CONCLUSION OF TRANSCENDENTAL AESTHETIC
Space and Time are empirically real and transcendentally ideal. The latter insofar as space and time are part of the
structure of our cognition in terms of which any possible object of experience is given to us. So every possible/
actual object of experience is given to us in space and time.
Kant's thesis also includes the fact that spatiotemporal relations are not inherent properties of the things given to
us in intuition; they are part of the structure of our mode of cognition. They are the framework through which we
experience (as ﬁnite ratinal beings—not an inﬁnite rational being like God who does not need this ▯amework through which
things are given for God creates the very object (if that word even makes sense now) / the thing / the matter that is known. we
don't. for us to have knowledge it must be given through the senses and the ﬁrst condition of it being given is having it structured
by us in space and time).
I can change the spacial or temporal properties of an object without changing the properties of the object because
the spacial and temporal properties of an object belong to our own intuition, not the object.
Transcendental in the sense that it precedes and makes possible anything being given.
BUT IT IS ALSO EMPIRICALLY REAL! how does that ﬁt together?
Insofar as space and time are our conditions for the possibility of anything given to us, anything given to us wi▯ be
situated in space and time. Our empirical reality is a reality wherein all observed things can't help but be located in
space and time. So on the one hand it is transendentally ideal as the condition of the possibility of anything being
given, but for the very same reason, anything being given is empirically really in space and time.
So it is not like space and time are just in our head, space and time are not illusions, they are empirically real,
because for the very reason that space and time are the framework through which any possible object can be given
to us (both as really present and imaginable) space and time are thereby real.
NOT SURE I UNDERSTAND: are space and time actual conditions for anything we observe to be observed, or
do we observe what there is because we project space and time onto it?
argued that seven plus ﬁve equals twelve can be analysed into units by breaking it down to a sequence of 12 ones on
either side of the equal sign. So he is arguing that 7+5=12 propositions are in fact analytic propositions. Kant disagrees,
he thinks it is a synthetical proposition. The issue for Kant is not how to examine this proposition once you have it
but rather: how do you make the judgment in the ﬁrst place? How do you get from 7+5 to 12 in the ﬁrst place? This
judgment is synthetic in the sense that you can't just understand it by analyzing concepts. Analytic approaches are
ones where you already have the judgment and then you deal with how it works after the fact. Kant is concerned
with how the judgments are made. If there can be metaphysics, there must be something we know about objects a
priori any experience of objects. But we also, if there is to be metaphysics, have to know something about objects
that has some content given to us by real objects.
The Issue of Metaphysics is always HOWARE SYNTHETIC JUDGEMENTS POSSIBLE? Seven plus ﬁve is his
example: how do you make that judgment? His thesis is that you make that judgement BYCOUNTING! this
requires TIME. So before you ever know that 7+5 is 12, you must count seven ones in addition to ﬁve ones until
you arrive 12 ones. This very act of counting relies on time.
CRUCIAL POINT: understanding what happens in continental philosophy thereafter hinges on this insight kant
kind of gets: if it is the case that 7+5=12 can be broken down into twelve ones on either side of the equation, to
know they are equivalent you count the series in time. Frege says the basis of this series and arithmetic is the
concept of one, of unity, of singularity. That concept, in Frege (and hume and locke)'s view is analytic. The concept
of one is derived by abstracting from experience. Then the fundamental basis of arithmetic is one, derived from
experience/abstraction of experience. Kant's response has two sides: 1. to make that judgement you have to add all
the ones and you do that in time. but more deeply, 2. to have this concept of one in the ﬁrst place requires time. In the
case of Frege it doesnt because you just have a direct insight into unity by seeing singular things. Kant's thesis is
that singularity, unity, in and of itself, purely and simply, is UNTHINKABLE! How is it possible to THINK one.
Kant says it is only possible to think ONE in relationship to AN-OTHER. We don't derive it ▯om experience by
looking at singular things. The singular things are singular in relation to other things. Singularity presupposes plurality.
To have 'one' you need more than one thing, it is relational. Kant's point is that the very idea of unity presupposes
diversity, at least duality. To think singular you need something other.
The plurality in the world is the necessary condition for the thought of one: the thought of singularity. that plurality is given ﬁrst of a▯! in TIME. YOU HAVE TO EVEN IN REALITYACTUALLY COUNTTHEM, IN
TIME. In truth, Kant has to say both TIME and SPACE are necessary for singularity.
The concept of singularity is a concept of the understanding, but the thinkability (understanding) of anything
depends upon in the ﬁrst place the structure of intuition (that the thing be given in time and space ﬁrst). Our a
priori concept of singularity is only meaningful and works in experience, applied to what is given in experience
So the world has to be plural (or at least dual) in order for me to identify a singular anything. BUTWHATABOUT
ME DOING THE PERCEIVING OF THE OBJECTIVE WORLD? AREN'TI SINGULAR IN MY
- Someone might say the problem is not that you derive the notion of singularity from the world but from the
subject themselves: the idea of our own singularity as the subject that knows. Because if I know anything in time
and space, there must be some singularity that allows my singular consciousness. In order to make any judgement
in time and space, I myself (my consciousness) must be singular across the time in which I make that judgement.
Kant does not see or address this objection.
He assumes the identity of the self, says there must be my cogito that accompanies my perceptions. an unchanging
subject that has changing perceptions. Kant just says they hang together because they do. The unchanging I is just
that for him. Yet when he raises the question of how we prove the external world, he says we do it because our self
identity depends upon the givenness of the plurality of things as objects of experience. He doesn't develop this idea
but when we get to Hegel he will make this point explicit. My self identity is constituted in the same way as things
given in time are constituted. My self identity too then are an identity of diﬀerence: I AM A SELF BECAUSE I
SYNTHESIZE THOSE DIFFERENT MOMENTS, and I synthesize them not in the abstract as if I were self-
conscious abstractly across time, but in the very same act that has me constituting objects of experience. My
identiy requires that I can identify singular objects over time. That very act constitutes my identity. So things are
So these two views don't ﬁt together very well: one is him pulling self-identity, the cogito, out of a hat. the other
view of his: it is only in relation to the external world made up of diverse things that I am aware of myself, and I
am aware of myself in the process of constituting this world in time.
Then the way I constitute the world is the way I constitute myself.
Take away from this the general principle that thinking singularity, thinking identity purely and simply is not
possible. You can only think identity in terms of some diﬀerence overcome.
THE PRINCIPLE OF IDENTITY
How do you think the 'I'..?
Implicit in Kant and explicit in Hegel: to think the self purely and simply in itself is not possible, to be singular it
must be determined, and the thought of pure singularity has no determination.
THE ONLYWAY IN WHICH YOU CAN THINK THE SINGULARITY OF THE 'I' AND THE
SINGULARITY OF THE OBJECT IS IN TERMS OF SOME DETERMINATION.
What is the general most basic determination of the I and the object? IT'S OPPOSITE.
In order to think some singularity you must always think its opposite.
Kant is explicit about the object part: to think singularly any object experience is you must think something its
opposite. Deconstructionist postmodern thinkers say you don't need to think its opposite, just its diﬀerence.
That's controversial. But what is not controversial is that you need something other to think a thing's identity.
Hegel explicitly develops the subjective side: to be aware of my self i must be aware of my self in relation to what is
not self. i am only aware of myself as a subject in relation to an external world that i posit as diﬀerent, as not my
Then the question is how is my identity established? because this positing does not ﬂesh out an identiy? the thesis
is that this only happens by cancelling the negation: the not my self. Identity can only be I = I, not the negation.
How do we think that? How is that possible? For it to have content I h