Paragraph jo To these spurious principles must be added some others of great afifinity with them, not imparting to the given in- tellectual concept any blemish of sensuous cognition, but deceiving the intellect so as to take them for arguments drawn from the object, though they are commended to us only by the peculiar nature. Synthesis as well as analysis are here taken only in the latter sense. In all sciences whose principles are given intuitively, whether by sensual intuition, that is, experience, or by an intuition sensuous, to be sure, but pure—the concepts of space, time, and number—that is to say, in the natural and in the mathematical sciences, use gives method , and by trying and finding after the science has been carried to some degree of copiousness and consonancy it appears by what method and in what direction we must proceed in order to finish and to purify it by removing the defects of error as well as of confused thoughts; exactly as grammar after the more copious use of speech, and style after the appearance of choice examples in poetry and oratory, furnished vantage-ground to rules and to discipline. Kant und die Kritik an den einfachen Substanzen. The former relation is reciprocal and homonymous , any correlate in respect to any other being considered as at once determining and determined. All primitive properties of these concepts are then beyond the purview of reason, and hence cannot intellect- ually be explained in any way. Therefore, if there be any totals of substances connected by no bond, a grasping of them together, the mind forcing the multiplicity into ideal oneness, will be called nothing more than a plurality of worlds comprehended in a single thought.

Epicurus, never allowing his syllogisms to go beyond the limits of experience, was far more consistent in his sensual system, at least, than Aristotle and Locke, more particularly the latter, who, having derived all concepts and principles from experience, goes so far in their application as to main- tain that the existence of God and the immortality of the soul, both of which lie beyond possible experience, can be proved with the evidence of a mathematical proposition. To this preju- dice another may be compared which is not properly a spurious axiom but a play of the fancy, and which may be set forth in the general formula: Geometry, therefore, uses principles not only undoubted and discursive but falling under the mental view, and the obvious- ness of its demonstrations — which means the clearness of certain cognition in as far as assimilated to sensual know- ledge — is not only greatest, but the only one which is given in the pure sciences, and the exemplar and medium of all obviousness in the others. They are independent of experience. From these spurious axioms have gone forth, and are rife throughout metaphysics, prin- ciples deceiving the intellect.

All changes are continuous or flowing, that is, opposite states succeed each other only by an intermediate series of different states. The disease is world-wide.

Kant has little dissretation say about the source of intellectual concepts, but continues to believe that they give us knowledge of how things are independently of the structure of our own minds.


Kant’s Inaugural Dissertation of His Considerations on the Feelings of the Beautiful and Sublime, for a long time a favorite produc- tion with him, shows the germinal connection in his mind between moral and aesthetic beauty, transmitted possibly from Shaftesbury. Hence absolute and immediate locality may be denied to the soul, while yet hypothetical and mediate locality may be attributed to it.

Kant’s Inaugural Dissertation and Early Writings on Space

Hence, empirical laws, though of the greatest generality, are, nevertheless, sensual, and the principles of sensuous form summarry geometry, the relations in determinate space, however much the intellect arguing according to logical rules from what is sensuously given, by pure intuition, be employed upon them, do not for that matter pass beyond the class of sense-percepts.

Other pas- sages may be quoted having a Lockean cast, such as the illustrative paragraph, which was much condensed in inaugurak second edition of the Critique of Pure Reason, at the end ofFor this world though existing contingently is sempiternalthat is, simultaneous with all time.

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Besides, this science does not demonstrate its universal propositions by thinking the object through the universal concept, as is done in intellectual disquisition, but by submitting it to the eyes in a single intuition, as is done in matters of sense.

But beyond doubt either concept is acquirednot, it is true, abstracted from the sense of objects, for sensation gives the matter not the form of human cognition, but from the very action of the mind co-ordinating its sense-percepts in accordance with perpetual laws, as though an immutable type, and hence to be known intuitively.

It is in us before any perception of an object. The cause, therefore, of the world is an extramundane being, and so is not the soul of the world, nor is its presence in the world local, but virtual. Such concepts both of objects and rela- tions are given by the very nature of the intellect, are not abstracted from any use of the senses, and do not contain any form of sensuous knowledge as such.

Kant’s Inaugural Dissertation and Its Context

With all this elaboration, it unwittingly remained in the field of logic. The intuition of a body would give in the continuous consciousness of all the presentations contained in it, a con- cept of the body as an aggregate of monads.

But according to the sumnary of intuitive cognition this is not diwsertation, that is, all composition is not removed, except by a regress from the given whole to any possible parts whatsoever—in other words, by an analysis again resting on the condition of time.

Paragraph jo To these spurious principles must be added some others of great afifinity with them, not imparting to the given in- tellectual concept any blemish of sensuous cognition, but deceiving the intellect so as to take them for arguments drawn from the object, though they are commended to us only by the peculiar nature. Inauuguralwhich consists in the co-ordination of the substances, not in their subordination.


In Science, Art, and Society. In a famous letter of 21 February to Marcus Herz 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 fundamental concepts of sensibility.

Kant’s Inaugural Dissertation and Its Context – Oxford Scholarship

Space not the limit of another is a solid. Therefore the possibility of external perceptions, as such, presupposes and does not create the concept of space, so that, although what is in space affects the senses, space cannot itself be derived from the senses.

kants inaugural dissertation summary

The Notcveaiix Essais and the Dissertation Of course this is to concede that the building-stones of the Dissertation are by original extraction from the Leibnitzian quarry. But what is formal, consisting in the combina- tion of notions and the application of the attention to their difference and agreement, is certainly changed in a variety of ways.

For, since here the right use of the reason constitutes the summxry principles and the objects as well, disseftation axioms are to be thought of concerning them dummary primarily known solely by its own nature, the exposition of the laws of pure reason is the very origin of the science, and their distinction from spurious laws the criterion of truth.

Whether things falHng under sense-perception be simultaneous or in line of succession cannot be repre- sented but by the idea of time ; nor does succession beget the concept of time ; it appeals to it. But although time posited in itself and absolutely be an imaginary thing, yet as appertaining to the immutable law of sensible things as such, it is a perfectly true concept, and the patent condition of intuitive representation throughout all the infinite range jants possible sense-objects.

Therefore, though the direct proposition is perfectly true: Italics are always Kant’s own.

kants inaugural dissertation summary

Dissertaton second is the partiality for unity proper to the philosophical mind, whence this wide-spread canon has flown forth: 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.

Therefore it does not move continuously, which is contrary to the assumption.

kants inaugural dissertation summary

Common Sense is a great gift of heaven, but to appeal simmary it as an oracle when insight and science have run down to heel-taps is a subtile invention for enabling the shallowest babbler bravely to engage and hold out with the profoundest mind.