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Click on the phrases to see them in context. The original texts by Immanuel Kant and David Hume are available from the Gutenberg Projet.


But we feel persuaded that we are able to proceed beyond a conception, and to extend our cognition a priorI. We attempt this in two ways--either, through the pure understanding, in relation to that which may become an object of experience, or, through pure reason, in relation to such properties of things, or of the existence of things, as can never be presented in any experience.

 Finally, therefore, the categories are only capable of empirical use, inasmuch as they serve merely to subject phenomena to the universal rules of synthesis, by means of an a priori necessary unity (on account of the necessary union of all consciousness in one original apperception); and so to render them susceptible of a complete connection in one experience. For it is precisely the categories whose application to possible experience must constitute all pure a priori cognition of the understanding; and the relation of which to sensibility will, on that very account, present us with a complete and systematic catalogue of all the transcendental principles of the use of the understanding. They contain a certain perfection, attainable by no possible empirical cognition; and they give to reason a systematic unity, to which the unity of experience attempts to approximate, but can never completely attain. Experience demonstrates to us the existence of practical freedom as one of the causes which exist in nature, that is, it shows the causal power of reason in the determination of the will. For supposing that in all past experience we have found two objects to have been always conjoined together, it is evident, that upon the appearance of one of these objects in an impression, we must from custom make an easy transition to the idea of that object, which usually attends it; and by means of the present impression and easy transition must conceive that idea in a stronger and more lively manner, than we do any loose floating image of the fancy. For example, if we take away by degrees from our conceptions of a body all that can be referred to mere sensuous experience--colour, hardness or softness, weight, even impenetrability--the body will then vanish; but the space which it occupied still remains, and this it is utterly impossible to annihilate in thought. Consequently the coexistence of substances in space cannot be cognized in experience otherwise than under the precondition of their reciprocal action. We were told that you are in the business of fabrics, if the message was wrongly sent to you, we applogize you for it, please delete it and you'll never receive it again. But it may be, notwithstanding, an empty conception, unless the objective reality of this synthesis, but which it is generated, is demonstrated; and a proof of this kind must be based upon principles of possible experience, and not upon the principle of analysis or contradiction.