Kant Metaphysical Exposition of Space

Topics: Metaphysics, Ontology, Perception Pages: 7 (2584 words) Published: April 21, 2005

Explain and asses what you think to be the best argument Kant gives as his "Metaphysical Exposition of Space" (B37-40) that space cannot be either and actual entity (Newtonian concept) or any independent relation among real things (Leibnizian concepti be on). In other words, is he successful in arguing that space must be (at least) a form of intuition? Do any of his arguments further show that space must be ONLY a form of intuition and not ALSO something Newtonian or Leibnizian?

In his Metaphysical Exposition of Space, Kant attempts to show that the experience of space is just a form of intuition. Kant defines space as that of which we sense out side of us, in comparison to our mind, which is our inner sense. This outer sense of space, he claims, is known only to us because we have a intuitive sense of there being space in the first place. Kant asserts this argument in direct response to two other claims about the nature of space. The Newtonian concept of space holds that space is an entity existing in its own right, with objects merely being in it. The Leibnizian concept of space however holds the opposite, space doesn't really exist and is just a relation created between existing objects. Kant believes both concepts are wrong and claims that to first know about objects in space, we must have some deeper knowledge of space to put them in space. He further tries to claim that space is only a form of intuition and not just the foundation to support either of the other two concepts. Kant presents some strong points showing the faults in the other concepts and provides a reason alternative to what makes the nature of space. However his concept too, that space is known only through intuition, also isn't as strong as it should be. It appears that space may be known through intuition from an individual perspective, but on closer investigation, taking in all forms of life and evolution, where did this pre wired intuition of space have its start? Kant's concept of space seems to be well grounded in some areas and not in others.

Kant's definition of space helps him prove that the concept of space is a form of intuition. Space, he holds, is everything that is sensed outside of us. The mind is the inner sense and everything else is in space. We then represent objects in that space, where they are interpreted as having shape, magnitude and relationships to other objects in space. But then what is this space, Kant questions? Not satisfied with the current theories of the nature of time, Kant moves to show their faults through a set of arguments.

The Newtonian concept of space claims that space exists as an entity in its own right. This concept is the most user friendly, and it is similar to the common sense view that most people grow up with. That is, we experience objects around us as exist in a void of space, where that void itself can exist on its own. Objects exist in this space, which is an infinite entity. The theory claims that through our sense, sight, touch extra, we learn about the world. We learn from our senses about space and how it works. We start of in the world with no idea of space and through a trial and area type system of learning, we being to understand the nature of space and of objects in it. Space exists and we lean of its existence though life experience.

Kant cannot accept the Newtonian concept of space. In his first argument, Kant claims that space is not a concept that has been drawn from our experiences. His reasoning behind this is; how can we know to put the data that we gain from our senses into a world of space if we don't know of space to begin with? That is, to know to put this sensory data into a thing called space, we must first have some idea of space. Kant does not think that it is possible to stumble across the idea of space just through trial and error. Space, he claims, must be an intuitive idea that we are born with, so we know to put the data we gain into some logical...
Continue Reading

Please join StudyMode to read the full document

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Essay about Kant
  • Essay about Ethics and Kant
  • Essay about Kant
  • Kant Essay
  • Kant Essay
  • Kant Essay
  • Kant Essay
  • Kant Research Paper

Become a StudyMode Member

Sign Up - It's Free