of the external senses)
is motion, for it is only through motion that these senses can be affected,
and the understanding itself reduces all other predicates of matter to
this. The second and most valuable part of the work defines matter as the
movable, that which fills space by its moving force, and recognizes two
original forces, repulsive, expansive superficial force or force of
contact, by which a body resists the entrance of other bodies into its own
space, and attractive, penetrative force or the force which works at a
distance, in virtue of which all particles of matter attract one another.
In order to a determinate filling of space the co-operation of both
fundamental forces is required. In opposition to the mechanical theory of
the atomists, which explains forces from matter and makes them inhere in
it, Kant holds fast to the dynamical view which he had early adopted (cf.
p. 324), according to which forces are the primary factor and matter is
constituted by them.]

The outcome of the Analytic of Principles sounds bold enough. _The
understanding is the lawgiver of nature_: "It does not draw its laws _a
priori_ from nature, but prescribes them to it"; the principles of the pure
understanding are the most universal laws of nature, the empirical laws of
nature only particular determinations of these. All order and regularity
take their origin in the spirit, and are put into objects by this.
Universal and necessary knowledge remained inexplicable so long as it was
assumed that the understanding must conform itself to objects; it is at
once explained if, conversely, we make objects conform themselves to the
understanding. This is a reversal of philosophical opinion which may justly
be compared to the Copernican revolution in astronomy; it is just as
paradoxical as the latter, but just as incontestably true, and just as rich
in results. The sequel will show that this strangely sounding principle,
that things conform themselves to our representations and the laws of
nature are dependent on the understanding, is calculated to make us humble
rather than proud. Our understanding is lawgiver within the limits of its
knowledge, no doubt, but it knows only within the limits of its legislative
authority; nature, to which it dictates laws, is nothing but a totality of
phenomena; beyond the limits of the phenomenal, where its commands become
of no effect, its wishes also find no hearing.

In the second edition the Analytic of Principles contains as a supplement a
"Refutation of Idealism," which, in opposition to Descartes's position that
the only immediate experience is inner experience, from which we reach
outer experience by inference alone, argues that, conversely, it is only
through outer experience, which is immediate experience proper, that inner
experience--as the consciousness of my own existence in time--is possible.
For all time determination presupposes something permanent in perception,
and this permanent something cannot be in me (the mere representation of an
external thing), but only actually existing things which I perceive without
me. There is, further, a chapter on the "Ground of the Distinction of all
Objects in general into Phenomena and Noumena," with an appendix on the
Amphiboly (ambiguity) of the Concepts of Reflection. The latter shows
that the concepts of comparison: identity and difference, agreement and
opposition, the internal and the external, matter and form, acquire
entirely different meanings when they relate to phenomena and to things in
themselves (in other words, to things in their relation to the sensibility,
and in relation to the understanding merely); and further, in a criticism
of the philosophy of Leibnitz, reproaches him with having intellectualized
phenomena, while Locke is said to have sensationalized the concepts of the

The chapter on the distinction between phenomena and noumena very much
lessens the hopes, aroused, perchance, by the establishment of the
non-empirical origin of the categories, for an application of these not
confined to any experience. Although the categories, that is, are in their
origin entirely independent of all experience (so much so that they first
make experience possible), they are yet confined in their application
within the bounds of possible experience. They "serve only to spell
phenomena, that we may be able to read them as experience," and when
applied to things in themselves lose all significance.[1] Similarly the
principles which spring from them are "nothing more than principles of
possible experience," and can be referred to phenomena alone, beyond which
they are arbitrary combinations without objective reality. Things in
themselves may be thought, but they can never be known; for knowledge,
besides the empty thought of an object, implies intuitions which must be
subsumed under it or by which the object must be determined. In themselves
the pure concepts relate to all that is thinkable, not merely to that which
can be experienced, but the schemata, which assures their applicability in
the field of experience, at the same time limit them to this sphere. The
schematism makes the immanent use of the categories, and thus a metaphysics
of phenomena, possible, but the transcendent use of them, and consequently
the metaphysics of the suprasensible, impossible. The case would be
different if our intuition were intellectual instead of sensuous, or,
which is the same thing, if our understanding were intuitive instead of
discursive; then the objects which we think would not need to be given us
from another source (through sensuous intuition), but would be themselves
produced in the act by which we thought them. The divine spirit may be such
an archetypal, creative understanding (_intellectus archetypus_), which
generates objects by its thought; the human spirit is not such, and
therefore is confined, with its knowledge, within the circle of possible
perception.--The conception of "intellectual intuition" leads to a
distinction in regard to things in themselves: in its negative meaning
noumenon denotes a thing in so far as it is _not_ the object of our
_sensuous_ intuition, in its positive meaning a thing which is the
object of a _non-sensuous_ intuition. The positive thing in itself is a
problematical concept; its possibility depends on the existence of an
intuitive understanding, something about which we are ignorant. The
negative thing in itself cannot be known, indeed, but it can be thought;
and the representation of it is a possible concept, one which is not
self-contradictory[2] (a principle which is of great importance for
practical philosophy). Still further, it is an indispensable concept, which
shows that the boundary where our intuition ends is not the boundary of
the thinkable as well; and even if it affords no positive extension of
knowledge[3] it is, nevertheless, very useful, since it sets bounds to the
use of the understanding, and thus, as it were, negatively extends our
knowledge. That which lies beyond the boundary, the "how are they possible"
_(Wiemoeglichkeit)_ of things in themselves is shrouded in darkness, but the
boundary itself, _i.e._, the "that they are possible" _(Dassmoeglichkeit)_,
of things in themselves, and the unknowableness of their nature, belongs to
that which is within the boundary and lies in the light. In this way Kant
believed that the categories of causality and substance might be applied to
the relation of things in themselves to phenomena without offending against
the prohibition of their transcendent use, since here the boundary appeared
only to be touched, and not overstepped.

[Footnote 1: "A pure use of the categories is no doubt possible, that is,
not self-contradictory, but it has no kind of objective validity, because
it refers to no intuition to which it is meant to impart the unity of an
object. The categories remain forever mere functions of thought by which no
object can be given to me, but by which I can only think whatever may
be given to me in intuition" (_Critique of Pure Reason_, Max Mueller's
translation, vol. ii. p. 220). Without the condition of sensuous intuition,
for which they supply the synthesis, the categories have no relation to any
definite object; for without this condition they contain nothing but the
logical function, or the form of the concept, by means of which alone
nothing can be known and distinguished as to any object belonging to it
(_Ibid_., pp. 213, 214).]

[Footnote 2: The thing in itself denotes the object in so far as it can
be thought by us, but not intuited, and consequently not determined by
intuitions, _i.e._, cannot be known. It is only through the schematism
that the categories are limited to phenomena. O. Liebmann (_Kant und die
Epigonen_, p. 27, and _passim_) overlooks or ignores this when he says:
Kant here allows himself to "recognize an object emancipated from the
forms of knowledge, therefore an irrational object, _i.e._, to represent
something which is not representable--wooden iron." The thing in itself is
insensible, but not irrational, and the forms of intuition and forms of
thought joined by Liebmann under the title forms of knowledge have in Kant
a by no means equal rank.]

[Footnote 3: A category by itself, freed from all conditions of intuition
(_e.g._, the representation of a substance which is thought without
permanence in time, or of a cause which should not act in time), can yield
no definite concept of an object.]

Though the concepts of the understanding possess a cognitive value in the
sphere of phenomena alone, the hope still remains of gaining an entrance
into the suprasensible sphere through the concepts of reason. It is
indubitable that our spirit is conscious of a far higher need than that for
the mere connection of phenomena into experience; it is that which cannot
be experienced, the Ideas God, freedom, and immortality, which form the
real end of its inquiry. Can this need be satisfied, and how? Can this end
be attained, and reality be given to the Ideas? This is the third question
of the Critique of Reason.

%(c) The Reason's Ideas of the Unconditioned (Transcendental
Dialectic).%--"All our knowledge begins with the senses, proceeds thence to
the understanding, and ends with reason." The understanding is the
faculty of rules, reason the faculty of principles. The categories of the
understanding are necessary concepts which make experience possible, and
which, therefore, can always be given in experience; the Ideas of reason
are necessary concepts to which no corresponding object can be given. Each
of the Ideas gives expression to an unconditioned. How does the concept of
the unconditioned arise, and what service does it perform for knowledge?

As perceptions are connected by the categories in the unity of the
understanding, and thus are elevated into experience, so the manifold
knowledge of experience needs a higher unity, the unity of reason, in order
to form a connected system. This is supplied to it by the Ideas--which,
consequently, do not relate directly to the objects of intuition, but only
to the understanding and its judgments--in order, through the concept
of the unconditioned, to give completion to the knowledge of the
understanding, which always moves in the sphere of the conditioned, _i.e._,
to give it the greatest possible unity together with the greatest possible
extension. The concept of the absolute grows out of the logical task which
is incumbent on reason, _i.e._, inference, and it may be best explained
from this as a starting point. In the syllogism the judgment asserted in
the conclusion is derived from a general rule, the major premise. The
validity of this general proposition is, however, itself conditional,
dependent on higher conditions. Then, as reason seeks the condition for
each conditioned moment, and always commands a further advance in
the series of conditions, it acts under the Idea of _the totality
of conditions_, which, nevertheless, since it can never be given in
experience, does not denote an object, but only an heuristic maxim for
knowledge, the maxim, namely, never to stop with any one condition as
ultimate, but always to continue the search further. The Idea of the
unconditioned or of the completeness of conditions is a goal which we never
attain, but which we are continually to approach. The categories and the
principles of the understanding were _constitutive_ principles, the Ideas
are _regulative_ merely; their function is to guide the understanding, to
give it a direction helpful for the connection of knowledge, not to inform
it concerning the actual character of things.

Since reason is the faculty of inference (as the understanding was found to
be the faculty of judgment), the forms of the syllogism perform the same
service for us in our search for the Ideas as the forms of judgment in
the discovery of the categories. To the categorical, hypothetical, and
disjunctive syllogisms correspond the three concepts of reason, the soul or
the thinking subject, the world or the totality of phenomena, and God, the
original being or the supreme condition of the possibility of all that can
be thought. By means of these we refer all inner phenomena to the ego as
their (unknown) common subject, think all beings and events in nature as
ordered under the comprehensive system of the (never to be experienced)
universe, and regard all things as the work of a supreme (unknowable)
intelligence. These Ideas are necessary concepts; not accidental products
nor mere fancies, but concepts sprung from the nature of reason; their
use is legitimate so long as we remember that we can have a problematical
concept of objects corresponding to them, but no knowledge of these; that
they are problems and rules for knowledge, never objects and instruments of
it. Nevertheless the temptation to regard these regulative principles as
constitutive and these problems as knowable objects is almost irresistible;
for the ground of the involuntary confusion of the required with the given
absolute lies not so much in the carelessness of the individual as in the
nature of our cognitive faculty. The Ideas carry with them an unavoidable
illusion of objective reality, and the sophistical inferences which spring
from them are not sophistications of men, but of pure reason itself, are
natural misunderstandings from which even the wisest cannot free himself.
At best we can succeed in avoiding the error, not in doing away with the
transcendental illusion from which it proceeds. We can see through the
illusion and avoid the erroneous conclusions built upon it, not shake off
the illusion itself.

On this erroneous objective use of the Ideas three so-called sciences are
based: speculative psychology, speculative cosmology, and speculative
theology, which, together with ontology, constitute the stately structure
of the (Wolffian) metaphysics. The Critique of Reason completes its work
of destruction when, as Dialectic (Logic cf. Illusion), it follows the
refutation of dogmatic ontology--developed in the Analytic--which
believed that it knew things in themselves through the concepts of
the understanding, with a refutation of rational psychology, rational
cosmology, and rational theology. It shows that the first is founded on
paralogisms, and the second entangled in irreconcilable contradictions,
while the third makes vain efforts to prove the existence of the Supreme

(i) _The Paralogisms of Rational Psychology_. The transcendental
self-consciousness or pure ego which accompanies and connects all my
representations, the subject of all judgments which I form, is, as the
Analytic recognized, the presupposition of all knowing (pp. 358-359), but
as such it can never become an object of knowledge. We must not make
a given object out of the subject which never can be a predicate, nor
substitute a real thinking substance for the logical subject of thought,
nor revamp the unity of self-consciousness into the simplicity and
identical personality of the soul. The rational psychology of the Wolffian
school is guilty of this error, and whatever of proof it advances for the
substantiality, simplicity, and personality of the soul, and, by way
of deduction, for its immateriality and immortality as well as for its
relation to the body, is based upon this substitution, this ambiguity of
the middle term, and therefore upon a _quaternio terminorum_,--all its
conclusions are fallacious. It is allowable and unavoidable to add in
thought an absolute subject, the unity of the ego, to inner phenomena;[1]
it is inadmissible to treat the Idea of the soul as a knowable thing. In
order to be able to apply the category of substance to it, we would have to
lay hold of a permanent in intuition such as cannot be found in the inner
sense. Empirical psychology, then, alone remains for the extension of our
knowledge of mental life, while rational psychology shrivels up from
a doctrine into a mere discipline, which watches that the limits of
experience are not overstepped. But even as a mere limiting determination
it has great value. For, along with the hope of proving the immateriality
and immortality of the soul, the fear of seeing them _disproved_ is also
dissipated; materialism is just as unfounded as spiritualism, and if the
conclusions of the latter concerning the soul as a simple, immaterial
substance which survives the death of the body, cannot be proved, yet we
need not, for that reason, regard them as erroneous, for the opposite is as
little susceptible of demonstration. The whole question belongs not in the
forum of knowledge, but in the forum of faith, and that which we gain by
the proof that nothing can be determined concerning it by theoretical
reasoning (viz., assurance against materialistic objections) is far more
valuable than what we lose.

[Footnote 1: The rational concept of the soul as a simple, independent
intelligence does not signify an actual being, but only expresses certain
principles of systematic unity in the explanation of psychical phenomena,
viz., "To regard all determinations as existing in one subject, all powers,
as far as possible, as derived from, one fundamental power, all change
as belonging to the states of one and the same permanent being, and
to represent all phenomena in space as totally distinct from acts of

(2) _The Antinomies of Rational Cosmology_. If in its endeavor to spin
metaphysical knowledge concerning the nature of the spirit and the
existence of the soul after death out of the concept of the thinking ego
the reason falls into the snare of an ambiguous _terminus medius_, the
difficulties which frustrate its attempts to use the Idea of the world
in the extension of its knowledge _a priori_ are of quite a different
character. Here the formal correctness of the method of inference is not
open to attack. It may be proved with absolute strictness (and in the
apagogical or indirect form, from the impossibility of the contrary) that
the world has a beginning in time, and also that it is _limited_ in space;
that every compound substance consists of _simple_ parts; that, besides the
causality according to the laws of nature, there is a causality through
_freedom_, and that an _absolutely necessary Being_ exists, either as a
part of the world or as the cause of it. But the contrary may be proved
with equal stringency (and indirectly, as before): The world is infinite in
space and time; there is nothing simple in the world; there is no freedom,
but everything in the world takes place entirely according to the laws of
nature; and there exists no absolutely necessary Being either within the
world or without it. This is the famous doctrine of the conflict of the
four cosmological theses and antitheses or of the Antinomy of Pure Reason,
the discovery of which indubitably exercised a determining influence upon
the whole course of the Kantian Critique of Reason, and which forms one of
its poles. The transcendental idealism, the distinction between phenomena
and noumena, and the limitation of knowledge to phenomena, all receive
significant confirmation from the Antithetic. Without the critical
idealism (that which is intuited in space and time, and known through
the categories, is merely the phenomenon of things, whose "in itself" is
unknowable), the antinomies would be insoluble. How is reason to act in
view of the conflict? The grounds for the antitheses are just as conclusive
as those for the theses; on neither side is there a preponderance which
could decide the result. Ought reason to agree with both parties or with

The solution distinguishes the first two antinomies, as the mathematical,
from the second two, as the dynamical antinomies; in the former, since it
is a question of the composition and division of quanta, the conditions may
be homogeneous with the conditioned, in the latter, heterogeneous. In the
former, thesis and antithesis are alike _false_, since both start from
the inadmissible assumption that the universe (the complete series of
phenomena) is given, while in fact it is only required of us (is an Idea).
The world does not exist in itself, but only in the empirical regress of
phenomenal conditions, in which we never can reach infinity and never the
limitation of the world by an empty space or an antecedent empty time, for
infinite space, like empty space (and the same holds in regard to time), is
not perceivable. Consequently the quantity of the world is neither finite
nor infinite. The question of the quantity of the world is unanswerable,
because the concept of a sense-world existing by itself _(before_ the
regress) is self-contradictory. Similarly the problem whether the composite
consists of simple elements is insoluble, because the assumption that
the phenomenon of body is a thing in itself, which, antecedent to all
experience, contains all the parts that can be reached in experience--in
other words, that representations exist outside of the representative
faculty--is absurd. Matter is infinitely divisible, no doubt, yet it does
not consist of infinitely numerous parts, and just as little of a definite
number of simple parts, but the parts exist merely in the representation
of them, in the division (decomposition), and this goes as far as possible
experience extends. The case is different with the dynamical antinomies,
where thesis and antithesis can both be _true_, in so far as the former
is referred to things in themselves and the latter to phenomena. The
contradiction vanishes if we take that which the thesis asserts and the
antithesis denies in different senses. The fact that in the world of
phenomena the causal nexus proceeds without interruption and without end,
so that there is no room in it either for an absolutely necessary Being or
for freedom, does not conflict with this other, that beyond the world of
sense there may exist an omnipotent, omniscient cause of the world, and an
intelligible freedom as the ground of our empirically necessary actions.
"May exist," since for the critical philosopher, who has learned that every
extension of knowledge beyond the limits of experience is impossible, the
question can concern only the conceivability of the world-ground and of
freedom. This possibility is amply sufficient to give a support for faith,
as, on the other hand, it is indispensable in order to satisfy at once the
demands of the understanding and of reason, especially to satisfy their
practical interests. For if it were not possible to resolve the apparent
contradiction, and to show its members capable of reconciliation, it would
be all over either with the possibility of experiential knowledge or with
the basis of ethics and religion. Without unbroken causal connection, no
nature; without freedom, no morality; and without a Deity, no religion.
Of special interest is the solution of the third antinomy, which is
accomplished by means of the valuable (though in the form in which it is
given by Kant, untenable) conception of the _intelligible character_.[1]
Man is a citizen of two worlds. As a being of the senses (phenomenon) he
is subject in his volition and action to the control of natural necessity,
while as a being of reason (thing in itself) he is free. For science his
acts are the inevitable results of precedent phenomena, which, in turn,
are themselves empirically caused; nevertheless moral judgment holds
him responsible for his acts. In the one case, they are referred to his
empirical character, in the other, to his intelligible character. Man
cannot act otherwise than he does act, if he be what he is, but he need not
be as he is; the moral constitution of the intelligible character, which
reflects itself in the empirical character, is his own work, and its
radical transformation (moral regeneration) his duty, the fulfillment of
which is demanded, and, hence, of necessity possible.

[Footnote 1: On the difficulties in the way of this theory and the
possibility of their removal cf. R. Falckenberg, _Ueber den intelligiblen
Character, zur Kritik der Kantischen Freiheitslehre_ (from the _Zeitschrift
fuer Philosophie_, vol. lxxv.), Halle, 1879.]

(3) _Speculative Theology_. The principle of complete determination,
according to which of all the possible predicates of things, as compared
with their opposites, one must belong to each thing, relates the thing to
be determined to the sum of all possible predicates or the _Idea of an ens
realissimum_, which, since it is the representation of a single being, may
be called the _Ideal_ of pure reason. From this prototype things, as its
imperfect copies, derive the material of their possibility; all their
manifold determinations are simply so many modes of limiting the concept of
the highest reality, which is their common substratum, just as all figures
are possible only as different ways of limiting infinite space. Or better:
the derivative beings are not related to the ideal of the original Being as
limitations to the sum of the highest reality (on which view the Supreme
Being would be conceived as an aggregate consisting of the derivative
beings, whereas these presuppose it, and hence cannot constitute it), but
as consequences to a ground. But reason does not remain content with this
entirely legitimate thought of the dependence of finite things on the ideal
of the Being of all beings, as a relation of concepts to the Idea, but,
dazzled by an irresistible illusion, proceeds to realize, to hypostatize,
and to personify this ideal, and, since she herself is dimly conscious of
the illegitimacy of such a transformation of the mere Idea into a given
object, devises _arguments for the existence of God_. Reason, moreover,
would scarcely be induced to regard a mere creation of its thought as a
real being, if it were not compelled from another direction to seek a
resting place somewhere in the regress of conditions, and to think the
empirical reality of the contingent world as founded upon the rock of
something absolutely necessary. There is no being, however, which appears
more fit for the prerogative of absolute necessity than that one the
concept of which contains the therefore to every wherefore, and is in no
respect defective; in other words, rational theology joins the rational
ideal of the most perfect Being with the fourth cosmological Idea of the
absolutely necessary Being.

The proof of the existence of God may be attempted in three ways: we may
argue the existence of a supreme cause either by starting from a definite
experience (the special constitution and order of the sense-world, that
is, its purposiveness), or from an indefinite experience (any existence
whatever), or, finally, abstracting from all experience, from mere concepts
_a priori_. But neither the empirical nor the transcendent nor the
intermediate line of thought leads to the goal. The most impressive and
popular of the proofs is the _physico-theological_ argument. But even if we
gratuitously admit the analogy of natural products with the works of human
art (for the argument is not able to prove that the purposive arrangement
of the things in the world, which we observe with admiration, is
contingent, and could only have been produced by an ordering, rational
principle, not self-produced by their own nature according to general
mechanical laws), this can yield an inference only to an intelligent author
of the purposive form of the world, and not to an author of its matter,
only, therefore, to a world-architect, not to a world-creator. Further,
since the cause must be proportionate to the effect, this argument can
prove only a very wise and wonderfully powerful, but not an omniscient
and omnipotent, designer, and so cannot give any definite concept of
the supreme cause of the world. In leaping from the contingency of the
purposive order of the world to the existence of something absolutely
necessary and thence to an all-comprehensive reality, the teleological
argument abandons the ground of experience and passes over into the
_cosmological argument_, which in its turn is merely a concealed
ontological argument (these two differ only in the fact that the
cosmological proof argues from the antecedently given absolute necessity
of a being to its unlimited reality, and the ontological, conversely, from
supreme reality to necessary existence). The weaknesses of the cosmological
argument in its first half consist in the fact that, in the inference
from the contingent to a cause for it, it oversteps the boundary of the
sense-world, and, in the inference from the impossibility of an infinite
series of conditions to a first cause, it employs the subjective principle
of investigation--to assume hypothetically a necessary ultimate ground in
behalf of the systematic unity of knowledge--as an objective principle
applying to things in themselves. The _ontological argument_, finally,
which the two nominally empirical arguments hoped to avoid, but in which in
the end they were forced to take refuge, goes to wreck on the impossibility
of dragging out of an idea the existence of the object corresponding to it.
Existence denotes nothing further than the position of the subject with all
the marks which are thought in its concept--that is, its relation to our
knowledge, but does not itself belong to the predicates of the concept, and
hence cannot be analytically derived from the latter. The content of the
concept is not enriched by the addition of being; a hundred real dollars do
not contain a penny more than a hundred conceived dollars. All existential
propositions are synthetic; hence the existence of God cannot be
demonstrated from the concept of God. It is a contradiction, to be sure, to
say that God is not almighty, just as it is a contradiction to deny that
a triangle has three angles: _if_ posit the concept I must not remove
the predicate which necessarily belongs to it. If I remove the subject,
however, together with its predicate (the almighty God is not), no
contradiction arises, for in that case nothing remains to be contradicted.

Thus all the proofs for the existence of a necessary being are shown to be
illusory, and the basis of speculative theology uncertain. Nevertheless the
idea of God retains its validity, and the perception of the inability of
reason to demonstrate its objective reality on theoretical grounds has
great value. For though the existence of God cannot be proved, it is true,
by way of recompense, that it cannot be disproved; the same grounds which
show us that the assertion of his existence is based on a weak foundation
suffice also to prove every contrary assertion unfounded. And should
practical motives present themselves to turn the scale in favor of the
assumption of a supreme and all-sufficient Being, reason would be obliged
to take sides and to follow these grounds, which, it is true, are not
objectively sufficient,[1] but still preponderant, and than which we know
none better. After, however, the objective reality of the idea of God is
guaranteed from the standpoint of ethics, there remains for transcendental
theology the important negative duty ("censorship," _Censor_) of exactly
determining the concept of the most perfect Being (as a being which through
understanding and freedom contains the first ground of all other things),
of removing from it all impure elements, and of putting an end to all
opposite assertions, whether atheistic, deistic (deism maintains the
possibility of knowing the existence of an original being, but declares all
further determination of this being impossible), or (in the dogmatic
sense) anthropomorphic. Theism is entirely possible apart from a mistaken
anthropomorphism, in so far as through the predicates which we take from
inner experience (understanding and will) we do not determine the concept
of God as he is in himself, but only _analogically_[2] in his relation to
the world. That concept serves only to aid us in our contemplation of
the world,[3] not as a means of knowing the Supreme Being himself. For
speculative purposes it remains a mere ideal, yet a perfectly faultless
one, which completes and crowns the whole of human knowledge.

[Footnote 1: "They need favor to supply their lack of legitimate claims."
Of themselves alone, therefore, they are unable to yield any theological
knowledge, but they are fitted to prepare the understanding for it, and to
give emphasis to other possible (moral) proofs.]

[Footnote 2: We halt _at_ the boundary of the legitimate use of reason,
without overstepping it, when we limit our judgment to the relation of
the world to the Supreme Being, and in this allow ourselves a symbolical
anthropomorphism only, which in reality has reference to our language alone
and not to the object.]

[Footnote 3: We are compelled to _look on_ the world _as if_ it were the
work of a supreme intelligence and will. "We may confidently derive the
phenomena of the world and their existence from other (phenomena), as if no
necessary being existed, and yet unceasingly strive after completeness
in the derivation, as though such a being were presupposed as a supreme
ground." In short, physical (mechanical) _explanation_, and a theistic
point of view or teleological _judgment_.]

Thus the value of the Ideas is twofold. By showing the untenable ness of
atheism, fatalism, and naturalism, they I clear the way for the objects of
faith. By providing natural science with the standpoint of a systematical
unity through teleological connection, they make an extension of the use of
the understanding possible within the realm of experience,[1] though not
beyond it. The systematic development of the Kantian teleology, which is
here indicated in general outlines only, is found in the second part of the
_Critique of Judgment_; while the practical philosophy, which furnishes the
only possible proof, the moral proof, for the reality of the Ideas, erects
on the site left free by the removal of the airy summer-houses of dogmatic
metaphysics the solid mansion of critical metaphysics, that is, the
metaphysics of duties and of hopes. "I was obliged to destroy knowledge
in order to make room for faith." The transition from the impossible
theoretical or speculative knowledge of things in themselves to the
possible "practical knowledge" of them (the belief that there is a God and
a future world) is given in the _Doctrine of Method_, which is divided into
four parts (the Discipline, the Canon, the Architectonic, and the History
of Pure Reason), in its second chapter. There, in the ideal of the _Summum
Bonum_, the proof is brought forward for the validity of the Ideas God,
freedom, and immortality, as postulates inseparable from moral obligation;
and by a cautious investigation of the three stages of assent (opinion,
knowledge, and belief) both doctrinal and moral belief are assigned their
places in the system of the kinds of knowledge.

[Footnote 1: The principle to regard all order in the world (_e.g._, the
shape of the earth, mountains, and seas, the members of animal bodies) as
if it proceeded from the design of a supreme reason leads the investigator
on to various discoveries.]

We may now sum up the results of the three parts of Kant's theoretical
philosophy. The pure intuitions, the categories, and the Ideas are
functions of the spirit, and afford non-empirical _(erfahrungsfreie)_
knowledge concerning the objects of possible experience (and concerning the
possibility of knowledge). The first make universal and necessary knowledge
possible in relation to the forms under which objects can be given to us;
the second make a similarly apodictic knowledge possible in relation to
the forms under which phenomena must be thought; the third make possible a
judgment of phenomena differing from this knowledge, yet not in conflict
with it. The categories and the Ideas, moreover, yield problematical
concepts of objects which are not given to us in intuition, but which may
exist outside of space and time: things in themselves cannot be known, it
is true, but they can be thought, a fact of importance in case we should be
assured of their existence in some other way than by sensuous intuition.

The determination of the limits of speculative reason is finished.
All knowing and all demonstration is limited to phenomena or possible
experience. But the boundary of that which can be experienced is not the
boundary of that which is, still less of that which ought to be; the
boundary of theoretical reason is not the boundary of practical reason. We
_ought_ to act morally; in order to be able to do this we must ascribe to
ourselves the power to initiate a series of events; and, in general, we are
warranted in assuming everything the non-assumption of which makes moral
action impossible. If we were merely theoretical, merely experiential
beings, we should lack all occasion to suppose a second, intelligible world
behind and above the world of phenomena; but we are volitional and active
beings under laws of reason, and though we are unable to know things in
themselves, yet we may and must _postulate_ them--our freedom, God, and
immortality. For not only that which is a condition of experience is true
and necessary, but that, also, which is a condition of morality. The
discovery of the laws and conditions of morality is the mission of
practical philosophy.

%2. Theory of Ethics.%

The investigation now turns from the laws of nature, which express a
"must," to the laws of will, in which an "ought" is expressed, and by which
certain actions are not compelled, but prescribed. (If we were merely
rational, and not at the same time sensuous beings, the moral law would
determine the will in the form of a natural law; since, however, the
constant possibility of deviation is given in the sensibility, or, rather,
the moral standpoint can only be attained by conquering the sensuous
impulses, therefore the moral law speaks to us in the form of an "ought,"
of an imperative.) Among the laws of the will or imperatives, also,
there are some which possess the character of absolute necessity and
universality, and which, consequently, are _a priori_. As the understanding
dictates laws to the phenomenal world, so practical reason gives a law to
itself, is _autonomous_; and as the _a priori_ laws of nature relate only
to the form of the objects of experience, so the moral law determines not
the content, but only the form of volition: "Act only on that maxim whereby
thou canst at the same time will that it should become a universal law."
The law of practical reason is a "categorical imperative." What does this
designation mean, and what is the basis of the formula of the moral law
which has just been given?

Practical principles are either subjectively valid, in which case they are
termed maxims (volitional principles of the individual), or objectively
valid, when they are called imperatives or precepts. The latter are either
valid under certain conditions (If you wish to become a clergyman you must
study theology; he who would prosper as a merchant must not cheat his
customers), or unconditionally valid (Thou shalt not lie). All prudential
or technical rules are hypothetical imperatives, the moral law is a
categorical imperative. The injunction to be truthful is not connected with
the condition that we intend to act morally, but this general purpose,
together with all the special purposes belonging to it, to avoid lying,
etc., is demanded unconditionally and of everyone--as surely as we are
rational beings we are under moral obligation, not in order to reputation
here below and happiness above, but without all "ifs" and "in order to's."
Thou shalt unconditionally, whatever be the outcome. And as the moral law
is independent of every end to be attained, so it suffers neither increase
nor diminution in its binding force, whether men obey it or not. It has
absolute authority, no matter whether it is fulfilled frequently or seldom,
nay, whether it is fulfilled anywhere or at any time whatsoever in the

There is an important difference between the good which we are under
obligation to do and the evil which we are under obligation not to do, and
the goods and ills which we seek and avoid. The goods are always relatively
good only, _good for something_--as means to ends--and a bad use can be
made of all that nature and fortune give us as well as a good one. That
which duty commands is an end in itself, in itself good, absolutely
worthful, and no misuse of it is possible. It might be supposed that
pleasure, that happiness is an ultimate end. But men have very different
opinions in regard to what is pleasant, one holding one thing pleasurable
and another another. It is impossible to discover by empirical methods what
duty demands of all men alike and under all circumstances; the appeal is to
our reason, not to our sensibility. If happiness were the end of rational
beings, then nature had endowed us but poorly for it, since instead of an
unfailing instinct she has given us the weak and deceitful reason as a
guide, which, with its train, culture, science, art, and luxury, has
brought more trouble than satisfaction to mankind. Man has a destiny other
than well-being, and a higher one--the formation of good dispositions: here
we have the only thing in the whole world that can never be used for evil,
the only thing that does not borrow its value from a higher end, but itself
originally and inalienably contains it, and that gives value to all else
that merits esteem. "Nothing can possibly be conceived in the world, or
even out of it, which can be called good without qualification, except a
_good will_." Understanding, courage, moderation, and whatever other mental
gifts or praiseworthy qualities of temperament may be cited, as also the
gifts of fortune, "are undoubtedly good and desirable in many respects, but
they may also become extremely evil and mischievous, if the will which is
to make use of them is not good." These are the classic words with which
Kant commences the _Foundation of the Metaphysics of Ethics_.

When does the will deserve the predicate "good"? Let us listen to the
popular moral consciousness, which distinguishes three grades of moral
recognition. He who refrains from that which is contrary to duty, no matter
from what motives--as, for example, the shopkeeper who does not cheat
because he knows that honesty is the best policy--receives moderate
praise for irreproachable outward behavior. We bestow warmer praise and
encouragement on him whom ambition impels to industry, kind feeling to
beneficence, and pity to render assistance. But he alone earns our esteem
who does his duty for duty's sake. Only in this third case, where not
merely the external action, nor merely the impulse of a happy disposition,
but the will itself, the maxim, is in harmony with the moral law, where
the good is done for the sake of the good, do we find true morality, that
unconditioned, self-grounded worth. The man who does that which is in
accordance with duty out of reflection on its advantages, and he who does
it from immediate--always unreliable--inclination, acts _legally_; he alone
acts _morally_ who, without listening to advantage and inclination, takes
up the law into his disposition, and does his duty because it is duty. The
sole moral motive is the consciousness of duty, _respect for the moral

[Footnote 1: The respect or reverence which the law, and, derivatively, the
person in whom it is realized, compel from us, is, as self-produced through
a concept of reason and as the only feeling which can be known _a priori_,
specifically different from all feelings of inclination or fear awakened by
sensuous influences. As it strengthens and raises our rational nature, the
consciousness of our freedom and of our high destination, but, at the same
time, humbles our sensibility, there is mingled with the joy of exaltation
a certain pain, which permits no intimate affection for the stern and
sublime law. It is not quite willingly that we pay our respect--just
because of the depressing effect which this feeling exerts on our

Here Kant is threatened by a danger which he does not succeed in escaping.
The moral law demands perfect purity in our maxims; only the idea of duty,
not an inclination, is to determine the will. Quite right. Further, the one
judging is himself never absolutely certain, even when his own volition is
concerned, that no motives of pleasure have mingled with the feeling of
duty in contributing to the right action, unless that which was morally
demanded has been contrary to all his inclinations. When a person who is
not in need and who is free from cupidity leaves the money-box intrusted
to his care untouched, or when a man who loves life overcomes thoughts of
suicide, I may assume that the former was sufficiently protected
against the temptation by his moderation, and the other by his cheerful
disposition, and I rate their behavior as merely legal. When, on the other
hand, an official inclined to extravagance faithfully manages the funds
intrusted to him, or one who is oppressed by hopeless misery preserves his
life, although he does not love it, then I may ascribe the abstinence from
wrongdoing to moral principles. This, too, may be admitted. We are
certain of the morality of a resolution only when it can be shown that no
inclination was involved along with the maxim. The cases where the right
action is performed in opposition to inclination are the only ones in which
we may be certain that the moral quality of the action is unmixed--are
they, then, the only ones in which a moral disposition is present? Kant
rightly maintains that the admixture of egoistic motives beclouds the
purity of the disposition, and consequently diminishes its moral worth.
With equal correctness he draws attention to the possibility that, even
when we believe that we are acting from pure principles, a hidden sensuous
impulse may be involved. But he leaves unconsidered the possibility that,
even when the inclinations are favorable to right action, the action may be
performed, not from inclination, but because of the consciousness of duty.
Given that a man is naturally industrious, does this happy predisposition
protect him from fits of idleness? And if he resists them, must it always
be his inclination to activity and never moral principle which overcomes
the temptation? In yielding to the danger of confounding the limits of our
certain knowledge of the purity of motives with the limits of moral action,
and in admitting true morality only where action proceeds from principle
in opposition to the inclinations, Kant really deserves the reproach of
rigorism or exaggerated purism--sometimes groundlessly extended to the
justifiable strictness of his views--and the ridicule of the well-known
lines of Schiller ("Scruples of Conscience" and "Decision" at the
conclusion of his distich-group "The Philosophers"):

"The friends whom I love I gladly would serve, but to this inclination
incites me;
And so I am forced from virtue to swerve since my act, through affection,
delights me.
The friends whom thou lovest thou must first seek to scorn, for to no
other way can I guide thee;
'Tis alone with disgust thou canst rightly perform the acts to which
duty would lead thee."

If we return from this necessary limitation of a groundless inference
(that true morality is present only when duty is performed against our
inclinations, when it is difficult for us, when a conflict with sensuous
motives has preceded), to the development of the fundamental ethical
conceptions, we find that important conclusions concerning the origin and
content of the moral law result from the principle obtained by the analysis
of moral judgment: this law commands with _unconditional authority_--for
every rational being and under all circumstances--what has _unconditioned
worth_--the disposition which corresponds to it. The universality and
necessity (_unconditionalness_) of the categorical imperative proves that
it springs from no other source than reason itself. Those who derive
the moral law from the will of God subject it to a condition, viz., the
immutability of the divine will. Those who find the source of moral
legislation in the pursuit of happiness make rational will dependent on a
natural law of the sensibility; it would be folly to enjoin by a moral law
that which everyone does of himself, and does superabundantly. Moreover,
the theories of the social inclinations and of moral sense fail of their
purpose, since they base morality on the uncertain ground of feeling. Even
the principle of perfection proves insufficient, inasmuch as it limits the
individual to himself, and, in the end, like those which have preceded,
amounts to a refined self-love. Theonomic ethics, egoistic ethics, the
ethics of sympathy, and the ethics of perfection are all eudemonistic, and
hence heteronomic. The practical reason[1] receives the law neither from
the will of God nor from natural impulse, but draws it out of its own
depths; it binds itself.

[Footnote 1: Will and practical reason are identical. The definition runs:
Will is the faculty of acting in accordance with the representation of

The grounds which establish the derivation of the moral law from the will
or reason itself exclude at the same time every material determination of
it. If the categorical imperative posited definite ends for the will, if it
prescribed a direction to definite objects, it could neither be known _a
priori_ nor be valid for all rational beings: its apodictic character
forbids the admission of empirical elements of every sort.[1] If we think
away all content from the law we retain the form of universal legality,[2]
and gain the formula: "Act so that the maxim of thy will can always at
the same time hold good as a principle of universal legislation." The
possibility of conceiving the principle of volition as a universal law of
nature is the criterion of morality. If you are in doubt concerning the
moral character of an action or motive simply ask yourself the question,
What would become of humanity if everyone were to act according to the same
principle? If no one could trust the word of another, or count on aid from
others, or be sure of his property and his life, then no social life would
be possible. Even a band of robbers cannot exist unless certain laws are
respected as inviolable duties.

[Footnote 1: The moral law, therefore, is independent of all experience in
three respects, as to its origin, its content, and its validity. It springs
from reason, it contains a formal precept only, and its validity is not
concerned, whether it meets with obedience or not. It declares what ought
to be done, even though this never should be done.]

[Footnote 2: The "formal principle" of the Kantian ethics has met very
varied criticism. Among others Edmund Pfleiderer (_Kantischer Kritizismus
und Englische Philosophie_, 1881) and Zeller express themselves
unfavorably, Fortlage and Liebmann (_Zur Analysis der Wirklichkeit_, 2d
ed., 1880, p. 671) favorably.]

It was indispensable to free the supreme formula of the moral law from all
material determinations, _i.e._, limitations. This does not prevent us,
however, from afterward giving the abstract outline a more concrete
coloring. First of all, the concept of the dignity of persons in contrast
to the utility of things offers itself as an aid to explanation and
specialization. Things are means whose worth is always relative, consisting

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