What is the source of our 'categories of understanding'?

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What is the source of our 'categories of understanding'?

Post by Matthew_Berto » January 14th, 2018, 7:24 am

According to Immanuel Kant, 'Categories of the Faculty of Understanding' are preconditions of the construction of objects in mind. That is to say, to have the idea of an object in mind presupposes space and time. Thus, such 'categories' as these are in built in us such that we can experience the world.

As Blackburn puts it, 'We can have a priori knowledge of space and time only because they are forms imposed by our own minds upon experience.' [Oxford Dictionary of Philosophy]

To quote Arthur Schopenhauer:

'The fact that we recognize matter as having certain properties a priori rests on this derivation of its fundamental determinations from our cognitive forms, of which we are conscious a priori' [The World as Will and Presentation, §4]

Does Kant explain where these categories/forms originate from? By Kant's own philosophy, it would not be possible for human beings to not have been with these forms, since we cannot experience the world in their absence.

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Re: What is the source of our 'categories of understanding'?

Post by Hereandnow » January 17th, 2018, 8:41 pm

Well, the "proof" of apriority lies in the pudding, doesn't it? And the pudding is judgment and its evident structure. You have out your finger on the mother of all Kantian issues: This noumenal source of all judgment, this pure reason, to think of it is to apply the very reason in question; that is, pure reason IS a concept that possesses pure rational categories in its own structure, and so therefore cannot be in any way about noumena. It's like an eye that beholds an eye. In the sight of it, one "sees" sight itself.
The categories are transcendental, not empirically seen. They are extrapolated from the seen apriori, as one might extrapolate from the trajectory of stars a theory of a Big Bang. Only here, in this analogy, the observer would have to be in movement that make measurement of other movement impossibly biased.

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