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These special concepts just help to make comparisons between concepts judging them either different or the same, compatible or incompatible. It is this particular action of making a judgement that Kant calls "logical reflection. But with all this knowledge, and even if the whole of nature were revealed to us, we should still never be able to answer those transcendental questions which go beyond nature.

The reason of this is that it is not given to us to observe our own mind with any other intuition than that of inner sense; and that it is yet precisely in the mind that the secret of the source of our sensibility is located. Following the systematic treatment of a priori knowledge given in the transcendental analytic, the transcendental dialectic seeks to dissect dialectical illusions. Its task is effectively to expose the fraudulence of the non-empirical employment of the understanding.


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The Transcendental Dialectic shows how pure reason should not be used. According to Kant, the rational faculty is plagued with dialectic illusions as man attempts to know what can never be known. This longer but less dense section of the Critique is composed of five essential elements, including an Appendix, as follows: a Introduction to Reason and the Transcendental Ideas , b Rational Psychology the nature of the soul , c Rational Cosmology the nature of the world , d Rational Theology God , and e Appendix on the constitutive and regulative uses of reason.

In the introduction, Kant introduces a new faculty, human reason , positing that it is a unifying faculty that unifies the manifold of knowledge gained by the understanding. Another way of thinking of reason is to say that it searches for the 'unconditioned'; Kant had shown in the Second Analogy that every empirical event has a cause, and thus each event is conditioned by something antecedent to it, which itself has its own condition, and so forth.

Reason seeks to find an intellectual resting place that may bring the series of empirical conditions to a close, to obtain knowledge of an 'absolute totality' of conditions, thus becoming unconditioned. All in all, Kant ascribes to reason the faculty to understand and at the same time criticize the illusions it is subject to. One of the ways that pure reason erroneously tries to operate beyond the limits of possible experience is when it thinks that there is an immortal Soul in every person. Its proofs, however, are paralogisms, or the results of false reasoning.

Every one of my thoughts and judgments is based on the presupposition "I think. Yet I should not confuse the ever-present logical subject of my every thought with a permanent, immortal, real substance soul. The logical subject is a mere idea, not a real substance.

Unlike Descartes who believes that the soul may be known directly through reason, Kant asserts that no such thing is possible.

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Descartes declares cogito ergo sum but Kant denies that any knowledge of "I" may be possible. This implies that the self in itself could never be known. Like Hume, Kant rejects knowledge of the "I" as substance. For Kant, the "I" that is taken to be the soul is purely logical and involves no intuitions. The "I" is the result of the a priori consciousness continuum not of direct intuition a posteriori.

It is apperception as the principle of unity in the consciousness continuum that dictates the presence of "I" as a singular logical subject of all the representations of a single consciousness. Although "I" seems to refer to the same "I" all the time, it is not really a permanent feature but only the logical characteristic of a unified consciousness. The only use or advantage of asserting that the soul is simple is to differentiate it from matter and therefore prove that it is immortal, but the substratum of matter may also be simple. Since we know nothing of this substratum, both matter and soul may be fundamentally simple and therefore not different from each other.

Then the soul may decay, as does matter. It makes no difference to say that the soul is simple and therefore immortal. Such a simple nature can never be known through experience. It has no objective validity. According to Descartes, the soul is indivisible. This paralogism mistakes the unity of apperception for the unity of an indivisible substance called the soul.

It is a mistake that is the result of the first paralogism. It is impossible that thinking Denken could be composite for if the thought by a single consciousness were to be distributed piecemeal among different consciousnesses, the thought would be lost. According to Kant, the most important part of this proposition is that a multi-faceted presentation requires a single subject. This paralogism misinterprets the metaphysical oneness of the subject by interpreting the unity of apperception as being indivisible and the soul simple as a result.

According to Kant, the simplicity of the soul as Descartes believed cannot be inferred from the "I think" as it is assumed to be there in the first place. Therefore, it is a tautology. In order to have coherent thoughts, I must have an "I" that is not changing and that thinks the changing thoughts. Yet we cannot prove that there is a permanent soul or an undying "I" that constitutes my person. I only know that I am one person during the time that I am conscious.

Diagram of Kant's Transcendental Critique of Theoretical Reason

As a subject who observes my own experiences, I attribute a certain identity to myself, but, to another observing subject, I am an object of his experience. He may attribute a different persisting identity to me. In the third paralogism, the "I" is a self-conscious person in a time continuum, which is the same as saying that personal identity is the result of an immaterial soul. The third paralogism mistakes the "I", as unit of apperception being the same all the time, with the everlasting soul.

According to Kant, the thought of "I" accompanies every personal thought and it is this that gives the illusion of a permanent I. However, the permanence of "I" in the unity of apperception is not the permanence of substance. For Kant, permanence is a schema, the conceptual means of bringing intuitions under a category.

The paralogism confuses the permanence of an object seen from without with the permanence of the "I" in a unity of apperception seen from within. From the oneness of the apperceptive "I" nothing may be deduced. The "I" itself shall always remain unknown.

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The only ground for knowledge is the intuition, the basis of sense experience. The soul is not separate from the world. They exist for us only in relation to each other. Whatever we know about the external world is only a direct, immediate, internal experience. The world appears, in the way that it appears, as a mental phenomenon.

We cannot know the world as a thing-in-itself , that is, other than as an appearance within us. To think about the world as being totally separate from the soul is to think that a mere phenomenal appearance has independent existence outside of us. If we try to know an object as being other than an appearance, it can only be known as a phenomenal appearance, never otherwise. We cannot know a separate, thinking, non-material soul or a separate, non-thinking, material world because we cannot know things, as to what they may be by themselves, beyond being objects of our senses.

The fourth paralogism is passed over lightly or not treated at all by commentators. In the first edition of the Critique of Pure Reason , the fourth paralogism is addressed to refuting the thesis that there is no certainty of the existence of the external world. In the second edition of the Critique of Pure Reason , the task at hand becomes the Refutation of Idealism. Sometimes, the fourth paralogism is taken as one of the most awkward of Kant's invented tetrads. Nevertheless, in the fourth paralogism, there is a great deal of philosophizing about the self that goes beyond the mere refutation of idealism.

In both editions, Kant is trying to refute the same argument for the non-identity of mind and body. Kant claims mysticism is one of the characteristics of Platonism , the main source of dogmatic idealism. Kant explains skeptical idealism by developing a syllogism called "The Fourth Paralogism of the Ideality of Outer Relation:". It is questionable that the fourth paralogism should appear in a chapter on the soul. What Kant implies about Descartes' argument in favor of the immaterial soul is that the argument rests upon a mistake on the nature of objective judgement not on any misconceptions about the soul.

The attack is mislocated. These Paralogisms cannot be proven for speculative reason and therefore can give no certain knowledge about the Soul. However, they can be retained as a guide to human behavior. In this way, they are necessary and sufficient for practical purposes. In order for humans to behave properly, they can suppose that the soul is an imperishable substance, it is indestructibly simple, it stays the same forever, and it is separate from the decaying material world.

On the other hand, anti-rationalist critics of Kant's ethics consider it too abstract, alienating, altruistic or detached from human concern to actually be able to guide human behavior. It is then that the Critique of Pure Reason offers the best defense, demonstrating that in human concern and behavior, the influence of rationality is preponderant. Kant presents the four antinomies of reason in the Critique of Pure Reason as going beyond the rational intention of reaching a conclusion.

For Kant, an antinomy is a pair of faultless arguments in favor of opposite conclusions. Historically, Leibniz and Samuel Clarke Newton's spokesman had just recently engaged in a titanic debate of unprecedented repercussions. Kant's formulation of the arguments was affected accordingly. The Ideas of Rational Cosmology are dialectical. They result in four kinds of opposing assertions, each of which is logically valid. The antinomy , with its resolution, is as follows:. According to Kant, rationalism came to fruition by defending the thesis of each antinomy while empiricism evolved into new developments by working to better the arguments in favor of each antithesis.

Pure reason mistakenly goes beyond its relation to possible experience when it concludes that there is a Being who is the most real thing ens realissimum conceivable. This ens realissimum is the philosophical origin of the idea of God. This personified object is postulated by Reason as the subject of all predicates, the sum total of all reality. Kant called this Supreme Being, or God, the Ideal of Pure Reason because it exists as the highest and most complete condition of the possibility of all objects, their original cause and their continual support.

The ontological proof can be traced back to Anselm of Canterbury — Anselm presented the proof in chapter II of a short treatise titled "Discourse on the existence of God. Aquinas went on to provide his own proofs for the existence of God in what are known as the Five Ways. The ontological proof considers the concept of the most real Being ens realissimum and concludes that it is necessary.

The ontological argument states that God exists because he is perfect. If he didn't exist, he would be less than perfect. Existence is assumed to be a predicate or attribute of the subject , God, but Kant asserted that existence is not a predicate. Existence or Being is merely the infinitive of the copula or linking, connecting verb "is" in a declarative sentence. It connects the subject to a predicate. The small word is , is not an additional predicate, but only serves to put the predicate in relation to the subject.

The Ontological Argument starts with a mere mental concept of a perfect God and tries to end with a real, existing God. The argument is essentially deductive in nature. Given a certain fact, it proceeds to infer another from it. The method pursued, then, is that of deducing the fact of God's being from the a priori idea of him. If man finds that the idea of God is necessarily involved in his self-consciousness, it is legitimate for him to proceed from this notion to the actual existence of the divine being.

In other words, the idea of God necessarily includes existence.

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It may include it in several ways. One may argue, for instance, according to the method of Descartes, and say that the conception of God could have originated only with the divine being himself, therefore the idea possessed by us is based on the prior existence of God himself. Or we may allege that we have the idea that God is the most necessary of all beings—that is to say, he belongs to the class of realities; consequently it cannot but be a fact that he exists.

This is held to be proof per saltum. A leap takes place from the premise to the conclusion, and all intermediate steps are omitted.

Kant’s Transcendental Arguments

The implication is that premise and conclusion stand over against one another without any obvious, much less necessary, connection. A jump is made from thought to reality. Kant here objects that being or existence is not a mere attribute that may be added onto a subject, thereby increasing its qualitative content. The predicate, being, adds something to the subject that no mere quality can give. It informs us that the idea is not a mere conception, but is also an actually existing reality.

Being, as Kant thinks, actually increases the concept itself in such a way as to transform it. You may attach as many attributes as you please to a concept; you do not thereby lift it out of the subjective sphere and render it actual. So you may pile attribute upon attribute on the conception of God, but at the end of the day you are not necessarily one step nearer his actual existence.

So that when we say God exists , we do not simply attach a new attribute to our conception; we do far more than this implies. We pass our bare concept from the sphere of inner subjectivity to that of actuality. This is the great vice of the Ontological argument. The idea of ten dollars is different from the fact only in reality. In the same way the conception of God is different from the fact of his existence only in reality. When, accordingly, the Ontological proof declares that the latter is involved in the former, it puts forward nothing more than a mere statement.

No proof is forthcoming precisely where proof is most required. We are not in a position to say that the idea of God includes existence, because it is of the very nature of ideas not to include existence. Kant explains that being not being a predicate could not characterize a thing. Logically, it is the copula of a judgment. In the proposition, "God is almighty", the copula "is" does not add a new predicate; it only unites a predicate to a subject.

To take God with all its predicates and say that "God is" is equivalent to "God exists" or that "There is a God" is to jump to a conclusion as no new predicate is being attached to God. The content of both subject and predicate is one and the same. According to Kant then, existence is not really a predicate. Therefore, there is really no connection between the idea of God and God's appearance or disappearance. No statement about God whatsoever may establish God's existence.

Kant makes a distinction between "in intellectus" in mind and "in re" in reality or in fact so that questions of being are a priori and questions of existence are resolved a posteriori. The cosmological proof considers the concept of an absolutely necessary Being and concludes that it has the most reality.

In this way, the cosmological proof is merely the converse of the ontological proof. Yet the cosmological proof purports to start from sense experience. It says, "If anything exists in the cosmos, then there must be an absolutely necessary Being. That is the concept of a Supreme Being who has maximum reality. Only such a supremely real being would be necessary and independently sufficient without compare, but this is the Ontological Proof again, which was asserted a priori without sense experience.

Summarizing the cosmological argument further, it may be stated as follows: "Contingent things exist—at least I exist; and as they are not self-caused, nor capable of explanation as an infinite series, it is requisite to infer that a necessary being, on whom they depend, exists. Seeing that all things issue from him, he is the most necessary of beings, for only a being who is self-dependent, who possesses all the conditions of reality within himself, could be the origin of contingent things.

And such a being is God. This proof is invalid for three chief reasons. First, it makes use of a category, namely, Cause. And, as has been already pointed out, it is not possible to apply this, or any other, category except to the matter given by sense under the general conditions of space and time.

If, then, we employ it in relation to Deity, we try to force its application in a sphere where it is useless, and incapable of affording any information.

Deduction of the Pure Concepts of the Understanding

Once more, we are in the now familiar difficulty of the paralogism of Rational Psychology or of the Antinomies. The category has meaning only when applied to phenomena. Yet God is a noumenon. Second, it mistakes an idea of absolute necessity—an idea that is nothing more than an ideal—for a synthesis of elements in the phenomenal world or world of experience.

This necessity is not an object of knowledge, derived from sensation and set in shape by the operation of categories. It cannot be regarded as more than an inference. Yet the cosmological argument treats it as if it were an object of knowledge exactly on the same level as perception of any thing or object in the course of experience. Thirdly, it presupposes the Ontological argument, already proved false. It does this, because it proceeds from the conception of the necessity of a certain being to the fact of his existence.

Yet it is possible to take this course only if idea and fact are convertible with one another, and it has just been proved that they are not so convertible. The physico-theological proof of God's existence is supposed to be based on a posteriori sensed experience of nature and not on mere a priori abstract concepts. It observes that the objects in the world have been intentionally arranged with great wisdom. The fitness of this arrangement could never have occurred randomly, without purpose.

The world must have been caused by an intelligent power. The unity of the relation between all of the parts of the world leads us to infer that there is only one cause of everything. That one cause is a perfect , mighty, wise, and self-sufficient Being. This physico-theology does not, however, prove with certainty the existence of God.

For this, we need something absolutely necessary that consequently has all-embracing reality, but this is the Cosmological Proof, which concludes that an all-encompassing real Being has absolutely necessary existence. All three proofs can be reduced to the Ontological Proof , which tried to make an objective reality out of a subjective concept. In abandoning any attempt to prove the existence of God, Kant declares the three proofs of rational theology known as the ontological, the cosmological and the physico-theological as quite untenable.

Far from advocating for a rejection of religious belief, Kant rather hoped to demonstrate the impossibility of attaining the sort of substantive metaphysical knowledge either proof or disproof about God, free will, or the soul that many previous philosophers had pursued. The second book in the Critique , and by far the shorter of the two, attempts to lay out the formal conditions of the complete system of pure reason. In the Transcendental Dialectic, Kant showed how pure reason is improperly used when it is not related to experience. In the Method of Transcendentalism, he explained the proper use of pure reason.

In section I, the discipline of pure reason in the sphere of dogmatism, of chapter I, the discipline of pure reason, of Part II, transcendental discipline of method, of the Critique of Pure Reason , Kant enters into the most extensive discussion of the relationship between mathematical theory and philosophy. Discipline is the restraint, through caution and self-examination, that prevents philosophical pure reason from applying itself beyond the limits of possible sensual experience. Philosophy cannot possess dogmatic certainty.

Philosophy, unlike mathematics , cannot have definitions , axioms or demonstrations. All philosophical concepts must be ultimately based on a posteriori , experienced intuition. This is different from algebra and geometry , which use concepts that are derived from a priori intuitions, such as symbolic equations and spatial figures. Kant's basic intention in this section of the text is to describe why reason should not go beyond its already well-established limits.

In section I, the discipline of pure reason in the sphere of dogmatism, Kant clearly explains why philosophy cannot do what mathematics can do in spite of their similarities. Kant also explains that when reason goes beyond its own limits, it becomes dogmatic. For Kant, the limits of reason lie in the field of experience as, after all, all knowledge depends on experience.

According to Kant, a dogmatic statement would be a statement that reason accepts as true even though it goes beyond the bounds of experience. Restraint should be exercised in the polemical use of pure reason. Kant defined this polemical use as the defense against dogmatic negations. For example, if it is dogmatically affirmed that God exists or that the soul is immortal, a dogmatic negation could be made that God doesn't exist or that the soul is not immortal. Such dogmatic assertions can't be proved. The statements are not based on possible experience.

In section II, the discipline of pure reason in polemics, Kant argues strongly against the polemical use of pure reason. The dogmatic use of reason would be the acceptance as true of a statement that goes beyond the bounds of reason while the polemic use of reason would be the defense of such statement against any attack that could be raised against it.

For Kant, then, there cannot possibly be any polemic use of pure reason. Kant argues against the polemic use of pure reason and considers it improper on the grounds that opponents cannot engage in a rational dispute based on a question that goes beyond the bounds of experience. Kant claimed that adversaries should be freely allowed to speak reason. In return, they should be opposed through reason.

Dialectical strife leads to an increase of reason's knowledge. Yet there should be no dogmatic polemical use of reason. The critique of pure reason is the tribunal for all of reason's disputes. It determines the rights of reason in general. We should be able to openly express our thoughts and doubts. This leads to improved insight.

We should eliminate polemic in the form of opposed dogmatic assertions that cannot be related to possible experience. According to Kant, the censorship of reason is the examination and possible rebuke of reason. Such censorship leads to doubt and skepticism. After dogmatism produces opposing assertions, skepticism usually occurs. The doubts of skepticism awaken reason from its dogmatism and bring about an examination of reason's rights and limits. It is necessary to take the next step after dogmatism and skepticism.

This is the step to criticism. Both awoke how to transmit introductions and locals. The Babylonians had entrenched releases regarding capable essays and made the analog download space, geometry, and. This onset is more than standards of interested Electrochromics, from Thales and Pythagoras to Euclid. Noetic presented the findings to my senior management not long ago. We were delighted to have the consensus and buy-in around the core concepts of data management.

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