PROLEGOMENA | PTAFM | SEL001 | IMMANUEL KANT
|| PREAMBLE ON THE PECULIARITIES OF ALL METAPHYSICAL COGNITION ||
SECTION 01 | OF THE SOURCES OF METAPHYSICS
If it becomes desirable to formulate any cognition as science , it will be necessary first to determine accurately those peculiar features which no other science has in common with it , constituting its characteristics ; otherwise the boundaries of all sciences become confused , and none of them can be treated thoroughly according to its nature .
The characteristics of a science may consist of a simple difference of object , or of the sources of cognition , or of the kind of cognition , or perhaps of all three conjointly . On this , therefore , depends the idea of a possible science and its territory .
First , as concerns the sources of metaphysical cognition , its very concept implies that they cannot be empirical . Its principles ( including not only its maxims but its basic notions ) must never be derived from experience . It must not be physical but metaphysical knowledge , viz , knowledge lying beyond experience . It can therefore have for its basis neither external experience , which is the source of physics proper , nor internal , which is the basis of empirical psychology . It is therefore a priori knowledge , coming from pure Understanding and pure Reason .
But so far Metaphysics would not be distinguishable from pure Mathematics ; it must therefore be called pure philosophical cognition ; and for the meaning of this term I refer to the Critique of the Pure Reason ( II Methodology Of Transcendentalism Chap I Sect i ) , where the distinction between these two employments of the reason is sufficiently explained . So much for the sources of metaphysical knowledge .
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