GEROLD PRAUSS is professor of philosophy at Albert Ludwigs University in Freiburg, Germany; he has also taught at the University of Cologne and several orher German universities. His work on Kant has been influential on a worldwide scale.
GARY STEINER is associate professor of philosophy and JEFFREY S.
TURNER is associate professor and chair of the Department of
Philosophy at Bucknell University in Lewisberg, Pennsylvania.
,,This is an excellent translation of an original and provocative cririque of the ,theoreticism‘ of pure knowledge. Prauss sees in Heidegger‘s ,Being and Time‘ the only promising attempt since Kant‘s first efforts to develop a compelling account of the interdependence of knowing and doing. Even those who do not share Prauss‘s Kantian dualism and bis misgivings about Heidegger‘s account will find his painstaking conceptual and systematic analysis of the correlation between knowing and doing intriguing. It is a boon for epistemologists, Kant scholars, and Continental philosophers alike. But most of all, it is an unexpected and challenging contribution to the ongoing debate of the central issue of classical American philosophy that has been revived by the neo-pragmatists, namely, the integration of knowing and doing.“
Hans Seigfried, Department of Philosophy, Loyola University of Chicago
,,Those who have learned to approach Heidegger through lenses provided by Gadamer, Derrida, and their many followers may well be disappointed by this brief, admirably clear and sober text, which suggests that the most promising way to Heidegger leads through Kant. But Prauss‘s ,practicism‘ deserves careful consideration not just as a critical, yet symparheric response to Heidegger, but as a challenging contribution towards a transcendental theory of action.“
Karsten Harries, Department of Philosophy, Yale University
,Prauss raises questions that have long been overlooked by Heidegger‘s followers, and which need to be asked. The English version is both faithful and smooth. The translators have done a real service to Continental philosophy in the Englishspeaking world.“
David Carr, Department of Philosophy, Emoty University
THE PROBLEM OF TRUTH IN KANT Translated by David Partch
Prauss and the CRITIQUE of GERMAN IDEALISM
Translators‘ Preface by Gary Steiner and Jeffry S. Turner to Prauss’ Knowing and doing in Heidegger’s “Being and Time”
Humanity Books, New York 14228-2197
Prauss‘s critique of Heidegger takes as its point of departure a critique of the German Idealists, which Prauss articulates in connection with an interpretation of Kant‘s notion of freedom. Prauss sees Kant as the first and only philosopher to recognize the unity of theoretical and practical philosophy, and Prauss‘s aim is to develop the notion of ,,practicity“ (Praktizität) or ,,practicism“ (Praktizismus) where Kant had only had a presentiment of it. According to Prauss, the German Idealists, particularly Fichte and Hegel, failed to grasp the practicity of human knowing and doing, and thus misappropriated Kant; and in both his work on Kant and in his critique of Heidegger, Prauss begins to lay the foundations of a complete theory of human intentionality as practicity.
For Prauss, the key to Kant‘s departure from Aristotle lies in Kant‘s understanding of willing ,,no longer as a natural desire that in each case is determined by nature as something other, but fundamentally as the relation of a subject to itself.“ Even though Kant pushes for a priority of theoretical reason over practical reason, he has an intimation of the insight that Brentano and Husserl articulated explicitly, namely, that human ,,subjectivity as such is intentionality“; and as intentionality, human subjectivity is ,,fundamentally practicity, in knowing no less than in doing, in theory just as in practice. . . . Theoretical and Practical Philosophy form a unity with one another... the theoretical and the practical are one and the same.“
On Prauss‘s view, the key to understanding subjectivity as practicity, that is, as the ,,freedom of practical reason as will,“6 lies in seeing that knowing, like doing, is inextricably bound up with the intention to succeed; as an activity that occurs first of all and most of the time within a practical context, knowing ,,fully has the character of practicity. ,, In other words, knowing is part of the practical orientation of human spontaneity—just as, conversely, doing is inseparable from our endeavor to know the world. This conception of knowing reinforces Prauss‘s implicit claim in Knowing and Doing that Aristotelian Θεωρία an idealized distortion of the factical character of knowing, where the distortion consists in the detachment of knowing from the practical contexts that provide the occasion for it.
In his discussion of the ,,historical and systematic consequences“ of Kant‘s theory of freedom, Prauss criticizes the German Idealists for having failed to develop the notion of practicity that was intimated in Kant‘s thought. Indeed, Prauss believes that Idealists like Fichte completely failed to see that human subjectivity, as intentionality, is essentially practicity. Fichte erred in his belief that the understanding‘s use of the categories involves no intention (Absicht); and in abandoning the intentionality of spontaneity, Fichte ends up misconstruing Kantian activity (Tätigkeit) as ,,a wholly non-specific, utterly levelled down form of ,activity.‘
Band 3, Kritik der reinen Vernunft, Seite 118-119,B106/A80
Prauss argues that, in levelling down Kant‘s notion of activity, Fichte fails to see that human action can succeed or fail. Prauss takes this error to be emblematic of all of German Idealism, inasmuch as the Idealists both neglect to deal with the intentionality of theoretical knowing and fail to deal systematically with the problem of error. Prauss takes this neglect to be so crippling to the attempt to develop the notion of practicity that he has repearedly pointed it out in his writings.‘~ And he warns us that any theory of action that fails to recognize the practicity of human subjecrivity will fail in turn to recognize ,,the incalculable horror of our pure obsession with success,“ an obsession that threatens even our theoretical activity.‘2 This obsession threatens to blind us to the problem of disharmony or conflict which, Prauss notes, is more characteristic of human action than is success.‘3 And Prauss speculates that the sense of horror that we feel when we contemplate the danger of this obsession is what led Heidegger to abandon the project of a theory of action after Being and Time rather than to develop a self-critique that could have made a positive contribution to the theory of action.
For Prauss, the error of the German Idealists culminates in Hegel. By ignoring Kant‘s dualism between objectivity and subjectivity (nature and freedom) and replacing it with a monism of Geist, the Idealists project a sense of harmony onto what is in fact a chaotic world. To do so is to misunderstand freedom by failing to look ,,into the abyss of intentionality, i.e. the practicism of intentionality“; the monism of the German Idealists leads ,,ever more clearly to a theoreticism of the whole, albeit a highly complex one, that Hegel will bring to fruition.“
Hegel completes the error of the Idealists by placing central importance on knowledge of the whole rather than on practicity as the intentional activity of the will. Like the Idealists before him, Hegel fails to recognize the intentionality of human subjectivity, and as a result he never develops a systematic analysis of success and failure. Instead of acknowledging the potential ,,abysmal horror of practicity,“ Hegel focuses on the tranquilizing image of the ,,harmlessly edifying character of theoreticity.“
Dar rel E. Christensen
Darrel E. Christensen
THE PENNSYLVANIA STATE UNI VERSITY PRESS
UNI VERSITY PARK AND LONDON
THE PROBLEM OF TRUTH IN KANT*
Translated by David Partch
Kant prefaces the ,,Transcendental Analytic,“ which makes up the ,,First‘ Division“ of the ,,Transcendental Logic“‘ in the Critique of Pure Reason, with an ,,Introduction.“ In four short chapters he sketches out the ,,Idea of a Transcendental Logic,“2 which he develops in what follows.
This introductory sketch consists mainly in the distinction of transcendental logic from other kinds of logic. Kant calls the latter ,,general“ or ,,pure“ logic, which is then characterized by all of the essential features of the science known as formal logic. lt ,,abstracts from all content“ of cognition, that is, ,,from all relation of cognition to the object,“ and ,,considers only the logical form of cognitions in relation to one another. ,,3 As a ,,science“ which
*Translated from ,,Zum Wahrheitsproblem bei Kant“ in: Kant-Studien, Vol. 60, 1969, p. 166-182; or in: Gerold Prauss (Ed.), Kant: Zur Deutung seiner Theorie von Erkennen und Handeln, Nr. 63 of ,,Neue wissenschaftliche Bibliothek“ (Köln:
Kiepenheuer & Witsch, 1973, p. 73-89.
The problem of truth, if one does not restrict it to its formal-logical or semantical sense, remains to the present day unresolved. With his transcendental logic Kant began a new attempt at its resolution, which, however, he failed to follow up. The present article attempts to prepare the way for this undertaking. As in the case of my ,,Frege‘s Contribution to the Theory of Knowledge“ (to appear in CGP, Vol. 3) it is preliminary to my Einführung in die Erkenntnistheorie (compare note 69) in which 1 attempt to carry out this task.
1. Immanuel Kant, Akademie-Ausgabe, edited by the Preussische Akademie der
Wissenschaften (Berlin: Georg Riemer Verlag, 1920f.), (Vol.) III. (page) 83.
(lines) 1-4; or 1. Kant, Critique of Pure Reason (GPR), translated by Kemp
Smith (New York: St. Martin‘s Press, 1929), p. 102 (= B 89).
2. Kant, III.75.5f.; or CPR, p. 92 (B 75).
3. Kant, III.76.33f.; or CPR, p. 94-5 (B 78-9).
,,has to do . . . only with principles a priori“4 it is, exactly parallel to mathematics,5 ,,a demonstrated doctrine, and everything in it must be certain entirely a priori.“6
- Transcendental logic is then to be differentiated from this formal logic in the following decisive manner. Although it is also to be considered general and pure and based on principles a priori, it is nonetheless supposed to be a logic ,,in which we do not abstract from the entire content of cognition . . . that is, from all relation of cognition to the object . . .,, but rather only from ,,empirical content.“ It is thus conceptualized by Kant as a science ,,which should contain solely the rules of the pure thought of an object.“7 lt is comprised of the knowledge ,,that . . . and how certain notions (intuitions or concepts),“ although they ,,are not of empirical origin . . . yet relate a priori to objects of experience.“8 In other words, it is the knowledge of those general and pure conditions which must be met whenever something occurs which could be referred to as experience; and that means:
empirical cognition of an empirical object or the empirical object of empirical cognition.
In the process of distinguishing between transcendental and formal logic Kant suddenly addresses himself to a problem which at first glance appears not to have any connection with the present context: that is, the problem of truth. ,,Ihe question, famed of old, by which logicians were supposed to be driven into a corner . . . is the question: What is truth?“9 lt does not become clear until after that there is an important relationship between the distinction of transcendental from formal logic and the question ,,What is truth?“
Ihis relationship is obscured, however, by the extreme brevity of the text, that is, of the ,,Introduction,“ making certain passages hardly understandable. Ihe following analysis of the text attempts, therefore, to make the connection clear by disclosing the actual line of thought taken by Kant.
Indeed the very first sentence following-the question ,,What is truth?“ has often been misunderstood. Kant continues, ,,Ihe nominal definition of truth, that is, that it is the agreement of cognition with its object, is assumed here ii as granted.“10 Hegel, for example, interprets this sentence by assuming that the word ,,here“ refers to Kant‘s ,,Introduction“ itself and, thus, to the Critique of Pure Reason. Ihis would mean that Kant himself wanted to bring forth a philosophical doctrine for which this nominal definition of
4. Kant, 111.76.15,29; or CPR, p. 94 (=B 77-8).
5. Cf. Kant, 111.477,481; or CPR, p. 585,590 (B 754-5,762).
6. Kant, III.77.lf.; or CPR, p. 95 (=B 78).
7. Kant, 111.77.22-31; or CPR, p. 95 (=B 79-80).
8. Kant, 111.78.8-15; or CPR, p. 96 (=B 80-1).
9. Kant, III. 79.5-9; or CPR, p. 97 (=B 82).
10. Kant, 111.79.9-11; or CPR, p. 97 (=B 82).
truth must likewise be ,,assumed as granted.““ Brentano12 and Heidegger,13 taking Brentano‘s lead, both interpreted this sentence in the same way as Hegel.
At several points in the Critique of Pure Reason, however, it becomes evident that just the opposite is correct. Truth, as the agreement of cognition with its object, is anything but ,,assumed as granted.“ Indeed, in a certain sense, which must be clarified later, it is the very theme which is to be developed.14 Transcendental logic itself is to be considered as ,,a logic of the truth,“15 as Kant himself states shortly thereafter.
If, therefore, the word ,,here“ does not refer to the Critique of Pure Reason, to what then does it refer? The answer to this question can be revealed by taking a closer look at the sense of the preceding sentence. Whereas the main clause is written in the present tense, in which Kant always represents his own doctrine, the subordinate clause suddenly appears in the historical past tense. Ihis indicates that Kant is referring to an historical situation‘6 in which ,,one“‘ (meaning, of course, the sceptics17) demanded a definition of truth from the logicians in order to ,,drive (them) into a corner.“18
11. G.W.F. Hegel, Sämtliche Werke, edited by H. Glockner (Stuttgart: Fr. Frommanns verlag, 1950f.), V.27; or Hegel, The Science of Logic.
12. Cf. Franz Brentano, Wahrheit und Evidenz (Leipzig: Felix Meiner, 1930), p.
13. Cf. Martin Heidegger, Sein und Zeit (Tübingen: Max Niemeyer Verlag, 1957), p. 215; or Heidegger, Being and Time, trans. John Macquarrie and Edward Robinson (London: SCM Press, 1962), p. 258.
14. Cf. Kant, 111.145.21-25, 111.169.8-14, 111.203.14-19, 111.337.33, III.426.31f., III.532.6,14f.; or CPR. p, 194,220, 258,438,532,645 ( B 196-7,236,296,517, 670, 848-9).
15. Kant, 111.82.6, 111.130.26, 111.139.7-10, 111.202.16; orCPR, p. 100, 176, 186,
257 (= B 87,170,185,294-5). Further: Friedrich Maywald, ,,Über Kants transzendentale Logik oder die Logik der Wahrheit“ in: Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie, Vol. 25, 1912, p. 426. Of course, this characteristic refers especially to the ,,Transcendental Analytic,“ whereas the specific characteristic of the ,,Transcendental Dialetic“ is that of a ,,logic of illusion.“ However, because it has the function of discovering just this illusion, the ,,Transcendental Logic“ can, as a whole, be viewed as a logic ,of truth. CF.III.82.24-29.
16. I am indebted to an unpublished article by Manfred Kleinschneider (Mainz) for pointing out what the word, ,,here,“ actually refers to in this context. Kleinschneider convincingly demonstrates that Kant is most likely referring to an historical situation of the classical question-and-answer exchange involving the logicians and the sceptics. Possible sources for Kant could have been either Sextus Empiricus himself (np6~ paOr7par/KoÖ~of which the seventh book is np6~ roö< Aoy/KoÖ~) or more probably a not yet identified secondary source, which can be traced back to Sextus Ernpiricus. Cf. further: H. Heimsoeth, D. Henrich, G. Tonelli (Ed.), Studien zu Kants philosophischer Entwicklung, Vol. 6 (Hildesheim: Olms, 1967), especially p. 93 (including the 2nd footnote) and further pp. 98f., 107.
17. Cf. e.g. Kant, IX.50.11.
18. Kant, III. 79.Sf.
It must be observed, however, that Kant is not alluding to this historical Situation for its own sake. He is not concerned with giving an historical account. He is only interested in what might be considered typical of this situation. That also explains why everything which follows,‘9 although it continues to refer to this situation, is likewise given in the present tense.20
This clarifies what is actually indicated by the word ,,here.“ Kant uses the word to help point out what is characteristic of this historical Situation. Whenever one asks a logician the question ,,What is truth?“, which, for instance, happened to be the case in (classical) antiquity, then the nominal definition of truth, as the agreement of cognition with its object, is always being ,,assumed as granted.“ It must, however, be admitted that the word ,,here,“in connection with the use of the present tense, can easily give the impression that Kant means the Critique of Pure Reason and, therefore, his own doctrine, that is, his transcendental logic. But, as a matter of fact, it must be remembered that this whole discussion only serves the purpose of distinguishing between transcendental and formal logic, as was shown to be Kant‘s aim in the ,,Introduction,“ which is a sketch of the ,,Idea of a Transcendental Logic.“ Apparently it is precisely the problem of truth which points out the principal difference between transcendental and formal logic.21 Kant appears to be addressing the question ,,What is truth?“ not to logicians, as the sceptics did, but rather to himself as a transcendental philosopher. And that nominal definition of truth, which is ,,assumed as granted“ when asking the logician of formal logic what the nature of truth is, is not at all assumed as granted by Kant.
However plausible this expianation of the word ,,here“ may seem at first glance, it does raise new difficulties when further examined. For if it implies that Kant differentiates between transcendental and formal logic by referring to the question of truth and in such a way that the question as weil as its answer must necessarily fall within the realm of transcendental logic, how then can it be understood that Kant calls the question ,,absurd in itself ,,and its answer ,,unnecessary“ and ,,absurd,“ as weil?22 Certainly he does not want to admit that the purpose of a ,,logic of truth,“ as he calls his transcendental logic, is to give unnecessary and absurd answers to absurd questions. But what then could he have meant by all this?
19. With the exception of what is included in brackets, ,,(as the ancients said),“ which, being historical reminiscence, is naturally given in the imperfect tense.
20. This becomes especially clear in line 11 (Kant, 111.79.11; or GPR, p. 97; or B
82). There Kant does not say, ,,the question asked was. . .,, but rather, ,,the question asked is . . .,, And that is the equivalent of saying, ,,Anytime, just as then, one asks a logician this question, one is demanding to know. . .,, See also: J. Locke, Essay, Book 4, Ch. 5, §1.
21. This also becomes clear in other passages in Kant, e.g. Reflection 2162.
22. Cf. Kant, 111.79.15-18; or CPR, p. 97 (B 82-3).
Gerold Prauss/trans. by David Partch 95
A brief grammatical explanation is necessary in order to gain insight into this problem. The whole clause in which Kant formulated this statement reads: ,,. . . if the question is absurd in itself and calls for unnecessary answers. . .,, We are dealing here with the kind of clause which, although it has the grammatical form of a conditional (,,if“) clause , obviously in this context has the logical function of an assertion, which is erived logically by combining a conditional clause with the corresponding positive statement and which usually begins with ,,because“(weil) or ,,as“(da). In German in order to begin a clause with ,,if“ (wenn) an inversion of the predicate and the complement must take place. For example: ,,Die Sonne scheint warm“ must be changed to ,,Wenn die Sonne warm scheint.“
The Kantian clause we want to examine also involves such an inversion, which means that the predicate ,,is“ (ist) appears after the complement ,,absurd“ (ungereimt).iv The resulting word order for the expressions ,,question“ (Frage), ,,in itself" (an sich) and ,,absurd“ (ungereimt) creates an ambiguity. Because of its placement between the two other expressions we can interpret ,in itself“ as referring either to ,,question. . .,, or to ,,. . . absurd.“ There is a tendency to be misled into associating ,,in itself" with ,,the question“ because of the frequent occurence of similar expressions such as ,,thing in itself.“ If we were to reverse the word order by dropping the word ,,wenn,“ we would then be left with ,,the question in itseif is absurd.“ And that would be more or less the equivalent of saying: ,,the question, as such, is absurd.“ However, this leads to the difficulty mentioned above. Accordingly, not only Kant himseif in his transcendental logic, but all philosophers before and after him, as well, who sought to find out the nature of truth, wouid have addressed themselves to a question which, as such, is absurd.
It cannot be assumed, however, that the mere possibility of reversing an if-inversion in the above manner is enough to justify the interpretation that Kant had such a word order in mind. Because, as a result of the inversion, ,in itself‘ follows immediately upon ,the question,‘ the reader is tempted to contract them into one expression. But this is not compelling. The other possibility, which is just as legitimate within the structure of the (German) language, has the additional advantage of excluding certain difficulties with respect to the conceptual interpretation of the sentence. The inversion ,,wenn die Frage an sich ungereimt ist“ can just as well be transformed into ,,die Frage ist an sich ungereimt“ (the question is in itself absurd). According to this interpretation ,,in itself‘ is to be associated with ,,absurd,“ and therefore be read as the colloquial expression ,,in itseif‘ which ordinarily is used to mean ,,actually.“ As a result the clause can be read to mean: ,,the question is actually absurd.“
But what have we gained by this result? What then is "actually absurd“? We have seen that it is not the question ,,What is truth?“, as such, although the demand for a definition of truth must be ,,absurd“ in some way. But if not the question, ,,as such,“ then in what other sense can it be said to be absurd?
In order to answer this it is necessary to keep in mmd that in chapter III of the ,,Introduction“ to the ,,Transcendental Analytic“ Kant, from the very beginning, only directs his attention to formal logic and to the logician of formal logic. The title already makes this clear by referring to ,,general logic,“23 which, as has been mentioned, is Kant‘s term for formal logic. Indeed, in the very first sentence he does not simply speak of the question ,,What is truth?“, as such, but rather of the question as it would be treated by logicians offormal logic, that is, as a question ,,by which logicians24 were supposed to be driven into a corner. ,,25 The question ,,What is truth?“, as such, is anything but absurd. On the contrary, as a transcendental question it is the very theme of transcendental logic. According to Kant it is only absurd when posed to a logician who restricts himself to formal logic.26
Now it can be understood why Kant suddenly brings up the problem of truth at this point. This problem plays a decisive part in the outline of the ,,Idea of a Transcendental Logic,“ which in the ,,Introduction“ is portrayed as the distinction between transcendental and formal logic. Because formal logic abstracts from all content of cognition, whereas transcendental logic does not, and because truth ,,involves just this very content, ,,27 is clear that the question as to what is the nature of truth leads precisely to the criterion for the essential difference between these two sciences. According to Kant transcendental logic has the distinction of being able to ask and answer the question about the nature of truth, whereas the same question within the
23. Kant, 111.79.2; or CPR, p. 97 (=B 82).
24. The fact that Kant refers to the logician of formal logic with the term ,,logician“ alone becomes evident, for instance, in the passage 111.76.31; or GPR, p.
94 (= B 78). In the same manner Kant often shortens ,,formal logic“ simply to ,,logic.“ (eg. 111.141.29 and frequently in the ,,Introduction;“ cf. 111.80.2,14,16,20,27,29). However, Kant never refers to transcendental logic in the reverse fashion as merely ,,logic“ nor does he ever call the transcendental philosopher simply as ,,logician.“
25. Kant, III.79.5f.; or CPR, p. 97 (=B 82).
26. Although in an entirely intuitive manner, Kant is doing something here which is quite reasonable: Modem methodology demonstrates correctly that expressions used and to a certain extent understood colloquially do not necessarily always have a precise meaning. Golloquial usage is often too vague, because it serves several purposes and therefore must remain flexible. That applies also to the question of truth. Like all other colloquially imprecise expressions it, too, is given a precise and verifiable meaning only when understood in terms of an existing or yet to be established conceptual system which is constructed according to exactly defined rules. The question of truth as such, that is, in its colloquial form, is therefore neither ,,sensible“ nor ,,absurd.“ The interesting thing for Kant is then that it becomes absurd when it is naively applied to formal logic by taking ,,truth“ to mean the opposite of ,,incorrectness,“ as the colloquial usage might suggest. In terms of another system, however, and thus in another sense, Kant views the same question not only as sensible hut as answerable, as well.
27. Kant, III.79.28f; or CPR, p. 97 ( = B 83).
Gerold Prauss/trans. by David Partch 97
framework of formal logic is merely absurd. The latter science is so incapable of deciding what truth is that it must on the contrary be ,,assumed as granted“ in order to be able to assert itself at all.28
In this manner Kant succeeds in shortening his exposition of the distinction between formal and transcendental logic. Kant portrays with a sketchy, but very effective outline the difficulties in which a logician finds himseif when asked the question ,,What is truth?“ by giving a concrete example. The nature of the situation having been shown in general, it then becomes an easy matter to understand any further details.
In the first place it must be observed that Kant does not maintain that a logician, when demanded to give a definition of truth, will necessarily arrive at difficulties. For this reason, when giving his account of the attempt in antiquity ,,to drive (the logician) into the corner,“ he also maintains that this was merely the intention.29 Actually there is not compulsive reason for assuming that this question should create any difficulty for a logician. In fact the question is of no consequence to his science at all and therefore need not even be considered by him.
Of course truth is relevant to the logician, inasmuch as he deals with statements which are said to be either true or false, that is, with cognitions or judgments.30 As a logician, however, he is solely concerned with ,,the logical form of cognitions in relation to one another.“3‘ He establishes ,,logical form“ in terms of ,,universal and necessary rules of the understanding,“ a form with which all cognition must be ,,in complete accordance“ in order to avoid being false merely on the basis of its logical form.32 For Kant this amounts to nothing other than the principle of contradiction; and contradiction must be avoided at all costs. ,,Whatever contradicts these rules is false. For the understanding would thereby . . . contradict itself.“33 But the
28. Quine is a good example of how appropriate Kant‘s description of formal logic is even up to the present. He begins the first paragraph of Methods of Logic, 2nd edition (New York: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1959) with the simple observation: ,,The peculiarity of statements. . . is that they admit of truth and falsity. . . ,, Quine, too, considers the meaning of ,,truth“ to be ,,assumed as granted“ with respect to the development of formal logic. Indeed, the corresponding nominal definition of truth, as a mere ,,commonplace,“ is even left out of formal logic itself and treated separately in an ,,Introduction.“
29. Kant, III.79Sf.
30. It must be observed here that Kant is using the word ,,cognition“ (Erkenntnis) at this point in a different sense than it is usually used today, inasmuch as one can speak offalse as well as true ,,cognition.“ Gf. 111.79.22; or GPR, p. 97 ( B 83): ,,. . . for cognition (Erkenntnis) is false, if it. . .,, The use of ,,cognition“ in this sense, that is, as the equivalent of ,,judgement,“ can also be found before Kant; e.g. in George Friedrich Meier‘s Auszug aus der Vernunftlehre, (Halle: Gebaur; 1752), Kant, XVI p. 237f.
31. Kant, III.77.23f.; or CPR, p. 95 (=B 79).
32. Kant, 111.80.3 with 9; or CPR, p. 98 (B 83-4).
33. Kant, III.80Sf.; or CPR, p. 98 (=B 84).
rules of formal logic could never prove satisfactory as an answer to the question ,,What is truth?“, ,,because cognitions are false whenever they are contradictory; but they are not necessarily true, when they are not.“34 We might say today that they are merely consistent.35 In other words, merely giving the ,,negative condition of all truth“ does not answer the question about the nature of truth. ,,But further than this logic cannot go.“36
But in spite of the fact that an adequate account of the nature of truth cannot be expected of a logician, Kant nonetheless chose to begin the discussion with a situation in which a logician is being asked this very question. However, even if it is established that this question, because of its own nature, need not necessarily lead a logician into difficulties, there are still two possibilities left open to him: either he is aware of this or he is not.
If he is, then he will rightfully refuse to answer the question and point out to whom it is properly to be addressed. The fact that he cannot give an answer could then never be seen as evidence for his ,,ignorance,“ in which the ,,emptiness“ of his science is supposed to be demonstrated.“37 Ignorance of this sort would only be possible, if the corresponding knowledge were possible at least in principle, which is not the case within the framework of formal logic, but rather only in terms of a transcendental logic.
But assuming the logician did know this and therefore never let himself be driven into a corner, what would that mean? Would that not mean that he had understood the basic tenants of transcendental philosophy and had taken the first step away from formal and in the direction of transcendental logic? Exactly this is what never happened before Kant. One searches in vain for a truly Kantian transcendental philosophy prior to Kant. And that is
34. Kant, IX.51.32f.
35. Here it becomes apparent that Kant views formal logic as being merely concerned with logical falsehood or consistency. Logical truth, which has become very important in the meantime, is something very trivial for Kant and is therefore not even mentioned. (Cf. e.g. Quine, Methods of Logic, p. 29:
,Validity‘ is not to be thought of as a term of praise. When a schema is valid, any statement whose form that schema depicts is bound to be, in some sense, trivial. lt will be trivial in the sense that it conveys no real information. . .
The logical truth of which Kant occasionally speaks (cf. IX.51f.) should not be confused with logical truth in the modern sense. Kant thinks of it only as that cognition which is ,,logically sound“ but, in fact, can be false. His theory of analytical judgements, which comes closest to the modern concept of logical truth, is not even mentioned in this context. See however: III.141f.; or CPR, p. 189 (=B 189).
36. Kant, 111.80. 14F.; or CPR, p. 98 (= B 84). Should it do this nonetheless, that is, if it mistakes the mere ,,negative“ or ,,necessary“ condition of truth, which it has at hand, as being sufficient, then it claims to be an organon of the cognition of truths; whereas it in fact only turm out to be a ,,logic of illusion“ or ,,dialectic“ which Kant distinguishes from the ,,analytic“ as logic in the actual sense. See also: III.80f.; or CPR, p. 98-9 (= B 84f.). Further: Reflection 2177.
37. Kant, III.79.7f.; or CPR, p. 97 (=B 83).
why Kant, from the very beginning, assumes only the second of the above mentioned possibilities: that is, that neither the queried logician nor the inquiring sceptics were aware of this peculiarity of the question about truth. The only one who knew this and who expressed that knowledge by adding
"...intended to 38/vi (be driven into a corner)“ was Kant himself, the transcendental philosopher.
And yet there is another consideration which remains to be made. Even if we can be certain that before Kant there was not knowledge of this peculiarity of the question about truth and that therefore transcendental philosophy did not exist, this does not mean that this question was not asked and that no attempts were made to answer it before Kant. Although the question, as such, is not absurd, in pre-kantian philosophy there was always the danger that it appear to be absurd. The reason for this is that before the establishment of transcendental philosophy there was in fact no proper framework within which the question could be posed. That meant that by necessity it had to be posed in an area foreign to it, namely in that of the logician, because his was the only science which had anything at all to do with the truth.
By maintaining that the peculiarity of this question, if not recognized, will only create insurmountable difficulties for a logician, Kant not only describes a particular situation taken from history, which he offers as an example, nor only a certain type of historical situation, but the general nature of the situation in which the whole history of philosophy before him had found itself, as well. And by pointing out in detail which difficulties the logician will inevitably be met with, he is able to demonstrate just why it is necessary, from the point of view of the question itself, to change this untenable situation. In order to avoid making it appear to be absurd to ask about the nature of truth, this question must be completely lifted out of the sphere of formal logic and provided its own foundation by establishing a new, transcendental logic.
What then are the difficulties this question will cause the logician, as long as its transcendental nature remains hidden? Again we are confronted with two possibilities. As long as logicians do not realize that the question, as well as the answer, does not lie within the province of their science, they can only do one of two things, when asked the question: either they will make an attempt to answer it or they will not, in which latter case they will ,,confess their ignorance and consequently the emptiness of their whole art. For when the logician, who is never concerned with anything other than ,,the logical form of cognitions in relation to one another“40 and thus always deals merely with particular cognitions, is asked about truth, he is in fact being
40. Kant, III.77.23f; or GPR, p. 95 (=B 79).
asked nothing less than ,,what is the general and sure criterion of the truth of any and every cognition.“41
But how could a logician be in a position to fulfill what this question demands of him?
When the logician is asked the question of what truth is, he is being asked to give an account of what it means for cognition to agree with its object, whereby the nominal definition of truth is ,,assumed as granted.“42 But if truth ,,consists in the agreement of cognition with its object, that object must thereby be distinguished from other objects. For cognition is false, if it does not agree with the object to which it is related, even though it contains something which may be valid of other objects.“43
Nonetheless, as long as the question has the form ,,what is...?“, it is demanding to know something essential, that is, something which can only be defined by a ,,general“ and ,,sufficient"44 criterion. But a ,,general criterion of truth“ has to be one that ,,would be valid for all cognitions disregarding any difference between their objects. ,,45/vii On the other hand, however, the truth must depend precisely on this difference, if it is to be defined as the agreement of particular cognitions with their objects. The question ,,What is truth?“, if it is taken in the sense which it assumes when it is posed to a logician, must then remain unanswered. The logician then cannot help ,,confessing his ignorance“ in the matter.
But there is still the other possibility. The logician, who does not give any answer to the question but rather confesses his ignorance, may not know it is in principle impossible to answer, whereas he may know that it is factually impossible. Yet it is easily conceivable that a logician would not know even this, in which case he might try to give an answer to the question ,,What is truth?“ In Kant‘s opinion any logician who makes such an attempt is ,,obliged... to have recourse to a pitiful sophism.“ 46/viii And it is precisely such logicians that are being referred to especially in the second paragraph of the
41. Kant, III.79.llf.; or CPR, p. 97 (=B 82). The sentence, ,,the question asked can only be understood as an explanation of the meaning of the question of
truth. It means: ,,By asking a logician the question, ,,What is truth?“ one is demanding to .0.... ,,Cf. footnote 20.
42. Kant, 111.79.11; or CPR, p. 97 (=B 82).
43. Kant, 111.79.20-24; or CPR, p. 97 (=B 83).
44. Gf. Kant, 111.79.12; or CPR, p. 97 (=B 82). When Kant speaks here of a ,,sure“ criterion, he surely means a ,,sufficient“ criterion, as is shown by comparison with III.79.30f.; or CPR, p. 98 (= B 83): ,,a sufficient and at the same time general criterion. . . ,,See also: 111.80.8,26; or CPR, p. 98 (= B 84,85).
45. Kant, III.7925f.; or GPR, p. 97 (=B 83).
46. Kant, 111.79.7; or CPR, p. 97 (=B 82). In the second edition the word ,,Diallele“ has been replaced by ,,Dialexe.“ This hapax legomenon in Kant is, however, surely a misprint due to a mistake in the process of resetting the 2nd edition. As can be seen in the Reflections 2143 and 2151, Kant tended to write this word with the incorrect form, ,,Dialele,“ in the ist edition.
present chapter,47 in which Kant characterizes them in a somewhat scornful manner.
Kant assumes that it is ,,a great and necessary proof of intelligence and insight“ to ,,know what questions may be reasonably asked.“ Not only anyone who asks the logicians about the nature of truth, a question which thereby becomes ,,absurd“ and demands ,,unnecessary answers,“ but also the logicians themselves lack this intelligence and insight, inasmuch as they are not aware that it is in principle impossible to define truth in terms of their science. Thus the ,,shame (of) the propounder of the question“ pertains also to the logician who, by confessing his ignorance, accepts it as justified. But the real ,,disadvantage,“ ix arises when the ,,incautious listener“ is thereby ,,betray(ed). . . into absurd answers,“ thus offering a ,,ludicrous spectacle,“ in that he adds to the absurdity of ,,milking a he-goat“ by ,,holding a sieve underneath.“
What then does Kant mean by ,,sophism“ (Diallele), and what exactly is it about the logician‘s attempt which forces him into this ,,sophism?“ There is not much in the way of an answer to this in the Critique of Pure Reason, and it is therefore necessary to confer with other passages in which Kant indicates more definitely what he means. In particular we must refer to his Reflections on Logic.48
It remains possible, though, to conclude only on the basis of what is said in the Critique of Pure Reason what single path the logician can take in order to give a definition of truth. In this respect Kant states that the nominal definition of truth, as the agreement of cognition with its object, is already ,,assumed as granted.“ Anyone who is in the position to ask, answer or even want to understand the question ,,What is truth?“ must be making implicit reference to this sense of ,,truth,“ which, according to Kant, is given in the nominal definition. lt means that for any given expression another can be found, which usually serves the purpose of displaying further relevant information, and which can be substituted salve veritate for the former in all possible contexts.49 Should the logician want to answer the question, he must then explain in what way any particular cognition agrees with its object. For if the nominal definition is assumed as granted, it is obvious from the very beginning that the question ,,What is truth?“ means the same as:
,,What is the agreement of a cognition with its object?“
47. Cf. Kant, 111.79.13-19; or GPR, p. 97 (=B 82-3).
48. Of course, the Logic as collected byjäsche is also useful. But one must exercise caution with it, especially with respect to those statements given by Jäsche and not by Kant himself. In this respect special attention must be given the passage in which Jäsche characterizes ,,Diallele“ as a ,,circle“ (IX. 50. 9f.), whereas Kant himself continually uses the expression ,,Diallele“ (Reflections 2143 and 2151 and V.381 .29), although he is perfectly familiar with the expression ,,circle“ in that sense.
49. See also Kant‘s characterization of the nominal definition (IV.158.30f.; or CPR, p. 261 ( = A 241).
It is already clear that the logician is only concerned with particular cognitions. He is thus forced into giving an account of the agreement of cognition with its object in terms of such particular cognitions and their corresponding particular objects.
To give an example we might consider the true cognition or judgement,50 ,,The sun is shining.“ What does this judgement refer to? Undoubtedly it is the fact that the sun is shining.51 If the logician now wants to explain in which manner this cognition agrees with its ,,object,“ his first possibility is to say: If I maintain that my judgement, ,,Ihe sun is shining,“ is true, that is, that it agrees with its object, this merely means the same as: ,,Upon my judgement the sun is shining and, in fact, the sun is shining.“ In other words, the statement, ,,The sun is shining,“ is true or can be said to agree with its object, because the sun is shining.
The logician is even able to generalize this explanation for all true judgements with the help of variables. The resulting generalization could then be given as ,,X is true, because p,“ ,,X“ being a variable for the name of any true judgement, the colloquial expression of which can be indicated by using quotation marks, and ,,p“ being a variable for the judgement itself. But the word ,,because“ is used in this context only because it is assumed beforehand that only true judgements are to be considered. This can be left open, however, by substituting ,,if‘ for ,,because“ and arriving at ,,X is true, if p“ and ,,X is false, if not p,“ which, as is generally known, can be shortened to ,,X is true, if and only if p.“
But what is Kant getting at with these considerations about the logicians and how they might possibly answer the question, ,,What is truth?“ The answer leads to exactly the same view which as been that of modern semantics since Tarksi. The formula given above is the same one Stegmüller uses, for example, to portray Tarski‘s approach.52
Nevertheless it must be observed that this approach does not claim to answer the question, ,,What is truth?“53 It only serves the purpose of establishing a formal system involving the strict division of object- and metalanguage and therefore permitting the use of the predicate ,,true“ and yet avoiding all antinomies. So when Kant denies logicians the possibility of giving an adequate definition of truth within the framework of and with the means provided by their own science, he is only referring to those among them who believe they can do this. Only if Tarksi and other modern semanticists should actually make this claim, could Kant‘s reproach apply to them,
50. Refer to note 30 above.
51. We are dealing here with a judgement made at a certain point in time and space on the basis of something actually perceived, and the fact expressed by this judgement.
52. W. Stegmüller, Das Wahrheitsproblem und die Idee der Semantik (Vienna:
Springer Verlag, 1957), p. 2 and 20f.
53. Ibid., p. 15.
that is, that they are ,,obliged. . . to have recourse to a pitiful sophism.“
What Kant means by this ,,sophism“ (Dialelle) becomes clear in his Reflection Nr. 2143. It begins with the sentence, ,,My judgement should agree with the object,“ and is based precisely upon the considerations in the Critique of Pure Reason, which has just been discussed. That is to say: it is to be assumed that ,,X is true, that is, agrees with its object, because p. Kant continues with: ,,I can only compare my cognition with the object, if I have <already re-cognized> it. (Ergo:) Diallele.“54 With this he has revealed something which tends to be concealed by the formula in which the expression, ,,X is true. . .,, refers to a judgement, whereas ,,...p“ refers to a fact, giving the impression that a cognition or judgement is thereby actually being compared with an object immediately, with the result that the ,,truth“ of the judgement, that is, its agreement with the object, has thus been established. In fact, however, a judgement is always necessary in order to talk about an object at all. And precisely that judgement which, because one refers to it itself and no longer to its object, would then be designated as true. The judgement contained in the expression '...... . p‘ would have to be true, before ,X‘ could be used to refer to it with the intention of verifying that ,,X is true.“ Analogously we could say: Socrates must himself be wise, in order for us to make the valid statement, ,,Socrates is wise.“ This concept of truth is always implied, either directly or indirectly, in all such formulae and is precisely what is intended by asking the logician the question, ,,What is truth?“ Should he answer with such a formula, which is only a rule for employing the predicate, ,,true,“ then he is only defining truth as truth and, therefore, in fact propounding a sophism.55
This is, according to Kant, the final demonstration that there is no way to define truth adequately within the realm of formal logic, which makes it seem as if the question were altogether absurd. The task at hand therefore lies in the reconsideration of the actual meaning that can be reasonably attributed to the question. For it is, to be certain, quite meaningful to Kant, and therefore its significance must be insured. To the logician who is only concerned with particular cognitions or judgements it is so obvious from the very beginning what is meant by ,,judgement,“ ,,object,“ and their ,,agreement“ that for him there is no meaningful basis whatever in terms of which the question, ,,What is truth?“ could be asked. This becomes obvious when Kant states that in formal logic the nominal definition of truth must be
54. Almost exactly the same wording can be found in Kant‘s Logic (IX.50.4f).
54. This same ,,sophism“ (Diallele) appears clearly in Stegmüller‘s formula for representing an equivalence. A logician cannot achieve anything more than this within the framework of his science. Even Quine remarks: ,,A fundamental way of deciding whether a statement is true is by comparing it. .. with the world—or, which is nearest we can come, by comparing it with our experience of the world.“ (Methods of Logic, p. XI)
assumed as granted. Kant takes a nominal definition to mean the substitution of ,,other more intelligible words.“56 And indeed the definition of ,,truth,“ as ,,agreement of cognition with its object,“ is not only more ,,intelligible“ to the logician. It is thought to be in itself entirely sufficient and, as such, it counts as the final and unquestionable standard for what is to be considered intelligible at all.57 Therefore, should he be expected to give an answer to the question, he will have no choice other than to be caught up in a circular argument (Diallele).
But might it not be that the genuine meaning of this question could only become apparent to someone who does not deal with single cognitions, as does the logician, presupposing the meaning of cognition in general and object in general, but who, like Kant, inquires precisely about these?58 lt must be remembered 59 that Kant, too, starts with the same nominal definition of truth as his basic assumption. The difference is that he takes just the opposite strategy in his inquiry from this point on. What is thought by the logician to be quite obvious, that is, that truth is ,,the agreement of cognition with its object,“ is precisely what Kant transforms into the problem. In other words, he is asking just what it means to have cognition and a corresponding object and to say that they agree or do not agree. Precisely this is the question with which Kant abandons formal logic and opens the way to transcendental logic: What conditions must be met in order to make the existence of something possible at all which relates to something else in such a way that it could be said to be the cognition thereof and that this something else is its object?
The proposed logic is supposed to provide a framework within which the question about the nature of truth would become meaningful. It does not, however, have the meaning it might appear to have at first glance; it is not the question about truth as opposed to falsehood. For truth, taken in this
56. Kant, IV.158.31; or CPR, p. 261 (=A 241, footnote).
57. The reference to Quine‘s remark, ,,a commonplace,“ (see note 28) is also relevant here.
58. This truly philosophical question is still being discussed today and is basically a transcendental question, even if not explicitly mentioned as such. See, for example, Günter Patzig, ,,Satz and Tatsache,“ in: Argumentationen, Festschrift für Josef König (Göttingen: Vandenhoek und Ruprecht, /1964), translated in:
CGP, Vol. 1, Wilhelm Kamlah, ,,Der moderne Wahrheitsbegriff,“ in: Einsichten, Festschrift für Gerhard Krüger (Frankfurt/M.: Klostermann 1962); Ernst Tugendhat, ,,Tarskis semantische Definition der Wahrheit und ihre Stellung innerhalf der Geschichte des Wahrheitsproblems im logischen Positivismus,“ in: Philosophische Rundschau, Vol. 8, 1960, and in: George Pitcher (Ed.). Truth (Englewood Cliffs: Prentice Hall, 1964). But even Stegmüller, for example, comes across this question exactly at the point at which he makes the observation that there are still difficulties involved in the relationship between statements and facts. See Stegmüller, p. 140 (refer to footnote 21); further: Patzig, . 189.
59. See footnote 14.
sense, could only be stated in terms of particular cognitions, which would mean that the question would again have to be dealt with in terms of formal logic, in the light of which it can only be seen as absurd. Within transcendental logic the question, ,,What is truth?“ would come to mean the same as the question about the nature of cognition. lt would be asking what defines cognition as such. Truth, as opposed to falsehood, obviously has no relevance in this context. For cognition can be false. Truth must then have a meaning which transcends this dichotomy.
That this, in fact, is what Kant takes the question, ,,What is truth?“ to mean, and that he treats it as such in his transcendental logic, becomes clear in the sentence in which he characterizes the essential result of this ,,logic of truth:“ ,,For no cognition can contradict it (transcendental logic)60 without at once losing all content, that is, all relation to any object, and therefore all truth.“ 61 This sentence alludes to a previous one, in which Kant had described in a similar form what can be achieved with the criteria of formal logic:
,,Whatever contradicts these rules (of formal logic) is false. For the understanding would thereby be made to contradict its own general rules of thought, and so to contradict itself.“62
The allusion might seem to be superficial and accidental at first glance. Closer examination reveals, however, that it was intended by Kant, and for no other reason than to emphasize the principal difference between transcendental and formal logic. It must be considered what is being maintained in these two sentences.
It has already been shown that cognition, although false, if it is a contradiction in terms of formal logic, is not necessarily true, when consistent according to the same criteria.63 But that only means that the criteria of formal logic permit no more than the identification of what is ,,false“ or ,,notfalse.“ In contrast, Kant believes transcendental logic, as the ,,logic of truth,“ to be sufficient for the identification of what is ,,true“ or ,,not-true.“ Whatever contradicts it loses its status as truth and whatever satisfies it is
60. This refers especially to the ,,Transcendental Analytic.“ (See note 15) Occasionally Kant also calls formal logic a ,,logic of truth.“ The formal logic being referred to here, however, is the ,,Analytic“ in contrast to the ,,Dialectic,“ which, in turn, is characterized as a ,,logic of illusion.“ (cf. e.g. IV.276 and IX. 16) With this he points out the fact that formal logic does indeed provide us with the necessary conditions of truth, even though they are not the sufficient conditions. In contrast to this, Kant means something fundamentally different, when he calls transcendental logic a ,,logic of truth.“ This is indeed referring specifically to the ,,Transcendental Analytic“ as opposed to the ,,Transcendental Dialectic,“ which could respectively be characterized as a ,,logic of illusion“ — although a logic of transcendental illusion. This shows that the ,,Transcendental Analytic“ is meant to be logic of a special, that is, transcendental truth, in which logic this truth is then explained sufficiently — in contrast to the manner in which formal logic explains its truth.
61. Kant, III.82.6f.; or CPR, p. 100 (B 87).
62. Kant, III.80.4f.; or CPR, p. 98 (=B 84).
63. See pp. 97f.
truth. But whatever has lost its status as truth by contradicting transcendental logic cannot gain it back merely by corresponding with the criteria offormal logic. Thus the contrast, as it is intended by Kant, apparently maintains nothing less than that transcendental logic is the logic of truth, whereasformal logic is the logic offalsehood, inasmuch as they are supposed to give a sufficient explanation of their particular subject matter.64
lt is still a matter of question, however, whether Kant really intended to portray these different kinds of logic as opposites, or even if they are opposites at all. Provided that transcendental logic is a logic of truth, whereas formal logic is logic of falsehood in the sense already mentioned, then in what sense was Kant using the word ,,truth?“ Because he was not concerned with logical truth, as we have already seen, one might be inclined to assume that he had factual truth in mi. The unusual result of this would be that the same truth, that is, the opposite of falsehood, which is the starting-point for formal logic, is suddenly to be taken as the very subject of transcendental logic. But that would mean obscuring the line between these two types of logic as drawn by Kant in the ,,Introduction,“ in which the ,,Idea of a transcendental logic“ is developed.
But what seems to be unusual at first glance proves to be simply out of the question, when one takes another look at the sentence with which Kant characterizes transcendental logic with respect to what it should accomplish. For according to this sentence any cognition which contradicts it would lose ,,all truth.“ But this would not be merely a strange way of restating that such cognition is false. Above all, that would mean that that very essential difference between formal and transcendental logic with which Kant is here concerned would be irretrievably lost. For in this sense whatever contradicts the criteria of formal logic must also lose ,,all truth.“ Iherefore, assuming Kant did intend to bring out the difference between formal and transcendental logic in the ,,Introduction“ in general, and in this sentence in particular, then it follows that he associated another meaning with the word ,,truth.“
We can obtain a clear notion of what Kant meant by ,,truth“ by carefully re-examining some other terms he used in connection with the expression ,,all truth.“ The sentence reads: ,,. . . all content, that is, all relation to any object, and therefore, all truth.“65 In other words, to say that cognition loses ,,all truth“ by contradicting transcendental logic means the same as to say it loses ,,all relation to any object.“ It is important to observe here that all relation to an object means more than agreement with an object! Therefore, loss of truth cannot mean that cognition merely loses something, namely the status of truth, and is given something else, namely that of falsehood, while retaining the quality of cognition in general, as is the case in formal logic. It means,
64. And this is not at all surprising, as Kant is not, at this point, considering logical truth as it is understood in the modern sense. (See footnote 35).
64. Kant, III.82.7f.; or CPR, p. 100 (B 87).
rather, that it ceases to be cognition at all, beyond the consideration of whether it is true or false. For, as transcendental logic demonstrates, cognition is nothing other than the relation of something to an object, which, if it is in fact present, can then be either true or false, that is, in agreement with its object or not, but which, in order to exist at all must satisfy certain conditions which transcendental logic is supposed to establish.
It is therefore obvious that in this sentence Kant is using the word ,,truth“ in a very special sense, which cannot be understood to mean ,,truth“ as opposed to ,,falsehood.“ The expression ,,all truth“ is primarily66 nothing other than an abbreviated form of ,,all possibility of truth,“ which, as such, is the ,,possibility offalsehood,“ as well. Accordingly, ,,all truth“ means the same as ,,the characteristic of having truth value (Wahrheitsdifferenz),x although Kant himself did not use this expression.
This distinction is, at the same time, fundamental enough to establish the real difference between formal and transcendental logic, as was Kant‘s intention in the ,,Introduction.“ lt must be remembered that the other sentence to which this one refers had stated that any cognition which contradicts the criteria of formal logic is false. The second sentence, however, maintains nothing other than the following contrary statement: Whatever contradicts the criteria of formal logic, even if not true or in agreement with itself, is nonetheless false, which means it at least has some truth value. Whereas anything that contradicts transcendental logic is not even false, because it has not truth value; that is, there is no possibility of evaluating such statements as either true or false.
Transcendental logic, as the ,,logic of truth,“ is therefore the logic of determining what can be evaluated as true or false at all. Whatever contradicts its rules loses ,,all truth,“ that is, not only that truth which, as the opposite of falsehood, makes up the subject matter of formal logic, but rather the other ,,truth,“ as well, which transcends the entire difference between true and false by being the very condition for such a distinction.67 Although Kant does not call this concept ,,Wahrheitsdifferenz“ (the characteristic of having truth value), he nonetheless has a special expression which portrays this special meaning of truth. In contrast to that other truth,
66. That is, if ,,all“ is first taken in its vaguer sense.
67. This more precise meaning of ,,all“ is no doubt meant here. lt can be explained by considering that Kant often uses the expression ,,all“ synonomously with ,,every.“ In this case it would have the meaning of ,,every kind of ..... ,,(See also: 111.270.31; 111.337.32; 111.387.21; orCPR, pp. 371,438,490 (=B 412-3, 517, 603); further: V.48.18 and Reflections 3977, 3935.3936). Of course, transcendental logic is not only called the ,,logic of truth“ because it deals with truth-value. Above all, it bears this title because it contains principles which are true a priori and, as such, make truth-value possible. However, this is not a matter which is dealt with in the ,,Introduction,“ but rather which will come up later. Cf., however, for example, Kant, 111.203.
which he describes as ,,empirical,“ he refers to the subject matter of transcendental logic as ,,transcendental truth“68
And that is precisely what is actually being and always has been asked — even though only implicitly prior to Kant — by the question ,,What is truth?“ if ever the question is to have any meaning at all, that is, if it is to be answerable 69
But the question can only be understood to have this meaning, when seen from the very beginning as a transcendental question, which therefore demands a transcendental answer. Kant was the first to have been favored with this insight, but that in turn meant that he was burdened with the task of first laying the very foundation for such a transcendental logic in order to carry it out, a task for which the most strenuous of all conceptual thought is necessary.70
68. Compare 111.139.7-10 with 111.145.21-25; III.203.14-19; III.337.31ff.; or CPR, p. 186 with pp. 194,258,438 (= B 185 with B 196-7,296,5 17). This also explains the sense in which transcendental truth and transcendental illusion are opposites. All judgements are transcendental illusions, if they do not possess transcendental truth, but as judgements nonetheless give this appearance. Without this truth, that is, without actual relation to an object, such judgements can only seem to be true or false. Actually they are neither the one nor the other, but rather simply meaningless, for which Kant uses the expression“groundless.“See: III.82.29 and 141.16-25; orCPR, p. 189-90(=B 88). Furthermore, that explains why transcendental truth means two things for Kant, one being the truth-value of empirical judgements and the other being the transcendental truth of principles. See also: 111.139.7-10; or CPR, p. 186 (= B 185). The distinction of true and false is possible in empirical judgements only if they are grounded in the truth a priori of the principles on which they are based.
69. To what extent it is possible with transcendental logic to determine what truth could mean in the sense of an opposite to falseness remains unanswered in the ,,Introduction“ to the ,,Transcendental Logic.“ See also: 111.432.4-9; or GPR, p. 538 (= B 679). Cf. G. Prauss, Einführung in die Erkenntnistheorie (Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, 1979), p. 146-216.
70. This can now also be compared with the attempt at a systematic reconstruction of Kant‘s transcendental philosophy, which can be found in my two treatises:
Erscheinung bei Kant (Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 1971) and Kant und das
Problem der Dinge an sich (Bonn: Bouvier, 1974 and 1977).
The passage referred to is B 74-88; or CPR, pp. 92-101.
Ihe key word, ,,here,“ which Prauss will refer to in the following sentence, has been left out of the Kemp Smith translation.
The word, ,,one,“ refers to the implied agent of the passive sentence as it is translated by Kemp Smith (,,were supposed to be driven into a corner,“ p. 97). The German equivalent to ,,one“ is man and does appear in the original, which is given in the active mode: ,,womit man die Logiker in die Enge zu treiben vermeinte.“
The clause in German reads: ,,. . .wenn die Frage an sich ungereimt ist. .
Recalling the Kemp Smith translation we find: ,,if a question is absurd in
itself.“ The ambiguity which Prauss is talking about could be seen as resolved by the translator‘s decision to change the defmite article mto an indefmite article. The italics are added by Prauss.
1 have chosen as an exception to give a more literal translation of this citation. The reading in the Kemp Smith translation is: ,,. . . cannot take account of the [varying] content of knowledge (relation to its [specific] object).“ (p. 97)
viii Kemp Smith translates Kant‘s use of the word, ,,Diallele,“ with ,,sophism.“ ,,Diallele“ can originally be rendered as a circular argument. That would give the present centext, as well as the original passage, a sense which could be rephrased as: ,,Whenever a logician addresses himself to the question, What is truth?“ his answer will necessarily have the form of a circular argument. However, see Prauss‘s footnote 48.
This word (in German: ,,Nachteil“) was omitted in the Kemp Smith translation.
To be ,,wahrheitsdifferent“ means to be either true or false, that is, to have a truth-value in Frege‘s sense. So ,,wahrheitsdifferent“ or ,,Wahrheitsdifferenz“ would mean something like ,,truth evaluable“ and ,,truth-evaluability,“ respectively, if they are translatable at all. Prauss pointed out to me that the origin of these terms is based on a double negative: not indifferent, that is, to truth. Taking away the negatives leaves: ,,different“ to truth, or ,,truth-different“ (wahrheitsd#erent). Unfortunately, ,,different“ cannot serve as the opposite of ,,indifferent“ in English, as it can in German. According to Prauss, something (any combination of words) is indifferent to truth (wahrheitsindifferent), if it cannot be given a truth-value at all, and something (an intelligible statement) is ,,different“ to truth, if it can be said to be either true or false.
TIME, SPACE, AND SCHEMATISM
THE PHILOSOPHICAL FORUM Volume XIII, No. 1, Fall 1981
To this day Kant‘s doctrine of the schematism is properly regarded as the darkest chapter of his transcendental philosophy. I would like to show in the following that a considerable part of this darkness lies not at all in the chapter itself but in Kant‘s doctrine of sensibility, which is presupposed by his doctrine of the schematism. This doctrine of sensibility, and that is to say of time and space, which are its two forms, contains a fundamental unclarity in Kant‘s presentation. In its sense, however, it can be made clear. And if I am correct, this clarification could make an essential contribution to illuminating the darkness of the doctrine of the schematism, at least to the extent that precisely the complexity of its complicated fundamental thought would be made more understandable.
This fundamental thought is, of course, the attempt to answer the question of how a subject makes it possible in experience ,,to aim apriori at objects“ (A 79/B 105), from the intuitions of its sensibility via the concepts of its understanding. According to Kant, this becomes possible only insofar as the subject is able to structure its sensibility apriori through its understanding in such a way that it apriori ,,projects“ (entwirft, cf. B xiii with B xvi) an object, that is to say, something other than itself. The question is: how is sensibility to be formed apriori, so that in accord with this form subjective intuition is no longer something merely subjective, but as such is also the ,,projection“ (Entwurf) of something objective? And since the answer to this question must come from the structures of sensibility, from space and time and the various possibilities of the combination of their structures, the next thing to ask is: how does Kant determine the two forms of space and time, on the one hand, separately and, on the other hand, in their relation to the sensibility whose forms they are supposed to constitute?
The answer to this question cannot be simply taken from the Kantian texts, for there Kant does not have very much to say. Therefore, one must give all the more significance to the fact that the passages which concern this question in the first edition of the Critique are corrected by Kant in the second edition. In the first edition he repeatedly characterizes the form of space as the condition for the possibility that there can appear a manifold of items that are ,,outside one another“ (aussereinander; cf. A 23, A 264, A 270). And here Kant is simply taking up again what was for him already in the Dissertation an adequate characterization of space, namely that it is the form of that which appears extra se invicem (§15). But since the second edition of the Critique it seems this characterization appeared to him to be inadequate. What the form of space is supposed to constitute the condition of is not that items appear ,,outside one another“ (as extra se invicem) but that they appear ,,outside and alongside one another“ (ausser-und nebeneinander). This at least is how the striking emendation sounds which Kant makes in the second edition to a passage in the first edition (A 23/B 38). And it will be clear from another passage in the second edition that this is not simply an incidental addition but rather represents an attempt at a correction that is to be taken seriously. According to it, it is the manifold of sensibility in general, and not simply of space alone, that is to be taken as being outside one another (B 414; cf. B 202f, A 163/B 203f.). The feature of being outside one another, which was supposed to distinguish space specifically, fails to do so because it also applies to time. For, it is also the case that every manifold that is (successive or) ,,after one another“ (nacheinander), and thus appears in time, appears as outside one another.
This means, in turn, that the feature of being outside one another fails not only to represent what is distinctive about space, but also to represent what is distinctive about time, for it rather constitutes what is common to them. Space and time are alike in being conditions for the possibility that a manifold of items can appear outside one another. These forms differ from each other, and thus become something distinctive, only when the feature of being outside one another, which is common to them, is specified as being an outside one another which is, on the one hand, a temporal succession, or, on the other hand, a spatial alongside one another. Modified in this way, this doctrine is found a number of times after the second edition of the Critique until the Opus Postumum, where Kant repeatedly characterizes space and time as the conditions for being alongside and successive (iuxta et post se invicem).
Kant held to this change after the second edition of the Critique, but as far as I can see, it has been scarcely noticed to this day. Yet the change is quite informative and important, for it obviates a likely misunderstanding
of the Kantian doctrine of sensibility. When Kant ever and again speaks of space and time as constituting the two forms of sensibility, the impression can very easily arise that sensibility is simply to be dismantled into these two forms. At the very least, this way of speaking would not at all make clear how Kant could include, within the unity of subjectivity, with which his doctrine is concerned, the unity of the sensibility of the subject. But this is precisely what is made clear by Kant‘s correction: sensibility is, in fact, not at all to be dismantled into space and time, for on the contrary both forms are only specifications of its unity. Sensibility has this unity precisely because it makes possible the being outside one another of a manifold in general, which then can be realized in the forms of space and time, as being alongside one another and as successive being.
Nonetheless, there remains a difficulty here as well. Although after the second edition of the Critique Kant proceeds to characterize space as the form of being alongside one another rather than of being outside one another, in a strict sense even this formulation cannot be taken to be adequate. For, strictly speaking, the formulation ,,alongside one another“ still designates only the pure relationship of being ,,next to“ (reiner Nachbarschaft), and this would apply just as well to what is temporally successive. Thus, just as with the phrase ,,outside one another,“ so also with the phrase ,,alongside one another,“ Kant gets entangled in an insoluble difficulty. For here he either must be already thinking implicitly of being outside or alongside one another in a spatial way, in which case his use of these characterizations is a mere tautology. Or, if he is not doing this, then his characterizations do not at all capture what is specifically distinctive about space, but rather also apply to time. For the same reason that he corrected the phrase ,,outside one another“ with the phrase ,,alongside one another,“ he should, to be consistent, also correct the phrase ,,alongside one another.“ The question is simply how this is to be done. In any case, that which is distinctive about space, which is evidently something difficult to grasp, is still not captured by his characterization of it as the form of being alongside one another.
Here we shall not investigate further whether Kant himself ever became aware of this difficulty. In principle, at least, he had at his disposal a third characterization of space which could have helped him further. In contrast to time, which forms its parts in such a way that they are all successive, space is characterized by Kant as having all its parts coexistent (zugleich, cf. e.g., B 40). Here it seems that we in fact have a characterization which does capture what is distinctive about space. For, unlike the terms ,,outside one another“ and ,,alongside one another,“ the term ,,coexistent“ cannot itself be applied to time. For, all the parts of time are really successive and none
coexist, just as, correspondingly, all parts of space coexist and none are successive (cf. A 31/B 47). And in this way we can see all the more clearly the unity of sensibility, according to which it is that dimension of the subject within which it first becomes possible for that which is outside one another to appear. For it is absolutely inconceivable how a manifold, which appears outside one another, could ever appear in any other way than as either successive or coexistent. Just as there cannot be a living being that could not appear as either a lion or a non-lion, so also there is no way of being outside one another that is not either a matter of being successive or of being coexistent. Thus, if time must be taken as the form of all that appears in succession, and space as the form of all that appears in coexistence, then it becomes immediately clear that these two forms only constitute a distinction, in the manner of species, of something which is already to be found in the common nature of sensibility in the manner of a genus. To say that time and space are the two forms of sensibility is to say that, just as two species stand under a genus, so also succession and coexistence constitute the two species of being outside one another. Succession and coexistence are the two basic relations, which are unique and opposed to one another, within which that which is outside one another can appear, and within which sensibility can be at all realized.
If one holds on to this fact, one has a means that can help to clear up an essential point that Kant left unclear in his theory of sensibility and schematism. The problem is that the feature of coexistence, which Kant employs in the way that has been just explained for the characterization of space, is also used by him to characterize time, and in a way which at first even seems quite plausible. For, being ,,successive“ means being ,,at a different time,“ and so, as the opposite of this, being ,,coexistent“ can be taken to mean nothing other than being ,,at the same time“ (zu derselben Zeit, cf., e.g., A 30/B 46). In this way it appears that not only succession but also coexistence is a kind of relation of time. So if it appeared that space was the only form which allowed for things to coexist, it now appears that time can put this function into question. For now it seems that it is really time that is responsible for not only the forming of succession but also the forming of coexistence. In this way it becomes understandable how it is to time (cf. B 224f.) and not to sensibility in general, as explained earlier, that Kant could come to ascribe the dimension ,,within which“ these two basic relations appear, as the opposites of succession and coexistence. But if this position could be maintained, there would arise again, and now in an insoluble way, perplexity about how that which is distinctive about space is really to be characterized. For no matter how far one looks, there is no other characterization of space to be found than that it is the form of what can coexist. Moreover, on
this position it would follow that it is in fact the form of time which primarily underlies sensibility, indeed that sensibility would immediately have to be taken to be temporality, and that ,,sensibility“ and ,,inner sense“ would be simply equivalent. The problems that would then arise are familiar and insoluble.
I believe, however, that there is a way in which the following can be shown. When Kant quickly interprets the form of time as the common dimension of the opposed relations of succession and coexistence, he takes a step that arises from mere haste and that can be avoided in a way which is simple and illuminating for Kant‘s philosophy. Kant is misled into taking his hasty step only because of what can be called the spatio-temporal ambiguity of the term ,,coexistent.“ To become the master rather than the victim of this ambiguity we must simply comprehend it in its thoroughly positive meaning. Instead of reducing it, as Kant in fact does, in a one-sided way in favor of the spatial element at the cost of the temporal or vice versa, we ought rather to do justice to the ambiguity as such, that is, to its two elements. But to hold back appropriately from a hasty step here is simply to hold on above all to the fact that only sensibility can be considered the common dimension for the contrast of succession and coexistence. As the general dimension for the appearance of all that is outside one another, sensibility remains entirely indifferent vis à vis the particular species of being outside one another, namely coexistence or succession, and thus also vis à vis space and time.
For this reason, sensibility as such can also not be characterized as the dimension of time or the dimension of space. Accordingly, the apriori production and schematization of the pure concepts of the understanding is not to be misinterpreted as if it were a schematization of temporal and not spatial determinations, as if thereby the form of time and not the form of space were being determined apriori. On the contrary, this as well is to be understood as first of all a determination of sensibility in general, whereby pure a priori concepts of the understanding are in each case schematized in a pure a priori schema of sensibility. Only when this is kept in view, is it then also possible to perceive that through this categorial determination of sensibility the categories are really schematized as temporal as well as spatial determinations.
Of course, it is quite true according to Kant that for a subject the general feature of being outside one another is realized, through the appropriate a priori determination of the productive imagination, in a specific way in the succession of time, insofar as every intuition in its sensibility is in principle apprehensible only as something successive. However, the a priori projection of an object, which the subject achieves through the schematization of
the categories, is not simply to be reduced to a mere reception of the material of intuition in its sensibility. Of course, as the intention of a limited subject, which aims to get beyond itself in order to become conscious of an object as something other than its self, this projection must constitute something that is in itself unified. But this unity cannot be a simple one but must be in itself complex and articulated. For, through this projection the subject must not only receive intuitions in its sensibility; with this intuitive material it must also arrive at something beyond itself, an object. According to Kant, this projection is realized in its unity as well as its articulation in the following way. On the occasion of affection, and through the prior schematization of the categories in its sensibility, the subject takes up the intuition which is thereby generated, and upon which it is dependent as a limited subject. And it can do this only in such a way that out of this intuitive material it simultaneously is able in a countermovement to project from itself an object, through which alone it is able to arrive at consciousness. Thus, the total unified categorial projection articulates itself in such a way that within its framework the categories are, on the one hand, organized by the schematization to preform the subjective intuition in sensibility so that, on the other hand, through another and equally fundamental schematization of categories, something objective is projected in contrast to the subjective.
This unity and articulation of the program remains quite abstract at the categorial level, but it can be made intuitively concrete in the schematizing determination of sensibility. As has been made clear already, the peculiar unity of sensibility consists in its constituting the general dimension for the appearance of all that is outside one another. It is only through a complex rather than a simple determination that it is really possible to determine this sensibility apriori in a unified way and so that an object is thereby projected. For, as was just noted, it is only as a countermovement or contrast to the subjective, which is given for it at first in sensibility, that this determination can be accomplished as the projection of an object. Consider what would be the case if, on the contrary, this unified sensibility were to be determined by an equally unified apriori projection that operated only in a simple manner, that is, only with respect to what is outside one another in general, so that, correspondingly, all the private subjective contents within it could appear only as the realization of what is outside one another in general — whatever that could mean. Now since the projection of something objective can be accomplished only through a contrast to something subjective, this would mean that here an object (Objekt) would be projected simply as a non-outside one another, thus as something which in no sense has a magnitude, and so in principle would have to remain nothing for a sensible subject, i.e., something which it could never take as a genuine object
(Gegenstand) and through which it could never obtain consciousness.
The only way to explain that consciousness of a genuine object (objektiven Gegenstandes) nevertheless is possible is to say that in this projection sensibility is subject not to such a simple determination but rather to a complex one. That is, the projection is realized not in a general way, simply as a being outside one another, but rather in a particular way as a species of being outside one another, and thus in a specific and complex way. This in turn is really possible only if the categorial projection is correspondingly articulated so that within the framework of its fundamental unity, within which it determines sensibility in its unity, it also carries out the specification of this determination by organizing appropriate specified categories. This is precisely what happens in the first instance through the schematization of the mathematical categories, in particular, the categories of quality. They are responsible for the fact that in the total projection of the categories, sensibility is realized not simply in a being outside one another but in a specific kind of this being, namely succession. This determination of the being outside one another of sensibility leads to an intuitive representation of being after one another produced by the productive imagination, and to say that this is accomplished is equivalent to saying that, in fact, beyond the general feature of being outside one another there is a more specific form that underlies sensibility, namely the form of succession which as such is called the form of time.
Only in this way can it be at all understood that there is a total projection here, one in which schematized mathematical categories are also essentially involved. For in order for the projection to be completed ultimately in the schematization of the categories of relation, and thus as the projection of an object, this projection must begin at first with the schematization of the mathematical categories, and here again at first with the schematization of the categories of quality. In order to see this, one has to keep in view the fact that even the first schematization discussed above is really to be understood as a complex realization of sensibility. The succession which it produces a priori unites in itself both the general aspect of being outside one another as well as the particular aspect of being outside one another in a specifically temporal way. Each of these aspects is equally essential for the schematization of the categories of relation and hence for the completion of the projection which has been begun. For, as the other of its self, an object is to be projected by a subject only through a countermovement to what is subjective, to what it apprehends in its sensibility as intuition. But if, as discussed earlier, this subjective element were a mere being outside one another, whatever that may mean, then the countermovement of the projection would lead to nothing. And even if this subjective element, which the
projection attempts to counter with its projected object,. were a succession, nonetheless, as long as it were as such something simple, then this projection ultimately would have to result only in something negative. It is true that in this case it would be the projection of a non-succession rather than of a non-outside one another. But then it would still remain incomprehensible how this mere negation, which is conceptual and formal, could ever be fulfilled in an intuitive way, as succession really is. But since in fact the succession in subjectivity does not at all articulate itself in a simple manner, the countermovement to it also cannot be articulated simply as a negation. Since the projection has begun in a complex way, through the projection of a succession in the way explained earlier, the countermovement to this must now also proceed in a complex way. For the schematization of the categories of quantity, which counters this succession, is in the first instance in agreement with the schematization of the categories of quality in that here all of these mathematical categories fundamentally determine sensibility in general as the dimension for being outside one another. If this further schematization of the categories of quantity is in turn to serve to complete in a countermovement the projection of the object which is begun through the schematization of the categories of quality, this can never mean that the general determination of sensibility is in some way to be suspended. This is because for a sensible subject an object can only be something that in principle consists of what is outside one another.
Thus, it can never be the general aspect of its being outside one another, but only the specific aspect of its being (successive or) after one another, which is negated in the projection of an object through a countermovement to the succession in subjectivity. This fundamental being outside one another, which is already realized by this projection in the schematization of the categories of quality, is thus in no way eliminated through the schematization of categories of quantity. On the contrary, this being is maintained securely as before, for what is projected must similarly be fully developed as something that is outside one another. Accordingly, it is never to be projected simply as a non-succession. Rather, it must articulate itself similarly and quite positively in a complicated specific way, as being outside one another that appears in a form that contrasts to what is successive. For a limited subject to project an object, it must begin with material that is outside one another and that it apprehends as its subjective private intuition that is successive. Out of this it must form a being outside one another that is equally fundamental but in contrast to the form of succession.
Only in this way does it also become clear how this projection finds its own intuitive fulfillment and does not lose itself in a merely formal and conceptual negation, even though it does proceed as a countermovement which
is formally based on negation. A manifold that is sensible and is to appear as outside one another, and yet not successive, can appear only as coexistent. To apprehend subjective intuition on the occasion of affection so as thereby to project something objective is to preform this intuition into a succession via the schematization of the categories of quality, so that it can be formed further into a coexistence through an equally fundamental countermovement via the schematization of the categories of quantity. As a result of this determination of the being outside one another of sensibility, the productive imagination produces not only this succession but also, and in an equally fundamental way, this coexistence. That this is really successful can in turn only be understood as a proof that underlying sensibility there is, beyond its general being outside one another, a further special form, which as the form of coexistence proves to be the form of space. And as a second species of the same general being outside one another of sensibility, this form constitutes a contrast to the form of time such that it alone is able to realize the countermovement of the projection of the understanding in sensibility. The categorial projection that takes place through the negation of the subjective succession which is a temporal outside one another is intuitively fulfilled in the spatial outside one another which is an objective coexistence. After all, all that is manifold and comes in immediate givenness to sensibility can in principle be apprehended by a subject only as successive. Therefore, all that is manifold, and that is to subsist as coexistent in the countermovement of the projection of the subject, can in principle emerge only as outside this succession in sensibility. Thus this same sensibility is to be called inner sense, in so far as in this projection it is realized as a succession in accord with its specific form of time. And one and the same sensibility is to be called outer sense in so far as in this projection it is realized further as an intuitive coexistence in accord with its specific form of space. In principle, this can occur only in outer intuition, that is, intuition of what is outer (von Äusserem), of what exists as an object in space, outside of the subject and its sensibility and as something that is other than it.
Of course, here a further schematization is needed, one which is not yet accomplished with the schematization of the categories of quality into temporal succession or with the schematization of the categories of quantity into spatial coexistence. lt is true that as a countermovement the projection that produces a spatial coexistence has gone beyond a mere temporal succession insofar as what is coexistent really constitutes a contrast to what is successive. But as a countermovement, the genuine goal of this projection is not something which, as in the case of this coexistence, is solely a manifold that is merely for itself, that is merely coexistent within itself. Rather, as a projection in which a subject projects an object as something other than
itself, the goal of this projection must rather be a manifold that coexists not only within itself but also with the subjective succession out of which this coexistence is in each case projected. Now according to Kant it is the first of the categories of relation, the category of substance, which coexists with this succession and which is schematized as the apriori sensible representation of the enduring (Beharrlichkeit) (B 67). It is only with the enduring that a representation of something is produced which always coexists with subjective succession, and thereby as an enduring substance stands opposed to the subject by being an outer object. In this way there emerges in full clarity the spatio-temporal ambiguity that was already indicated earlier. Since in this projection the coexistent constitutes a counter to the successive, this coexistence is also, on the one hand, dependent on the temporal being outside one another from which it derives the temporal aspect of its meaning. But since, on the other hand, it exists only in the counter-movement to this aspect, it follows that within the framework of this merely formal negativity this coexistence can constitute itself with a positive content of its own only if this being outside one another of sensibility itself is realized in a form of its own other than the form of time, namely in the form of space. In this relation the temporal aspect as well as the spatial aspect of the meaning of the coexistent are equally essential.
The unsure way in which Kant wavers between these two aspects is shown clearly in two passages in the second edition of the Critique. At one place he says, ,,time (itself] . . . contains relations of succession, coexistence, and of that which is coexistent with succession, the enduring“ (B 67). Ihis sentence too can be understood only as an example of that hasty step whereby Kant allows himself to be misled because he evidently does not see the spatio-temporal ambiguity of coexistence and its positive aspect. Accordingly, the sentence should be corrected so that what contains the relations of succession, coexistence, and duration is not time but rather sensibility, or, more precisely, sensibility which is determined by the projection of the schematization of the categories. Although on the one hand sensibility is available as the dimension for the appearance of what is outside one another in its two forms, it is, on the other hand, only with the categorial projection itself that this sensibility is then articulated as a definite kind of being outside one another, that is, as temporal succession, as spatial coexistence, and finally as objective duration.
Nonetheless, this passage is irreconcilable with the other passage in the second edition, where Kant says that ,,space alone determihes something as permanent“ (B 291). Just as previously time alone was held responsible for the determination of permanence, so now space alone is held responsible. This unacceptable wavering between space and time can be understood as
the consequence of not having grasped the spatio-temporal ambiguity of coexistence, and it can be corrected if one takes into account its entire positive meaning. Then it can also be shown that the completion of the original projection is mediated by precisely this spontaneous construction of coexistence, as a specific positing of space through a specific negation of time. For this alone is how the subject makes it originally possible for himself to move out of the succession of his subjective intuition and to arrive with consciousness at an enduring object which coexists with this succession.
University of Cologne