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The phrases in their context!


We take from experience nothing more than is requisite to present us with an object (in general) of the external or of the internal sense; in the former case, by the mere conception of matter (impenetrable and inanimate extension), in the latter, by the conception of a thinking being--given in the internal empirical representation, I think.
As to the rest, we must not employ in our metaphysic of these objects any empirical principles (which add to the content of our conceptions by means of experience), for the purpose of forming by their help any judgements respecting these objects.
Secondly, what place shall we assign to empirical psychology, which has always been considered a part of metaphysics, and from which in our time such important philosophical results have been expected, after the hope of constructing an a priori system of knowledge had been abandoned?
I answer; It must be placed by the side of empirical physics or physics proper; that is, must be regarded as forming a part of applied philosophy, the a priori principles of which are contained in pure philosophy, which is therefore connected, although it must not be confounded, with psychology.
Empirical psychology must therefore be banished from the sphere of metaphysics, and is indeed excluded by the very idea of that science.
In conformity, however, with scholastic usage, we must permit it to occupy a place in metaphysics--but only as an appendix to it.
We adopt this course from motives of economy; as psychology is not as yet full enough to occupy our attention as an independent study, while it is, at the same time, of too great importance to be entirely excluded or placed where it has still less affinity than it has with the subject of metaphysics.
It is a stranger who has been long a guest; and we make it welcome to stay, until it can take up a more suitable abode in a complete system of anthropology--the pendant to empirical physics.
The above is the general idea of metaphysics, which, as more was expected from it than could be looked for with justice, and as these pleasant expectations were unfortunately never realized, fell into general disrepute.
Our Critique must have fully convinced the reader that, although metaphysics cannot form the foundation of religion, it must always be one of its most important bulwarks, and that human reason, which naturally pursues a dialectical course, cannot do without this science, which checks its tendencies towards dialectic and, by elevating reason to a scientific and clear self-knowledge, prevents the ravages which a lawless speculative reason would infallibly commit in the sphere of morals as well as in that of religion.
We may be sure, therefore, whatever contempt may be thrown upon metaphysics by those who judge a science not by its own nature, but according to the accidental effects it may have produced, that it can never be completely abandoned, that we must always return to it as to a beloved one who has been for a time estranged, because the questions with which it is engaged relate to the highest aims of humanity, and reason must always labour either to attain to settled views in regard to these, or to destroy those which others have already established.
Metaphysic, therefore--that of nature, as well as that of ethics, but in an especial manner the criticism which forms the propaedeutic to all the operations of reason--forms properly that department of knowledge which may be termed, in the truest sense of the word, philosophy.
The path which it pursues is that of science, which, when it has once been discovered, is never lost, and never misleads.
Mathematics, natural science, the common experience of men, have a high value as means, for the most part, to accidental ends--but at last also, to those which are necessary and essential to the existence of humanity.
But to guide them to this high goal, they require the aid of rational cognition on the basis of pure conceptions, which, be it termed as it may, is properly nothing but metaphysics.
For the same reason, metaphysics forms likewise the completion of the culture of human reason.
In this respect, it is indispensable, setting aside altogether the influence which it exerts as a science.
For its subject-matter is the elements and highest maxims of reason, which form the basis of the possibility of some sciences and of the use of all.
That, as a purely speculative science, it is more useful in preventing error than in the extension of knowledge, does not detract from its value; on the contrary, the supreme office of censor which it occupies assures to it the highest authority and importance.
This office it administers for the purpose of securing order, harmony, and well-being to science, and of directing its noble and fruitful labours to the highest possible aim--the happiness of all mankind.
CHAPTER IV. The History of Pure Reason.