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The phrases in their context!


Very different is the case when we apply reason to the objective synthesis of phenomena.
Here, certainly, reason establishes, with much plausibility, its principle of unconditioned unity; but it very soon falls into such contradictions that it is compelled, in relation to cosmology, to renounce its pretensions.
For here a new phenomenon of human reason meets us--a perfectly natural antithetic, which does not require to be sought for by subtle sophistry, but into which reason of itself unavoidably falls.
It is thereby preserved, to be sure, from the slumber of a fancied conviction--which a merely one-sided illusion produces; but it is at the same time compelled, either, on the one hand, to abandon itself to a despairing scepticism, or, on the other, to assume a dogmatical confidence and obstinate persistence in certain assertions, without granting a fair hearing to the other side of the question.
Either is the death of a sound philosophy, although the former might perhaps deserve the title of the euthanasia of pure reason.
Before entering this region of discord and confusion, which the conflict of the laws of pure reason (antinomy) produces, we shall present the reader with some considerations, in explanation and justification of the method we intend to follow in our treatment of this subject.
I term all transcendental ideas, in so far as they relate to the absolute totality in the synthesis of phenomena, cosmical conceptions; partly on account of this unconditioned totality, on which the conception of the world-whole is based--a conception, which is itself an idea--partly because they relate solely to the synthesis of phenomena--the empirical synthesis; while, on the other hand, the absolute totality in the synthesis of the conditions of all possible things gives rise to an ideal of pure reason, which is quite distinct from the cosmical conception, although it stands in relation with it.
Hence, as the paralogisms of pure reason laid the foundation for a dialectical psychology, the antinomy of pure reason will present us with the transcendental principles of a pretended pure (rational) cosmology--not, however, to declare it valid and to appropriate it, but--as the very term of a conflict of reason sufficiently indicates, to present it as an idea which cannot be reconciled with phenomena and experience.
SECTION I. System of Cosmological Ideas.
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.