Immanuel Kant Critique of Pure Reason: The Transcendental Logic I (Logic in General)

10 Aug

Kant’s book Critique of Pure Reason contains in it the Transcendental Doctrine of Elements which has the landmark concepts of time, space, transcendental logic, among other things including the concept of a priori intuitions. In the first part On logic in general, Kant talks about certain intuitions along with the sensibility all pointing towards the qualifications for an intuition to be a priori. This Transcendental Doctrine is one of the things making Critique of Pure Reason one of Kant’s amazingly thought provoking and amazing books.

First in this part on logic, Kant talks about reception of representations and faculty for cognizing an object by means of these representations.  Reception of representations is our nature of being given representations of the world. We are given these things without much thought being necessary to achieve them. The faculty for cognizing an object comes to us through our thought and contemplation upon the representations we receive. This faculty for cognizing comes to us only through our thought of things, and are not given to us as the representations are. Kant states these fact to lead up to his distinction of intuitions between those that are empirical and pure. Empirical cognitions are those that have sensation contained in them. Pure cognitions are those without any sensational involvement. Kant goes on to say that only pure cognitions are a priori, and empirical cognitions are a posteriori.  From this he goes on to talk about understanding and what it is made up of: “If we call the receptivity of our mind to receive representations insofar as it is affected in some way sensibility, then on the contrary the faculty for bringing forth representations itself, or the spontaneity of cognition, is the understanding” (Kant). Receptivity being the ability of our mind to receive representations that are affected by sensibility is not that complex of a process, but understanding involves more thought and is therefore more complex. The faculty for “thinking of objects of sensible intuition on the contrary, is the understanding. The logic used towards the understanding is then divided into general and particular logic in use of the understanding. General logic is logic used for understanding that is the basic absolutely necessary rules of thinking. The particular logic for the use of understanding is the rules for thinking about a certain kind of objects or thoughts. General logic is further divided between pure and applied logic. Pure logic being logic of understanding dealing with particularly a priori principles. Applied logic being understanding for the sensible and psychological purpose because of the sensibility involved. The empirical, pure, general and applied can be crossed with each other to have different logic and understanding. Kant’s main proposition of this part of the book: “A general but pure logic therefore has to do with strictly a priori principles,  and is a canon of understanding…” (Kant).

I explain the above because it is my opinion that sensibility clouds propositions and judgement creating the need and therefore existence of some a priori logic and understanding. Empirical applied logic and understanding  is in my opinion corrupted by sensibility. The senses we have govern too much our logic and understanding, when we should not rely very  much upon them. I believe Kant felt the same about senses and sensibility because of the fact that he made sure that a priori logic only included that which had no sensibility. I do not choose to discredit  sensibility totally, but it clouds judgement away from the real and the truthful because of how our brains are complex enough to make things appear different from what they really are.  If there were no  a priori principles we would be lost in this world and all of us would resort to  foolish philosophies (like solipsism, and atheism if I may say so). If there were no canon of understanding we would be so lost that we would not be able to come back from it. There are reasons we cannot have all a priori knowledge, but we cannot succeed in the world without some of this a priori knowledge. I think that Kant called a priori principles general and pure because of how the sensibility corrupts logic and gives it impurities. This canon of understanding is what helps us have the ability to sort through the corrupt and false principles and understand what is true and real. I appreciate Kant for making the distinction between these logical distinctions. This philosophy endorses what the Christians believe about the knowledge God means for us to have while on this earth. We are given just enough knowledge to find our way, but there is enough possibly corrupted sensible empirical knowledge to lead us astray.

Thanks for the support. @Reply on Twitter, comment below, or email at to talk about your opinions, and if you think I am wrong in believing this.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: