Kant's first critique, Videos 43-44

Kant’s first critique, Videos 43-44

This document will cover comments and notes on a series of videos on the critique by Victor Gijsberts.

Video 43, Phenomena and Noumena

When we attempt to fins which categories apply to sensible intuition, we use the schematized categories. Using the categories outside of the realm of possible experience is impossible of us. Noumena are things given in non-sensible intuition, while phenomena are sensible. A noumenon is then an object of mere understanding. Here one might make the distinction between things-as-they-are and things-in-themselves. A phenomenon is then an appearance of a thing-in-itself.

We only need the concept of a noumenon in a negative sense. We cannot know anything about noumenons positively, we only know what they are not. In other words, the noumenon is only present in transcendental philosophy to draw a boundary.

Lastly, if there were positive noumena, they would be things-in-themselves, but since we do not know whether intellectual intuition exists, we must deny positive noumena while not denying things-in-themselves.

Video 44, The amphiboly

The amphiboly is a chapter discussing the work of Leibniz. According to Kant, Leibniz’ philosophy relies on a principle which Kant can disprove using transcendental philosophy.

In reflection, we consider our representations and find out how they relate to our sources of cognition. Comparing concepts occurs through the use of certain meta-categories being: identity and difference, agreement and opposition, inner and outer and finally determinable and determination. WE can use these concepts on concepts (objects of experience) or noumena.

The amphiboly comes from the lack of distinction between appearances and things-in-themselves. Speaking of identity and difference, objects are the same if they have the same inner determination. If the concept is used on an appearance however, the different place of the appearance is sufficient ground for difference. Kant claims that in Leibniz’ concept of non-discernibility, Leibniz treats appearances as things-in-themselves. In other words, Leibniz claims that there can’t be two objects that are exactly alike except for they place in space and time. This would be the case for things-in-themselves, but not for appearances. Leibniz’ philosophy thus mistakenly commits itself to transcendental realism.