"Ceann-Innleachaidh" le Eduardo PAOLOZZI 2007
§ 3 - FÀS NAS FHAIDE NA STRÌ SEO AGUS TÙS NA FEALLSANACHD FÌOR CHRITIGICH.
§ 3 - THE FURTHER DEVELOPMENT OF THIS CONFLICT AND THE ORIGINATION OF THE REAL CRITICAL PHILOSOPHY
The separation of understanding and sensibility in KANT'S inaugural address of 1770.
In his Prolegomena zu einer jeden künftigen Metaphysik (Prolegomena to every future Metaphysics), KANT declared that it was only after long reflection that he came to the conclusion that a complete separation must be made between space and time as synthetic apriori forms of sensory intuition and the apriori pure concepts of understanding. He executed this division in his inaugural address with which he accepted a chair at the University of Konigsberg: De mundi sensibilis atque intelligibilis forma et principiis. Nevertheless, his terminology is still vacillating insofar as sometimes he called space and time "conceptus singulares", and other times "intuitus singulares puri" (1).
(1) De mundi sensibilis etc. (W.W. Bnd. IV), Sectio II § 12, S. 343: "Intuitus autem purus (humanus) non est conceptus universalis s. logicus, sub quo, sed singlaris, in quo sensibilia quaelibet cogitantur, ideoque continet conceptus spatii et temporis." CASSIRER I, 626/7, thinks KANT conceived of time and space as "conceptus singulares" before he conceived of them as forms of intuition. In this connection he refers exclusively to "Reflexions" written during 1768 and 1769; but CASSIRER has apparently overlooked the fact that KANT even in his inaugural oration, in which he distinguished to the utmost possible degree the "forms of pure sensibility" from the "pure synthetical concepts of reason", still sometimes qualified space and time as "conceptus singulares".
By means of the term "conceptus singularis", KANT intended to place space and time in opposition to the "conceptus universales" or concepts of species which are acquired by abstraction: there exist only one space and only one time, which respectively include all limited spaces and all finite periods of time as their parts. This conception passed over unchanged into the Transcendental Aesthetic of the Critique of Pure Reason.
The deeper ground of this new conception of time and space is to be sought only in a reaction against theoretical metaphysics on the part of KANT's gradually maturing new conception of the ideal of personality.
As long as space and time were subsumed under the
creative apriori concepts of logical thought, there lurked the constant danger that the relations discovered between spatial things would be tranferred to the "mundus intelligibilis". This would result again in a domination of the mathematical science-ideal within the realm of the free and autonomous human personality.
Ethics and religion, the kingdom of sovereign personality, may no longer be conceived of in the forms of nature-experience. For this very reason the metaphysics of the intelligible world must be strongly prohibited from the domain of natural science.
Consequently, the significance of the inaugural oration of 1770 lies primarily in the sharp distinction made between the sphere of the knowledge of sensory phenomena and the intelligible world, accompanied by the recognition of the apriori synthetic forms of sensibility and logical understanding. KANT called this distinction the chief methodological basic principle of metaphysics (2).
(2) De mundi sensibilis etc. Sectio V, § 24 (S. 359) : "Omnis metaphysicae circa sensitiva atque intellectualis methodus ad hoc potissimum praeceptum redit: sollicite cavendum esse, ne principia sensitivae cognitionis domestica terminos suos migrent ac intellectualia afficiant." ["Every method of metaphysics concerning the sensory and the intelligible is to be chiefly reduced to this precept: take great care lest principles belonging to sensory knowledge should surpass their boundaries and affect the intelligible"] .
Even in his Träume eines Geistersehers, he had made a division between the sphere of the experience of nature and that of ethics and religion, and thus withdrew the ideal of personality from the supremacy of natural scientific thought. Even here KANT taught that outside the sphere of sensory experience no scientific judgment is possible. Theoretical metaphysics which endeavours to acquire knowledge from pure concepts lapses into speculative mysticism. It tries to comprehend the spiritual world in the conceptual forms of sense-experience. The value of personality is, however, not dependent upon scientific thought. But during this period KANT still adhered to the sentimental religion and ethics defended by ROUSSEAU and English psychologism.
The development of KANT's new conception of the ideal of personality. Earlier optimism is replaced by a radical pessimism with respect to the sensory nature of man.
A new conception of the Humanist ideal of personality matured in KANT in proportion to the degree in which he became involved in the antithesis between sensibility and reason. As WINDELBAND has explained, this antithesis acquired an axiological character. The pietistic motives of KANT's youth, traversing the influence of ROUSSEAU, were active in an increasingly rigorous suspicion of sensory human nature. And because of this distrust it was no longer possible to seek the value of personality in the function of feeling, which function KANT considered to be only sensual.
With the elimination of this possibility, KANT definitely said farewell to the optimistic life- and world-view which, after the fashion of LEIBNIZ' Theodicy, he had previously defended in his Versuch einiger Betrachtungen über den Optimismus [An attempt at some considerations on Optimism] (1759) (3).
(3) W.W. Bnd. IV, pp. 73ff. It is the metaphysics of the Leibnizian ideal of science that motivated KANT to write here (p. 81/2): "...ich bin... erfreut, mich als einen Bürger in einer Welt zu sehen, die nicht besser möglich war." Man functions as a member of a cosmos which in its totality is the best possible!
KANT's gradually maturing dualistic transcendental ground-Idea made it impossible for him to harmonize with the sensory nature of man the Idea of normative autonomous freedom contained in his new conception of the ideal of personality. That caused him to adopt the pessimistic view of human nature expressed in his critical philosophy of religion, by his doctrine of the "radical evil" in man.
If sensory human nature with its sensual inclinations forms the real antithesis to the rational morality of man, then, in consequence, knowledge bound to sense-experience cannot furnish us with a knowledge of the real essence of things.
"Nature" as the sole experienceable reality is degraded by KANT to mundus sensibilis. In the same sense as in English psychologism (4), this mundus sensibilis includes both external and internal experience.
(4) De mundi sensibilis etc. Sectio II, § 12 (S. 343): "Phaenomena recensentur et exponuntur primo sensus externi in Physica, deinde sensus interni in Psychologia empirica." ["Phenomena are investigated and explained in the first place in physics insofar as they belong to the outer sense, afterwards in empirical psychology, insofar as they belong to the inner sense."]
Space was conceived of as a synthetical form of the "äuszeren Sinn" (outer sense), time as a synthetical form of the "inneren Sinn" (inner sense). Both space and time are already recognized as necessary transcendental conditions for all sensory experience, as universally valid subjective conditions of our sensibility, in which the material of our sensory impressions is ordered apriori (5).
(5) De mundi sensibilis etc. Sectio III, § 14, 5: "Tempos non est objectivum aliquid et reale... sed subjectiva condicio per naturam mentis humanae necessaria, quaelibet sensibilia certa lege sibi coordinandi, et intuitus purus." ["Time is not something objective and real... but a subjective condition necessitated by the nature of the human mind in order to coordinate any sensible impressions whatever according to a fixed law, and it is a pure intuition."] Space is qualified in a similar way. Ibid., p. 15. D.
But this entire "mundus sensibilis" only reveals the phenomenon to us, the mode in which the "Dinge an sich" appear. The latter are, as such, fundamentally excluded from the sphere of experience. In this way even mathematics and mathematical natural science, the primeval domain of the ideal of science in the Cartesian conception, are in principle limited to the phenomenon. Thus NEWTON's metaphysics of space, which elevated space as "sensorium Dei", is cut off at its very root.
Mathematics furnishes us with universally valid apriori knowledge of space and time which are the apriori forms of sensibility. Consequently, mathematics only provides us with knowledge of the apriori forms of the world of appearance.
With the aid of mathematics, whose universal validity was thus secured, KANT tried in his inaugural address to uphold the foundations of mathematical natural science against HUME'S psychological criticism.
Following NEWTON, he accepted the conception of corporeal things as filling of mathematical space (a basically false conception as we shall see in the second volume). Corporeal things are only possible in space, as an apriori form of intuition. This apriori form of sensibility is at the same time an apriori structural law of the entire experienceable world of things.
In the creation of the mathematical theory of the world of phenomena, logical understanding is still limited by KANT to the usus logicus, that is to the formal analysis of the phenomena given in time and space (6).
(6) De mundi sensibilis etc. Sectio V § 23: "Usus autem intellectus in talibus scientiis, quarum tam conceptus primitivi quam axiomata sensitivo intuitu dantur non est nisi logicus h.e. per quem tantum cognitiones sibi invicem subordinamus quoad universalitatem conformiter principio contradictionis, phaenomena phaenomenis generalioribus, consectaria intuitus puri axiomatibus intuitivis. ["But the use of the intellect in such sciences, whose primal concepts as well as whose axioms are given in sensory intuition, is only a logical one, that is to say that by means of the latter we only subordinate our cognitions to one another with respect to their generality in conformity to the principium contradictionis: the phenomena to more general phenomena, the conclusions of pure intuition to intuitive axioms."]
In addition an usus realis is postulated for logical understanding. The synthetical apriori concepts are related to the "mundus intelligibilis". This intelligible world is to be sure still conceived of as that of the "Dinge an sich". But even in the inaugural address of 1770 it appears that, contrary to the opinion of WINDELBAND (7), this does not indicate a relapse into the speculative Leibnizian metaphysics.
(7) Gesch. der neueren Phil. II (4th ed.) S. 39.
It is rather the new conception of the Humanistic ideal of personality which now embodies itself in the Idea of the "thing in itself", at least insofar as the latter is an object of metaphysics! Our pure autonomous will, being only determined by the form of moral legislation, is itself "an example of an Idea of freedom, of an intelligible substance, namely insofar as it binds effects, which can be given in experience, to super-empirical grounds of determination" (8).
(8) 2 Cf. CASSIRER II, 635. In Reflexion 1156 and 1157, "die Regel der Freiheit apriori in einer Welt überhaupt" ["the rule of apriori freedom in a world in general"] is expressly called the "forma mundi intelligibilis."
In section 11, paragraph 9 of his inaugural address, KANT assigned two different tasks to metaphysics, namely, an elenctic* and a dogmatic one [*Elenctic: Serving to refute; applied to indirect modes of proof, and opposed to deictic.- 1913 Webster]. In the first respect metaphysics must eliminate all sensory concepts out of the sphere of noumena; in the second respect it must direct all the principles of pure reason — which, exceed sense experience — toward one thing only, namely the perfectio noumenon, that is the super-sensory perfection. And the latter, as the perfection of God, becomes a principle of theoretical knowledge; and as a moral perfection, as perfectio moralis, it becomes a principle for human action. Knowledge derived from pure concepts of the mind is only a "cognitio symbolica".
The expression "symbolical knowledge" is derived from LEIBNIZ' treatise, Meditationes de cognitione, veritate et ideis of 1684, in which this thinker developed further the Cartesian criteria for the clarity and distinctness of knowledge. By "cognitio symbolica" in contradistinction to cognitio intuitiva, LEIBNIZ understood a "cognitio caeca", in which, when we lack insight into the total character of the sensory object, we call in the help of abbreviated symbols in stead of the objects themselves. Nevertheless, it is by means of these very symbols that, according to him, we can acquire adequate knowledge, as in mathematics.
When KANT now applied this conception of the "cognitio symbolica" to the concepts of pure reason, and as a result denied to theoretical metaphysics every mode of intuitive adequate knowledge, he chose a position diametrically opposite to that of LEIBNIZ: according to the latter, we do acquire intuitive metaphysical knowledge derived from pure and simple concepts of reason.
KANT combated strongly the Idea of LEIBNIZ and WOLFF that sensory knowledge is only a "cognitio confusa", whereas, in contrast, knowledge derived from simple concepts is clear and distinct. In Reflexion 414 KANT observes: "It is perfectly out of the question that the sensory intuitions of space and time are confused Ideas; rather they furnish the most distinct cognitions of all, namely the mathematical ones" (9).
(9) "Es ist so weit gefehlt, dasz die sinnlichen Anschauungen von Raum und Zeit sollten verworrenen Vorstellungen sein, dasz sie vielmehr die deutlichsten Erkenntnisse unter alle, nämlich die mathematischen verschaffen."
As confirmed by the "Reflexions" of this period, the notion of metaphysical knowledge as merely symbolical is to be considered as the prelude to the doctrine of transcendental Ideas of KANT's critical period. "The mundus intelligibilis", he remarks in one of these Reflexions, "as an object of intuition, is a mere undetermined Idea; but as an object of the practical relation of our intellect to intelligences of a world in general and to God as the practical original Being of it, it is a true concept and a determined Idea: civitas Dei (the city of God)" (10).
(10) CASSIRER, Ibid.: "Der mundus intelligibilis als ein Gegenstand der Anschauung ist eine blosze unbestimmte Idee; aber als ein Gegenstand des praktischen Verhältnisses unseres Intelligenz zu Intelligenzen der Welt überhaupt und Gott als das praktische Urwesen derselben, ist er ein wahrer Begriff end bestimmte Idee: civitas Dei."
In the Reflexions written during this time, the mundus intelligibilis was plainly identified with the mundus moralis and the idea of God was qualified as the "practical original Being". The identification in the cited "Reflexion" (1162) of the mundus intelligibilis with the Idea of the "civitas Dei" is undoubtedly formally derived from LEIBNIZ (11).
(11) CASSIRER II, 635.
But LEIBNIZ' God was in the last analysis the deification of mathematical thought, the final hypostasis of the mathematical science-ideal. Whereas, in KANT's Idea of God, even in this phase, is expressed the moralistic ideal of personality, in the sense of supra-theoretical practical freedom and sovereign self-determination.
The new conception of the ideal of personality as ὑπόθεσις in the transition to the critical standpoint.
The last phase in KANT's development, the rise of his actual critical philosophy, can be understood only in terms of this new conception of the ideal of personality. The Idea of the autonomous self-determination of personality became the hidden ὑπόθεσις of theoretical knowledge.
It may be true that according to KANT's own testimony he was awakened from his "dogmatic slumbers" by the discovery of the antinomies of theoretical metaphysics (12).
(12) KANT's letter to GARVE of Sept. 21, 1798, Cf. RIEHL op. cit. I, p. 351.
Yet this theoretical discovery cannot be considered to have been the deeper cause, but only the occasion of his transition to critical idealism. The real motive of this transition was religious in nature.
Once the ideal of personality is recognized as the foundation of the ideal of science, the autonomy of the theoretical function of thought can be proclaimed over against the empirical determinations of the merely receptive, passive sensibility. The spontaneity of the logical function of thought acquires a new meaning in contrast to the receptivity of sensibility! The sovereign value of personality can express itself in the spontaneity of the intellect only if the latter, in its apriori synthetic functions, is elevated to the position of law-giver with respect to "nature". KANT's famous letter of February 21, 1772 to MARKUS HERZ is the first clear attestation to this new turn in his thought.
Up til now KANT had approached the problem concerning the relation of theoretical thought to reality only from the metaphysical side. In his inaugural address of 1770, he went no further than drawing a sharp line of demarcation between mundus visibilis and mundus intelligibilis. The usus realis of logical understanding with its synthetical categories was related here to the metaphysical root of reality, to the "Ding an sich".
Henceforth, KANT posed the problem concerning the relation of logical understanding and reality with reference to the world of sense-experience ordered in the apriori forms of intuition, space and time.
Does not the intellect possess an "usus realis" in the apriori foundation of the "mundus visibilis"?
Henceforth, KANT concentrated his attention upon the problem of the a priori synthesis, through which in his opinion the world of experience is first constituted as a universally valid ordered cosmos. To KANT, universally valid experience becomes identical with the "Gegenstand" of theoretical knowledge, and "Gegenstand" becomes identical with "objectivity".
In his letter to HERZ, KANT wrote that the key to the entire mystery of metaphysics is to be found in the question: "what is the basis for the relation between that which is called our representation, and the object" (Gegenstand)?
The "Gegenstand" may be given to us by our senses, however, this sensory datum appears only as a chaotic mass of as yet unordered material of experience, a mass of intermingled sensory impressions, within the apriori forms of intuition, space and time in which they are received.
All of our representations of things in the external world are actually syntheses of our consciousness through which we bring under the unity of a concept a given sensory multiplicity received in the forms of space and time. The universal validity and necessity of these syntheses can never be found in the psychical laws of association of our representational activity. It can only originate from the apriori function of pure logical understanding with its synthetical categories, which understanding is not determined by sensibility, but, on the contrary, does itself define the sensory datum in a universally valid manner. It is the logical function of thought in its pure unconditioned apriori structure that synthetically constitutes the "Gegenstand" by realizing its categories in sensory experience.
The reason why we rightly assume that the things in experienceable reality conform themselves to these concepts and their combinations, is that our mind itself constitutes the apriori form of the "Gegenstand", while only the sensory material is given to us in the apriori forms of intuition.
Beyond any doubt, even in this letter to MARKUS HERZ, KANT has clearly formulated the problem of his "critical" philosophy. For the first time he developed the program of the Transcendental Analytic, in sharp contrast to the traditional formal logic, and he introduced the name "transcendental philosophy" for the critical concerning the apriori elements of human knowledge.
In the "Transcendental Analytic" KANT wished to discover the system of all synthetical functions of the "pure understanding" which are related apriori to the "Gegenstand der Erfahrung".
Once this task had been accomplished the key would be found for the solution of a question that he later was to formulate as the central problem of his first critical work, The Critique of Pure Reason (1781) : "How are synthetical judgments apriori possible?" But it took nine years before KANT was prepared to present the elaborate system of the Critique of Pure Reason to the scientific world.
The discovery of the system of the transcendental categories cannot in itself explain this long delay. KANT had quickly found the principle of the "metaphysical deduction" of these categories, as it is called in the Critique of Pure Reason. Namely, the principle that all of these categories are founded in the logical function of judgment, so that they automatically arise from the four classes of these judgments (quantity, quality, relation and modality).
Rather it appears, as RIEHL supposes (13), that the so-called "transcendental deduction" presented KANT with his greatest difficulty.
(13) RIEHL I, (3e Aufl.) p. 371 ff.
This deduction entailed the task of explaining why the categories are necessarily related to the "Gegenstand" of experience, and as such have universal validity for all possible experience. As B. ERDMANN has shown, we find the first utterance concerning the principle of this transcendental deduction in a letter which KANT wrote on Nov. 24, 1776.
It is also certain that it was again HUME's critique of the principle of causality which stimulated KANT to demonstrate the transcendental-logical character of the synthetical categories. In the transcendental deduction, the foundations of the mathematical and natural scientific pattern of knowledge were at stake.
The "Dialectic of Pure Reason" as the heart of KANT's Critique of Pure Reason.
But these foundations had an inner connection with the intrinsic dialectic of KANT's hidden transcendental ground-Idea.
According to his own testimony, the core of the Critique of Pure Reason is not to be found in the Transcendental Analytic or in the Transcendental Aesthetic; rather it is to be found in the Dialectic of Pure Reason, in which he develops his doctrine of the transcendental Ideas of pure reason.
For here the tyranny of the science-ideal over the ideal of personality must he broken. Therefore, in the transcendental deduction of the categories the foundations of the ideal of science were to be brought in accordance with the aim of KANT's dialectic of pure reason. The claims of theoretical metaphysics inspired by the mathematical science-ideal to acquire knowledge of the supra-temporal root and origin of experienceable reality were to be rejected and the way was to be opened for the apriori rational faith in the reality of the idea of autonomous freedom of human personality.
For that very reason we shall have to place the doctrine of the transcendental ideas in the centre of the Critique of Pure Reason.
Over and above this, in the explanation of KANT's "critical" philosophy it will become evident to us how his three main critical works: The Critique of Pure Reason (1781), the Critique of Practical Reason (1788), and the Critique of Judgment (1790) must be viewed as a whole, inseparably connected to his dialectical transcendental ground-Idea. In other words, we shall see that if any one, from a Christian point of view, believes he can accept KANT's epistemology, while rejecting his ethical and religious philosophy, he is only giving evidence of a lack of appreciation of the true transcendental foundations of KANT's philosophy.
In the second volume, in our treatment of the problem of epistemology, we shall give special attention to KANT's theory of knowledge; therefore, in the present connection we shall only consider its main Idea, insofar as it is necessary in order to gain an insight into the structure of KANT's transcendental ground-Idea.
(Herman Dooyeweerd, New Critique of Theoretical Thought, Vol I/ Part 2/ Chapt 4/§3 pp 344-354)