Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Neo-Kantian Logic

I. Transcendentalism Revisited

Our knowledge comes from two sources in the mind: receiving representations of objects, and also conceptualizing representations of objects.

So receiving representations provides given objects, while knowing through representations provides thoughts about objects. Therefore, intuition and concepts are required elements of all knowledge, and neither by themselves can yield knowledge.

Both intuition and concepts are either pure or empirical. They are empirical when sensation is contained in an object. They are pure when no sensation is mixed up with the representation. Therefore, pure intuition contains only the form through which we see. Pure conception is the form through which we think. Pure intuition and pure concepts are only possible as prior notions, while empirical intuition and concepts are only possible in the aftermath of an experience of empirical data.

Sensibility is the mind's ability to receive representations whenever affected. But the understanding is the power to produce representations to spontaneously know things. Our intuition always has to be sensuous and must always be the way we are affected by objects, whereas the understanding is what enables us to think about the objects of our sensuous intuition. Neither one of these faculties is preferable to the other. Without sensibility, objects would not be given to us. And without understanding, we could not think about them.

Thoughts without contents are empty.
Intuitions without concepts are blind.

Immanuel Kant, Critique of Pure Reason

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