chapter  6
68 Pages

The Concepts Available for Metaphysical Knowledge

Judgmentsthataresyntheticcanbeverifiedonlybyrecoursetosomethingotherthantheconceptsinthem.Iftheyarealsoapriori,theycan onlybeverifiedbyrecoursetosomethingotherthanobservation.Inthe precedingchapterwehaveseenhowKantholdsthatgeometrycanobtain knowledge.Weknow,forexample,thateverycubemusthavesixfaces. Yetthiscannotbemadeoutbyreflectingontheconceptofcubeoronany otherconcepts.Kantpointsoutthatweverifythisbyhavingrecourseto animmediaterepresentationofthatofwhichwearethinking.Fromitwe findmorepropertiesofcubesthanarecontainedintheconceptofthem. Kantholdsthatthejudgmentisherebyverifiedapriori,becausethe immediaterepresentationofacubetowhichwehaverecoursedoesnot dependonanythingfoundbyobservation.AccordingtoKant,thereare threechieffeaturesofsyntheticjudgmentsofgeometrythatenablethem tobeverifiedapriori.First,theconceptsinthemcanbeexhibitedinpure intuition.Thisinturnispossiblebecausegeometryemploysspatial conceptsandpureintuitionmaybehadofspace.Finally,whatisfoundby pureintuitionofspacemustholdtrueofanythingswhichwecanobserve aboutusorofwhichwecanobtainknowledgefromsuchobservation, sincebyitweareconsciousofthatwithoutwhichwecannotobserve thingsaboutus.