Extracts

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Space


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[1 of 8] Kant, Immanuel (1724-1804, Germany): primary subject "Philosophy, extracts" (search under Inner Life/Mind, Psyche, Soul, Spirit)": detail "‘Critique of Pure Reason’: The Transcendental Doctrine of the Elements, First Part, section 2"
Space is no empirical concept, which has been abstracted from outer experience. For, in order for sensations to be related to something outside me (i.e., to something in another position in space from that in which I am located), as also for me to be able to represent these sensations as outside and alongside one another, and hence not merely as different, but as in different places, the representation of space must already be there as a basis. Accordingly, the representation of space cannot be borrowed from the relations of outer appearance through experience, but this outer experience is itself first possible only by means of that representation.

[2 of 8] Kant, Immanuel (1724-1804, Germany): primary subject "Philosophy, extracts" (search under Inner Life/Mind, Psyche, Soul, Spirit)": detail "‘Critique of Pure Reason: The Antinomy of Pure Reason: First Conflict of the Transcendental Ideas’, from a note in the proof to the Antithesis: ‘the World has no beginning and no limits in space, but is infinite, in respect both of time and space’."
Space is merely the form of external intuition (formal intuition) and not a real object that can be perceived prior to all things which determine it (fill or limit it), or rather which give an empirical intuition determined by its form. Space, under the name of absolute space, is nothing but a mere possibility of external phenomena, so far as they either exist by themselves, or can be added to given phenomena.

[3 of 8] Kant, Immanuel (1724-1804, Germany): primary subject "Philosophy, extracts" (search under Inner Life/Mind, Psyche, Soul, Spirit)": source "Critique of Pure Reason": detail "Part First, Section 1 “Of Space”"
1. Space is not a conception which has been derived from outward experiences. For, in order that certain sensations may relate to something without me (that is, to something which occupies a different part of space from that in which I am); in like manner, in order that I may represent them not merely as without of and near to each other, but also in separate places, the representation of space must already exist as a foundation. Consequently, the representation of space cannot be borrowed from the relations of external phenomena through experience; but, on the contrary, this external experience is itself only possible through the said antecedent representation.
 2. Space then is a necessary representation a priori, which serves for the foundation of all external intuitions. We never can imagine or make a representation to ourselves of the non-existence of space, though we may easily enough think that no objects are found in it. It must, therefore, be considered as condition of the possibility of phenomena, and by no means a determination dependent on them, and is a representation a priori, which necessarily supplies the basis for external phenomena.
 3. Space is no discursive, or as we say, general conception of the relations of things, but a pure intuition. For in the first place, we can only represent to ourselves one space, and when we talk of divers spaces, we mean only parts of one and the same space. Moreover these parts cannot antecede this one all-embracing space, as the component parts from which the aggregate can be made up, but can be cogitated only as existing in it. Space is essentially one, and multiplicity in it, consequently the general notion of spaces, of this or that space, depends solely upon limitations. Hence it follows that an a priori intuition (which is not empirical) lies at the root of all our conceptions of space. …
 4. Space is represented as an infinite given quantity. Now every conception must indeed be considered as a representation which is contained in an infinite multitude of different possible representations, which, therefore, comprises these under itself; but no conception, as such, can be so conceived, as if it contained within itself an infinite multitude of representations. Nevertheless, space is so conceived of, for all parts of space are equally capable of being produced to infinity. Consequently, the original representation of space is an intuition a priori, and not a conception.


[4 of 8] Kant, Immanuel (1724-1804, Germany): primary subject "Philosophy, extracts" (search under Inner Life/Mind, Psyche, Soul, Spirit)": detail "‘Preface’ to the 2nd edition of ‘Critique of Pure Reason’"
First: Space and time are only forms of sensuous intuition, therefore conditions of the existence of things, as phenomena only.
 Second: we have no concepts of the understanding, and therefore nothing whereby we can arrive at the knowledge of things, except in so far as an intuition corresponding to these concepts can be given, and consequently that we cannot have knowledge of any object, as a thing by itself, but only in so far as it is an object of sensuous intuition, that is, a phenomenon.

[5 of 8] Kant, Immanuel (1724-1804, Germany): primary subject "Philosophy, extracts" (search under Inner Life/Mind, Psyche, Soul, Spirit)": detail "‘Introduction’, III, to the 2nd edition of ‘Critique of Pure Reason’"
Not only in judgments, however, but even in certain concepts, can we show their origin a priori. Take away, for example, from the concept of body, as supplied by experience, everything that is empirical, one by one; such as colour, hardness, or softness, weight, and even impenetrability, and there still remains the space which the body (now entirely vanished) occupied: that you cannot take away. And in the same manner, if you remove from your empirical concept of any object, corporeal or incorporeal, all properties which experience has taught you, you cannot take away from it that property by which you conceive it as a substance, or inherent in a substance (although such a concept contains more determinations than that of an object in general). Convinced, therefore, by the necessity with which that concept forces itself upon you, you will have to admit that it has its seat in your faculty of knowledge a priori.

[6 of 8] Kant, Immanuel (1724-1804, Germany): primary subject "Philosophy, extracts" (search under Inner Life/Mind, Psyche, Soul, Spirit)": source "Critique of Pure Reason": detail "Part First, Section 1 “Of Space”"
1. Space does not represent any property of objects as things in themselves, nor does it represent them in their relations to each other; in other words, space does not represent to us any determination of objects such as attaches to the objects themselves, and would remain, even though all subjective conditions of the intuition were abstracted. For neither absolute nor relative determinations of objects can be intuited prior to the existence of the things to which they belong, and therefore not a priori.
 2. Space is nothing else than the form of all phenomena of the external sense, that is, the subjective condition of the sensibility, under which alone external intuition is possible. Now, because the receptivity or capacity of the subject to be affected by objects necessarily antecedes all intuitions of these objects, it is easily understood how the form of all phenomena can be given in the mind previous to all actual perceptions, therefore a priori, and how it, as a pure intuition, in which all objects must be determined, can contain principles of the relations of these objects prior to all experience.


[7 of 8] Kant, Immanuel (1724-1804, Germany): primary subject "Philosophy, extracts" (search under Inner Life/Mind, Psyche, Soul, Spirit)": detail "‘Critique of Pure Reason: The Antinomy of Pure Reason: First Conflict of the Transcendental Ideas’: Observations on the Antinomy, on the Antithesis"
Space is only the form of external intuition, and not a real object that could be perceived externally, nor is it a correlate of phenomena, but the form of phenomena themselves. Space, therefore, cannot exist absolutely (by itself) as something determining the existence of things, because it is no object, but only the form of possible objects. Things, therefore, as phenomenal, may indeed determine space, that is, impart reality to one or other of its predicates (quantity and relation); but space, on the other side, as something existing by itself, cannot determine the reality of things in regard to quantity or form, because it is nothing real in itself. Space therefore (whether full or empty) may be limited by phenomena, but phenomena cannot be limited by empty space outside them. The same applies to time. But, granting all this, it cannot be denied that we should be driven to admit these two monsters, empty space outside, and empty time before the world, if we assumed the limit of the world, whether in space or time.

[8 of 8] Kant, Immanuel (1724-1804, Germany): primary subject "Philosophy, extracts" (search under Inner Life/Mind, Psyche, Soul, Spirit)": source "Prolegomena to Any Future Metaphysics": detail "‘The Main Transcendental Question’ Third part, section 49"
For if space is nothing but a form of my sensibility, then it is, as a representation in me, just as real as I am myself, and the only question remaining concerns the empirical truth of the appearances in this space. If this is not the case, but rather space and the appearances in it are something existing outside us, then all the criteria of experience can never, outside our perception, prove the reality of these objects outside us.