This, however, tacitly deviates into an objective condition, as though in its absence there were no room for contingence; which being done, a counterfeit and erroneous axiom arises. The principle perennially ruling and determining my Ideal- ism is, on the contrary: The Intelligible World was thus partly discriminated against as transcendent ; partly, though legitimated as transcend- ental, it was restricted to its immanent use in experience. For a continuous quantity is one which does not consist of simple parts. Does Kant owe nothing to Locke? For instance, Kant is responsible for much demolition and re- fashioning of Aristotelian logic. There is given, therefore, a science of sensual things , though being phenomena there is not given a real intellection, but a logical one only; hence it is plain in what sense those borrowing from the Eleatic school are to be thought to have denied a science of phenomena.

As for the latter spurious axiom , it originates from a rash conversion of the principle of contradiction. One of them is that which afTects knowledge of quantity, the other that affecting know- ledge of qualities generally. For all sensible things of whatsoever de- scription are unthinkable except as posited either simultan- eously or one after another, and, indeed, as if involved and mutually related by determinate position in the tract of unique time, so that by this primary concept of everything sensuous originates necessarily that formal whole which is not a part of another, that is, the phenomenal World. If originally it had not placed them there, it would never find them in nature. All cognition by sense and experience is mere seeming; only in the ideas of the pure understanding and reason is truth. But to form a concept of them as objects of pure intuition — without doing which we could say nothing of them — requires a priori the concept of a compound.

William J. Eckoff, Kant’s Inaugural Dissertation of – PhilPapers

But when something is thought of not at all as an object of the senses, but by a general and pure concept of the reason as a thing or substance generally, very false posi- tions result by subjecting these things to the kkants concepts of sensibility. For unless infinite space as well as infinite time be given, no definite space and time is assignable by limitationand a point as well as a moment is unthinkable by itself and only conceived in a space and time already given as the limits.

Let the letters a b c denote the three angular points of a rectilineal triangle. They who hold this disquisition superfluous are confuted by the concepts of space and time, conditions, as it were, given by their very own selves and primitive, by whose aid, that is to say, without any other principle, it is not only possible but necessary for several actual things to be regarded as reciprocally parts constituting a whole.

They have universality evident as far as observed, but neither necessity, except as far as the o of nature may be estab- lished, nor precision, except what is arbitrarily made. Hence he concluded that reason has no faculty to think such con- nections, even in a general way.

kants inaugural dissertation of 1770

For, since the existence of each stands for itself without depend- ence on any other, a dependence which in necessary sub- stances clearly cannot befall, it is plain that not only does the intercommunication of substances that is, the reciprocal dependence of their states not follow from their existence, but as necessary substances cannot belong to them at all. Kant’s Inaugural Dissertation of These explanations closely ex- amined amount to the same.


Immanuel Kant, Kant’s Inaugural Dissertation of – PhilPapers

Extending through schematism and productive imagination, it fused and welded Transcen- dental Aesthetic into one system with the other portions of the Critique. This method, especially in respect to the distinction be- tween sensual and intellectual knowledge, which, when re- duced by more careful investigation to exactness, will occupy the position of a propaedeutical science, will certainly be of unhmited benefit to all intending to penetrate into the very recesses of metaphysics.

The concept of space is not abstracted from external sen- sations. It seems to me it has always been an unrecognized but chief mistake of philosophers to wish to force things. From the clearest con- sciousness of all the partial presentations of a body he could not get by analysis the necessity of that proposition. Those who defend the reality of space either conceive of it as an absolute and immense receptacle of possi- ble things, an opinion which, besides the English, pleases most geometricians, or they contend for its being the rela- tion of existing things itself, which clearly vanishes in the removal of things and is thinkable only in actual things, as besides Leibnitz, is maintained by most of our countrymen.

For the same reason we take care to shut out from the exposition of phenomena comparative miraclesnamely, the influence of spirits, since, as we do not know their nature, the intellect, to its great detriment, would be turned aside from the light of experience, by which alone it is able to provide for itself laws of judging, into the night of species and causes unknown to us. As a part of the plan for col- lecting the elicited responses, a series of monographs was prepared covering the field of the pre-critical work of Kant in Kant’s own language, with no more additions from the writer than would suffice for connective tissue.

It is impossible to see without a degree of pain how the point of the problem was completely missed by his oppo- nents, Reid, Oswald, Beattie, and finally Priestley. But I shall show presently that these are plainly not rational notions, nor the bonds which they form objective ideasbut phenomena; and that though they witness, to be sure, some kanfs which is the common universal bond, it is not set forth by them.

It is for this reason that a host of fictitious forcesgotten up ad libitumbursts, in the absence of self-contradiction, from any constructive, or, if you prefer, from every chimerical mind.

kants inaugural dissertation of 1770

To these is to be added a certain concept, intellectual to be sure in itself, but whose becoming actual in the concrete requires the auxiliary notions of time and space in the successive addition and simultaneous juxtaposition of separate units, which is the concept of number diissertation in arithmetic.

It is a consequence from this that the simple in space is not a part, but a limit. It is the part of a fool to deprecate a coming revolution. The sensual condition under which alone data can be compared in order to form the intellectual concept of the object, is the condition of the very possibility of the object.

Kant’s inaugural dissertation of 1770

But since we cannot attain by any mental striving, even fictitiously, to any other intuition but that according to the form of space and time, it happens that we deem all intuition whatever impossible which is not bound inaugurral these laws, passing by the pure inaugurla intuition exempt from the laws of the senses, such as the divine, by Plato called the Idea, and hence subject all possible given things to the sensual axioms of space and time.


And if we must have a revolutionary program, what safer, since of the nature of the Social Inaugurl it must be — what especially safer for disseertation, whose independence as a nation is a vindication of Locke, the Rousseauist before Rousseau — than the sublimated Rousseauism of Kant?

Two of these limits, the surface and the line, are themselves spaces. Kant has been discussing the proposition: To the extent to which knowledge is subject to the laws of sensuousness it is sensuous ; to the extent to which it is subject to the laws of intelligence it is intellectual or rational.

Space does not contain the conditions kznts possible mutual activities, except those of matter. Nevertheless it runs sharply counter to reason. To man, no intuition of intellectual concepts is given, only symbolical cognitionand intellection is granted us only by universal concepts in the abstract, not by the concrete singular.

There is given, therefore, a science of sensiial things, though being phenomena there is not given a real intdlection, but a logical one only ; hence it is plain in what sense those bor- rowing from the Eleatic school are to be thought to have denied a science of phenomena. Things cannot appear to the senses under any form but by means of a power of the soul co-ordinating all sensations in accordance with a fixed law implanted in its nature.

Furthermore, as the sensation constituting the matter of sensuous representations argues, to be sure, the presence of something sensible, but depends as to quality on the nature of the subject, as the latter is modifiable by the object; exactly so does the form of that representation witness certainly some reference or relation among the sensuous percepts, but itself is not, as it were, the shadowing forth or outlining of the object, but only a certain law inherent in the mind for co-ordinating among themselves sensuous percepts arising from the presence of the object.

Still we thus affirm, not on account of possessing so ample a knowledge of the events of the world according to the common laws of nature, or because the impossibility or smaller hypothetical possibility of supernatural things is plain to us, but because departing from the order of nature there would be no use for the intellect, the rash citation of the supernatural being the couch of lazy understandings.

It is the conviction of the writer that understanding Kant can be achieved best, not by the utilization of any of the commentaries whose number makes one deplore that editor Omar of the Alexandrian Library is a myth, but by calling on Kant to explain himself.