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Section Nineteen: The Second Part, Continued

25 September, 2015 - 16:47

Objective validity and necessary universality (for every one) are therefore exchangeable notions, and although we do not know the object in itself, yet when we regard a judgment as at once universal and necessary, objective validity is therewith understood. We cognise in this judgment the object (though it remain unknown what it is in itself) by the universal and necessary connection of given perceptions, and as this is the case with all objects of sense, judgments of experience owe their objective validity not to the immediate cognition of the object (for this is impossible), but merely to the condition of universality in the empirical judgment, which, as has been said, never rests on empirical, or on any sensuous conditions, but on a pure conception of the understanding. The object in itself always remains unknown; but when through the conception of the understanding, the connection of the presentations given to our sensibility by the latter is determined as universally valid, the object is determined by this relation, and the judgment is objective.

That the room is warm, the sugar sweet, the wormwood bitter, are merely subjectively valid judgments. I do not expect that I shall always, or that every other person, will find them as I do now. They only express a reference of two sensations to the same subject, namely, myself, and that only in my present state of perception, and are not therefore valid of objects. I call these judgments of perception. With judgments of experience the case is altogether different. What experience teaches me under certain circumstances, it must teach me at all times, and every other person as well; its validity is not limited to the subject or to the state of the latter at a particular time. I pronounce, therefore, all such judgments to be objectively valid. For instance when I say “the air is elastic”, this judgment is immediately a judgment of perception, since I only refer the feelings in my senses to one another. If I insist it shall be called a judgment of expe- rience, I expect this connection to stand under a condition making it universally valid. I insist, that is, that I at all times and every other person, shall necessarily so combine the same perceptions, under the same circumstances.

  1. A key distinction is between judgments of perception (JOPs) and judgments of experience (JOEs). Judgments are propositions in which the mind unites intuitions according to a rule (see below). What is the distinction between JOPs and JOEs? what transforms a mere JOP into a JOE?