Kant’s first critique, Videos 45-48
This document will cover comments and notes on a series of videos on the critique by Victor Gijsberts.
Video 45, Introduction to the dialectic
Transcendental illusion speak of the possibility for error. According to Kant, error emerges when sensibility and reason mix without being aware of it. Reason itself can also produce illusions. This occurs for instance when we are not sufficiently critical of our judgement, this is called transcendental illusion. Transcendental illusions are different from normal error and cannot be dispelled simply by pointing out the illusion much like optical illusions which remain even when pointed out. These illusions occur mostly when we a subjective concept (such as a schema) is seen as an objective rule for the world itself or the world-in-itself.
Video 46, On the Concepts of Pure reason
A concept of (pure) reason is an idea. An idea in general in Kant’s system is inspired by Plato’s use of the term. Thus, an idea is distinctly separate form sensation and experience. Ideas therefore go well beyond reason.
The ideas of reason are unconditioned grounds of the conditioned things. There are three ideas of reason corresponding to the three syllogisms.
- Fist is to the subject that is no longer a predicate including ideas such as the soul.
- Second is the presupposition which presupposes nothing further present in causation.
- Third to the aggregate members of a division such as God.
These ideas are useful in understanding the bounds of human reason, but they must be approached with caution. We can never affirm anything off the content of the ideas because they have no corresponding objects.
Video 47, Paralogisms, Part 1
In thinking as such, we can make a mistake in the form of reasoning, this is called a paralogism.
For instance, we can make claims about the logical “I”, being the thinking subject, the I is immortal, simple or persistent. However these predicates cannot be applied to objects such as the soul, when we do, we encounter a paralogism. Primarily, we attempt to apply the categories to objects outside of experience.
There are four paralogisms in total, each relating to certain categories, there are the paralogism of -simplicity, -simplicity, -personality and -ideally.
Video 48, Paralogisms, Part 2
The paralogism of identity is similar to the refutation of idealism in the B edition. The idea that “outer things” cannot be perceived directly and therefore cannot be proven to be real is addressed here. According to Kant, things-in-themselves can indeed not be perceived, but appearances can be sensed. Cartesian scepticism thus conflates things-in-themselves with appearances or things-in-space. With is distinction in place, we can pose the existence of external objects as things-in-space unproblematically, just as it is unproblematic to pose internal objects as things-in-time.
In the B edition of the critique, the four paralogism are replaced with one. The argument of this paralogism states that:
p1: What can only be thought of as a subject can only exist as a subject and therefore is a substance.
p2: The thinking I can only be thought of as a subject.
c1: The thinking I is a substance.
However categories such as substance can only apply to objects, not to a subject. Therefore the thinking I (subject) can not be a substance.