Nov 25, 2012


By Marsigit, Yogyakarta State University, Indonesia

Sellars, W., 1978, contended that Kant's theory has a role played by what Kant called the productive imagination in perceptual experience. According to Kant,   there is the distinction between the act of seeing and the object seen and visual experience presents itself as a direct awareness of a complex physical structure; and there is the a distinction between the objects perceived and what they are perceived as.  The construction is a unified process guided by a combination of sensory input on the one hand and background beliefs, memories, and expectations on the other; the complex of abilities included in this process is what Kant called the "productive" as contrasted with the "reproductive" imagination; in which the productive has its kinship with both sensibility and understanding unifies into one experiencing the distinctive contributions of these two faculties. Kant  distinguished between the concept of a thing and the schema of a thing; the former together with the concept of a perceiver capable of changing his relation to his environment implies a family of recipes for constructing image models of perceiver-confronting-thing.

Sellars, W, 1978,  indicated that Kant, have an innate conceptual framework that is a proto-theory of spatio-temporal physical objects capable of interacting with each other; objects is that the crux of the matter which are capable of generating visual inputs which vary in systematic ways with their relation to the body of a perceiver.  The concept of a thing standing in various relations to a perceiver entails a family of concepts pertaining to sequences of perspectival image-models of oneself-confronting-a thing; and this family be called the schema of the concept of a thing. Sellars, elaborated that the category of substance-attribute is the structure 'S is P', the form of subject-attribute judgment; the category of causality is the form 'X implies Y'; the category of actuality is the form 'that-p is true'. He, according to Kant,  then set forth that such  categories are forms or functions specialized to thought about spatio-temporal object. Kant  used the term schema in connection with the categories and categories itself do not specify image-models; schemata then is a rule specified in terms of abstract concepts pertaining to perceptible features of the world and therefore,  the schema for causality is the concept of uniform sequence throughout all space and time.

Sellars, W, 1978,  further explained that the schematized category of causality is the ground-consequence category where the ground or antecedent concerns the occurrence of one kind of event, and the consequence concerns the occurrence of another kind event, since the ground is an event being of kind first event, it must be true that whenever the first occurs, the second also occurs. Sellars concluded that the categories are in first instance simply identical with the forms of judgment; pure categories are these forms of thought specialized to thought about object in general; and the relation of the forms of thought to the pure categories is that of genera to species. Sellars  indicated that Kant emphasized the difference between intuitions on the one hand and sensations and images on the other; according to Kant, it is intuitions and not sensations or images which contain categorial form. Since intuitions have categorial form, we can find categorial form in them that is categorial concepts by abstracting from experience only because experience contains intuitions which have categorical form and we cannot abstract the categories from sensations or images. Sellars concluded that Kant's categories are forms and functions of judgment that is  grammatical summa genera.

Carrier, M., 2003, attempted to reconstruct of Kant's version of the causal theory of time by concerning Kant's reference to reciprocal causal influence for characterizing simultaneity in which Kant's procedure involves simultaneous counter directed processes. Carrier, M. maintained that in his Second Analogy of Experience, Kant expressed the principle that the experience of change presupposes the law of cause and effect in which it requires a determinate connection among the perceptions. According to Kant,  such a determinate connection is not provided by the subjective sequence of perceptions; our imagination places one state before and the other after, not that one state precedes the other in the object and an objective affiliation is furnished by the structuring power of the concepts of understanding; and these categories establish non-arbitrary links among perceptions in which it relevant for temporal order that is causality; this category is supposed to achieve the transformation of a subjective series of perceptions into an objective sequence of events. Kant  indeed claims that all simultaneously existing bodies interact with one another and distinguishes between `mediate' and `immediate' community and said that from our experiences it is easy to notice that only continuous influence in all places in space can lead our senses from one object to another.

Carrier, M., 2003, summed up that Kant claimed that any definite order among the perceptions is not taken from experience but is rather imposed on it; the category of causality serves to endow the string of sensory impressions with a unique order and this preferred order is supposed to constitute the foundation of the temporal relations of earlier and later. Kant  assumed that simultaneous events are distinguished by reciprocal causal influences acting between these events; causal account of simultaneity demands that action and reaction occur at the same time; accordingly, the causal reconstruction of the simultaneity of distant events seems to rely on the notion of the simultaneity of counter-directed processes. Carrier noted that Kant's view that the categories fail to furnish any particular empirical laws without an additional contribution of experience; the type of synthesis between conceptual analysis and empirical scrutiny is brought to the fore by the evolution of the causal theory in which Kant claims that the understanding demands the reduction of the temporal relations of time order and simultaneity to causal ones.

Kant, 1787, in term of the principle of succession in time in accordance with the laws of causality, delivered the principle that all alterations take place in conformity with the law of the connection of cause and effect. Kant  proved this principle by specifying some arguments as: first, that the preceding principle shows that all appearances of succession in time are alterations, not coming-to-be; second, that appearances follow one another in which we are connecting two perceptions and this is a synthetic faculty of imagination; third, that the objective relation of appearance of succession is not determined through perception known as determined and it must be so thought that it is thereby determined as necessary which came first and the necessity can only come from a pure concept of understanding as cause and effect; fourth, that the apprehension of the manifold of appearance is always successive and the appearances, simply in virtue of being representations, are not in any way distinct from their apprehension; fifth, that we do not know if the parts of the object follow one another due to the subjective succession, objective succession, and that appearance never goes backwards to some preceding time, but it does stand in relation to some preceding time. Kant  moreover supported that there must lie in that which precedes an event, the condition of a rule according to which this event necessarily follows and that the event, as conditioned, thus affords reliable evidence of some condition, and that we never ascribe succession to the object; when we perceive that something happens this representation contains the consciousness that there is something preceding, only by reference to what preceded does the appearance acquire its time relation and the rule is that the condition under which an event necessarily follows lies in what precedes the event that is called the Principle of Sufficient Reason; therefore, the relation of cause to effect is the condition of the objective validity of our empirical judgments.


  See Appendix: Suber, P., 2000, Alignments with the Categories,
  Sellars, W., 1978, The Role Of The Imagination In Kant's Theory Of Experience,
  Carrier, M., 2003, How to tell causes from effects: Kant's causal theory of time and modern approaches, Studies In History and Philosophy of Science Part A
Volume 34, Issue 1, Pages 59-71
  Kant, I., 1787, Critic of Pure Reason: The Elements Of Transcendentalism

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