Kant's Theory of Knowledge: An Outline of One Central Argument in the Critique of Pure Reason

By Graham Bird | Go to book overview

5
INTELLIGIBLE OBJECTS

'Doubtless, indeed, there are intelligible entities, corresponding to the sensible entities . . .' (B 308-309).

'. . . But in that case a noumenon is not for our understanding a special (kind of) object, namely, in intelligible object' (B 311).

IN this chapter something is to be finally said about the notions of noumena, things in themselves, transcendental or intelligible objects, all of which have a common root in the Critique. What has been said so far concerned mostly the negative way in which Kant employed these terms; and some problems remain about other ways in which Kant uses them. Many philosophers have implied that Kant's views about such noumenal objects went far beyond the bounds of truth or sense. At least something has already been done to dispute the naive idea that Kant required the existence of things in themselves to counterbalance the paradoxical claim that all our immediate perception was of ideas or sensations, in the ordinary empirical sense. There have, nevertheless, been other criticisms of Kant's use of such terms, and some of these will be considered here. This discussion of Kant's account of noumena will not deal with their function in the context of moral philosophy, for Kant's views about such things in that context involve separate issues and deserve a chapter to themselves (see Ch. 12).

Kant indicates three general aspects of the use of such concepts, which are to be mentioned here. The first is his belief that such concepts arise predominantly from the need to adopt certain heuristic principles in any theoretical enquiry. The second is his belief that mistakes arise from this need through a failure to distinguish adequately between concepts and objects. The third is his

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Kant's Theory of Knowledge: An Outline of One Central Argument in the Critique of Pure Reason
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page *
  • Contents vii
  • Preface ix
  • I - Phenomena And Phenomenalism 1
  • 2 - Noumena And Noumenalism 18
  • 3 - Transcendental And Empirical 36
  • 4 - Sensibility And Understanding 52
  • 5 - Intelligible Objects 65
  • 6 - The Transcendental Analytic 82
  • 7 - Categories And Judgments 91
  • (i) Introduction 110
  • 9 - The Transcendental Deduction (continued) 126
  • 10 - The First and Second Analogies 149
  • II - Personality 168
  • 12 - The Transition To Moral Philosophy 189
  • List of Books 205
  • Index 207
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