A Super Concise Presentation of Kant’s Transcendental Aesthetic and Analytic.

August 7, 2014

Looking and Seeing.

Time and space are nothing other than our way of looking at (or viewing) things. I can see a tree and I can also see a tree there or I can see it now or I can see it before [which, as a conscious memory in mind, is always now, and so where “before” is a way of viewing or looking at that memory, of seeing a “now” (when conscious of the memory) as a “before” or “earlier” (having occurred earlier), and so where this now is after a before*].

* To make this clear, suppose I think about being in school when I was 6 years old and I remember the teacher calling me out for some reason. While that picture of the teacher calling me out is in my mind, while I am thinking about it, the consciousness of that is a now. I am picturing it now. But I view it or look at it as a before, i.e., as a memory.

There is no here or there or now or before in the appearances that arise in our brainariums.* All this is added to the appearances via our looking so that an automobile, for example, is now here and earlier was there, such then that this is a second look at the auto. There is no here or there or “second look” given in the appearances, but rather this is added to the appearances via our looking (as the form of our looking at appearances), for all this is simply our way of viewing the appearances, how we view and see them. If I see a face in a cloud, I understand that that face is in my looking and not in the cloud on its own (which would be a great illusion indeed).

* Light waves strike the eye, pass (inverted) through the lens to the retina, are changed into electrical impulses which the optic nerves deliver to the opposite sides of the brain and there a correction and synchronization takes place and a panorama unfolds which we call the universe. That panorama is the brainarium.

And so the entire universe that we spy before us is a projection in the brainarium which (universe) we picture as existing even when our eyes are closed or when they blink. It’s like we imagine a giant brainarium of God in which we ourselves are included along with other “real things” and which we can then use to realize that the appearances before us are merely representations of these “real things” and do not exist on their own as they appear to us, e.g., getting physically smaller at a distance, or fingers that split into two “ghosts” as they approach the nose, or a face in a cloud.*

* See also “Kant and the meaning of the Anschauung.”

Thinking and Recognizing.

Viewing is the first element; how we look at things. The second element is how we think about things. And in a very short exposition our thinking goes like this: Our mode of thinking and understanding is so constituted that for us the term “event” (something that has happened, something new) is a synonym for the term “effect”* such that upon the sighting of an event we are immediately prompted to look about for the cause, for we know it is there since (again per the form of our understanding) all events are effects, i.e., effects of something preceding which was a necessary condition (the cause) for the reality of this new state of things called event.** ***

* I doubt that the animals realize this.

** So the reason David Hume could not find any causation in the appearances is because they are not in the appearances but only in the connecting of the appearances by such (hard-wired) categories of understanding as cause and effect, and so only in the thinking about the appearances; just as here, there, etc., are not in the appearances per se, but only in our looking at them.

*** There are several other connective categories besides cause and effect, e.g., substance, possibility, reality.

When we put these two together, our looking and our thinking, we come up with the world of objects of experience (provided by our capacity of understanding), where appearances follow certain laws of nature and are representations of those objects. Without this the appearances we spy would be thought of as things on their own which physically get smaller when further removed from us and not simply seem to, for example, and where trees approach people as the people approach the trees (especially noticeable when looking at objects while driving along a road), and where people actually speak softer at a distance (and not merely sound like it).

See also Circles In The Air for a much more extended exposition of the recognition of objects. And then also Anschauung. And finally Kantland (For a quick introduction to some Kantian thinking.)

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