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Old 08-02-2016, 07:53 AM
Location: Michigan
722 posts, read 1,951,999 times
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Originally Posted by Cleverfield View Post
In Critique of Pure Reason Kant says, in his explanation of a priori truths, "If you remove from your empirical concept of any object, corporeal or incorporeal, all properties which experience has taught you, you cannot take away from it that property by which you conceive it as a substance, or inherent in a substance... you will have to admit that it has its seat in your faculty of knowledge a priori."

I'm not sure I quite understand. Is he saying that if I know a guy, Steve, and I take away all the sensory properties that I associate with Steve, I still have the concept of Steve, and therefore Steve is a priori knowledge? That doesn't make any sense to me, because I would first have to have experienced Steve in order to have knowledge of Steve. For all I know a priori, I could be the only person in the universe, and everything around me is an illusion. The concept of Steve only came to me because I had an experience of Steve. Can someone please explain what Kant means here?
First of all, you should tell us where to find the quotation so we can look it up and see the context.

Lacking that, I'm inclined to agree with SmittyJ. The antecedent of the "it" in "it has its seat" is "that property", not any specific object. Its about substantiality itself, not about any particular substance.

Your Steve example does not address this point. It's not about how you know that Steve is Steve. It's about how it is even possible to organize your sensations into thoughts of discrete identifiable beings that you can learn more about through experience.
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