Re-Siirvey in Conclusion It is difficult for a man who has done good work in a branch other than that in which his greatest successes have lain to obtain all the recognition due to his semi-professional achievement. The same demonstration is valid for motion over any right lines including an assignable angle. After that one finds them where certainly one should not at first have done so, because even the authors themselves were not aware that such an idea lay at the core of their remarks. The concept of space is not abstracted from external sensations. Universality , which is the absolute allness of the appertaining parts. In the Disser- taiion the skeptical influence was barely begun.

Hence space is employed as the type even of the concept of time itself, representing it by a line, and its limits — moments — by points. The method which you, sir, indicate in your letter, is beyond contradiction the only one that can be used safely and with good progress. Kant gave over what he could not hold against skepticism to the Dialectics of Pure Reason, reserv- ing nothing but what he needed for Practical purposes. They have universality evident as far as observed, but neither necessity, except as far as the laws of nature may be established, nor precision, except what is arbitrarily made. For all sensible things of whatsoever description are unthinkable except as posited either simultaneously 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. The same demonstration is valid for motion over any right lines including an assignable angle. For since simultaneous things as such cannot be placed before the senses but by the aid of time, and since changes are unthinkable except by time, it is obvious that this concept contains the universal form of phenomena, and that, indeed, all events observable in the world, all motions, all internal changes, agree necessarily with the temporal axioms of cognition which we have partly expounded, since only under these conditions can they become sense-objects and be co-ordinated.

They per- suade themselves that it is easy to conceive, to be sure, how God may discern what is present, that is, what is actual in the time in which he is, but how He may foresee what is future, that is, what is actual in the time in which He is not yet, they deem an intellectual difficulty; as if the existence of the Necessary Being descended through all the moments of an imaginary time, and, having already exhausted a part of His duration, saw before Him the eternity He was yet to live 8o KANTS INA UGURAI.

kants inaugural dissertation of 1770

That we can estimate the quantity of time only in the concrete, namely, either by motion or by a series of thoughtsarises from the concept of time resting only on an inherent mental law, it not being a connate intuition; whence the act of the mind co-ordinating the impressions is elicited only by the aid of the senses. Let the letters a b c denote the three angular points of a rectilineal triangle.


Kant’s Inaugural Dissertation of 1770

The caution is not amiss that this outline lays no claim to completeness. Therefore inaubural 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. According to the laws of pure intellect any series of efifects has its principle, that is, there is not given in a scries of effects a regress without a limit ; whilst according to sensual laws any series of co-ordinate things has its assignable beginning.

This absolute totality, apparently an everyday and perfectly obvious concept, especially when, as happens in the defini- tion, it is enunciated negatively, when canvassed thoroughly becomes the crucial test of the philosopher.

The latter by what has been shown seems refuted already, but the former, smoothing the way for lazy philosophy, declaring vain by the citing of a first cause any further quest, is not to be admitted thus rashly. Sensibility is the receptivity of a subject by which it is possible for its representative state to be affected in a certain way by the presence of some object. For since whatever exists is, according to their opinion, necessarily somewhere, it seems to them quite superfluous to inquire why things are present to one another in a certain manner, since this is of itself determined by the universality of all-comprehending space.

All these difficulties upon proper insight into the notion of time vanish like smoke.

Form, which consists in the didsertation of the sub- stances, not in their suboj;dination. The latter were not in charge of madmen. But beyond doubt either concept is acquirednot, it is true, abstracted from the sense of objects, for sensation gives the matter not inaugura, 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 ddissertation. I soon found that the concept of cause and effect is far from being the only one by which the understanding thinks a priori the connection of things ; but that, on the contrary, these concepts constitute the whole of metaphysics.

These concepts are neither empirical intuitions nor pure intuitions.

kants inaugural dissertation of 1770

Books by Language uslprototype. For these are only logical distinctions and plainly do not touch the data underlying all logical comparison. This subjective diffi- culty generally feigns some objective repugnance and easily deceives the incautious, the limits by which the human mind og circumscribed being taken for those by which the essence of things themselves is contained.

The Criti- cal System is based upon the thesis: But if they would conceive dissetation a mathematical infinite as a quantity which being referred to disseetation as unity is a multiplicity greater than all number; if, furthermore, they would take note that mensurability here denotes only the relation to the smallness of the human intellect, to which it is given to attain to a definite concept of multiplicity only by the successive addition of unit to unit, and to the sum total called number only by going through with this progress within a finite time, they would gain the clear insight that what does not fall in with a certain law of some subject does not on that account exceed all intellection; since an intellect may exist, though not a human one, perceiving inuagural multiplicity distinctly by a single insight, inaugursl the successive application of measurement.


For those things are after one another which exist at different timesas those are simultaneous which exist at the same time. The form of the intelligible world acknowledges an objective principle, that is, some cause by which it is the colligation of what exists in it.

In any class of things having variable quantity the maximum is the common measure and the principle of cognition.

kants inaugural dissertation of 1770

Through a certain range of their intellects there is much kinship. There is needed the equally inherent force of at- traction. The concept of space is a singular representation com- prehending all dissfrtation in itself, not an abstract and common notion containing them under itself.

The common concepts of experience are termed empiricalits objects phenomenaand the laws as well of experience as of all sensuous cognition generally are called the laws of phenomena. It transfers a series of Leib- nitzian concepts from their transcendental place in the pure understanding to their transcendental place in pure intuition. In any class of things having variable quantity the maximum is the common measure and the principle of cognition.

Kant’s Inaugural Dissertation of – Wikisource, the free online library

The former denotes that in a concept we give no attention to other matters in whatsoever way they may be connected with it; but the latter, that it is not given but in the concrete and so as to be separated from what it is conjoined with. Since, therefore, nothing at all can be given the senses except conformably to the primary axioms of space and their consequences which are taught by geometry, though their principle be but subjective, yet the soul will necessarily agree with them, since to this extent it agrees with itself; and the laws of sensuality will be the laws of nature so far as it can be perceived by our senses.

Those who deem space and time to be something real and the absolute bond, so to speak, of all possible substances in space, hold nothing else to be required in order to conceive how an original relation can belong to several existing things as the primitive condition of possible influence and the principle of the essential form of the universe. I shall beg leave to throw in here, by way of conclusion, some mention of these principles, not as yet, as far as I know, set forth distinctly.

But the adherents of the second opinion fall into a much worse error.