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Kant

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Isaac Newton had a new approach to the existence of space and time that contradicted that of great philosophers such as Leibniz and Descates. Newton felt that space and time are infinite and independent of the body and mind, that the bodies and minds of the world existed in space and time and even without the presence of physical bodies there still would be space and time. He stated there "are positions in space and time which are independent of the material entities" that existed in them and that the principles of empty space and time are possible. In the Prolegomena, Immanuel Kant seems to have agreed in part with Newton's views of space and time and attempted to support Newton by presenting two forms of judgment that would maintain Newton's thesis, these being judgments of perception and judgments of experience.

Kant first described the ability of a judgment of perception to become a judgment of experience. Judgments of perception are our own purely individual perceptions of an object or feeling and may not be the same experience as that of another persons. He states that judgments of perception are merely subjective intuitions of an object and have no objective validity. He believed that judgments of perception "require no pure concept of understanding, but only the logical connection of perception in a thinking subject." Kant feels that for a judgment of perception to become a judgment of experience, the subjective observation of the object must be the same for all subjective perceptions thereby becoming universally true to all people, only then will the judgment becomes objectively valid and a pure concept and only then do we have an experiance.

An example presented in the Prolegomena to address the difference between judgments of perception and judgments of experience also helps to understand how a judgment of perception becomes a judgment of experience through the notion of causality. The example stated is when the sun shines on a rock, the rock grows warm. This would be a judgment of perception if the statement remained as shown. We cannot say that just because the sun is shinning it caused the rock to warm. When we change the statement to the sun warms the rock, then this statement presents additional information to the original perception, that of cause. With the addition of causality, the statement becomes objective and universally valid in that no matter who the observer is, the judgment that the sunshine causes objects to warm is general to all persons and becomes a judgment of experience.

These judgments of experience are what Kant feels is the basis for Newtonian science. He states:

No conditions of judgments of experience are higher than those which bring the phenomena (appearance), according to the different form of their intuition, under pure concepts of the understanding, and render the empirical judgments objectively valid. These are therefore the a priori principles of possible experience.

He continues on to state that principles of possible experience are the same as universal laws of nature. This shows that all laws of nature, which are laws of science, have their basis in the principle of universal objectivity. For principles to be described by science, the observer must have a valid subjective perception of the principle in study which will lead to an objective truth of the scientific principle that is universally true and will in turn becomes a pure concept, only then can a scientific theory and observation become a scientific law and in turn a universal law.

Kant uses this explanation of universal truth and pure concept to continue on and defend Newton's thesis of space and time existing independently of physical beings. He states that we are able to see and experience the world because of space and time. When we are born, and grow through life, we have a concept of space and time that is innate in us, and not taught to us, which indicates that space and time are things we have prior to experience. We can only perceive the world in terms of space and time and can never actually see space or time, but we know that it does exist. Bertrand Russell presents a good analogy of how space and time shape human perception in his example. "If you always wore blue spectacles, you would be sure of seeing everything blueÐ'...Similarly, since you always wear spatial spectacles in your mind, you are sure of always seeing everything in space." This shows that humans exist and perceive there world in terms of space and time but never experience the two in themselves.

As we continue through the Prolegomena we see that Kant disagrees with some of Newton's beliefs on the concept of space and time. As stated before, Newton felt that space and time are absolute and that they would exist even without the presence of thinking minds and perceptions. Kant stated about space and time:

Ð'...if we omitÐ'... everything empirical, i.e., belonging to sensation , space and time still remain, and are therefore pure intuitions that lie a priori, they prove that they are mere forms of our sensibility,Ð'...i.e., perception of actual objects, and in conformity with which objects can be known a priori but only as they appear to us.

Kant shows that space and time are the things that direct how we perceive the world around us. He does not feel that you can have absolute space and time. He believes that we are objects that perceive the world and only through the help of space and time. We cannot have space and time if it is not for perceptions of the mind and that all judgments of the mind are made in respect to space and time.

All judgments of human beings, whether they are judgments of perception or judgments of experience, are all in context to space and time. The world we study and perceive is all based on the notions of space and time. All laws of nature that form the basis for the multitude of sciences studied in today's world

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