Reading Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason (Part 2)

1: Matter and Form

Matter is essentially the content of sensation in phenomena.

Form is the arrangement of this matter in accordance with sensibility. It is the transcendental precondition which represents matter spatially and temporally, as they are experienced in reality.

Pure forms contain no content, or matter.

Form is given through the faculties of sense, that is, space and time.

2: Space and Time

Space and Time are the preconditions of experience and sensibility. We cannot know objects as they are outside of Space and Time, because our perceptions of dimensionality, presence, and coexistence are dependent on them.

They are the à priori cognitions which constitute sensibility and hence experience itself. They make the form of matter known to us purely intuitively, without the aid of experience.

Space and Time are what make phenomena and our knowledge of it possible, thus our knowledge is always contained in them. Hence why attempting to know an object-in-itself separate from how they exist in phenomena is impossible. When stripped of all empirical elements, the body is left with sensibility, Space and Time.

Time is the internal sense in that it is the form of internal relations and inner contemplation. Space is the external sense in that it is the form of external relations between us and objects, and allows for objects to be represented as outside and away from us.

Space and Time thus constitute Kant’s entire project as a foundation to base a science of metaphysics on, as the à priori cognition he attempted to discover.

3: Sensibility and Understanding

Sensibility, or receptivity, is the faculty of the mind which receives impressions, representations of objects.

Understanding is the faculty which allows us to cognizes our relations to the objects we receive representations of.

Both can either be pure or empirical.

Pure receptivity meaning only the form of the object is being intuited, no matter, or sensation. It is empirical when there is matter, when there is an object being represented rather than just form.

Pure understanding is similar, but instead of the form of objects, it is the form of thought of objects cognized.

Sensibility cognizes objects from sensations given externally, while Understanding functions internally, allowing us to think the object. This highlights the dualism of externality and internality that can be observed throughout Kant.

Both Sensibility and Understanding rely on each other for the ability of the mind to cognize. They essentially form a unity that is cognition.

4: Logic

Logic is the science of the laws of the Understanding.

Kant considers it “twofold — namely, as logic of the general [universal], or of the particular use of the understanding.

Logic in general gives laws to thought, and there is no cognition without it. He also calls this form of logic elemental.

Logic of the particular gives laws to each “particular class of objects”. It is the last development of human reason, as our knowledge of objects in that particular science must be fully complete, it must have reached its limit.

General logic has a familiar pure-empirical dualism, but rather than empirical it is applied. When empirical elements such as habit and memory are involved, it is applied. When those elements are abstracted, when it is only form, it is Pure.


Anarchist and Communist, affinity for schizoanalysis and ‘post-structuralism’

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Marxian Ivy

Anarchist and Communist, affinity for schizoanalysis and ‘post-structuralism’