Nov 25, 2012




HOW SENSIBILITY RECEIVES THE "DATA" OF SENSATION
------------------------------------------------
By Marsigit, Yogyakarta State University, Indonesia

Email: marsigitina@yahoo.com
Bonaccini, J.A., 2004, maintained that at the beginning of the Introduction to the Kritik Kant polemically suggests that experience could be a composition made, on one side, of the content of impressions; and on the other side, of the possible contribution of our cognitive powers. According to him, both rationalists and empiricists had generally admitted there are sensible and non-sensible components in knowledge, as well as the existence of so-called analytical and synthetical propositions grounded upon them. Kant  argued that t we have actually sensible experience qua starting-point of knowledge, and in spite of the chronological sense of perceptual origin of knowledge, that we have rational knowledge of some universal principles or notions which do not have their origin in perception and does not come from experience, as the rationalists had thought. Ultimately, Kant  delivered the popular statement as that although all of our knowledge begins with experience, this does not merely imply that all of it originates from experience; because it is quite possible that even our empirical knowledge would be a composition of what we received from impressions and what our cognitive powers give by themselves.

While, McCormick, M., 2004, set forth that, for Kant, it is impossible to extend knowledge to the supersensible realm of speculative metaphysics. The reason that knowledge has these constraints is that the mind plays an active role in constituting the features of experience and limiting the mind's access to the empirical realm of space and time. Kant  argues in the Refutation that knowledge of external objects cannot be inferential; rather, the capacity to be aware of one's own existence in Descartes' famous cogito argument already presupposes that existence of objects in space and time outside of me. McCormick, M., specified that Kant's critical turn toward the mind of the knower is ambitious and challenging in which Kant has rejected the dogmatic metaphysics of the Rationalists that promises supersensible knowledge and he has argued that Empiricism faces serious limitations. Further, Kant’s transcendental method will allow him to analyze the metaphysical requirements of the empirical method without venturing into speculative and ungrounded metaphysics; determining the transcendental components of knowledge means determining all knowledge which is occupied not so much with objects as with the mode of our knowledge of objects in so far as this mode of knowledge is to be possible a priori.

Kant, I., 1781, stated that it cannot be sensation again through which sensations are arranged and placed in certain forms. The matter only of all phenomena is given us a posteriori; but their form must be ready for them in the mind a priori, and must therefore be capable of being considered as separate from all sensations. He called all representations in which there is nothing that belongs to sensation as pure. The pure form therefore of all sensuous intuitions, that form in which the manifold elements of the phenomena are seen in a certain order, must be found in the mind a priori. And this pure form of sensibility may be called the pure intuition. Kant  then said that if we deduct from the representation of a body what belongs to the thinking of the understanding, there still remains something of that emperical intuition, viz. extension and form. These belong to pure intuition, which a priori, and even without a real object of the senses or of sensation, exists in the mind as a mere form of sensibility. Kant  called that the science of all the principles of sensibility a prori as Transcendental Aesthetic; and the science as opposed to that which treats of the principles of pure thought, as Transcendental Logic. Kant  argued that in Tanscendental AEsthetic therefore we shall first isolate sensibility, by separating everything which the understanding adds by means of its concepts, so that nothing remains but empirical intuition; secondly, we shall separate from this all that belongs to sensation sensation , so that nothing remains but pure intuition or the mere form of the phenomena, which is the only thing which sensibility a priori can supply.

McCormick, M., 2004, further notified Kant's claim that the mind of the knower makes an active contribution to experience of objects before us, we are in a better position to understand transcendental idealism in which Kant's arguments are designed to show the limitations of our knowledge. Kant  argued that we cannot have knowledge of the realm beyond the empirical that is transcendental knowledge is ideal and not real, for minds like ours. Kant  identifies two a priori sources of these constraints that are sensibility and understanding. In the Transcendental Aesthetic of the Critique, Kant  argued that sensibility is the understanding's means of accessing objects; however we cannot experience objects without being able to represent them spatially. Without a spatial representation, our sensations are undifferentiated and we cannot ascribe properties to particular objects; moreover, time is also necessary as a form or condition of our intuitions of objects. Kant  concluded that it is impossible for us to have any experience of objects that are not in time and space; however, space and time themselves cannot be perceived directly, so they must be the form by which experience of objects is had.

While, Shore, E., 2004, from Kant, insisted that things in themselves, considered making abstraction of the sensible conditions are for that abstraction not knowable, we can not consider them on the other hand like the sources of the appearances; upon denominating to the empiric object "thing as appearance" on one hand it is said that the object is the representation of a thing and on the other that its reality is appearance. This last statement is accustomed to have a pejorative sense, according to which we do not capture the true reality of the things because their apprehension is mediated by the obliged intervention of the senses. McCormick, M., 2004, noted Kant that a consciousness that apprehends objects directly, as they are in themselves and not by means of space and time, is possible, but our apprehension of objects is always mediated by the conditions of sensibility. He specified Kant that subjecting sensations to the a priori conditions of space and time is not sufficient to make judging objects possible due to the fact that the understanding must provide the concepts, which are rules for identifying what is common or universal in different representations. Kant claimed, as it was cited by McCormick, that  without sensibility no object would be given to us; and without understanding no object would be thought; in other word, thoughts without content are empty and intuitions without concepts are blind. Kant argues that in order to think about the input from sensibility, sensations must conform to the conceptual structure that the mind has available to it; and by applying concepts, the understanding takes the particulars that are given in sensation and identifies what is common and general about them.

Kant, I., 1781, stated that while all our knowledge may begin with sensible impressions or experience there is an element in it which does not rise from this source, but transcends it. That knowledge is transcendental which is occupied not so much with mere outward objects as with our manner of knowing those objects, that is to say, with a priori concepts of them. All our knowledge is either a priori or a posteriori. Kant  stated that that is a posteriori knowledge which is derived from sensible experience as including sensible impressions or states; while a priori knowledge is that which is not thus gained, but consists of whatever is universal or necessary. We perceive objects through our sensibility which furnishes us, as our faculty of receptivity, with those intuitions that become translated into thought by means of the understanding. This is the origin of our conceptions, or ideas. I denominate as matter that which in a phenomenon corresponds to sensation; while I call form that quality of matter which presents it in a perceived order. Only matter is presented to our minds a posteriori; as to form, this must inevitably exist in the mind a priori, and therefore it can be considered apart from all sensation.

Kant, I., 1781  Pure representation, entirely apart from sensation, in a transcendental signification, forms the pure intuition of the mind, existing in it as a mere form of sensibility. 'Transcendental aesthetic' is the science of all the principles of sensibility. But transcendental logic is the science of the principles of pure thought. In studying the former we shall find that there are two pure forms of sensuous intuition, namely, space and time. Are space and time actual entities? Or are they only relations of things? Space is simply the form of all the phenomena of external senses; that is, it is the subjective condition of the sensibility under which alone external intuition is possible. Thus the form of all phenomena may exist a priori in the soul as a pure intuition previous to all experience. So we can only speak of space and of extended objects from the standpoint of human reason. But when we have abstracted all the forms perceived by our sensibility, there remains a pure intuition which we call space. Therefore our discussion teaches us the objective validity of space with regard to all that can appear before us externally as an object; but equally the subjective ideality of space with regard to things if they are considered in themselves by our reason, that is, without taking into account the nature of our sensibility.

McCormick, M., 2004, based on Kant, elaborated that since objects can only be experienced spatiotemporally, the only application of concepts that yields knowledge is to the empirical, spatiotemporal world; beyond that realm, there can be no sensations of objects for the understanding to judge, rightly or wrongly. Accordingly, since intuitions of the physical world are lacking when we speculate about what lies beyond, metaphysical knowledge, or knowledge of the world outside the physical, is impossible. Kant  then draws several conclusions about what is necessarily true of any consciousness that employs the faculties of sensibility and understanding to produce empirical judgments. According to Kant,  a mind that employs concepts must have a receptive faculty that provides the content of judgments; space and time are the necessary forms of apprehension for the receptive faculty. While, the mind that has experience must also have a faculty of combination or synthesis, the imagination for Kant, that apprehends the data of sense, reproduces it for the understanding, and recognizes their features according to the conceptual framework provided by the categories. Referring to Kant, the mind must also have a faculty of understanding that provides empirical concepts and the categories for judgment.

Next, McCormick, M., 2004 confessed to Kant that the various faculties that make judgment possible must be unified into one mind; and it must be identical over time if it is going to apply its concepts to objects over time. According to Kant, judgments would not be possible if the mind that senses is not the same as the mind that possesses the forms of sensibility; and that mind must be the same as the mind that employs the table of categories, that contributes empirical concepts to judgment, and that synthesizes the whole into knowledge of a unified, empirical world. Kant  argued that mind is the source of spontaneous, free, and moral action and he believed that all the threads of his transcendental philosophy come together in this "highest point" which he calls the transcendental unity of apperception. McCormick, also elaborated that within the Analytic, Kant first addresses the challenge of subsuming particular sensations under general categories in the Schematic section; in which Kant allowed us to identify the homogeneous features picked out by concepts from the heterogeneous content of our sensations.  According to Kant  even the necessary conformity of objects to natural law arises from the mind, transcendental method has permitted him to reveal the a priori components of sensations, the a priori concepts. Kant  argued that there are a priori judgments that must necessarily govern all appearances of objects; and these judgments are a function of the table of categories' role in determining all possible judgments, so the four sections map onto the four headings of the table.
Kant, as it was elaborated by McCormick, M., 2004, argued that the proper functioning of the faculties of sensibility and the understanding combine to draw reason, or the cognitive power of inference, inexorably into mistakes; while the faculty of reason naturally seeks the highest ground of unconditional unity. Accordingly, it seeks to unify and subsume all particular experiences under higher and higher principles of knowledge; however, sensibility cannot by its nature provide the intuitions that would make knowledge of the highest principles and of things as they are in themselves possible; nevertheless, reason inevitably draws conclusions about what lies beyond the boundaries of sensibility. Kant  believed that it is part of the function of reason to strive for a complete, determinate understanding of the natural world; however, our analysis of theoretical reason has made it clear that we can never have knowledge of the totality of things because we cannot have the requisite sensations of the totality.

Ultimately, Kant, I., 1781 concluded that time is not something existing by itself independently, but is the formal condition a priori of all phenomena. If we deduct our own peculiar sensibility, then the idea of time disappears indeed, because it is not inherent in any object, but only in the subject which perceives that object. Space and time are essential a priori ideas, and they are the necessary conditions of all particular
perceptions. From the latter and their objects we can, in imagination without exception, abstract; from the former we cannot. Space and time are therefore to be regarded as the necessary a priori pre-conditions of the possibility and reality of all phenomena. It is clear that 'transcendental aesthetic' can obtain only these two elements, space and time, because all other concepts belong to the senses and pre-suppose experience, and so imply something empirical. For example, the concept of motion pre-supposes something moving, but in space regarded alone there is nothing that moves; therefore, whatever moves must be recognized by experience, and is a purely empirical datum.

Kant, I., 1970, persisted that the art of the beautiful play of sensations that has nevertheless to permit of universal communication. He exposed that the comprehensive sense of the word, may be divided into the artificial play of sensations of hearing and of sight, consequently into music and the art of color. Kant  admitted that we cannot confidently assert whether a color or a tone is merely an agreeable sensation, or whether they are in themselves a beautiful play of sensations, and in being estimated aesthetically, convey, as such, a delight in their form; if we consider the velocity of the vibrations of light, or, in the second case, of the air, which in all probability far outstrips any capacity on our part for forming an immediate estimate in perception of the time interval between them, we should be led to believe that it is only the effect of those vibrating movements upon the elastic parts of our body, that can be evident to sense, but that the time-interval between them is not noticed nor involved in our estimate, and that, consequently, all that enters into combination with colours and tones is agreeableness, and not beauty, of their composition. Kant  concluded that would music be represented out and out as a fine art, whereas according to the latter it would be represented as an agreeable art.

Ziniewicz, G.L., 1996, summed up that, according to Kant, sensibility is not the same thing as "sensation." Sensation is the chaotic array of impressions given by the senses; while sensibility gives order to these impressions; it arranges them next to one another in space and before and after one another in time. For Kant,  sensibility is the perception of things in space and time in which space and time are not real things or "things in themselves" apart from the act of perceiving; they are frameworks or "forms" supplied by the perceiving subject. Ziniewicx noted Kant that space and time are ways we experience reality; they are not reality itself; however, Kant maintained that even though space and time are subjective ways of ordering sensations, they are nevertheless "objectively subjective." Apart from accidental differences, all human perceivers intuit space and time in the same way; and to perceive is to perceive spatially and temporally; that is simply the way humans are made.

Note:

Bonaccini, J.A., 2004, Concerning the Relationship Between Non-Spatiotemporality and Unknowability of Things in Themselves in Kant's Critique of Pure Reason, Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte/National Research and Development Council, Brazil, juan@cchla.ufrn.br
  Ibid.

  McCormick, M., 2004, Immanuel Kant (1724-1804): Metaphysics, Email: mccormick@csus.edu
  Ibid.
  Kant, I., 1781, Critic of Pure Reason, Translatedby J.M.D. Meiklejohn
  Ibid.
  Ibid.
  Ibid.
  McCormick, M., 2004, Immanuel Kant (1724-1804): Metaphysics, Email: mccormick@csus.edu
  Ibid.
  Ibid.
  Kant, I., 1781, Critic of Pure Reason, Translatedby J.M.D. Meiklejohn
  Ibid.
  McCormick, M., 2004, Immanuel Kant (1724-1804): Metaphysics, Email: mccormick@csus.edu
  Ibid.
  Ibid.
  Ibid.
  Ibid.
  Ibid.
  Kant, I., 1790, The Critic of Judgment, translated by James Creed Meredith
  Ibid.
  Ziniewicz, G.L., 1996 Kant: How Do We Know That We Know What We Know:
http://www.fred.net/tzaka/phil.htm

No comments:

Post a Comment


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.