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The phrases in their context!


That We may be able to enumerate with systematic precision these ideas according to a principle, we must remark, in the first place, that it is from the understanding alone that pure and transcendental conceptions take their origin; that the reason does not properly give birth to any conception, but only frees the conception of the understanding from the unavoidable limitation of a possible experience, and thus endeavours to raise it above the empirical, though it must still be in connection with it.
This happens from the fact that, for a given conditioned, reason demands absolute totality on the side of the conditions (to which the understanding submits all phenomena), and thus makes of the category a transcendental idea.
This it does that it may be able to give absolute completeness to the empirical synthesis, by continuing it to the unconditioned (which is not to be found in experience, but only in the idea).
Reason requires this according to the principle; If the conditioned is given the whole of the conditions, and consequently the absolutely unconditioned, is also given, whereby alone the former was possible.
First, then, the transcendental ideas are properly nothing but categories elevated to the unconditioned; and they may be arranged in a table according to the titles of the latter.
But, secondly, all the categories are not available for this purpose, but only those in which the synthesis constitutes a series--of conditions subordinated to, not co-ordinated with, each other.
Absolute totality is required of reason only in so far as concerns the ascending series of the conditions of a conditioned; not, consequently, when the question relates to the descending series of consequences, or to the aggregate of the co-ordinated conditions of these consequences.
For, in relation to a given conditioned, conditions are presupposed and considered to be given along with it.
On the other hand, as the consequences do not render possible their conditions, but rather presuppose them--in the consideration of the procession of consequences (or in the descent from the given condition to the conditioned), we may be quite unconcerned whether the series ceases or not; and their totality is not a necessary demand of reason.
Thus we cogitate--and necessarily--a given time completely elapsed up to a given moment, although that time is not determinable by us.
But as regards time future, which is not the condition of arriving at the present, in order to conceive it; it is quite indifferent whether we consider future time as ceasing at some point, or as prolonging itself to infinity.
Take, for example, the series m, n, o, in which n is given as conditioned in relation to m, but at the same time as the condition of o, and let the series proceed upwards from the conditioned n to m (l, k, i, etc.), and also downwards from the condition n to the conditioned o (p, q, r, etc.)--I must presuppose the former series, to be able to consider n as given, and n is according to reason (the totality of conditions) possible only by means of that series.
But its possibility does not rest on the following series o, p, q, r, which for this reason cannot be regarded as given, but only as capable of being given (dabilis).
I shall term the synthesis of the series on the side of the conditions--from that nearest to the given phenomenon up to the more remote--regressive; that which proceeds on the side of the conditioned, from the immediate consequence to the more remote, I shall call the progressive synthesis.
The former proceeds in antecedentia, the latter in consequentia.
The cosmological ideas are therefore occupied with the totality of the regressive synthesis, and proceed in antecedentia, not in consequentia.
When the latter takes place, it is an arbitrary and not a necessary problem of pure reason; for we require, for the complete understanding of what is given in a phenomenon, not the consequences which succeed, but the grounds or principles which precede.
In order to construct the table of ideas in correspondence with the table of categories, we take first the two primitive quanta of all our intuitions, time and space.
Time is in itself a series (and the formal condition of all series), and hence, in relation to a given present, we must distinguish a priori in it the antecedentia as conditions (time past) from the consequentia (time future).
Consequently, the transcendental idea of the absolute totality of the series of the conditions of a given conditioned, relates merely to all past time.
According to the idea of reason, the whole past time, as the condition of the given moment, is necessarily cogitated as given.