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Kant Metaphysical Exposition of Space

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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 order. We can't experience space without first having some idea of it being there. We must know what we are looking for, before we can find it.

Kant seems to be onto something with this argument. It does seem plausible to think that the idea of space is already programmed into our brain. For we are objects ourselves that did develop in this world. But then isn't that learning about space through experience just over a few generations. So on a longer time scale we gradually learnt how to interact with space. The intuition of space is just another characteristic that we gain from our ancestors. The species, or life, learnt about space. But this is not what Kant is trying to claim. He is claiming that it is intuition that we have always had, the entire human existence has always had. This on the biological level seems rather odd. Is it just humans that have this intuition? It doesn't seem grounded to answer this question with a yes. But then back in early beings of life, do single cell organisms also have this intuition, do they even know they exist? So Kant must mean fully developed humans, or at least fairly intelligent animals. But this still suggests that having the intuition of space is something that is developed over evolution. So in turn is something that is gain from the species evolutionary experience. It is an odd claim to say that just one day a higher level animal just suddenly experience space. Perhaps now we have some basic animal instinct of how space works, Kant does not justify how this come about. The intuition of space my have evolved, which is a from of long term experience.

The Leibnizian concept claims that space is just the relationship between objects and cannot exist on its own. Unlike the Newtonian concept of space, this theory claims that space does not and could not exist without the presents of objects. Space is just an attribute of objects, without them space is not present. If there was no objects there would be no need for space and it would not be present. We see objects all around us, and in order to understand the raw data presented by our senses we dream up relationships among them which we call space. Space is not an entity in its own right, it is simple the relation between existing objects.

Kant can also not accept the Leibnizian concept of space. In his second argument, Kant claims that it is possible to have space without the presents of objects. Using a thought experiment Kant tries to show that we can image an empty space, a space without objects in it. He uses the experiment as a direct attack on the Leibnizian concept that space is just an attribute of objects. Kant believes that it is possible to image empty space, free of any objects. He claims that since this is possible space must be more then just an attribute



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