Immanuel Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason: The Concept of Time

23 Jun

When Kant divides his definitions between metaphysical exposition and transcendental exposition, I am concerned with the metaphysical exposition.  Metaphysical standpoints are the best way to look at any argument. And trust me, there are always a differentiated metaphysical concept.

In the Transcendental Aesthetic part of Critique of Pure Reason, Kant talks about metaphysical concepts of space, time, and more.  In this post, I want to explain Kant’s 5 propositions about time, and what they mean in the world according to him.

The first part of the metaphysical exposition of time is where Kant states that time does not happen simultaneously, but it happens sequentially. He also states that concepts of time are always a priori. Because time is chronological in itself, it is always sequential and never simultaneous. Kant also states that we would not be able to understand the difference between simultaneous and sequential in time if time was not a priori. Again, a priori meaning knowledge without worldly or existential experience. So time is sequential and not from experience.

I totally agree with Kant’s first metaphysical conclusion from time. If we were born into this world as a 30 year old, we would still know and recognize time because it is a priori. Also, time represents sequential things and is sequential in itself. Time could not be simultaneous like space is.

The second conclusion of metaphysics Kant makes for time is that all objects and beings cannot be disconnected from time. Because of how he said that time is a priori in the first conclusion, he says that time cannot be “anulled” from beings. Time describes beings in the world and their sequentiality. Appearances (beings or not) are directly connected to time, and cannot be understood without the concept of time. Time cannot be taken away from being of the world or the being of beings in the world.

I also agree with this that time represents being in the world of the appearances and true beings we see and perceive. Every existence is directly related to time. Time is the only thing that cannot be taken away from existence, because the beings are reliant on it.

In Kant’s third metaphysical conclusion of time, he stresses that time is purely sequential because of its a priori essence. I feel the difference between simultaneous and sequential with a priori is understood in number 1 of these conclusions.

Kant’s fourth metaphysical conclusion of time is where he stresses that time is not universal but it is a sensible intuition. Because of how time is sequential, Kant says that different times are parts of the same being. He concludes from this that time is only presented thought a single object. He states that time is a sensible intuition because of how people think it is a universal term. Universal terms are derived from experience and are a posteriori.  While explaining time, Kant makes the distinction between sensible intuitions and universal concepts.

I again agree with Kant because sensible intuitions are not universal concepts. We all may perceive and try to understand the same thing, but it is not universal if it is not understood exactly the same by every person. Time is a sensible intuition because every one person perceives it differently. A universal concept would be something that each person perceives and understands the exact same way, and it looks the exact same to each person.

Finally, Kant’s fifth metaphysical conclusion of time is saying that to say that time is infinite, is to say that time’s possible magnitudes are only possible when a single period of time has limited magnitude. If time is infinite, it cannot have a true unlimited magnitude. But, time can only have a magnitude in its infinity if the magnitude value is assigned for a single part of time that has excessive limitations. I would also agree that time only has magnitude if it is describing one single part of time. Even the single part of time has to have limitations for there even to be a conception or understanding of a magnitude.

It is my personal opinion that time cannot have a magnitude. Kant’s understanding of possible conditions where time has a magnitude is okay but I really think that time is simple enough that it has no limitations and is infinite of all parts. The only time something has a magnitude is when it is static and measurable. In my opinion, time is not a measurable being. Time is something that measures. Time is merely a device that measures the length of existence of the beings that live in and outside of the world. A device of measuring the length of existence cannot have a true magnitude. Breaking down time into certain single parts turns time into an inconceivable entity that has too many limitations on it to be truly understood. A measuring device (time) cannot be measured by another device (magnitude).

I think that Kant is right in 4 of 5 of his time metaphysical conclusions. The fifth one insists that a device is measured by another device: 1) I find it not necessary (magnitude) 2) its inconceivable to measure parts of a device that measures parts of being (time is a device that measures parts of being.

More on Kant coming tonight at 8 pm central time ( Kants Critique of Pure Reason: the concept of space).


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