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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.


This significance they derive from sensibility, which at the same time realizes the understanding and restricts it.

 The categories are not based, as regards their origin, upon sensibility, like the forms of intuition, space, and time; they seem, therefore, to be capable of an application beyond the sphere of sensuous objects. [*Footnote; Sensibility, subjected to the understanding, as the object upon which the understanding employs its functions, is the source of real cognitions. The conception of a noumenon is therefore not the conception of an object, but merely a problematical conception inseparably connected with the limitation of our sensibility. If by intelligible objects we understand things which can be thought by means of the pure categories, without the need of the schemata of sensibility, such objects are impossible. The science of all the principles of sensibility a priori, I call transcendental aesthetic.* There must, then, be such a science forming the first part of the transcendental doctrine of elements, in contradistinction to that part which contains the principles of pure thought, and which is called transcendental logic. It is, however, evident at first sight, that although the schemata of sensibility are the sole agents in realizing the categories, they do, nevertheless, also restrict them, that is, they limit the categories by conditions which lie beyond the sphere of understanding-- namely, in sensibility. Now that which conjoins the manifold of sensuous intuition is imagination, a mental act to which understanding contributes unity of intellectual synthesis, and sensibility, manifoldness of apprehension. 

But, in so far as it exercises an influence upon the action of the understanding and determines it to judgement, sensibility is itself the cause of error.]

For we have there seen that conceptions are quite impossible, and utterly without signification, unless either to them, or at least to the elements of which they consist, an object be given; and that, consequently, they cannot possibly apply to objects as things in themselves without regard to the question whether and how these may be given to us; and, further, that the only manner in which objects can be given to us is by means of the modification of our sensibility; and, finally, that pure a priori conceptions, in addition to the function of the understanding in the category, must contain a priori formal conditions of sensibility (of the internal sense, namely), which again contain the general condition under which alone the category can be applied to any object.