1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Kant, Immanuel
KANT, IMMANUEL (1724–1804), German philosopher, was born at Königsberg on the 22nd of April 1724. His grandfather was an emigrant from Scotland, and the name Cant is not uncommon in the north of Scotland, whence the family is said to have come. His father was a saddler in Königsberg, then a stronghold of Pietism, to the strong influence of which Kant was subjected in his early years. In his tenth year he was entered at the Collegium Fredericianum with the definite view of studying theology. His inclination at this time was towards classics, and he was recognized, with his school-fellow, David Ruhnken, as among the most promising classical scholars of the college. His taste for the greater Latin authors, particularly Lucretius, was never lost, and he acquired at school an unusual facility in Latin composition. With Greek authors he does not appear to have been equally familiar. During his university course, which began in 1740, Kant was principally attracted towards mathematics and physics. The lectures on classics do not seem to have satisfied him, and, though he attended courses on theology, and even preached on one or two occasions, he appears finally to have given up the intention of entering the Church. The last years of his university studies were much disturbed by poverty. His father died in 1746, and for nine years he was compelled to earn his own living as a private tutor. Although he disliked the life and was not specially qualified for it—as he used to say regarding the excellent precepts of his Pädagogik, he was never able to apply them—yet he added to his other accomplishments a grace and polish which he displayed ever afterwards to a degree somewhat unusual in a philosopher by profession.
In 1755 Kant became tutor in the family of Count Kayserling. By the kindness of a friend named Richter, he was enabled to resume his university career, and in the autumn of that year he graduated as doctor and qualified as privatdocent. For fifteen years he continued to labour in this position, his fame as writer and lecturer steadily increasing. Though twice he failed to obtain a professorship at Königsberg, he steadily refused appointments elsewhere. The only academic preferment received by him during the lengthy probation was the post of under-librarian (1766). His lectures, at first mainly upon physics, gradually expanded until nearly all descriptions of philosophy were included under them.
In 1770 he obtained the chair of logic and metaphysics at Königsberg, and delivered as his inaugural address the dissertation De mundi sensibilis et intelligibilis forma et principiis. Eleven years later appeared the Kritik of Pure Reason, the work towards which he had been steadily advancing, and of which all his later writings are developments. In 1783 he published the Prolegomena, intended as an introduction to the Kritik, which had been found to stand in need of some explanatory comment. A second edition of the Kritik, with some modifications, appeared in 1787, after which it remained unaltered.
In spite of its frequent obscurity, its novel terminology, and its declared opposition to prevailing systems, the Kantian philosophy made rapid progress in Germany. In the course of ten or twelve years from the publication of the Kritik of Pure Reason, it was expounded in all the leading universities, and it even penetrated into the schools of the Church of Rome. Such men as J. Schulz in Königsberg, J. G. Kiesewetter in Berlin, Jakob in Halle, Born and A. L. Heydenreich in Leipzig, K. L. Reinhold and E. Schmid in Jena, Buhle in Göttingen, Tennemann in Marburg, and Snell in Giessen, with many others, made it the basis of their philosophical teaching, while theologians like Tieftrunk, Stäudlin, and Ammon eagerly applied it to Christian doctrine and morality. Young men flocked to Königsberg as to a shrine of philosophy. The Prussian Government even undertook the expense of their support. Kant was hailed by some as a second Messiah. He was consulted as an oracle on all questions of casuistry—as, for example, on the lawfulness of inoculation for the small-pox. This universal homage for a long time left Kant unaffected; it was only in his later years that he spoke of his system as the limit of philosophy, and resented all further progress. He still pursued his quiet round of lecturing and authorship, and contributed from time to time papers to the literary journals. Of these, among the most remarkable was his review of Herder’s Philosophy of History, which greatly exasperated that author, and led to a violent act of retaliation some years after in his Metakritik of Pure Reason. Schiller at this period in vain sought to engage Kant upon his Horen. He remained true to the Berlin Journal, in which most of his criticisms appeared.
In 1792 Kant, in the full height of his reputation, was involved in a collision with the Government on the question of his religious doctrines. Naturally his philosophy had excited the declared opposition of all adherents of historical Christianity, since its plain tendency was towards a moral rationalism, and it could not be reconciled to the literal doctrines of the Lutheran Church. It would have been much better to permit his exposition of the philosophy of religion to enjoy the same literary rights as his earlier works, since Kant could not be interdicted without first silencing a multitude of theologians who were at least equally separated from positive Christianity. The Government, however, judged otherwise; and after the first part of his book, On Religion within the Limits of Reason alone, had appeared in the Berlin Journal, the publication of the remainder, which treats in a more rationalizing style of the peculiarities of Christianity, was forbidden. Kant, thus shut out from Berlin, availed himself of his local privilege, and, with the sanction of the theological faculty of his own university, published the full work in Königsberg. The Government, probably influenced as much by hatred and fear of the French Revolution, of which Kant was supposed to be a partisan, as by love of orthodoxy, resented the act; and a secret cabinet order was received by him intimating the displeasure of the king, Frederick William II., and exacting a pledge not to lecture or write at all on religious subjects in future. With this mandate Kant, after a struggle, complied, and kept his engagement till 1797, when the death of the king, according to his construction of his promise, set him free. This incident, however, produced a very unfavourable effect on his spirits. He withdrew in 1794 from society; next year he gave up all his classes but one public lecture on logic or metaphysics; and in 1797, before the removal of the interdict on his theological teaching, he ceased altogether his public labours, after an academic course of forty-two years. He previously, in the same year, finished his treatises on the Metaphysics of Ethics, which, with his Anthropology, completed in 1798, were the last considerable works that he revised with his own hand. His Lectures on Logic, on Physical Geography, on Paedagogics, were edited during his lifetime by his friends and pupils. By way of asserting his right to resume theological disquisition, he also issued in 1798 his Strife of the Faculties, in which all the strongest points of his work on religion were urged afresh, and the correspondence that had passed between himself and his censors was given to the world.
From the date of his retirement from the chair Kant declined in strength, and gave tokens of intellectual decay. His memory began to fail, and a large work at which he wrought night and day, on the connexion between physics and metaphysics, was found to be only a repetition of his already published doctrines. After 1802, finding himself attacked with a weakness in the limbs attended with frequent fits of falling, he mitigated the Spartan severity of his life, and consented to receive medical advice. A constant restlessness oppressed him; his sight gave way; his conversation became an extraordinary mixture of metaphors; and it was only at intervals that gleams of his former power broke out, especially when some old chord of association was struck in natural science or physical geography. A few days before his decease, with a great effort he thanked his medical attendant for his visits in the words, “I have not yet lost my feeling for humanity.” On the 12th of February 1804 he died, having almost completed his eightieth year. His stature was small, and his appearance feeble. He was little more than five feet high; his breast was almost concave, and, like Schleiermacher, he was deformed in the right shoulder. His senses were quick and delicate; and, though of weak constitution, he escaped by strict regimen all serious illness.
His life was arranged with mechanical regularity; and, as he never married, he kept the habits of his studious youth to old age. His man-servant, who awoke him summer and winter at five o’clock, testified that he had not once failed in thirty years to respond to the call. After rising he studied for two hours, then lectured other two, and spent the rest of the forenoon, till one, at his desk. He then dined at a restaurant, which he frequently changed, to avoid the influx of strangers, who crowded to see and hear him. This was his only regular meal; and he often prolonged the conversation till late in the afternoon. He then walked out for at least an hour in all weathers, and spent the evening in lighter reading, except an hour or two devoted to the preparation of his next day’s lectures, after which he retired between nine and ten to rest. In his earlier years he often spent his evenings in general society, where his knowledge and conversational talents made him the life of every party. He was especially intimate with the families of two English merchants of the name of Green and Motherby, where he found many opportunities of meeting ship-captains, and other travelled persons, and thus gratifying his passion for physical geography. This social circle included also the celebrated J. G. Hamann, the friend of Herder and Jacobi, who was thus a mediator between Kant and these philosophical adversaries.
Kant’s reading was of the most extensive and miscellaneous kind. He cared comparatively little for the history of speculation, but his acquaintance with books of science, general history, travels and belles lettres was boundless. He was well versed in English literature, chiefly of the age of Queen Anne, and had read English philosophy from Locke to Hume, and the Scottish school. He was at home in Voltaire and Rousseau, but had little or no acquaintance with the French sensational philosophy. He was familiar with all German literature up to the date of his Kritik, but ceased to follow it in its great development by Goethe and Schiller. It was his habit to obtain books in sheets from his publishers Kanter and Nicolovius; and he read over for many years all the new works in their catalogue, in order to keep abreast of universal knowledge. He was fond of newspapers and works on politics; and this was the only kind of reading that could interrupt his studies in philosophy.
As a lecturer, Kant avoided altogether that rigid style in which his books were written. He sat behind a low desk, with a few jottings on slips of paper, or textbooks marked on the margin, before him, and delivered an extemporaneous address, opening up the subject by partial glimpses, and with many anecdotes or familiar illustrations, till a complete idea of it was presented. His voice was extremely weak, but sometimes rose into eloquence, and always commanded perfect silence. Though kind to his students, he refused to remit their fees, as this, he thought, would discourage independence. It was another principle that his chief exertions should be bestowed on the intermediate class of talent, as the geniuses would help themselves, and the dunces were beyond remedy.
Simple, honourable, truthful, kind-hearted and high-minded as Kant was in all moral respects, he was somewhat deficient in the region of sentiment. He had little enthusiasm for the beauties of nature, and indeed never sailed out into the Baltic, or travelled more than 40 miles from Königsberg. Music he disregarded, and all poetry that was more than sententious prose. His ethics have been reproached with some justice as setting up too low an ideal for the female sex. Though faithful in a high degree to the duties of friendship, he could not bear to visit his friends in sickness, and after their death he repressed all allusion to their memory. His engrossing intellectual labours no doubt tended somewhat to harden his character; and in his zeal for rectitude of purpose he forgot the part which affection and sentiment must ever play in the human constitution.
On the 12th of February 1904, the hundredth anniversary of Kant’s death, a Kantian society (Kantgesellschaft) was formed at Halle under the leadership of Professor H. Vaihinger to promote Kantian studies. In 1909 it had an annual membership of 191; it supports the periodical Kantstudien (founded 1896; see Bibliography, ad init.).
No other thinker of modern times has been throughout his work so penetrated with the fundamental conceptions of physical science; no other has been able to hold with such firmness the balance between empirical and speculative ideas. Beyond all question much of the influence which the critical philosophy has exercised and continues to exercise must be ascribed to this characteristic feature in the training of its great author.
The early writings of Kant are almost without exception on questions of physical science. It was only by degrees that philosophical problems began to engage his attention, and that the main portion of his literary activity was turned towards them. The following are the most important of the works which bear directly on physical science.
1. Gedanken von der wahren Schätzung der lebendigen Kräfte (1747); an essay dealing with the famous dispute between the Cartesians and Leibnitzians regarding the expression for the amount of a force. According to the Cartesians, this quantity was directly proportional to velocity; according to their opponents, it varied with the square of the velocity. The dispute has now lost its interest, for physicists have learned to distinguish accurately the two quantities which are vaguely included under the expression amount of force, and consequently have been able to show in what each party was correct and in what it was in error. Kant’s essay, with some fallacious explanations and divisions, criticizes acutely the arguments of the Leibnitzians, and concludes with an attempt to show that both modes of expression are correct when correctly limited and interpreted.
2. Whether the Earth in its Revolution has experienced some Change since the Earliest Times (1754; ed. and trans., W. Hastie, 1900, Kant’s Cosmogony; cf. Lord Kelvin in The Age of the Earth, 1897, p. 7). In this brief essay Kant throws out a notion which has since been carried out, in ignorance of Kant’s priority, by Delaunay (1865) and Adams. He points out that the action of the moon in raising the waters of the earth must have a secondary effect in the slight retardation of the earth’s motion, and refers to a similar cause the fact that the moon turns always the same face to the earth.
3. Allgemeine Naturgeschichte und Theorie des Himmels, published anonymously in 1755 (4th ed. 1808; republished H. Ebert, 1890). In this remarkable work Kant, proceeding from the Newtonian conception of the solar system, extends his consideration to the entire sidereal system, points out how the whole may be mechanically regarded, and throws out the important speculation which has since received the title of the nebular hypothesis. In some details, such e.g. as the regarding of the motion of the entire solar system as portion of the general cosmical mechanism, he had predecessors, among others Thomas Wright of Durham, but the work as a whole contains a wonderfully acute anticipation of much that was afterwards carried out by Herschel and Laplace. The hypothesis of the original nebular condition of the system, with the consequent explanation of the great phenomena of planetary formations and movements of the satellites and rings, is unquestionably to be assigned to Kant. (On this question see discussion in W. Hastie’s Kant’s Cosmogony, as above.)
4. Meditationum quarundam de igne succincta delineatio (1755): an inaugural dissertation, containing little beyond the notion that bodies operate on one another through the medium of a uniformly diffused, elastic and subtle matter (ether) which is the underlying substance of heat and light. Both heat and light are regarded as vibrations of this diffused ether.
5. On the Causes of Earthquakes (1755); Description of the Earthquake of 1755 (1756); Consideration of some Recently Experienced Earthquakes (1756).
6. Explanatory Remarks on the Theory of the Winds (1756). In this brief tract, Kant, apparently in entire ignorance of the explanation given in 1735 by Hadley, points out how the varying velocity of rotation of the successive zones of the earth’s surface furnishes a key to the phenomena of periodic winds. His theory is in almost entire agreement with that now received. See the parallel statements from Kant’s tract and Dove’s essay on the influence of the rotation of the earth on the flow of its atmosphere (1835), given in Zöllner’s work, Ueber die Natur der Cometen, pp. 477–482.
7. On the Different Races of Men (1775); Determination of the Notion of a Human Race (1785); Conjectural Beginning of Human History (1786): three tracts containing some points of interest as regards the empirical grounds for Kant’s doctrine of teleology. Reference will be made to them in the notice of the Kritik of Judgment.
8. On the Volcanoes in the Moon (1785); On the Influence of the Moon on the Weather (1794). The second of these contains a remarkable discussion of the relation between the centre of the moon’s figure and its centre of gravity. From the difference between these Kant is led to conjecture that the climatic conditions of the side of the moon turned from us must be altogether unlike those of the face presented to us. His views have been restated by Hansen.
9. Lectures on Physical Geography (1822): published from notes of Kant’s lectures, with the approval of the author.
Consideration of these works is sufficient to show that Kant’s mastery of the science of his time was complete and thorough, and that his philosophy is to be dealt with as having throughout a reference to general scientific conceptions. For more detailed treatment of his importance in science, reference may be made to Zöllner’s essay on “Kant and his Merits on Natural Science” contained in the work on the Nature of Comets (pp. 426–484); to Dietrich, Kant and Newton; Schultze, Kant and Darwin; Reuschle’s careful analysis of the scientific works in the Deutsche Vierteljahrs-Schrift (1868); W. Hastie’s introduction to Kant’s Cosmogony (1900), which summarizes criticism to that date; and articles in Kant-Studien (1896 foll.).
The notice of the philosophical writings of Kant need not be more than bibliographical, as in the account of his philosophy it will be necessary to consider at some length the successive stages in the development of his thought. Arranged chronologically these works are as follows:—
1755. Principiorum primorum cognitionis metaphysicae novae dilucidatio.
1756. Metaphysicae cum geometria junctae usus in philosophia naturali, cujus specimen I. continet monadologiam physicam.
1762. Die falsche Spitzfindigkeit der vier syllogistischen Figuren, “The False Subtlety of the Four Syllogistic Figures” (trans. T. K. Abbott, Kant’s Introduction to Logic and his Essay on the Mistaken Subtilty of the Figures, 1885).
1763. Versuch den Begriff der negativen Grössen in die Weltweisheit einzuführen, “Attempt to introduce the Notion of Negative Quantities into Philosophy.”
1763. Der einzig mögliche Beweisgrund zu einer Demonstration des Daseins Gottes, “The only possible Foundation for a Demonstration of the Existence of God.”
1764. Beobachtungen über das Gefühl des Schönen und Erhabenen (Riga, 1771; Königsberg, 1776).
1764. Untersuchung über die Deutlichkeit der Grundsätze der natürlichen Theologie und Moral, “Essay on the Evidence (Clearness) of the Fundamental Propositions of Natural Theology and Ethics.”
1766. Träume eines Geistersehers, erläutert durch Träume der Metaphysik, “Dreams of a Ghost-seer (or Clairvoyant), explained by the Dreams of Metaphysic” (Eng. trans. E. F. Goerwitz, with introd. by F. Sewall, 1900).
1768. Von dem ersten Grunde des Unterschiedes der Gegenden im Raum, “Foundation for the Distinction of Positions in Space.”
The above may all be regarded as belonging to the precritical period of Kant’s development. The following introduce the notions and principles characteristic of the critical philosophy.
1770. De mundi sensibilis et intelligibilis forma et principiis.
1781. Kritik der reinen Vernunft, “Kritik of Pure Reason” (revised ed. 1787; ed. Vaihinger, 1881 foll. and B. Erdmann, 1900; Eng. trans., F. Max Müller, 1896, 2nd ed. 1907, and J. M. D. Meiklejohn, 1854).
1783. Prolegomena zu einer jeden künftigen Metaphysik die als Wissenschaft wird auftreten können, “Prolegomena to all Future Metaphysic which may present itself as Science” (ed. B. Erdmann, 1878; Eng. trans. J. P. Mahaffy and J. H. Bernard, 2nd ed. 1889; Belfort Bax, 1883 and Paul Carus, 1902; and cf. M. Apel, Kommentar zu Kants Prolegomena, 1908).
1784. Idee zu einer allgemeinen Geschichte im weltbürgerlicher Absicht, “Notion of a Universal History in a Cosmopolitan Sense.” With this may be coupled the review of Herder in 1785.
1785. Grundlegung zur Metaphysik der Sitten, “Foundations of the Metaphysic of Ethics” (see T. K. Abbott, Fundamental Principles of the Metaphysic of Ethics, 3rd ed. 1907).
1786. Metaphysische Anfangsgründe der Naturwissenschaft, “Metaphysical Elements of Natural Science” (ed. A. Höfler, 1900; trans. Belfort Bax, Prolegomena and Metaphysical Foundations, 1883).
1788. Ueber den Gebrauch teleologischer Prinzipien in der Philosophie, “On the Employment of Teleological Principles in Philosophy.”
1788. Kritik der praktischen Vernunft, “Kritik of Practical Reason” (trans. T. K. Abbott, ed. 1898).
1790. Kritik der Urtheilskraft, “Kritik of Judgment” (trans. with notes J. H. Bernard, 1892).
1790. Ueber eine Entdeckung, nach der alle neue Kritik der reinen Vernunft durch eine ältere entbehrlich gemacht werden soll, “On a Discovery by which all the recent Critique of Pure Reason is superseded by a more ancient” (i.e by Leibnitz’s philosophy).
1791. Ueber die wirklichen Fortschritte der Metaphysik seit Leibnitz und Wolff, “On the Real Advances of Metaphysics since Leibnitz and Wolff”; and Ueber das Misslingen aller philosophischen Versuche in der Theodicee.
1793. Die Religion innerhalb der Grenzen der blossen Vernunft, “Religion within the Bounds of Reason only” (Eng. trans. J. W. Semple, 1838).
1794. Ueber Philosophie überhaupt, “On Philosophy generally,” and Das Ende aller Dinge.
1795. Zum ewigen Frieden (Eng. trans., M. Campbell Smith, 1903).
1797. Metaphysische Anfangsgründe der Rechtslehre (trans. W Hastie), and Metaphysische Anfangsgründe der Tugendlehre.
1798. Der Streit der Facultäten, “Contest of the Faculties.”
1798. Anthropologie in pragmatischer Hinsicht.
Historians are accustomed to divide the general current of speculation into epochs or periods marked by the dominance of some single philosophic conception with its systematic evolution. Perhaps in no case is the character of an epoch more clearly apparent than in that of the critical philosophy. The great work of Kant absolutely closed the lines of speculation along which the philosophical literature of the 18th century had proceeded, and substituted for them a new and more comprehensive method of regarding the essential problems of thought, a method which has prescribed the course of philosophic speculation in the present age. The critical system has thus a twofold aspect. It takes up into itself what had characterized the previous efforts of modern thought, shows the imperfect nature of the fundamental notions therein employed, and offers a new solution of the problems to which these notions had been applied. It opens up a new series of questions upon which subsequent philosophic reflection has been directed, and gives to them the form, under which it is possible that they should be fruitfully regarded. A work of this kind is essentially epoch-making.
In any complete account of the Kantian system it is therefore necessary that there should be constant reference, on the one hand, to the peculiar character of the preceding 18th-century philosophy, and, on the other hand, to the problems left for renewed treatment to more modern thought. Fortunately the development of the Kantian system itself furnishes such treatment as is necessary of the former reference. For the critical philosophy was a work of slow growth. In the early writings of Kant we are able to trace with great definiteness the successive stages through which he passed from the notions of the preceding philosophy to the new and comprehensive method which gives its special character to the critical work. Scarcely any great mind, it has been said with justice, ever matured so slowly. In the early essays we find the principles of the current philosophies, those of Leibnitz and English empiricism, applied in various directions to those problems which serve as tests of their truth and completeness; we note the appearance of the difficulties or contradictions which manifest the one-sidedness or imperfection of the principle applied; and we can trace the gradual growth of the new conceptions which were destined, in the completed system, to take the place of the earlier method. To understand the Kantian work it is indispensable to trace the history of its growth in the mind of its author.
Of the two preceding stages of modern philosophy, only the second, that of Locke and Leibnitz, seems to have influenced practically the course of Kant’s speculation. With the Cartesian movement as a whole he shows little acquaintance and no sympathy, and his own philosophic conception is never brought into relation with the systematic treatment of metaphysical problems characteristic of the Cartesian method. The fundamental question for philosophic reflection presented itself to him in the form which it had assumed in the hands of Locke and his successors in England, of Leibnitz and the Leibnitzian school in Germany. The transition from the Cartesian movement to this second stage of modern thought had doubtless been natural and indeed necessary. Nevertheless the full bearings of the philosophic question were somewhat obscured by the comparatively limited fashion in which it was then regarded. The tendency towards what may be technically called subjectivism, a tendency which differentiates the modern from the ancient method of speculation, is expressed in Locke and Leibnitz in a definite and peculiar fashion. However widely the two systems differ in details, they are at one in a certain fundamental conception which dominates the whole course of their philosophic construction. They are throughout individualist, i.e. they accept as given fact the existence of the concrete, thinking subject, and endeavour to show how this subject, as an individual conscious being, is related to the wider universe of which he forms part. In dealing with such a problem, there are evidently two lines along which investigation may proceed. It may be asked how the individual mind comes to know himself and the system of things with which he is connected, how the varied contents of his experience are to be accounted for, and what certainty attaches to his subjective consciousness of things. Regarded from the individualist point of view, this line of inquiry becomes purely psychological, and the answer may be presented, as it was presented by Locke, in the fashion of a natural history of the growth of conscious experience in the mind of the subject. Or, it may be further asked, how is the individual really connected with the system of things apparently disclosed to him in conscious experience? what is the precise significance of the existence which he ascribes both to himself and to the objects of experience? what is the nature of the relation between himself as one part of the system, and the system as a whole? This second inquiry is specifically metaphysical in bearing, and the kind of answer furnished to it by Leibnitz on the one hand, by Berkeley on the other, is in fact prescribed or determined beforehand by the fundamental conception of the individualist method with which both begin their investigations. So soon as we make clear to ourselves the essential nature of this method, we are able to discern the specific difficulties or perplexities arising in the attempt to carry it out systematically, and thus to note with precision the special problems presented to Kant at the outset of his philosophic reflections.
Consider, first, the application of the method on its psychological side, as it appears in Locke. Starting with the assumption of conscious experience as the content or filling-in of the individual mind, Locke proceeds to explain its genesis and nature by reference to the real universe of things and its mechanical operation upon the mind. The result of the interaction of mind, i.e. the individual mind, and the system of things, is conscious experience, consisting of ideas, which may be variously compounded, divided, compared, or dealt with by the subjective faculties or powers with which the entity, Mind, is supposed to be endowed. Matter of fact and matter of knowledge are thus at a stroke dissevered. The very notion of relation between mind and things leads at once to the counter notion of the absolute restriction of mind to its own subjective nature. That Locke was unable to reconcile these opposed notions is not surprising; that the difficulties and obscurities of the Essay arise from the impossibility of reconciling them is evident on the slightest consideration of the main positions of that work. Of these difficulties the philosophies of Berkeley and Hume are systematic treatments. In Berkeley we find the resolute determination to accept only the one notion, that of mind as restricted to its own conscious experience, and to attempt by this means to explain the nature of the external reality to which obscure reference is made. Any success in the attempt is due only to the fact that Berkeley introduces alongside of his individualist notion a totally new conception, that of mind itself as not in the same way one of the matters of conscious experience, but as capable of reflection upon the whole of experience and of reference to the supreme mind as the ground of all reality. It is only in Hume that we have definitely and completely the evolution of the individualist notion as groundwork of a theory of knowledge; and it is in his writings, therefore, that we may expect to find the fundamental difficulty of that notion clearly apparent. It is not a little remarkable that we should find in Hume, not only the sceptical dissolution of all fixity of cognition, which is the inevitable result of the individualist method, but also the clearest consciousness of the very root of the difficulty. The systematic application of the doctrine that conscious experience consists only of isolated objects of knowledge, impressions or ideas, leads Hume to distinguish between truths reached by analysis and truths which involve real connexion of the objects of knowledge. The first he is willing to accept without further inquiry, though it is an error to suppose, as Kant seems to have supposed, that he regarded mathematical propositions as coming under this head (see Hume); with respect to the second, he finds himself, and confesses that he finds himself, hopelessly at fault. No real connexions between isolated objects of experience are perceived by us. No single matter of fact necessarily implies the existence of any other. In short, if the difficulty be put in its ultimate form, no existence thought as a distinct individual can transcend itself, or imply relation to any other existence. If the parts of conscious experience are regarded as so many distinct things, there is no possibility of connecting them other than contingently, if at all. If the individual mind be really thought as individual, it is impossible to explain how it should have knowledge or consciousness at all. “In short,” says Hume, “there are two principles which I cannot render consistent, nor is it in my power to renounce either of them, viz. that all our distinct perceptions are distinct existences, and that the mind never perceives any real connexion among distinct existences. Did our perceptions either inhere in something simple or individual, or did the mind perceive some real connexion among them, there would be no difficulty in the case” (App. to Treatise of Human Nature).
Thus, on the one hand, the individualist conception, when carried out to its full extent, leads to the total negation of all real cognition. If the real system of things, to which conscious experience has reference, be regarded as standing in casual relation to this experience there is no conceivable ground for the extension to reality of the notions which somehow are involved in thought. The same result is apparent, on the other hand, when we consider the theory of knowledge implied in the Leibnitzian individualism. The metaphysical conception of the monads, each of which is the universe in nuce, presents insuperable difficulties when the connexion or interdependence of the monads is in question, and these difficulties obtrude themselves when the attempt is made to work out a consistent doctrine of cognition. For the whole mass of cognisable fact, the mundus intelligibilis, is contained impliciter in each monad, and the several modes of apprehension can only be regarded as so many stages in the developing consciousness of the monad. Sense and understanding, real connexion of facts and analysis of notions, are not, therefore, distinct in kind, but differ only in degree. The same fundamental axioms, the logical principles of identity and sufficient reason, are applicable in explanation of all given propositions. It is true that Leibnitz himself did not work out any complete doctrine of knowledge, but in the hands of his successors the theory took definite shape in the principle that the whole work of cognition is in essence analytical. The process of analysis might be complete or incomplete. For finite intelligences there was an inevitable incompleteness so far as knowledge of matters of fact was concerned. In respect to them, the final result was found in a series of irreducible notions or categories, the prima possibilia, the analysis and elucidation of which was specifically the business of philosophy or metaphysics.
It will be observed that, in the Leibnitzian as in the empirical individualism, the fundamental notion is still that of the abstract separation of the thinking subject from the materials of conscious experience. From this separation arise all the difficulties in the effort to develop the notion systematically, and in tracing the history of Kant’s philosophical progress we are able to discern the gradual perception on his part that here was to be found the ultimate cause of the perplexities which became apparent in considering the subordinate doctrines of the system. The successive essays which have already been enumerated as composing Kant’s precritical work are not to be regarded as so many imperfect sketches of the doctrines of the Kritik, nor are we to look in them for anticipations of the critical view. They are essentially tentative, and exhibit with unusual clearness the manner in which the difficulties of a received theory force on a wider and more comprehensive view. There can be no doubt that some of the special features of the Kritik are to be found in these precritical essays, e.g. the doctrine of the Aesthetik is certainly foreshadowed in the Dissertation of 1770; the Kritik, however, is no patchwork, and what appears in the Dissertation takes an altogether new form when it is wrought into the more comprehensive conception of the later treatise.
The particular problem which gave the occasion to the first of the precritical writings is, in an imperfect or particular fashion, the fundamental question to which the Kritik is an answer. What is the nature of the distinction between knowledge gained by analysis of notions and knowledge of matters of fact? Kant seems never to have been satisfied with the Wolffian identification of logical axioms and of the principle of sufficient reason. The tract on the False Subtlety of the Four Syllogistic Figures, in which the view of thought or reason as analytic is clearly expressed, closes with the significant division of judgments into those which rest upon the logical axioms of identity and contradiction and those for which no logical ground can be shown. Such immediate or indemonstrable judgments, it is said, abound in our experience. They are, in fact, as Kant presently perceived, the foundations for all judgments regarding real existence. It was impossible that the question regarding their nature and legitimacy and their distinction from analytic judgments should not present itself to him. The three tracts belonging to the years 1763–1764 bring forward in the sharpest fashion the essential opposition between the two classes of judgments. In the Essay on Negative Quantities, the fundamental thought is the total distinction in kind between logical opposition (the contradictoriness of notions, which Kant always viewed as formed, definite products of thought) and real opposition. For the one adequate explanation is found in the logical axiom of analytical thinking; for the other no such explanation is to be had. Logical ground and real ground are totally distinct. “I can understand perfectly well,” says Kant, “how a consequence follows from its reason according to the law of identity, since it is discoverable by mere analysis of the notion contained in it. . . . But how something follows from another thing and not according to the law of identity, this I should gladly have made clear to me. . . . How shall I comprehend that, since something is, something else should be?” Real things, in short, are distinct existences, and, as distinct, not necessarily or logically connected in thought. “I have,” he proceeds, “reflected on the nature of our knowledge in relation to our judgment of reason and consequent, and I intend to expound fully the result of my reflections. It follows from them that the relation of a real ground to that which is thereby posited or denied cannot be expressed by a judgment but only by means of a notion, which by analysis may certainly be reduced to yet simpler notions of real grounds, but yet in such a way that the final resort of all our cognition in this regard must be found in simple and irreducible notions of real grounds, the relation of which to their consequents cannot be made clear.”
The striking similarity between Kant’s expressions in this Essay and the remarks with which Hume introduces his analysis of the notion of cause has led to the supposition that at this period of his philosophical career Kant was definitely under the influence of the earlier empirical thinker. Consideration of the whole passage is quite sufficient to show the groundlessness of this supposition. The difficulty with which Kant is presented was one arising inevitably from reflection upon the Leibnitzian theory of knowledge, and the solution does not in any way go beyond that theory. It is a solution, in fact, which must have been impossible had the purport of Hume’s empirical doctrine been present to Kant’s mind. He is here at the point at which he remained for many years, accepting without any criticism certain fundamental notions as required for real cognition. His ideal of metaphysic is still that of complete analysis of given notions. No glimmering of the further question, Whence come these notions and with what right do we apply them in cognition? is yet apparent. Any direct influence from Hume must be referred to a later period in his career.
The prize essay On the Principles of Natural Theology and Morals brings forward the same fundamental opposition—though in a special form. Here, for the first time, appears definitely the distinction between synthesis and analysis, and in the distinction is found the reason for the superior certainty and clearness of mathematics as opposed to philosophy. Mathematics, Kant thinks, proceeds synthetically, for in it the notions are constructed. Metaphysics, on the other hand, is analytical in method; in it the notions are given, and by analysis they are cleared up. It is to be observed that the description of mathematics as synthetic is not an anticipation of the critical doctrine on the same subject. Kant does not, in this place, raise the question as to the reason for assuming that the arbitrary syntheses of mathematical construction have any reference to reality. The deeper significance of synthesis has not yet become apparent.
In the Only Possible Ground of Proof for the Existence of God, the argument, though largely Leibnitzian, advances one step farther towards the ultimate inquiry. For there Kant states as precisely as in the critique of speculative theology his fundamental doctrine that real existence is not a predicate to be added in thought to the conception of a possible subject. So far as subjective thought is concerned, possibility, not real existence, is contained in any judgment.
The year 1765 was marked by the publication of Leibnitz’s posthumous Nouveaux Essais, in which his theory of knowledge is more fully stated than in any of his previous tracts. In all probability Kant gave some attention to this work, though no special reference to it occurs in his writings, and it may have assisted to give additional precision to his doctrine. In the curious essay, Dreams of a Clairvoyant, published 1766, he emphasizes his previously reached conclusion that connexions of real fact are mediated in our thought by ultimate notions, but adds that the significance and warrant for such notions can be furnished only by experience. He is inclined, therefore, to regard as the function of metaphysics the complete statement of these ultimate, indemonstrable notions, and therefore the determination of the limits to knowledge by their means. Even at this point, where he approximates more closely to Hume than to any other thinker, the difficulty raised by Hume does not seem to occur to him. He still appears to think that experience does warrant the employment of such notions, and when there is taken into account his correspondence with Lambert during the next few years, one would be inclined to say that the Architektonik of the latter represents most completely Kant’s idea of philosophy.
On another side Kant had been shaking himself free from the principles of the Leibnitzian philosophy. According to Leibnitz, space, the order of coexisting things, resulted from the relations of monads to one another. But Kant began to see that such a conception did not accord with the manner in which we determine directions or positions in space. In the curious little essay, On the Ground of distinguishing Particular Divisions in Space, he pointed out that the idea of space as a whole is not deducible from the experience of particular spaces, or particular relations of objects in space, that we only cognize relations in space by reference to space as a whole, and finally that definite positions involve reference to space as a given whole.
The whole development of Kant’s thought up to this point is intelligible when regarded from the Leibnitzian point of view, with which he started. There appears no reason to conclude that Hume at this time exercised any direct influence. One may go still further, and add that even in the Dissertation of 1770, generally regarded as more than foreshadowing the Kritik, the really critical question is not involved. A brief notice of the contents of this tract will suffice to show how far removed Kant yet was from the methods and principles of the critical or transcendental philosophy. Sense and understanding, according to the Dissertation, are the two sources of knowledge. The objects of the one are things of sense or phenomena; the objects of the other are noumena. These are absolutely distinct, and are not to be regarded as differing only in degree. In phenomena we distinguish matter, which is given by sense, and form, which is the law of the order of sensations. Such form is twofold—the order of space and time. Sensations formed by space and time compose the world of appearance, and this when treated by the understanding, according to logical rules, is experience. But the logical use of the understanding is not its only use. Much more important is the real use, by which are produced the pure notions whereby we think things as they are. These pure notions are the laws of the operation of the intellect; they are leges intellectus.
Apart, then, from the expanded treatment of space and time as subjective forms, we find in the Dissertation little more than the very precise and definite formulation of the slowly growing opposition to the Leibnitzian doctrines. That the pure intellectual notions should be defended as springing from the nature of intellect is not out of harmony with the statement of the Träume eines Geistersehers, for there the pure notions were allowed to exist, but were not held to have validity for actual things except on grounds of experience. Here they are supposed to exist, dissevered from experience, and are allowed validity as determinations of things in themselves.
The stage which Kant had now reached in his philosophical development was one of great significance. The doctrine of knowledge expressed in the Dissertation was the final form which the Wolffian rationalism could assume for him, and, though many of the elements of the Kritik are contained therein, it was not really in advance of the Wolffian theory. The doctrine of space and time as forms of sense-perception, the reference of both space and time and the pure intellectual notions to the laws of the activity of mind itself, the distinction between sense and understanding as one of kind, not of degree, with the correlative distinction between phenomena and noumena,—all of these reappear, though changed and modified, in the Kritik. But, despite this resemblance, it seems clear that, so far as the Dissertation is concerned, the way had only been prepared for the true critical inquiry, and that the real import of Hume’s sceptical problem had not yet dawned upon Kant. From the manner, however, in which the doctrine of knowledge had been stated in the Dissertation, the further inquiry had been rendered inevitable. It had become quite impossible for Kant to remain longer satisfied with the ambiguous position assigned to a fundamental element of his doctrine of knowledge, the so-called pure intellectual notions. Those notions, according to the Dissertation, had no function save in relation to things-in-themselves, i.e. to objects which are not directly or immediately brought into relation to our faculty of cognition. They did not serve as the connecting links of formed experience; on the contrary, they were supposed to be absolutely dissevered from all experience which was possible for intelligence like ours. In his previous essays, Kant, while likewise maintaining that such pure, irreducible notions existed, had asserted in general terms that they applied to experience, and that their applicability or justification rested on experience itself, but had not raised the question as to the ground of such justification. Now, from another side, the supreme difficulty was presented—how could such notions have application to any objects whatsoever? For some time the correlative difficulty, how objects of sense-perception were possible, does not seem to have suggested itself to Kant. In the Dissertation sense-perception had been taken as receptivity of representations of objects, and experience as the product of the treatment of such representations by the logical or analytical processes of understanding. Some traces of this confused fashion of regarding sense-perceptions are left even in the Kritik, specially perhaps in the Aesthetik, and they give rise to much of the ambiguity which unfortunately attaches to the more developed theory of cognition. So soon, however, as the critical question was put, On what rests the reference of representations in us to the object or thing? in other words, How do we come to have knowledge of objects at all? it became apparent that the problem was one of perfect generality, and applied, not only to cognition through the pure notions, but to sense-perceptions likewise. It is in the statement of this general problem that we find the new and characteristic feature of Kant’s work.
There is thus no reason to doubt the substantial accuracy of Kant’s reference to the particular occasion or cause of the critical inquiry. Up to the stage indicated by the Dissertation he had been attempting, in various ways, to unite two radically divergent modes of explaining cognition—that which would account for the content of experience by reference to affection from things without us, and that which viewed the intellect itself as somehow furnished with the means of pure, rational cognition. He now discovered that Hume’s sceptical analysis of the notion of cause was really the treatment of one typical or crucial instance of the much more general problem. If experience, says Hume, consists solely of states of mind somehow given to us, each of which exists as an effect, and therefore as distinct from others, with what right do we make the common assumption that parts of experience are necessarily connected? The only possible answer, drawn from the premises laid down, must be that there is no warrant for such an assumption. Necessity for thought, as Kant had been willing to admit and as Hume also held, involves or implies something more than is given in experience—for that which is given is contingent—and rests upon an a priori or pure notion. But a priori notions, did they exist, could have no claim to regulate experience. Hume, therefore, for his part, rejected entirely the notion of cause as being fictitious and delusive, and professed to account for the habit of regarding experience as necessarily connected by reference to arbitrarily formed custom of thinking. Experience, as given, contingent material, had a certain uniformity, and recurring uniformities generated in us the habit of regarding things as necessarily connected. That such a resort to experience for explanation could lead to no valid conclusion has been already noted as evident to Hume himself.
The dogmatic or individualist conception of experience had thus proved itself inadequate to the solution of Hume’s difficulty regarding the notion of cause,—a difficulty which Kant, erroneously, had thought to be the only case contemplated by his predecessor. The perception of its inadequacy in this respect, and the consequent generalization of Hume’s problem, are the essential features of the new critical method. For Kant was now prepared to formulate his general inquiry in a definite fashion. His long-continued reflection on the Wolffian doctrine of knowledge had made clear to him that synthetic connexion, the essence of real cognition, was not contained in the products of thinking as a formal activity of mind operating on material otherwise supplied. On the other hand, Hume’s analysis enabled him to see that synthetic connexion was not contained in experience regarded as given material. Thus neither the formal nor the material aspect of conscious experience, when regarded from the individualist point of view, supplied any foundation for real knowledge, whether a priori or empirical. An absolutely new conception of experience was necessary, if the fact of cognition was to be explained at all, and the various modes in which Kant expresses the business of his critical philosophy were merely different fashions of stating the one ultimate problem, differing according to the particular aspect of knowledge which he happened to have in view. To inquire how synthetic a priori judgments are possible, or how far cognition extends, or what worth attaches to metaphysical propositions, is simply to ask, in a specific form, what elements are necessarily involved in experience of which the subject is conscious. How is it possible for the individual thinking subject to connect together the parts of his experience in the mode we call cognition?
The problem of the critical philosophy is, therefore, the complete analysis of experience from the point of view of the conditions under which such experience is possible for the conscious subject. The central ideas are thus self-consciousness, as the supreme condition under which experience is subjectively possible, and the manifold details of experience as a varied and complex whole. The solution of the problem demanded the utmost care in keeping the due balance between these ideas; and it can hardly be said that Kant was perfectly successful. He is frequently untrue to the more comprehensive conception which dominates his work as a whole. The influence of his previous philosophical training, nay, even the unconscious influence of terminology, frequently induces in his statements a certain laxity and want of clearness. He selects definitely for his starting point neither the idea of self-consciousness nor the details of experience, but in his actual procedure passes from one to the other, rarely, if ever, taking into full consideration the weighty question of their relation to one another. Above all, he is continuously under the influence of the individualist notion which he had done so much to explode. The conception of conscious experience, which is the net result of the Kritik, is indefinitely profounder and richer than that which had ruled the 18th century philosophizing, but for Kant such experience still appears as somehow the arbitrary product of the relation between the individual conscious subject and the realm of real facts. When he is actually analysing the conditions of knowledge, the influence of the individualist conception is not prominent; the conditions are stated as quite general, as conditions of knowledge. But so soon as the deeper, metaphysical problems present themselves, the shadow of the old doctrine reappears. Knowledge is regarded as a mechanical product, part furnished by the subject, part given to the subject, and is thus viewed as mechanically divisible into a priori and a posteriori, into pure and empirical, necessary and contingent. The individual as an agent, conscious of universal moral law, is yet regarded as in a measure opposed to experience, and the Kantian ethical code remains purely formal. The ultimate relation between intelligence and natural fact, expressed in the notion of end, is thought as problematic or contingent. The difficulties or obscurities of the Kantian system, of which the above are merely the more prominent, may all be traced to the one source, the false or at least inadequate idea of the individual. The more thorough explanation of the relation between experience as critically conceived and the individual subject was the problem left by Kant for his successors.
In any detailed exposition of the critical system it would be requisite in the first place to state with some fullness the precise nature of the problems immediately before Kant, and in the second place to follow with some closeness the successive stages of the system as presented in the three main works, the Kritik of Pure Reason, the Kritik of Practical Reason and the Kritik of Judgment, with the more important of the minor works, the Metaphysic of Nature and the Metaphysic of Ethics. It would be necessary, also, in any such expanded treatment, to bring out clearly the Kantian classification of the philosophical sciences, and to indicate the relation between the critical or transcendental investigation of the several faculties and the more developed sciences to which that investigation serves as introduction. As any detailed statement of the critical system, however compressed, would be beyond the limits of the present article, it is proposed here to select only the more salient doctrines, and to point out in connexion with them what advance had been effected by Kant, and what remained for subsequent efforts at complete solution of the problems raised by him. Much that is of interest and value must necessarily be omitted in any sketch of so elaborate a system, and for all points of special interpretation reference must needs be made to the many elaborate dissertations on or about the Kantian philosophy.
The doctrine from which Kant starts in his critical or transcendental investigation of knowledge is that to which the slow development of his thought had led him. The essence of cognition or knowledge was a synthetic act, an act of combining in thought the detached elements of experience. Now synthesis was explicable neither by reference to pure thought, the logical or elaborative faculty, which in Kant’s view remained analytic in function, nor by reference to the effects of external real things upon our faculties of cognition. For, on the one hand, analysis or logical treatment applied only to objects of knowledge as already given in synthetic forms, and, on the other hand, real things could yield only isolated effects and not the combination of these effects in the forms of cognitive experience. If experience is to be matter of knowledge for the conscious subject, it must be regarded as the conjoint product of given material and synthetic combination. Form and matter may indeed be regarded separably and dealt with in isolation for purposes of critical inquiry, but in experience they are necessarily and inseparably united. The problem of the Kritik thus becomes for Kant the complete statement of the elements necessarily involved in synthesis, and of the subjective processes by which these elements are realized in our individual consciousness. He is not asking, with Locke, whence the details of experience arise; he is not attempting a natural history of the growth of experience in the individual mind; but he is endeavouring to state exhaustively what conditions are necessarily involved in any fact of knowledge, i.e. in any synthetic combination of parts of experience by the conscious subject.
So far as the elements necessarily involved in conscious experience are concerned, these may be enumerated briefly thus:—given data of sense, inner or outer; the forms of perception, i.e. space and time; the forms of thought, i.e. the categories; the ultimate condition of knowledge, the identity of the pure ego or self. The ego or self is the central unity in reference to which alone is any part of experience cognizable. But the consciousness of self is the foundation of knowledge only when related to given material. The ego has not in itself the element of difference, and the essence of knowledge is the consciousness of unity in difference. For knowledge, therefore, it is necessary that difference should be given to the ego. The modes under which it is possible for such given difference to become portion of the conscious experience of the ego, the modes under which the isolated data can be synthetically combined so as to form a cognizable whole, make up the form of cognition, and upon this form rests the possibility of any a priori or rational knowledge.
The notion of the ego as a purely logical unity, containing in itself no element of difference, and having only analytical identity, is fundamental in the critical system, and lies at the root of all its difficulties and perplexities. To say that the ego as an individual does not produce the world of experience is by no means the same as to say that the ego is pure unity without element of difference. In the one case we are treating the ego as one of the objects of experience and denying of it productive efficacy; in the second case we are dealing with the unity of the ego as a condition of knowledge, of any experience whatsoever. In this second sense, it is wholly wrong to assert that the ego is pure identity, pure unity. The unity and identity of the ego, so regarded, are taken in abstraction, i.e. as dissevered from the more complex whole of which they are necessary elements. When the ego is taken as a condition of knowledge, its unity is not more important than the difference necessarily correlated with it. That the ego as a thing should not produce difference is quite beside the mark. The consequences of the abstract separation which Kant so draws between the ego and the world of experience are apparent throughout his whole system. Assuming at the outset an opposition between the two, self and matter of knowledge, he is driven by the exigencies of the problem of reconciliation to insert term after term as means of bringing them together, but never succeeds in attaining a junction which is more than mechanical. To the end, the ego remains, partly the pure logical ego, partly the concrete individual spirit, and no explanation is afforded of the relation between them. It is for this reason that the system of forms of perception and categories appears so contingent and haphazard. No attempt is made to show how or why the difference supplied for the pure logical ego should present itself necessarily under these forms. They are regarded rather as portions of the subjective mechanism of the individual consciousness. The mind or self appears as though it were endowed with a complex machinery by which alone it could act upon the material supplied to it. Such a crude conception is far, indeed, from doing justice to Kant’s view, but it undoubtedly represents the underlying assumption of many of his cardinal doctrines. The philosophy of Fichte is historically interesting as that in which the deficiencies of Kant’s fundamental position were first discerned and the attempt made to remedy them.
Unfortunately for the consistency of the Kritik, Kant does not attempt to work out systematically the elements involved in knowledge before considering the subjective processes by which knowledge is realized in consciousness. He mixes up the two inquiries, and in the general division of his work depends rather upon the results of previous psychology than upon the lines prescribed by his own new conception of experience. He treats the elements of cognition separately in connexion with the several subjective processes involved in knowledge, viz. sense and understanding. Great ambiguity is the natural result of this procedure. For it was not possible for Kant to avoid the misleading connotation of the terms employed by him. In strictness, sense, understanding, imagination and reason ought to have had their functions defined in close relation to the elements of knowledge with which they are severally connected, and as these elements have no existence as separate facts, but only as factors in the complex organic whole, it might have been possible to avoid the error of supposing that each subjective process furnished a distinct, separately cognizable portion of a mechanical whole. But the use of separate terms, such as sense and understanding, almost unavoidably led to phraseology only interpretable as signifying that each furnished a specific kind of knowledge, and all Kant’s previous training contributed to strengthen this erroneous view. Especially noteworthy is this in the case of the categories. Kant insists upon treating these as Begriffe, notions, and assigns to them certain characteristics of notions. But it is readily seen, and in the Logik Kant shows himself fully aware of the fact, that these pure connective links of experience, general aspects of objects of intelligible experience, do not resemble concepts formed by the so-called logical or elaborative processes from representations of completed objects. Nothing but harm can follow from any attempt to identify two products which differ so entirely. So, again, the Aesthetik is rendered extremely obscure and difficult by the prevalence of the view, already noted as obtaining in the Dissertation, that sense is a faculty receiving representations of objects. Kant was anxious to avoid the error of Leibnitz, who had taken sense and understanding to differ in degree only, not in kind; but in avoiding the one error he fell into another of no less importance.
The consideration of the several elements which in combination make up the fact of cognition, or perception, as it may be called, contains little or nothing bearing on the origin and nature of the given data of sense, inner or outer. The manifold of sense, which plays so important a part in the critical theory of knowledge, is left in an obscure and perplexed position. So much is clear, however, that according to Kant sense is not to be regarded as receptive of representations of objects. The data of sense are mere stimuli, not partial or confused representations. The sense-manifold is not to be conceived as having, per se, any of the qualities of objects as actually cognized; its parts are not cognizable per se, nor can it with propriety be said to be received successively or simultaneously. When we apply predicates to the sense-manifold regarded in isolation, we make that which is only a factor in the experience of objects into a separate, independent object, and use our predicates transcendently. Kant is not always in his language faithful to his view of the sense-manifold, but the theory as a whole, together with his own express definitions, is unmistakable. On the origin of the data of sense, Kant’s remarks are few and little satisfactory. He very commonly employs the term affection of the faculty of sense as expressing the mode of origin, but offers no further explanation of a term which has significance only when interpreted after a somewhat mechanical fashion. Unquestionably certain of his remarks indicate the view that the origin is to be sought in things-in-themselves, but against hasty misinterpretations of such remarks there are certain cautions to be borne in mind. The relation between phenomena and noumena in the Kantian system does not in the least resemble that which plays so important a part in modern psychology—between the subjective results of sense affection and the character of the objective conditions of such affection. Kant has pointedly declared that it would be a gross absurdity to suppose that in his view separate, distinct things-in-themselves existed corresponding to the several objects of perception. And, finally, it is not at all difficult to understand why Kant should say that the affection of sense originated in the action of things-in-themselves, when we consider what was the thing-in-itself to which he was referring. The thing-in-itself to which the empirical order and relations of sense-experience are referred is the divine order, which is not matter of knowledge, but involved in our practical or moral beliefs. Critics who limit their view to the Kritik of Pure Reason, and there, in all probability, to the first or constructive portion of the work, must necessarily fail to interpret the doctrines of the Kantian system, which do not become clear or definite till the system has been developed. Reason was, for Kant, an organic whole; the speculative and moral aspects are never severed; and the solution of problems which appear at first sight to belong solely to the region of speculative thought may be found ultimately to depend upon certain characteristics of our nature as practical.
Data of sense-affection do not contain in themselves synthetic combination. The first conditions of such combination are found by Kant in the universal forms under which alone sense-phenomena manifest themselves in experience. These universal forms of perception, space and time, are necessary, a priori, and in characteristic features resembling intuitions, not notions. They occupy, therefore, a peculiar position, and one section of the Kritik, the Aesthetik, is entirely devoted to the consideration of them. It is important to observe that it is only through the a priori character of these perceptive forms that rational science of nature is at all possible. Kant is here able to resume, with fresh insight, his previous discussions regarding the synthetic character of mathematical propositions. In his early essays he had rightly drawn the distinction between mathematical demonstration and philosophic proof, referring the certainty of the first to the fact that the constructions were synthetic in character and entirely determined by the action of constructive imagination. It had not then occurred to him to ask, With what right do we assume that the conclusions arrived at from arbitrary constructions in mathematical matter have applicability to objects of experience? Might not mathematics be a purely imaginary science? To this question he is now enabled to return an answer. Space and time, the two essential conditions of sense-perception, are not data given by things, but universal forms of intellect into which all data of sense must be received. Hence, whatever is true of space and time regarded by imagination as objects, i.e. quantitative constructions, must be true of the objects making up our sense-experience. The same forms and the same constructive activity of imagination are involved in mathematical synthesis and in the constitution of objects of sense-experience. The foundation for pure or rational mathematics, there being included under this the pure science of movement, is thus laid in the critical doctrine of space and time.
The Aesthetik isolates sense-perception, and considers its forms as though it were an independent, complete faculty. A certain confusion, arising from this, is noticeable in the Analytik when the necessity for justifying the position of the categories is under discussion, but the real difficulty in which Kant was involved by his doctrine of space and time has its roots even deeper than the erroneous isolation of sensibility. He has not in any way “deduced” space and time, but, proceeding from the ordinary current view of sense-experience, has found these remaining as residuum after analysis. The relation in which they stand to the categories or pure notions is ambiguous; and, when Kant has to consider the fashion in which category and data of sense are to be brought together, he merely places side by side as a priori elements the pure connective notions and the pure forms of perception, and finds it, apparently, only a matter of contingent convenience that they should harmonize with one another and so render cognition possible. To this point also Fichte was the first to call attention.
Affection of sense, even when received into the pure forms of perception, is not matter of knowledge. For cognition there is requisite synthetic combination, and the intellectual function through which such combination takes place. The forms of intellectual function Kant proceeds to enumerate with the aid of the commonly received logical doctrines. For this reference to logic he has been severely blamed, but the precise nature of the debt due to the commonly accepted logical classification is very generally misconceived. Synthetic combination, Kant points out, is formally expressed in a judgment, which is the act of uniting representations. At the foundation of the judgments which express the types of synthetic combination, through which knowledge is possible, lie the pure general notions, the abstract aspect of the conditions under which objects are cognizable in experience. General logic has also to deal with the union of representations, though its unity is analytic merely, not synthetic. But the same intellectual function which serves to give unity in the analytic judgments of formal logic serves to give unity to the synthetic combinations of real perception. It appeared evident, then, to Kant that in the forms of judgment, as they are stated in the common logic, there must be found the analogues of the types of judgment which are involved in transcendental logic, or in the theory of real cognition. His view of the ordinary logic was wide and comprehensive, though in his restriction of the science to pure form one can trace the influence of his earlier training, and it is no small part of the value of the critical philosophy that it has revived the study of logic and prepared the way for a more thorough consideration of logical doctrines. The position assigned to logic by Kant is not, in all probability, one which can be defended; indeed, it is hard to see how Kant himself, in consistency with the critical doctrine of knowledge, could have retained many of the older logical theorems, but the precision with which the position was stated, and the sharpness with which logic was marked off from cognate philosophic disciplines, prepared the way for the more thoughtful treatment of the whole question.
Formal logic thus yields to Kant the list of the general notions, pure intellectual predicates, or categories, through which alone experience is possible for a conscious subject. It has already been noted how serious was the error involved in the description of these as notions, without further attempt to clear up their precise significance. Kant, indeed, was mainly influenced by his strong opposition to the Leibnitzian rationalism, and therefore assigns the categories to understanding, the logical faculty, without consideration of the question,—which might have been suggested by the previous statements of the Dissertation,—what relation these categories held to the empirical notions formed by comparison, abstraction and generalization when directed upon representations of objects. But when the categories are described as notions, i.e. formed products of thought, there rises of necessity the problem which had presented itself to Kant at every stage of his precritical thinking,—with what right can we assume that these notions apply to objects of experience? The answer which he proceeds to give altogether explodes the definition of the categories as formed products of thought, and enables us to see more clearly the nature of the new conception of experience which lies in the background of all the critical work.
The unity of the ego, which has been already noted as an element entering into the synthesis of cognition, is a unity of a quite distinct and peculiar kind. That the ego to which different parts of experience are presented must be the same ego, if there is to be cognition at all, is analytically evident; but the peculiarity is that the ego must be conscious of its own unity and identity, and this unity of self-consciousness is only possible in relation to difference not contained in the ego but given to it. The unity of apperception, then, as Kant calls it, is only possible in relation to synthetic unity of experience itself, and the forms of this synthetic unity, the categories, are, therefore, on the one hand, necessary as forms in which self-consciousness is realized, and, on the other hand, restricted in their application and validity to the data of given sense, or the particular element of experience. Thus experience presents itself as the organic combination of the particular of sense with the individual unity of the ego through the universal forms of the categories. Reference of representations to the unity of the object, synthetic unity of apperception, and subsumption of data of sense under the categories, are thus three sides or aspects of the one fundamental fact.
In this deduction of the categories, as Kant calls it, there appears for the first time an endeavour to connect together into one organic whole the several elements entering into experience. It is evident, however, that much was wanting before this essential task could be regarded as complete. Kant has certainly brought together self-consciousness, the system of the categories and data of sense. He has shown that the conditions of self-consciousness are the conditions of possible experience. But he has not shown, nor did he attempt to show, how it was that the conditions of self-consciousness are the very categories arrived at by consideration of the system of logical judgments. He does endeavour to show, but with small success, how the junction of category and data of sense is brought about, for according to his scheme these stood, to a certain extent at least, apart from and independent of one another. The failure to effect an organic combination of the several elements was the natural consequence of the false start which had been made.
The mode in which Kant endeavours to show how the several portions of cognition are subjectively realized brings into the clearest light the inconsistencies and imperfections of his doctrine. Sense had been assumed as furnishing the particular of knowledge, understanding as furnishing the universal; and it had been expressly declared that the particular was cognizable only in and through the universal. Still, each was conceived as somehow in itself complete and finished. Sense and understanding had distinct functions, and there was wanting some common term, some intermediary which should bring them into conjunction. Data of sense as purely particular could have nothing in common with the categories as purely universal. But data of sense had at least one universal aspect,—their aspect as the particular of the general forms, space and time. Categories were in themselves abstract and valueless, serviceable only when restricted to possible objects of experience. There was thus a common ground on which category and intuition were united in one, and an intermediate process whereby the universal of the category might be so far individualized as to comprehend the particular of sense. This intermediate process—which is really the junction of understanding and sense—Kant calls productive imagination, and it is only through productive imagination that knowledge or experience is actually realized in our subjective consciousness. The specific forms of productive imagination are called schemata, and upon the nature of the schema Kant gives much that has proved of extreme value for subsequent thought.
Productive imagination is thus the concrete element of knowledge, and its general modes are the abstract expression of the a priori laws of all possible experience. The categories are restricted in their applicability to the schema, i.e. to the pure forms of conjunction of the manifold in time, and in the modes of combination of schemata and categories we have the foundation for the rational sciences of mathematics and physics. Perception or real cognition is thus conceived as a complex fact, involving data of sense and pure perceptive forms, determined by the category and realized through productive imagination in the schema. The system of principles which may be deduced from the consideration of the mode in which understanding and sense are united by productive imagination is the positive result of the critical theory of knowledge, and some of its features are remarkable enough to deserve attention. According to his usual plan, Kant arranges these principles in conformity with the table of the categories, dividing the four classes, however, into two main groups, the mathematical and the dynamical. The mathematical principles are the abstract expression of the necessary mode in which data of sense are determined by the category in the form of intuitions or representations of objects; the dynamical are the abstract expression of the modes in which the existence of objects of intuition is determined. The mathematical principles are constitutive, i.e. express determinations of the objects themselves; the dynamical are regulative, i.e. express the conditions under which objects can form parts of real experience. Under the mathematical principles come the general rules which furnish the ground for the application of quantitative reasoning to real facts of experience. For as data of sense are only possible objects when received in the forms of space and time, and as space and time are only cognized when determined in definite fashion by the understanding through the schema of number (quantity) or degree (quality), all intuitions are extensive quantities and contain a real element, that of sense, which has degree. Under the dynamical principles, the general modes in which the existence of objects are determined, fall the analogies of experience, or general rules according to which the existence of objects in relation to one another can be determined, and the postulates of experience, the general rules according to which the existence of objects for us or our own subjective existence can be determined. The analogies of experience rest upon the order of perceptions in time, i.e. their permanence, succession or coexistence, and the principles are respectively those of substance, causality and reciprocity. It is to be observed that Kant in the expression of these analogies reaches the final solution of the difficulty which had so long pressed upon him, the difficulty as to the relation of the pure connective notions to experience. These notions are not directly applicable to experience, nor do we find in experience anything corresponding to the pure intellectual notions of substance, cause and reciprocity. But experience is for us the combination of data of sense in the forms of productive imagination, forms determined by the pure intellectual notions, and accordingly experience is possible for us only as in modes corresponding to the notions. The permanent in time is substance in any possible experience, and no experience is possible save through the determination of all changes as in relation to a permanent in time. Determined sequence is the causal relation in any possible experience, and no experience is possible save through the determination of perceived changes as in relation to a determined order in time. So with coexistence and reciprocity.
The postulates of experience are general expressions of the significance of existence in the experience of a conscious subject. The element of reality in such experience must always be given by intuition, and, so far as determination of existence is assumed, external intuition is a necessary condition of inner intuition. The existence of external things is as certain as the existence of the concrete subject, and the subject cannot cognise himself as existing save in relation to the world of facts of external perception. Inner and outer reality are strictly correlative elements in the experience of the conscious subject.
Throughout the positive portion of his theory of cognition, Kant has been beset by the doctrine that the categories, as finished, complete notions, have an import or significance transcending the bounds of possible experience. Morever, the manner in which space and time had been treated made it possible for him to regard these as contingent forms, necessary for intelligences like ours, but not to be viewed as absolutely necessary. The real meaning of these peculiarities is hardly ever expressed by him, though it is clear that the solution of the matter is to be found in the inadequacy of the positive theory to meet the demands of reason for completed explanation. But the conclusion to which he was led was one of the greatest importance for the after development of his system. Cognition is necessarily limited. The categories are restricted in their application to elements of possible experience to that which is presented in intuition, and all intuition is for the ego contingent. But to assert that cognition is limited and its matter contingent is to form the idea of an intelligence for whom cognition would not be limited and for whom the data of intuition would not be given, contingent facts, but necessarily produced along with the pure categories. This idea of an intuitive understanding is the definite expression for the complete explanation which reason demands, and it involves the conception of a realm of objects for such an understanding, a realm of objects which, in opposition to the phenomena of our relative and limited experience, may be called noumena or things-in-themselves. The noumenon, therefore, is in one way the object of a non-sensuous intuition, but more correctly is the expression of the limited and partial character of our knowledge. The idea of a noumenon is thus a limiting notion.
Assuredly, the difficult section of the Kritik, on the ground of the distinction between phenomena and noumena, would not have led to so much misconception as it has done, had Kant then brought forward what lies at the root of the distinction, his doctrine of reason and its functions. Understanding, as has been seen, is the faculty of cognition strictly so called; and within its realm, that of space, time and matter, positive knowledge is attainable. But the ultimate conception of understanding, that of the world of objects, quantitatively determined, and standing in relation of mutual reciprocity to one another, is not a final ground of explanation. We are still able and necessitated to reflect upon the whole world of phenomena as thus cognized, and driven to inquire after its significance. In our reflection we necessarily treat the objects, not as phenomena, as matters of positive, scientific knowledge, but as things-in-themselves, as noumena. The distinction between phenomena and noumena is, therefore, nothing but the expression of the distinction between understanding and reason, a distinction which, according to Kant, is merely subjective.
The specific function of reason is the effort after completed explanation of the experience presented in cognition. But in such effort there are no notions to be employed other than the categories, and these, as has already been seen, have validity only in reference to objects of possible experience. We may expect, then, to find the transcendent employment of the categories leading into various difficulties and inconsistencies. The criticism of reason in its specific aspect throws fresh light on the limits to human knowledge and the significance of experience.
Experience has presented itself as the complex result of relation between the ego or subject and the world of phenomena. Reason may therefore attempt a completed explanation either of the ego or of the world of phenomena or of the total relation between them. The three inquiries correspond to the subjects of the three ancient metaphysical sciences, rational psychology, rational cosmology, rational theology. It is readily seen, in regard to the first of them, that all attempts to determine the nature of the ego as a simple, perdurable, immaterial substance rest upon a confusion between the ego as pure logical unity and the ego as object of intuition, and involve a transcendent use of the categories of experience. It profits not to apply such categories to the soul, for no intuition corresponding to them is or can be given. The idea of the soul must be regarded as transcendent. So too when we endeavour, with the help of the categories of quantity, quality, relation and modality, to determine the nature and relation of parts of the world, we find that reason is landed in a peculiar difficulty. Any solution that can be given is too narrow for the demands of reason and too wide for the restrictions of understanding. The transcendent employment of the categories leads to antinomy, or equally balanced statements of apparently contradictory results. Due attention to the relation between understanding and reason enables us to solve the antinomies and to discover their precise origin and significance. Finally, the endeavour to find in the conception of God, as the supreme reality, the explanation of experience, is seen to lead to no valid conclusion. There is not any intuition given whereby we might show the reality of our idea of a Supreme Being. So far as knowledge is concerned, God remains a transcendental ideal.
The criticism of the transcendental ideas, which is also the examination of the claims of metaphysic to rank as a science, yields a definite and intelligible result. These ideas, the expression of the various modes in which unity of reason may be sought, have no objects corresponding to them in the sphere of cognition. They have not, therefore, like the categories, any constitutive value, and all attempts at metaphysical construction with the notions or categories of science must be resigned as of necessity hopeless. But the ideas are not, on that account, destitute of all value. They are supremely significant, as indicating the very essence of the function of reason. The limits of scientific cognition become intelligible, only when the sphere of understanding is subjected to critical reflexion and compared with the possible sphere of reason, that is, the sphere of rationally complete cognition. The ideas, therefore, in relation to knowledge strictly so called, have regulative value, for they furnish the general precepts for extension and completion of knowledge, and, at the same time, since they spring from reason itself, they have a real value in relation to reason as the very inmost nature of intelligence. Self-consciousness cannot be regarded as merely a mechanically determined result. Free reflection upon the whole system of knowledge is sufficient to indicate that the sphere of intuition, with its rational principles, does not exhaust conscious experience. There still remains, over and above the realm of nature, the realm of free, self-conscious spirit; and, within this sphere, it may be anticipated that the ideas will acquire a significance richer and deeper than the merely regulative import which they possess in reference to cognition.
Where, then, are we to look for this realm of free self-consciousness? Not in the sphere of cognition, where objects are mechanically determined, but in that of will or of reason as practical. That reason is practical or prescribes ends for itself is sufficiently manifest from the mere fact of the existence of the conception of morality or duty, a conception which can have no corresponding object within the sphere of intuition, and which is theoretically, or in accordance with the categories of understanding, incognizable. The presence of this conception is the datum upon which may be founded a special investigation of the conditions of reason as practical, a Kritik of pure practical reason, and the analysis of it yields the statement of the formal prescripts of morality.
The realization of duty is impossible for any being which is not thought as free, i.e. capable of self-determination. Freedom, it is true, is theoretically not an object of cognition, but its impossibility is not thereby demonstrated. The theoretical proof rather serves as useful aid towards the more exact determination of the nature and province of self-determination, and of its relation to the whole concrete nature of humanity. For in man self-determination and mechanical determination by empirical motives coexist, and only in so far as he belongs and is conscious of belonging both to the sphere of sense and to the sphere of reason does moral obligation become possible for him. The supreme end prescribed by reason in its practical aspect, namely, the complete subordination of the empirical side of nature to the prescripts of morality, demands, as conditions of its possible realization, the permanence of ethical progress in the moral agent, the certainty of freedom in self-determination, and the necessary harmonizing of the spheres of sense and reason through the intelligent author or ground of both. These conditions, the postulates of practical reason, are the concrete expressions of the three transcendental ideas, and in them we have the full significance of the ideas for reason. Immortality of the soul, positive freedom of will, and the existence of an intelligent ground of things are speculative ideas practically warranted, though theoretically neither demonstrable nor comprehensible.
Thus reason as self-determining supplies notions of freedom; reason as determined supplies categories of understanding. Union between the two spheres, which seem at first sight disparate, is found in the necessary postulate that reason shall be realized, for its realization is only possible in the sphere of sense. But such a union, when regarded in abstracto, rests upon, or involves, a notion of quite a new order, that of the adaptation of nature to reason, or, as it may be expressed, that of end in nature. Understanding and reason thus coalesce in the faculty of judgment, which mediates between, or brings together, the universal and particular elements in conscious experience. Judgment is here merely reflective; that is to say, the particular element is given, so determined as to be possible material of knowledge, while the universal, not necessary for cognition, is supplied by reason itself. The empirical details of nature, which are not determined by the categories of understanding, are judged as being arranged or ordered by intelligence, for in no other fashion could nature, in its particular, contingent aspect, be thought as forming a complete, consistent, intelligible whole.
The investigation of the conditions under which adaptation of nature to intelligence is conceivable and possible makes up the subject of the third great Kritik, the Kritik of Judgment, a work presenting unusual difficulties to the interpreter of the Kantian system. The general principle of the adaptation of nature to our faculties of cognition has two specific applications, with the second of which it is more closely connected than with the first. In the first place, the adaptation may be merely subjective, when the empirical condition for the exercise of judgment is furnished by the feeling of pleasure or pain; such adaptation is aesthetic. In the second place, the adaptation may be objective or logical, when empirical facts are given of such a kind that their possibility can be conceived only through the notion of the end realized in them; such adaptation is teleological, and the empirical facts in question are organisms.
Aesthetics, or the scientific consideration of the judgments resting on the feelings of pleasure and pain arising from the harmony or want of harmony between the particular of experience and the laws of understanding, is the special subject of the Kritik of Judgment, but the doctrine of teleology there unfolded is the more important for the complete view of the critical system. For the analysis of the teleological judgment and of the consequences flowing from it leads to the final statement of the nature of experience as conceived by Kant. The phenomena of organic production furnish data for a special kind of judgment, which, however, involves or rests upon a quite general principle, that of the contingency of the particular element in nature and its subjectively necessary adaptation to our faculty of cognition. The notion of contingency arises, according to Kant, from the fact that understanding and sense are distinct, that understanding does not determine the particular of sense, and, consequently, that the principle of the adaptation of the particular to our understanding is merely supplied by reason on account of the peculiarity or limited character of understanding. End in nature, therefore, is a subjective or problematic conception, implying the limits of understanding, and consequently resting upon the idea of an understanding constituted unlike ours—of an intuitive understanding in which particular and universal should be given together. The idea of such an understanding is, for cognition, transcendent, for no corresponding fact of intuition is furnished, but it is realized with practical certainty in relation to reason as practical. For we are, from practical grounds, compelled with at least practical necessity to ascribe a certain aim or end to this supreme understanding. The moral law, or reason as practical, prescribes the realization of the highest good, and such realization implies a higher order than that of nature. We must, therefore, regard the supreme cause as a moral cause, and nature as so ordered that realization of the moral end is in it possible. The final conception of the Kantian philosophy is, therefore, that of ethical teleology. As Kant expresses it in a remarkable passage of the Kritik, “The systematic unity of ends in this world of intelligences, which, although as mere nature it is to be called only the world of sense, can yet as a system of freedom be called an intelligible, i.e. moral world (regnum gratiae), leads inevitably to the teleological unity of all things which constitute this great whole according to universal natural laws, just as the unity of the former is according to universal and necessary moral laws, and unites the practical with the speculative reason. The world must be represented as having originated from an idea, if it is to harmonize with that use of reason without which we should hold ourselves unworthy of reason—viz. the moral use, which rests entirely on the idea of the supreme good. Hence all natural research tends towards the form of a system of ends, and in its highest development would be a physico-theology. But this, since it arises from the moral order as a unity grounded in the very essence of freedom and not accidentally instituted by external commands, establishes the teleology of nature on grounds which a priori must be inseparably connected with the inner possibility of things. The teleology of nature is thus made to rest on a transcendental theology, which takes the ideal of supreme ontological perfection as a principle of systematic unity, a principle which connects all things according to universal and necessary natural laws, since they all have their origin in the absolute necessity of a single primal being” (p. 538).
Bibliography.—Editions and works of reference are exceedingly numerous. Since 1896 an indispensable guide is the periodical review Kantstudien (Hamburg and Berlin, thrice yearly), edited by Hans Vaihinger and Bruno Bauch, which contains admirable original articles and notices of all important books on Kant and Kantianism. It has reproduced a number of striking portraits of Kant. For books up to 1887 see Erich Adickes in Philosophical Review (Boston, 1892 foll.); for 1890–1894 R. Reicke’s Kant Bibliographie (1895). See also in general the latest edition of Ueberweg’s Grundriss der Geschichte der Philosophie.
Editions.—Complete editions of Kant’s works are as follows: (1) G. Hartenstein (Leipzig, 1838–1839, 10 vols.); (2) K. Rosenkranz and F. W. Schubert (Leipzig, 1838–1840, 12 vols., the 12th containing a history of the Kantian school); (3) G. Hartenstein, “in chronological order” (Leipzig, 1867–1869, 8 vols.); (4) Kirchmann (in the “Philosophische Bibliothek,” Berlin, 1868–1873, 8 vols. and supplement); (5) under the auspices of the Königlich Preussische Akademie der Wissenschaften a new collected edition was begun in 1900 (vol. ii., 1906) in charge of a number of editors. It was planned in four sections: Works, Letters, MSS. Remains and Vorlesungen. There are also useful editions of the three Kritiks by Kehrbach, and critical editions of the Prolegomena and Kritik der reinen Vernunft by B. Erdmann (see also his Beiträge zur Geschichte und Revision des Textes von Kants Kritik der reinen Vernunft (1900). A useful selection (in English) is that of John Watson, The Philosophy of Kant (Glasgow, 1888).
Translations.—There are translations in all the principal languages. The chief English translators are J. P. Mahaffy, W. Hastie, T. K. Abbott, J. H. Bernard and Belfort Bax. Their versions have been mentioned in the section on “Works” above.
Biographical.—Schubert in the 11th vol. of Rosenkranz’s edition; Borowski, Darstellung des Lebens und Charakters Kants (Königsberg, 1804); Wasianski, Kant in seinen letzten Lebensjahren (Königsberg, 1804); Stuckenberg, The Life of Immanuel Kant (1882); Rudolf Reicke, Kants Briefwechsel (1900). See also several of the critical works below. On Kant’s portraits see D. Minden, Ueber Portraits und Abbildungen Imm. Kants (1868) and cf. frontispieces of Kantstudien (as above).
Critical (in alphabetical order of authors).—R. Adamson, Philosophy of Kant (1879; Germ. trans., 1880); Felix Adler, A Critique of Kant’s Ethics (1908); S. Aicher, Kants Begriff der Erkenntnis verglichen mit dem des Aristoteles (1907); M. Apel, Immanuel Kant: Ein Bild seines Lebens und Denkens (1904); Arnoldt, Kritische Exkurse im Gebiete der Kantforschung (1894); C. Bache, “Kants Prinzip der Autonomie im Verhältnis zur Idee des Reichs der Zwecke” (Kantstudien, 1909); B. Bauch, Luther und Kant (1904); Paul Boehm, Die vorkritischen Schriften Kants (1906); E. Caird, Critical Philosophy of Kant (2 vols., 1889); Chalybäus, Historische Entwickelung der spekulativen Philosophie von Kant bis Hegel (5th ed., 1860); H. S. Chamberlain, Immanuel Kant (1909); Cousin, Leçons sur la philosophie de Kant (4th ed., 1864); B. Erdmann, Immanuel Kant, Kants Kritizismus in der 1 und 2 Auflage der “Kritik der reinen Vernunft” (1877); O. Ewald, Kants kritischer Idealismus als Grundlage von Erkenntnistheorie und Ethik (1908) and Kants Methodologie in ihren Grundzügen (1906); Kuno Fischer, Immanuel Kant (4th ed., 1898–1899), Die beiden Kantischen Schulen in Jena (1862), and Commentary on Kant’s Kritik of Pure Reason (1878); F. Förster, Der Entwicklungsgang der Kantischen Ethik bis zur Kritik der reinen Vernunft (1893); A. Fouillée, Le Moralisme de Kant et l’amoralisme contemporaine (1905); C. R. E. von Hartmann, Kants Erkenntnistheorie und Metaphysik in den vier Perioden ihrer Entwickelung (1894); A. Hegler, Die Psychologie in Kants Ethik (1891); G. D. Hicks, Die Begriffe Phänomenon und Noumenon in ihrem Verhältniss zu einander bei Kant (1897); G. Jacoby, Herders und Kants Aesthetik (1907); W. Kabitz, Studien zur Entwickelungsgeschichte der Fichteschen Wissenschaftslehre aus der Kantischen Philosophie (1902); M. Kelly, Kant’s Philosophy as rectified by Schopenhauer (1909); W. Koppelmann, I. Kant und die Grundlagen der christlichen Religion (1890); M. Kronenberg, Kant: Sein Leben und seine Lehre (1897; 3rd ed., 1905); E. Kühnemann, Kants und Schillers Begründung der Aesthetik (1895) and Die Kantischen Studien Schillers und die Komposition des Wallenstein (1889); H. Levy, Kants Lehre vom Schematismus der reinen Verstandesbegriffe (1901); Arthur O. Lovejoy, Kant and the English Platonists (1908); J. P. Mahaffy, Kant’s Critical Philosophy for English Readers (1872–1874); W. Mengel, Kants Begründung der Religion (1900); A. Messer, Kants Ethik (1904); H. Meyer-Benfey, Herder und Kant (1904); Morris, Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason (Chicago, 1882); C. Oesterreich, Kant und die Metaphysik (1906); F. Paulsen, Kant: Sein Leben und seine Lehre (1898; 4th ed., 1904; Eng. 1902); Harold H. Prichard, Kant’s Theory of Knowledge (1909); A. Seth Pringle-Pattison, The Development from Kant to Hegel (1882); and, on Kant’s philosophy of religion, in The Philosophic Radicals (1907); F. Rademaker, Kants Lehren vom innern Sinn in der Kritik der reinen Vernunft (1908); R. Reininger, Kants Lehre vom inneren Sinn und seine Theorie der Erfahrung (1900); C. B. Renouvier, Critique de la doctrine de Kant (1906); H. Romundt, Kants philosophische Religionslehre eine Frucht der gesammten Vernunftkritik (1902); T. Ruyssen, Kant (1900); E. Saenger, Kants Lehre vom Glauben (1903); O. Schapp, Kants Lehre vom Genie und die Entstehung der “Kritik der Urteilskraft” (1901); Carl Schmidt, Beiträge zur Entwickelung der Kant’schen Ethik (1900); A. Schweitzer, Die Religionsphilosophie Kants (1899); H. Sidgwick, Lectures on the Philosophy of Kant (1905); J. H. Stirling, Text Book to Kant (1881); G. Simmel, Kant und Goethe (1906); L. Staehlin, Kant, Lotze und Ritschl (1889); O. Thon, Die Grundprinzipien der Kantischen Moralphilosophie (1895); T. Valentiner, Kant und die platonische Philosophie (1904); C. Vorländer, Kant, Schiller, Goethe (1907); G. C. Uphues, Kant und sein Vorgänger (1906); W. Wallace, Kant (1905); M. Wartenberg, Kants Theorie der Kausalität (1899); John Watson, Philosophy of Kant Explained (1908), Kant and his English Critics (1881); A. Weir, A Student’s Introduction to Critical Philosophy (1906); G. A. Wyneken, Hegel’s Kritik Kants (1898); W. Windelband, Kuno Fischer und sein Kant (1897).
On Kant’s theory of education, see E. F. Büchner, The Educational Theory of Immanuel Kant (trans., ed., intro., 1904); trans. of Ueber Pädagogik by Annette Churton (1899); J. Geluk, Kant (1883). (R. Ad.; X.)