On Interpretation of the conclusion and the reasoning in Kants First and Second Analogies Essay

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Transcendental Aesthetic is a fragment of Kants Transcendental Doctrine of Elements in his notable work entitled Critique of Pure Reason and was considered as the science of all sensibility a priori. The Transcendental Aesthetic focuses on the important role of sensibility, the object of sensibility, and mathematics including geometry, and most of all; it focuses on the pre-scientific arguments about space and time. At this point, Kant argues that space and time are pure intuitions that have a sensible form of experience and are not part of absolute reality.

We have seen that when a piece of wood goes from being straight to being bent, something, namely, the wood, must persist. There is an existence change, to be sure: some straight wood stops existing and some bent wood begin to exist. But this existence change is merely an alteration in something that existed throughout the change: the piece of wood. Now suppose that we reapply this idea to the wood itself, as follows. Let the wood be burned down to a pile of ashes.

Again, there is an existence change: some wood ceases to exist and some ashes and smoke begin to exist. But, Kant would say, this existence change is also merely an alteration in something that existed throughout the change, namely, an underlying matter, substance, or stuff that altered from one state (the wooden state) to another state (the smoky-ashy state). You might object, however, that this move to substance is premature, for even the smoky-ashy stuff could undergo an existence change that is merely an alteration.

Suppose, for example, that the ashes are dispersed by the wind and that the smoke particles are diffused into the atmosphere: are we forced to say that the smoky-ashy stuff has ceased to exist, yet no other thing had to persist, so that we have an existence change that is not merely an alteration in something? No, for we can say instead that (a portion of) the atmosphere has gone from being clear to being slightly ashy and slightly smoky”has become polluted.

It seems that, in principle, there is nothing to stop us from treating even further existence changes as being also alterations in something that lasted throughout those change, for example, from saying that the atmosphere itself might vanish but that this would be only an alteration of some cosmic dust. However, suppose we ascribe to Kant the premise that this cannot be done infinitely many times, that is, that at some point we will reach a last possible alteration.

This premise is not implausible: it seems reasonable to suppose that, in cases like the one described, at some point in our search for items to serve as subjects of alterations we will simply run out of candidates and reach a final subject of alteration, which Kant calls substance, substratum, and sometimes matter. It then seems to follow, as Kant puts it: All existence and all change in time have thus to be viewed as simply a mode of the existence of that which remains and persists . . . everything . . . which changes or can change belongs only to the way in which substance or substances exist, and therefore to their determinations.

(A 183184/B 227) Kant believed that our knowledge is related to objects in whatever means since it is immediately relates to them by intuition . But the possibility of having an intuition will only take place if a certain object affects our mind in a certain manner. At this point, cant argues that the first step to acquire knowledge is through sensibility since this is where the object will be given to us, which will eventually endow intuition. Having sensibility and intuition, the faculty that is concerned on generating concepts will take off since it studies the structure of our cognition, in order then to create a system.

Another baby step, which needs to be considered, is sensation because this is the a posteriori basis of our knowledge. From this sensation, we can imply that we will receive object empirically wherein we can derive an empirical intuition. Given that in empirical intuition, an object is undetermined, then it follows that we can call that indeterminacy phenomenon . Kant then posits, that all phenomena which correspond to sensation is matter and all phenomenon that corresponds to certain relation of effects is form . We can say then that matter is an a posteriori property and form is the a priori property of knowledge.

From the given steps, it is necessary that space and time is a pure intuition, and to acquire this purity one must disregard all ideas that belong to sensation (i. e. color and texture), and all thoughts that belong to understanding (i. e. substance, force, and divisibility) so that shape and extension of empirical intuition will remain. These properties according to Kant, is considered pure intuition because it exist a priori of the mind, it is a mere form of sensibility and does not have empirical object of the sensation.

Kant believes that space is not an empirical concept since it is not derived from external experience of a phenomena but it is rather the external phenomena that is dependent on the representation of space. It necessarily follows that space is a necessary representation a priori since space is the state of the possibility of phenomenon, and the medium of all external phenomena. Because a priori representation is necessary, we can say that mathematical definition is not merely perception since perception depends on a posteriori precepts.

Space is not discursive but a pure intuition because space is unitary wherein we cannot perceive it or even quantify it. It only becomes divisible because of the limitations that we are putting on space. And lastly, Kant conjectures that space is represented as an infinite quantity but it must be noted that we cannot confine or measure its quantity since it is an a priori intuition. In short, we could not say that in a certain room there is space if there is no phenomenon inside that room. Let say that we put a bed inside a given room, then the possibility on the existence of the bed depends on the representation of space.

The reason for this is simple; it is because space is not derived from experience. Kant posits that time is not an empirical concept derived from experience because if it is the case, then we could not imagine things happening simultaneously or successively since this kind of happenstance is not given a priori fashion. Time is a necessary representation since all intuition depends on its existence, and the existence of all phenomena is predicated by time since it is its existence. Time has one dimension since all apodictic principles of time depends on its being a necessary representation a priori.

And most of all, time is not discursive like space because it is a sensuous intuition, and time is subjective because we are the one who put reference on its existence. It must be noted, however, that it will exist infinitely without any reference. In short, we could say that time is only somehow understood by our faculty if we put a phenomenon on a certain space, in which we will set a referent time in order for us to see the changes that will happen on the phenomenon, which is indicative of time.

Now, Kants key insight in the Second Analogy is that there is an epistemological problem about how we are able to perceptually identify or discriminate events. Specifically, there is a problem about how we are able to distinguish events from enduring states of affairs, for whether we are perceiving an event or an enduring state of affairs, our perceptions occur successively or serially in time. Kant illustrates this point with the examples of perceiving a ship moving downstream versus perceiving a house.

The ships movement from an upstream position to one further downstream is an event. On the other hand, the existence of the various parts of the house”its front, sides, back, foundation, roof, and so on”is an enduring state of affairs. But in both cases, our perceptions occur successively or serially in time. In the case of the ship, we see it first upstream and then downstream. In the case of the house, we see first one side and then another side or first the foundation and then the roof or first the roof and then the foundation.

This shows that we cannot tell, merely from the fact that our perceptions occur serially or successively, that we are perceiving an event rather than an enduring state of affairs. In other words, observation alone provides no criterion by which we can distinguish between the two. How, then, can we tell whether we are perceiving an event or an enduring state of affairs? To quote Beck: [Hume] never discussed this problem; no one before Kant even saw that it was a problem.

Kants thesis in the Second Analogy is that this problem can be solved in only one way”namely, if we grant that every observable event has a cause, or as Kant puts it, that everything that happens, that is, begins to be, presupposes something on which it follows according to a rule. In other words, Kant contends that we can distinguish between events and enduring states of affairs, and so identify events, only if the causal principle is true of those events. Reference: Kant, I. (2003). Critique of Pure Reason: Dover Publications.

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