Critique of Pure Reason – Preface B

Problems of logic and mechanisms of mind

Kant argues that ever since ancient times, logic had been on a secure course and has failed to retract even a single step. Kant finds it remarkable that in his day, it had not been able to advance one single step, which has led to the assumption among many people that it had become perfected. While modern modes of analysis have sought to expand the different chapters of the mental facilities of knowledge, metaphysical chapters have sought either the origin of such knowledge or the different degrees of certainty in which humans can judge such objects to be e.g. scepticism, idealism.

Metaphysics also deals in the anthropological chapters of prejudices (their causes and remedies), which could only arise from their ignorance of the peculiar nature of science. If there is any element of reason in such modes of knowledge, something in them must be recognized prior to our experiance of it, and this knowledge must stand in a paired in interaction with a thing, object, etc. It either:

Determination: This refers to reason determining the objects and its concept, which are supplied from elsewhere.
Actulization: Making the object and its concept actual.

While the former is theoretical, the latter is practical according to Kant. Mathematics and Physics are two theoretical sciences, where reason determines the object and its concept. Mathematics doing so in a much purer way than physics. He distinguishes these two disciplines from metaphysics, which seeks to justify itself in itself (here, Kant arguing that Mathematics actually uses intuition i.e. Real world application). While it is supposed that all our knowledge conforms to the object, all attempts to establish the a priori means of concepts has yet proved unfruitful. Kant argues that if intuition conformed to the constitution of objects, how we could know anything about them a priori. Intuition here, referring to that which is immediately present in the senses (and not to be confused by the term Intuitive found in Preface A). Yet if the objects of the senses conformed to the constitution of the facility of our intuition, he could very much see it. In other words, the mechanism which makes intuition possible in human experience. Yet we would have to refer to them as representations which determine the object. To Kant, there are rules within me which all objects of our experience must necessarily conform.  These conditions of possible experience are, or at least seem, impossible to transcend. Yet this is a key component of metaphysics. Kant also argues that there is a thing in itself, which exists outside our conception and is impossible to comprehend.

Purpose of the work

Kant’s aim is to change and bring about a complete revolution in the subject of metaphysics. It is more a critique on the method of metaphysics, rather than the science of the subject. For Kant, nothing can be attributed to objects by virtue of a priori itself, except what the thinking subject takes from within itself. Kant also argues that in pure reason, there exists a singularity or unity where every part exists for every other part. Yet for Kant, this is exactly the benefit of metaphysics. It can group together all the different mode and categories of thought and knowledge, and make them comprehendible, intelligible and interlinked.  Kant’s critique merely wishes to keep metaphysics at a state where it is practical and not oversaturated. Metaphysics can help us understand how we interact with objects and entities within time and space, as well as how such entities and objects are made intelligible in these realms. It can also help explain if the human soul can be free, but be imbedded in nature which is not free.

Kant argues that metaphysics has always existed and always will, so it is philosophy’s job to block the source of its errors and its dogmatic tendencies. By doing this, Kant hopes to cut of atheism, disbelief, idealism, materialism, scepticism and idealism which he considers dangerous to the public mind. The critique is not opposed to dogmatism per se, for Kant acknowledges that science must always be dogmatic. Rather, dogmatism of pure reason which does not question the origin of its principles. Kant’s conception of metaphysics will be dogmatic, yet systematic and thorough.