BLTC Press Titles

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The Pictorial Key to the Tarot

Arthur Edward Waite

My Man Jeeves

P. G. Wodehouse

The Art of Worldly Wisdom

Baltasar Gracian

Through the Looking Glass

Lewis Carroll

Critique of pure reason

by Immanuel Kant


1 The beginning of this Introduction down to 'But what is still more extraordinary,' is left out in the Second Edition. Instead of it Supplement IV.


experience is said to be, in ordinary parlance, known a posteriori or empirically only.

Now it appears, and this is extremely curious, that even with our experience different kinds of knowledge are mixed up, which must have their origin ajpriori, and which perhaps serve only to produce a certain conjnejstjpj^between fur sensuous representations^ For even if we remove from experience everything that belongs to the senses, there remain nevertheless certain original concepts, and certain judgments derived from them, which must have had their origin entirely a priori, and independent of all experience, because it is owing to them that we are able, or imagine we are able, to predicate more of the objects of our senses than can be learnt from mere experience, and that our propositions contain real generality and strict necessity, such as mere emjirical knowledge can never supply.]

But1 what is still more extraordinary is this, that certain kinds of knowledge leave the field of all [p. 3] possible experience, and seem to enlarge the sphere of our judgments beyond the limits of experience by means of concepts to which experience can never supply any corresponding objects.

And it is in this very kind of knowledge which transcends the world of the senses, and where experience can neither guide nor correct us, that reason prosecutes its investigations, which by their importance we consider far more excellent and by their tendency far more elevated than anything the understanding can find in the sphere of phenomena. Gay, we risk rather anything, even at the peril of error, than that we should surrender such investigations, either on the ground of their uncertainty, or from any feeling of indifference or contempt1. that help is entirely wanting. If I want to go beyond the concept A in order to find another concept B, connected with it, where is there anything on which I may restMnd through which a synthesis might become possible, considering that I cannot have the advantage of looking about in the field of experience? Take the proposition that all which happens has its cause. In the concept of something that happens I no doubt conceive of something existing preceded by time, and from this certain analytical judgments may be deduced. But the concept of cause is entirely outside that concept, ( and indicates something different from that which iA jjWy happens, and is by_no_means contained in that representation. How can I venture then to predicate of that which happens something totally different from it, and to represent the concept of cause, though not contained in it, as belonging to it, and belonging to it by necessity? What is here the unknown x, on which the understanding may rest in order to find beyond the concept A a foreign predicate B, which nevertheless is believed to be connected with it \ It cannot be experience, because the proposition that all which happens has its cause represents this second predicate as added to the subject not only with greater generality than experience can ever supply, but also with a character of npcggpjty, ar|d therefore C /[purely a priori, and based on concepts. All our 1 speculative knowledge^ a priori aims at and rests on such synthetical4*«. -expanding^propositions, [p. 10] for the analytical are no doubt very important and necessary, yet only in order to arrive at that clearness of concepts which is requisite for a safe and wide synthesis, serving as a really new addition to what we possess already.

1 The Second Edition gives here a new heading:—III, Philosophy requires a science to determine a priori the possibility, the principles, and the extent of all knowledge.

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