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A History of Philosophy in Epitome by Schwegler

Hence the reason is the faculty of the unconditioned


of experience, is possible,

and can become phenomenon; (_b_) that which agrees with the material conditions of experience is actual, and is phenomenon; (_c_) that, whose connection with the actual is determined according to the universal conditions of experience, is necessary, and must be phenomenon. Such are the possible and authorized synthetical judgments apriori. But it must not be forgotten that we are entitled to make only an empirical use of all these conceptions and principles, and that we must ever apply them only to things as objects of a possible experience, and never to things in themselves; for the conception without an object is an empty form, but the object cannot be given to the conception except in intuition, and the pure intuition of space and time needs to be filled by experience. Hence, without reference to human experience, these apriori conceptions and principles are nothing but a sporting of the imagination and the understanding, with their representations. Their peculiar determination is only to enable us to spell perceptions, that we may read them as experiences. But here one is apt to fall into a delusion, which can hardly be avoided. Since the categories are not grounded upon the sensory, but have an apriori origin, it would seem as though their application would reach far beyond the sense; but such a view is a delusion; our conceptions are not able to lead us to a knowledge of things in themselves (_noumena_), since our intuition gives us only phenomena for the content of our
conceptions, and the thing in itself can never be given in a possible experience; our knowledge remains limited to the phenomena. The source of all the confusions and errors and strife in previous metaphysics, was in confounding the phenomenal with the noumenal world.

Besides the categories or conceptions of the understanding, which have been considered, and which are especially important for experience, though often applied erroneously beyond the province of experience, there are other conceptions whose peculiar province is only to deceive; conceptions whose express determination is to pass beyond the province of experience, and which may consequently be called transcendent. These are the fundamental conceptions and principles of the previous metaphysics. To examine these conceptions, and destroy the appearance of objective science and knowledge, which they falsely exhibit, is the problem of the _Transcendental Dialectics_ (the second part of the transcendental logic).

3. THE TRANSCENDENTAL DIALECTICS.--In a strict sense, the reason is distinguished from the understanding. As the understanding has its categories, the reason has its ideas; as the understanding forms fundamental maxims from conceptions, the reason forms principles from ideas, in which the maxims of the understanding have their highest confirmation. The peculiar work of the reason is, in general, to find the unconditioned for the conditioned knowledge of the understanding, and to unify it. Hence the reason is the faculty of the unconditioned, or of principles; but since it has no immediate reference to objects, but only to the understanding and its judgments, its activity must remain an immanent one. If it would take the highest unity of the reason not simply in a transcendental sense, but exalt it to an actual object of knowledge, then it would become transcendent in that it applied the conceptions of the understanding to the knowledge of the unconditioned. From this transcending and false use of the categories, arises the transcendental appearance which decoys us beyond experience, by the delusive pretext of widening the domain of the pure understanding. It is the problem of the transcendental logic to discover this transcendental appearance.


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