Front Page Titles (by Subject) SUPPLEMENT XXVIII - Critique of Pure Reason
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SUPPLEMENT XXVIII - 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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Secondly. The principle that realities (as mere assertions) never logically contradict each other, is perfectly true with regard to the relation of concepts, but [p. 273] has no meaning whatever either as regards nature or as regards anything by itself (of which we can have no concept whatever).1 The real opposition, as when A - B = 0, takes place everywhere wherever one reality is united with another in the same subject and one annihilates the effect of the other. This is constantly brought before our eyes in nature by all impediments and reactions which, as depending on forces, must be called realitates phaenomena. General mechanics can even give us the empirical condition of that opposition in an a priori rule, by attending to the opposition of directions; a condition of which the transcendental concept of reality knows nothing. Although Leibniz himself did not announce this proposition with all the pomp of a new principle, he yet made use of it for new assertions, and his followers expressly inserted it in their system of the Leibniz-Wolfian philosophy. According to this principle all evils, for example, are nothing but the consequences of the limitations of created beings, that is, they are negations, because these can be the only opposites of reality (which is perfectly true in the mere concept of the thing in general, but not in things as phenomena). In like manner the followers of Leibniz consider it not only possible, but even natural, to unite all reality, without fearing any opposition, in one being; because the only opposition they know is that [p. 274] of contradiction (by which the concept of a thing itself is annihilated), while they ignore that of reciprocal action and reaction, when one real cause destroys the effect of another, a process which we can only represent to ourselves when the conditions are given in sensibility.
The concept of a cubic foot of space, wherever and how many times soever I may think it, is in itself perfectly the same. But two cubic feet are nevertheless distinguished in space, by their places alone (numero diversa), and these places are conditions of the intuition in which the object of our concept is given, and which, though they do not belong to the concept, belong nevertheless to the whole of sensibility. In a similar manner there is no contradiction in the concept of a thing, unless something negative has been connected with something affirmative; and simply affirmative concepts, if joined together, cannot neutralise each other. But in sensuous intuition, where we have to deal with reality (for instance motion), there exist conditions (opposite directions) of which in the concept of motion in general no account was taken, and which render possible an opposition (not however a logical one), and from mere positives produce zero=0, so that it would be wrong to say that all reality must be in perfect agreement, if there is no opposition between its concepts.1 If we keep to concepts only, that which we call internal is the substratum of all relations or [p. 283] external determinations. If therefore I take no account of any of the conditions of intuition, and confine myself solely to the concept of a thing, then I may drop no doubt all external relations, and yet there must remain the concept of something which implies no relation, but internal determinations only. From this it might seem to follow that there exists in everything something (substance) which is absolutely internal, preceding all external determinations, nay, rendering them possible. It might likewise seem to follow that this substratum, as no longer containing any external relations, must be simple (for corporeal things are always relations only, at least of their parts existing side by side); and as we know of no entirely internal determinations beyond those of our own internal sense, that substratum might be taken, not only as simple, but likewise (according to the analogy of our own internal sense) as determined by representations, so that all things would be really monads, or simple beings endowed with representations. All this would be perfectly true, unless something more than the concept of a thing in general [p. 284] were required in order to give us objects of external intuition, although the pure concept need take no account of it. But we see, on the contrary, that a permanent phenomenon in space (impenetrable extension) may contain mere relations without anything that is absolutely internal, and yet be the first substratum of all external perception. It is true that if we think by concepts only, we cannot think something external without something internal, because conceptions of relations presuppose things given, and are impossible without them. But as in intuition something is contained which does not exist at all in the mere concept of a thing, and as it is this which supplies the substratum that could never be known by mere concepts, namely, a space which, with all that is contained in it, consists of purely formal, or real relations also, I am not allowed to say, that, because nothing can be represented by mere concepts without something absolutely internal, there could not be in the real things themselves, comprehended under those concepts, and in their intuition, anything external, without a foundation of something absolutely internal. For, if we take no account of all conditions of intuition, then no doubt nothing remains in the mere concept but the internal in general, with its mutual relations, through which alone the external is possible. This necessity, however, which depends on abstraction alone, does not apply to things, if [p. 285] they are given in intuition with determinations expressive of mere relations, and without having for their foundation anything internal, for the simple reason that they are phenomena only, and not things in themselves. Whatever we may know of matter are nothing but relations (what we call internal determinations are but relatively internal); but there are among these relations some which are independent and permanent, and by which a certain object is given us. That I, when abstraction is made of these relations, have nothing more to think, does not do away with the concept of a thing, as a phenomenon, nor with the concept of an object in abstracto. It only shows the impossibility of such an object as could be determined by mere concepts, that is of a noumenon. It is no doubt startling to hear, that a thing should consist entirely of relations, but such a thing as we speak of is merely a phenomenon, and can never be thought by means of the categories only; nay, it consists itself of the mere relation of something in general to our senses. In the same manner, it is impossible for us to represent the relations of things in abstracto as long as we deal with concepts only, in any other way than that one should be the cause of determinations in the other, this being the very concept of our understanding, with regard to relations. But as in this case we make abstraction of all intuition, a whole class of determinations, by which the manifold determines its place to each of its component parts, that is, the form of sensibility (space), disappears, though in truth [p. 286] it precedes all empirical casuality.
[See page 400]
I have sometimes called it formal idealism also, in order to distinguish it from the material or common idealism, which doubts or denies the very existence of external things. In some cases it seems advisable to use these terms rather than those in the text, in order to prevent all misunderstanding. (This is an additional note in the Second Edition.)
Printed in the United States of America.
[1 ]‘Whatever’ is omitted in the Second Edition.
[1 ]If one wished to use here the usual subterfuge that realitates noumena, at least, cannot oppose each other, it would be necessary to produce an example of such pure and non-sensuous reality, to enable us to see whether it was something or nothing. No example, however, can be produced, except from experience, which never offers us anything but phenomena; so that this proposition means really nothing but that a concept, which contains affirmatives only, contains no negative, a proposition which we at least have never doubted.