26 - Transcendental theology is not a legitimate science,...

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Transcendental theology is not a legitimate science, as it goes much further than the idea allows. We cannot say that it determines an object, but only that it can be of use in detemining given objects. To do so is an illusion, which Kant traces to a fact about objects of experience, namely, that they presuppose the sum total of experience, of which they are limitations. If we omit the qualification that these objects are appearances, "we treat the empirical principle of our concepts of the possibility of things, viewed as appearances, as being a transcendental principle of the possibility of things in general" (A582/B610). Reason seeks the primordial being to find satisfaction in the unconditioned. In experience we find only contingent beings, and reason will not rest until it finds a being which is unconditionally necessary as its support. From the requirement that it find a necessary being, it seeks for something that could be thought as necessary, "whether or not its necessity be comprehensible, that is to say, deducible from its concept alone" (A585/B613). The ens realissimum fits the bill, since it depends on nothing else, but is the source of all possibility. No other concept measures up to it in this respect, so we cannot know whether its object is unconditioned. "The concept of an ens realissimum is therefore, of all concepts of possible things, that which best squares with the concept of an unconditionally necessary being; and though it may not be completely adequate to it, we have no choice in the matter, but find ourselves constrained to hold to it" (A 586/B614). Kant held that people in all ages have had a
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This note was uploaded on 01/31/2011 for the course PHILOSOPHY 113 taught by Professor Gerogemattey during the Winter '10 term at UC Davis.

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26 - Transcendental theology is not a legitimate science,...

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