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The CPR: “The Transcendental Aesthetic”, Section One, “Of Space”
- Space is not a conception which has been derived from outward experiences. For, in order
that certain sensations may relate to something without me (that is, to something which occupies a different part of space from that in which I am); in like manner, in order that I may
represent them not merely as without, of, and near to each other, but also in separate places, the representation of space must already exist as a foundation. Consequently, the
representation of space cannot be borrowed from the relations of external phenomena through experience; but, on the contrary, this external experience is itself only possible through the
said antecedent representation.
- Space then is a necessary representation apriori, which serves for the foundation of all external intuitions. We never can imagine or make a representation to
ourselves of the non-existence of space, though we may easily enough think that no objects are found in it. It must, therefore, be considered as the condition of the possibility of phenomena,
and by no means as a determination dependent on them, and is a representation a priori, which necessarily supplies the basis for external phenomena.
- Space is no discursive, or as we say, general conception of the relations of things, but a pure intuition. For, in the first place, we can only represent to ourselves one
space, and, when we talk of divers spaces, we mean only parts of one and the same space. Moreover, these parts cannot antecede this one all-embracing space, as the component parts from which
the aggregate can be made up, but can be cogitated only as existing in it. Space is essentially one, and multiplicity in it, consequently the general notion of spaces, of this or that space,
depends solely upon limitations. Hence it follows that an aprioriintuition (which is not empirical) lies at the root of all our conceptions of space. Thus, moreover, the
principles of geometry—for example, that “in a triangle, two sides together are greater than the third,” are never deduced from general conceptions of line and triangle, but from intuition,
and this apriori, with apodictic certainty.
- Space is represented as an infinite given quantity. Now every conception must indeed be considered as a representation which is contained in an infinite multitude of different
possible representations, which, therefore, comprises these under itself; but no conception, as such, can be so conceived, as if it contained within itself an infinite multitude of
representations. Nevertheless, space is so conceived of, for all parts of space are equally capable of being produced to infinity. Consequently, the original representation of space is an
intuition apriori, and not a conception.
Kant thinks you can mount exactly parallel arguments for time. Choose one of the four arguments above and re-cast it as an argument about the nature of time.