Vocabulary of terminology

Vocabulary of terminology

Absolute, A conception, or, more strictly, in Kantian language, an idea of the pure reason, embracing the fundamental and necessary yet free ground of all things.

Antinomy. The conflict of the laws of pure reason; as in the question of free will and necessity.

Autonomy (autonomous). Governing itself by the spontaneous action of free will.

Aesthetics. The science of beauty; as ethics of duty.

Cognition (knowledge; Germanice, "Erkenntniss") is either an intuition or a conception. The former has an immediate relation to the object, and is singular and individual; the latter has but a mediate relation, by means of a characteristic mark, which may be common to several things. Cognition is an objective perception.

Conception. A conception is either empirical or pure. A pure conception, in so far as it has its origin in the understanding alone, and is not the conception of a pure sensuous image, is called notio.

Conceptions are distinguished on the one hand from sensation and perception, and on the other hand from the intuitions of pure reason or ideas. They are distinctly the product of thought and of the understanding, except when quite free from empirical elements.

Feeling (Gefuehl). That part of our nature which relates to passion and instinct. Feelings are connected both with our sensuous nature, our imagination, and the pure reason.

Form. See Matter.

Ideas. The product of the pure reason (Vernunft) or intuitive faculty. Wherever the absolute is introduced in thought we have ideas. Perfection in all its aspects is an idea, virtue and wisdom in their perfect purity and ideas. Kant remarks ("Critique of Pure Reason," Meiklejohn's translation, p. 256): "It is from the understanding alone that pure and transcendental conceptions take their origin; the reason does not properly give birth to any conception, but only frees the conception of the understanding from the unavoidable limitation of possible experience. A conception formed from notions which transcend the possibility of experience is an idea or a conception of reason."

Intuition (Anschauung) as used by Kant, is external or internal. External, sensuous intuition is identical with perception; internal intuition gives birth to ideas.

Matter and Form. "These two conceptions are at the foundation of all other reflection, being inseparably connected with every mode of exercising the understanding. By the former is implied that which can be determined in general; the second implies its determination, both in a transcendental sense, abstraction being made of any difference in that which is given, and of the mode in which it is determined. That which in the phenomenon corresponds to the sensation, I term its matter; but that which effects that the content of the phenomenon can be arranged under certain relations, I call its form."—Kant, "Critique," op. cit.

Objective. What is inherent or relative to an object, or not Myself, except in the case when I reflect on myself, in which case my states of mind are objective to my thoughts. In a popular sense objective means external, as contrasted with the subjective or internal.

Perception, if it relates only to the subject as a modification of its state, is a sensation. An objective perception is a cognition (Erkenntniss).

Phenomena (Erscheinnngen). The undetermined object of an empirical intuition is called phenomenon.

Reason (pure; Germanice, "Vernunft"). The source of ideas of moral feelings and of conceptions free from all elements taken up from experience.

Representation (Vorstellung). All the products of the mind are styled representations (except emotions and mere sensations) and the term is applied to the whole genus.

Representation with consciousness is perceptio.

Sensation. The capacity of receiving representations through the mode in which we are affected by objects is called sensibility. By means of sensibility objects are given to us, and it alone furnishes with intentions meaning sensuous intuitions. By the understanding they are thought, and from it arise conceptions.

Subjective. What has its source in and relation to the personality, to Myself, I, or the Ego; opposed to the objective, or what is inherent in and relative to the object. Not myself, except in the case when my states of mind are the object of my own reflection.

Supersensuous. Contrasted with and opposed to the sensuous. What is exclusively related to sense or imparted through the sensuous ideas is supersensuous. See Transcendental.

Transcendental. What exceeds the limits of sense and empirical observation. "I apply the term transcendental to all knowledge which is not so much occupied with objects as with the mode of our cognition of these objects, so far as this mode of cognition is possible a priori." Kant's "Critique," op. cit. p. 16.

Understanding (Verstand). The thought of faculty, the source of conceptions and notions (Begriffe) of the laws of logic, the categories, and judgment.