12 Pages

The ideal of adequation. Self-evidence and truth

In our discussions up to this point we have said nothing of the qualities of acts, nor presumed anything in regard to them. Possibility and impossibility have indeed no special relation to these qualities. It makes no difference, e.g., to the possibility of a proposition, whether we realize the propositional matter as matter for an act of assertion (not of an act that assents to something in the accepting or recognizing manner of approval, but in the manner of a simple act of belief or taking for true), or whether we use it, in qualitatively modified fashion, as the matter of a pure presentation. A proposition is always ‘possible’, when the concrete act of propositional meaning permits of a fulfilling identification with an objectively complete intuition of matching material. It is likewise irrelevant if this fulfilling intuition is a percept, or a pure construction of fantasy, etc. Since the summoning up of imaginative pictures is more subject, in varying degrees, to our will, than that of percepts and assertions, we incline to relate possibility specially to the picture-life of fantasy. A thing counts as possible, if it allows itself, objectively speaking, to be realized in the form of an adequate imaginative picture, whether we ourselves, as particular empirical individuals, succeed in thus realizing it or not. But through the ideal linkage between perception and imagination, which assures us a priori that to each percept a possible image corresponds, this proposition is equivalent to our own, and the limitation of the concept to imagination not essential.