Summary Of Kant's Critique Of Pure Reason

1032 Words 5 Pages
In his book, Critique of Pure Reason, Immanuel Kant makes several distinctions such as between a priori and a posteriori cognition, and between empirical reality and transcendental ideality. One of the main distinctions he makes is between matter of intuition and form of intuition. It was important to Kant to distinguish the difference between these two terms because they play a vital role in the first part of his book which is the ‘Transcendental Aesthetic.’ Kant’s book is significant because he overcomes the division between empiricism and rationalism. According to Kant, all knowledge is not derived from sensation, nor is all knowledge derived from reason. Kant demonstrates to us that all experience requires both sensibility and understanding. …show more content…
Kant explains that sensation gives us intuitions and that sensibility is a person’s ability to have intuitions (A19/B33). Intuitions are the representation of objects that are given through sensations (A19/B33). Another important distinction that Kant makes in his book is between matter and (A20/B34). Form, however, is what allows us to experience (A20/B34). In other words, matter is the content or stuff, whereas form is the way in which this stuff is presented to us. Form of intuition allows us to receive content. Kant mentions that matter of intuition is a posteriori and that form of intuition is a priori, since it is something that already exists in our minds (A20/B34). Both matter and form of intuition are important to the ‘Transcendental Aesthetic’ because they help Kant to examine experience. The main purpose of this section in the book is to see what is needed in order to have an experience. Kant identifies space and time to be pure forms of intuition (A22/B36). Since space and time are pure, they are universal and necessary. Both space and time are needed for any and all experience. They must come first in order for us to be able to talk about objects in relation to one another. Everything a person can possibly experience has a spatial location, or as Kant puts it, “’All things, as outer intuitions, are next …show more content…
When we hear this word now, we think of something being beautiful or having beauty, but in Kant’s case, it deals with experience. Aesthetic, in this context, refers to the faculty of sensibility and coming to understand objects through our senses. Transcendental aesthetic, therefore, refers to a priori conditions of the faculty of sensibility. Sensibility is a crucial part of Kant’s book since he says that it is one of the two things needed for experience and knowledge (A16/B30). Sensibility gives us intuitions and without it, no object would be given to us. If an object is not given to us then we cannot know it. Sensibility is needed to have knowledge of objects since simply thinking about an object does not mean that we have knowledge about it. Matter and form of intuition play a vital role in the ‘Transcendental Aesthetic’ because matter is the content we get from objects and form is how we get that content. Being able to receive objects through sensible intuition is what allows us to understand them. In the ‘Transcendental Aesthetic,’ Kant discusses how, in terms of sensibility, our minds are passive and receptive. Space and time are pure forms of intuition that enable people to be receptive. These forms of intuition are what make it possible to have synthetic a priori propositions (A39/B56). This is important to the entire book because Kant wants to show that synthetic a priori

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