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subjective elements, which necessarily, in the exertion of our independent laws of cognition, modify the quali. ties or elements of the object as perceived. Since it is thus impossible to know the world as it is, we must content ourselves with the knowledge of the phenomenal world, and with that reality which is merely subjective. The system of our world is thus idealism, but an idealism in which we may safely confide; though we must be assured of erring, whenever we ascribe to it objective certainty. There exists, however, an independent system of noumena, or things in themselves, though we cannot know them as such, from the unavoidable modification of every objective element, by our own forms of cognition. To determine what is subjective in each peculiar perception, the nature of the subject must be investigated. This subject is self, the being to which we give the name of I, when we say, I know, I will. It has three great faculties; cognition, by which we know ; volition, by which we act ; and judgment, which is in some measure intermediate, being neither wholly speculative, nor absolutely practical, but determining to action, and thus forming the bond of our knowledge and our will.
“Pure cognition is divided into pure sensibility, pure intelligence, and pure reason; the products of sensibility being sensations, the products of intelligence conceptions, and the products of reason ideas. This division is not inconsistent with the absolute fundamental unity of the cognitive being, that unity, of which we are conscious in all the diversity of our feelings, and without which we could not exist. The threefold action is even in some measure aided by the unity itself; for, from a law of our nature, we strive, by a perpetual sin. thesis of comparison and arrangement, to bring the diversity of our sensations, as nearly as possible, to the oneness of which we are conscious in ourselves.
e or after !itself n and interna, is externage
“ Pure sensibility, comprehending all those feelings in which space and time are involved, is external, when it refers them to space, and internal when it refers them to time. In itself nothing is larger or"smaller, or before or after ; for space and time, the forms of sensibility, by which a subjective world arises to us, are not, in any degree, objective and real, but are modes of our own existence as sentient beings. It is impossible for us to imagine any body, which does not exist in space ; it is impossible for us to imagine any feeling, which does not exist in time. With the abstraction of these, every thing to us perishes; but the certainty of space and time remains with us, though every object were conceived to be annihilated. Hence, space is an indispensable condition of the possibility of bodies, but bodies are not necessary to the possibility of space. That it exists in ourselves à priori, and independently of experience, is shown by the impossibility of acquiring it from without Space includes three dimensions. Sight, smell, taste, hearing, are evidently incapable of affording these ; nor is touch, to which Condillac as. scribes its origin, more susceptible. We gain the idea, says he, when our hand passes over a surface ; but he has already supposed a surface and a hand; and what resemblance is there of a simple feeling to a body of three dimensions ? Nor can space be supposed to arise from abstraction, for by abstraction we separate only simple qualities ; but space is not a simple quality capable of being perceived separately in bodies, it is the necessary condition of their existence, implied in the first perception of the infant, which supposes an object external to itself. In every sensation there must be elements both objective and subjective; the subjective must be permanent as ourselves, the objective fleeting as the occasion. Space, therefore, being invariably present amid all the apparent changes of quality, is subjec
tive in us; occasioned indeed by the sensation, and ris. ing in it, but not an objective part of it depending on experience. If that were its origin, we should be allowed to conclude, only, that all the bodies yet known to us are extended, and not that all bodies must have extension. Yet the certainty of this we believe with equal force ; since, space being a subjective condition of knowledge, we feel that every impression, by a law of our nature, must be invested with its form. On this, the apodictic or demonstrative certainty of geometry depends ; for, as pure space is the form of the external sensibility of all men, the extensive properties of pure space must, to all men, be the same. It is a peculiar distinction of mathematical ideas, that they consider not intensive but extensive qualities, all the degrees of which are equally capable of being rendered sensible, so as to correspond exactly with a sensible object. Of degrees merely intensive, as of the varieties of force in physics, and of benevolence in ethics, no delineation can be given.
“ The internal sensibility, by which we discover our own mode of being, with all the changes that take place within us, gives us the idea of time in the succes. sion in which it represents to us our feelings. All the arguments which prove space to be a form of our cognition are equally applicable to time. By this, we invest our internal affections with succession, as we created to ourselves a subjective world by the investiture with space. From succession we derive our idea of number ; and time being, like space, an universal form, the apodictic certainty of arithmetic is easily explained. .“ If we had sensibility alone, the world would be merely a number of detached beings; it would not be that great whole which we call nature. This is produced to us by intelligence; that power, which, receive ing the products of sensibility, establishes their rela
tions, and, arranging them in classes, forms conceptions. As, in sensation, there are the necessary forms of space and time; so are there necessary forms of intelligence, to which Kant, adopting the well-known term invented by Aristotle, gives the name of categories. These are reduced to four orders, quantity, quality, relation, and modality: To the first of which belong the categories,-1. unity ; 2. plurality; 3. totality: To the second, 4. affirmation or reality ; 5. negation or privation ; 6. limitation: To the third, 7. substance and accident; §. causation, or the laws of cause and effect; 9. recopricity of action and reaction: To the fourth, 10. possibility and impossibility ; 11. existence and nonexistence ; 12. necessity and contingence. No act of intelligence can take place without the union of these four forms of thought, in some one of their modifications. Like space and time, however, they are no part of the object, but exist à priori, and independently of all experience in the subject who intelligizes. Thus, to take an instance from the categories of quantity, the idea of number cannot form a part of any object. We hear a sound, we again hear a sound, but, when we say that we have heard two sounds, we have invested a product of sensibility with a form of our own intelligence. These fundamental conceptions may be combined so as to form other conceptions equally independent of experience; as when, from substance and causation, we derive the conception of force, or they may be united with the pure forms of sensibility, as when, from the addition of temporary succession to existence and non-existence, we form the conception of commencement. For determining to which of the categories our sensation belongs, there are four forms of reflection, corresponding with the four orders: for the first, identity and diversity ; for the second, conformity and contrariety; for the third, interiority and exterio.
rity, by which is meant the distinction of the attributes of an object as originally existing in itself, or as acquired from without; for the fourth, matter and form. These four reflective conceptions, though, like the categories, existing à priori, differ from them, as not being applied to the products of sensibility, to fix their rela. tions and mode of being, but to the conceptions of objects, to fix their appropriate place in the system of our knowledge.
“ Pure reason is the third mode of our cognitive faculty. It is applied to our conceptions, and is that which considers them as absolute. Its three great ideas are, absolute unity, absolute totality, and absolute causation. These become objects to us, or ideals of pure reason, by investing them with our own felt and fundamental unity, which individualizes absolute unity, as in the human soul, or absolute totality, as in the uni. verse ; and the ideas acquired from practical reason, of absolute power and goodness, are, in like manner, individualized in God. Every act of reasoning implies an absolute idea. Thus, when we say, all bodies gravitate, and the air, being a body, must therefore have weight, the validity of our conclusion depends on the universality of the major proposition. To these absolute ideas we are led, by an irresistible impulse of our nature towards infinitude. They are forms existing à priori in the mind; for our senses give us the perception only of that which is divisable, limited, caused. With the unity of the human mind, or the infinity of the universe, or the great source of phenomenal nature, no corporeal organ can make us acquainted. .“ Each of the cognitive functions having thus its peculiar forms, we are guilty of an amphiboly when we ascribe to one the pure forms of another; as when, in material atoms of the philosophy of Epicurus, we invest our external sensations with the idea of absolute simpli.