Front Page Titles (by Subject) II: [ Anticipations of Perception - Critique of Pure Reason
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II: [ Anticipations of Perception - Friedrich Max Müller, Critique of Pure Reason 
Immanuel Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason. In Commemoration of the Centenary of its First Publication. Translated into English by F. Max Mueller (2nd revised ed.) (New York: Macmillan, 1922).
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[Anticipations of Perception
The principle which anticipates all perceptions as such, is this: In all phenomena sensation, and the Real which corresponds to it in the object (realitas phaenomenon), has an intensive quantity, that is, a degree1 ]
All knowledge by means of which I may know and determine a priori whatever belongs to empirical knowledge, may be called an anticipation, and it is no doubt in this sense that Epicurus used the expression [p. 167] πρόληψις. But as there is always in phenomena something which can never be known a priori, and constitutes the real difference between empirical and a priori knowledge, namely, sensation (as matter of perception), it follows that this can never be anticipated. The pure determinations, on the contrary, in space and time, as regards both figure and quantity, may be called anticipations of phenomena, because they represent a priori, whatever may be given a posteriori in experience. If, however, there should be something in every sensation that could be known a priori as sensation in general, even if no particular sensation be given, this would, in a very special sense, deserve to be called anticipation, because it seems extraordinary that we should anticipate experience in that which concerns the matter of experience and can be derived from experience only. Yet such is really the case.
Apprehension, by means of sensation only, fills no more than one moment (if we do not take into account the succession of many sensations). Sensation, therefore, being that in the phenomenon the apprehension of which does not form a successive synthesis progressing from parts to a complete representation, is without any extensive quantity, and the absence of sensation in one and the same moment would represent it as empty, therefore = 0. [p. 168] What corresponds in every empirical intuition to sensation is reality (realitas phaenomenon), what corresponds to its absence is negation = 0. Every sensation, however, is capable of diminution, so that it may decrease, and gradually vanish. There is therefore a continuous connection between reality in phenomena and negation, by means of many possible intermediate sensations, the difference between which is always smaller than the difference between the given sensation and zero or complete negation. It thus follows that the real in each phenomenon has always a quantity, though it is not perceived in apprehension, because apprehension takes place by a momentary sensation, not by a successive synthesis of many sensations; it does not advance from the parts to the whole, and though it has a quantity, it has not an extensive quantity.
That quantity which can be apprehended as unity only, and in which plurality can be represented by approximation only to negation = 0, I call intensive quantity. Every reality therefore in a phenomenon has intensive quantity, that is, a degree. If this reality is considered as a cause (whether of sensation, or of any other reality in the phenomenon, for instance, of change) the degree of that reality as a cause we call a momentum, for instance, the momentum of gravity: and this because the degree indicates that quantity only, the apprehension of [p. 169] which is not successive, but momentary. This I mention here in passing, because we have not yet come to consider causality.
Every sensation, therefore, and every reality in phenomena, however small it may be, has a degree, that is, an intensive quantity which can always be diminished, and there is between reality and negation a continuous connection of possible realities, and of possible smaller perceptions. Every colour, red, for instance, has a degree, which, however small, is never the smallest; and the same applies to heat, the momentum of gravity, etc.
This peculiar property of quantities that no part of them is the smallest possible part (no part indivisible) is called continuity. Time and space are quanta continua, because there is no part of them that is not enclosed between limits (points and moments), no part that is not itself again a space or a time. Space consists of spaces only, time of times. Points and moments are only limits, mere places of limitation, and as places presupposing always those intuitions which they are meant to limit or to determine. Mere places or parts that might be given before space or time, could [p. 170] never be compounded into space or time. Such quantities can also be called flowing, because the synthesis of the productive imagination which creates them is a progression in time, the continuity of which we are wont to express by the name of flowing, or passing away.
All phenomena are therefore continuous quantities, whether according to their intuition as extensive, or according to mere perception (sensation and therefore reality) as intensive quantities. When there is a break in the synthesis of the manifold of phenomena, we get only an aggregate of many phenomena, not a phenomenon, as a real quantum; for aggregate is called that what is produced, not by the mere continuation of productive synthesis of a certain kind, but by the repetition of a synthesis (beginning and) ending at every moment. If I call thirteen thalers a quantum of money, I am right, provided I understand by it the value of a mark of fine silver. This is a continuous quantity in which no part is the smallest, but every part may constitute a coin which contains material for still smaller coins. But if I understand by it thirteen round thalers, that is, so many coins (whatever their value in silver may be), then I should be wrong in speaking of a quantum of thalers, but should call it an aggregate, that is a number of coins. As every number must be founded on some unity, every [p. 171] phenomenon, as a unity, is a quantum, and, as such, a continuum.
If then all phenomena, whether considered as extensive or intensive, are continuous quantities, it might seem easy to prove with mathematical evidence that all change also (transition of a thing from one state into another) must be continuous, if the causality of the change did not lie quite outside the limits of transcendental philosophy, and presupposed empirical principles. For the understanding a priori tells us nothing of the possibility of a cause which changes the state of things, that is, determines them to the opposite of a given state, and this not only because it does not perceive the possibility of it (for such a perception is denied to us in several kinds of knowledge a priori), but because the changeability relates to certain determinations of phenomena to be taught by experience only, while their cause must lie in that which is unchangeable. But as the only materials which we may use at present are the pure fundamental concepts of every possible experience, from which all that is empirical is excluded, we cannot here, without injuring the unity of our system, anticipate general physical science which is based upon certain fundamental experiences. [p. 172]
Nevertheless, there is no lack of evidence of the great influence which our fundamental principle exercises in anticipating perceptions, nay, even in making up for their deficiency, in so far as it (that principle) stops any false conclusions that might be drawn from this deficiency.
If therefore all reality in perception has a certain degree, between which and negation there is an infinite succession of ever smaller degrees, and if every sense must have a definite degree of receptivity of sensations, it follows that no perception, and therefore no experience, is possible, that could prove, directly or indirectly, by any roundabout syllogisms, a complete absence of all reality in a phenomenon. We see therefore that experience can never supply a proof of empty space or empty time, because the total absence of reality in a sensuous intuition can itself never be perceived, neither can it be deduced from any phenomenon whatsoever and from the difference of degree in its reality; nor ought it ever to be admitted in explanation of it. For although the total intuition of a certain space or time is real all through, no part of it being empty, yet as every reality has its degree which, while the extensive quality of the phenomenon remains unchanged, [p. 173] may diminish by infinite degrees down to the nothing or void, there must be infinitely differing degrees in which space and time are filled, and the intensive quantity in phenomena may be smaller or greater, although the extensive quantity as given in intuition remains the same.
We shall give an example. Almost all natural philosophers, perceiving partly by means of the momentum of gravity or weight, partly by means of the momentum of resistance against other matter in motion, that there is a great difference in the quantity of various kinds of matter though their volume is the same, conclude unanimously that this volume (the extensive quantity of phenomena) must in all of them, though in different degrees, contain a certain amount of empty space. Who could have thought that these mathematical and mechanical philosophers should have based such a conclusion on a purely metaphysical hypothesis, which they always profess to avoid, by assuming that the real in space (I do not wish here to call it impenetrability or weight, because these are empirical concepts) must always be the same, and can differ only by its extensive quantity, that is, by the number of parts. I meet this hypothesis, for which they could find no ground in experience, and which therefore is purely metaphysical, by a transcendental demonstration, which, though it is not intended to explain the difference in the [p. 174] filling of spaces, will nevertheless entirely remove the imagined necessity of their hypothesis which tries to explain that difference by the admission of empty spaces, and which thus restores, at least to the understanding, its liberty to explain to itself that difference in a different way, if any such hypothesis be wanted in natural philosophy.
We can easily perceive that although the same spaces are perfectly filled by two different kinds of matter, so that there is no point in either of them where matter is not present, yet the real in either, the quality being the same, has its own degrees (of resistance or weight) which, without any diminution of its extensive quantity, may grow smaller and smaller in infinitum, before it reaches the void and vanishes. Thus a certain expansion which fills a space, for instance, heat, and every other kind of phenomenal reality, may, without leaving the smallest part of space empty, diminish by degrees in infinitum, and nevertheless fill space with its smaller, quite as much as another phenomenon with greater degrees. I do not mean to say that this is really the case with different kinds of matter according to their specific of gravity. I only want to show by a fundamental principle of the pure [p. 175] understanding, that the nature of our perceptions renders such an explanation possible, and that it is wrong to look upon the real in phenomena as equal in degree, and differing only in aggregation and its extensive quantity, nay to maintain this on the pretended authority of an a priori principle of the understanding.
Nevertheless, this anticipation of perception is apt to startle1 an enquirer accustomed to and rendered cautious by transcendental disquisitions, and we may naturally wonder that the understanding should be able to anticipate2 a synthetical proposition with regard to the degree of all that is real in phenomena, and, therefore, with regard to the possibility of an internal difference of sensation itself, apart from its empirical quality; and it seems therefore a question well worthy of a solution, how the understanding can pronounce synthetically and a priori about phenomena, nay, anticipate them with regard to what, properly speaking, is empirical, namely, sensation.
The quality of sensation, colour, taste, etc., is always empirical, and cannot be conceived a priori. But the real that corresponds to sensations in general, as opposed to negation =0, does only represent something the concept of which implies being, and means nothing but the synthesis in any empirical consciousness. In the internal sense that empirical consciousness can be raised from 0 to [p. 176] any higher degree, so that an extensive quantity of intuition (for instance, an illuminated plain) excites the same amount of sensation, as an aggregate of many other less illuminated plains. It is quite possible, therefore, to take no account of the extensive quantity of a phenomenon, and yet to represent to oneself in the mere sensation in any single moment a synthesis of a uniform progression from 0 to any given empirical consciousness. All sensations, as such, are therefore given a posteriori1 only, but their quality, in so far as they must possess a degree, can be known a priori. It is remarkable that of quantities in general we can know one quality only a priori, namely, their continuity, while with regard to quality (the real of phenomena) nothing is known to us a priori, but their intensive quantity, that is, that they must have a degree. Everything else is left to experience.
[1 ]Here follows in the Second Edition, Supplement XVI b.
[1 ]Kant wrote, etwas — etwas Auffallendes, the second etwas being the adverb. Rosenkranz has left out one etwas, without necessity. It seems necessary, however, to add Überlegung after transcendentalen, as done by Erdmann.
[2 ]Anticipiren könne must certainly be added, as suggested by Schopenhauer.
[1 ]The first and later editions have a priori. The correction is first made in the Seventh Edition, 1828.