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The phrases in their context!


But it is very easy to embarrass them by the introduction of counter-possibilities, which rest upon quite as good a foundation.
Such, for example, is the possibility of the division of a simple substance into several substances; and conversely, of the coalition of several into one simple substance.
For, although divisibility presupposes composition, it does not necessarily require a composition of substances, but only of the degrees (of the several faculties) of one and the same substance.
Now we can cogitate all the powers and faculties of the soul--even that of consciousness--as diminished by one half, the substance still remaining.
In the same way we can represent to ourselves without contradiction, this obliterated half as preserved, not in the soul, but without it; and we can believe that, as in this case every.
thing that is real in the soul, and has a degree--consequently its entire existence--has been halved, a particular substance would arise out of the soul.
For the multiplicity, which has been divided, formerly existed, but not as a multiplicity of substances, but of every reality as the quantum of existence in it; and the unity of substance was merely a mode of existence, which by this division alone has been transformed into a plurality of subsistence.
In the same manner several simple substances might coalesce into one, without anything being lost except the plurality of subsistence, inasmuch as the one substance would contain the degree of reality of all the former substances.
Perhaps, indeed, the simple substances, which appear under the form of matter, might (not indeed by a mechanical or chemical influence upon each other, but by an unknown influence, of which the former would be but the phenomenal appearance), by means of such a dynamical division of the parent-souls, as intensive quantities, produce other souls, while the former repaired the loss thus sustained with new matter of the same sort.
I am far from allowing any value to such chimeras; and the principles of our analytic have clearly proved that no other than an empirical use of the categories--that of substance, for example--is possible.
But if the rationalist is bold enough to construct, on the mere authority of the faculty of thought--without any intuition, whereby an object is given--a self-subsistent being, merely because the unity of apperception in thought cannot allow him to believe it a composite being, instead of declaring, as he ought to do, that he is unable to explain the possibility of a thinking nature; what ought to hinder the materialist, with as complete an independence of experience, to employ the principle of the rationalist in a directly opposite manner-- still preserving the formal unity required by his opponent?]
If, now, we take the above propositions--as they must be accepted as valid for all thinking beings in the system of rational psychology--in synthetical connection, and proceed, from the category of relation, with the proposition; "All thinking beings are, as such, substances," backwards through the series, till the circle is completed; we come at last to their existence, of which, in this system of rational psychology, substances are held to be conscious, independently of external things; nay, it is asserted that, in relation to the permanence which is a necessary characteristic of substance, they can of themselves determine external things.
It follows that idealism--at least problematical idealism, is perfectly unavoidable in this rationalistic system.
And, if the existence of outward things is not held to be requisite to the determination of the existence of a substance in time, the existence of these outward things at all, is a gratuitous assumption which remains without the possibility of a proof.
But if we proceed analytically--the "I think" as a proposition containing in itself an existence as given, consequently modality being the principle--and dissect this proposition, in order to ascertain its content, and discover whether and how this Ego determines its existence in time and space without the aid of anything external; the propositions of rationalistic psychology would not begin with the conception of a thinking being, but with a reality, and the properties of a thinking being in general would be deduced from the mode in which this reality is cogitated, after everything empirical had been abstracted; as is shown in the following table:
1 I think,
2 3 as Subject, as simple Subject,
4 as identical Subject, in every state of my thought.
Now, inasmuch as it is not determined in this second proposition, whether I can exist and be cogitated only as subject, and not also as a predicate of another being, the conception of a subject is here taken in a merely logical sense; and it remains undetermined, whether substance is to be cogitated under the conception or not.
But in the third proposition, the absolute unity of apperception- the simple Ego in the representation to which all connection and separation, which constitute thought, relate, is of itself important; even although it presents us with no information about the constitution or subsistence of the subject.
Apperception is something real, and the simplicity of its nature is given in the very fact of its possibility.