Before we can examine how the synthesis is supposed to be completed

Before we can examine how the synthesis is supposed to be completed

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Before we can examine how the synthesis is supposed to be completed, we must first examine the activities of synthesis themselves. These are grouped according to the four types of category. Quantity : Tracing back what happens at a time to previous times which serve as its condition, and tracing things in space to contiguous spaces which serve as their conditions. Quality : Tracing the division of objects to the smaller objects of which they are composed. Relation : Tracing the chain of causes from a present effect to a previous cause. Modality : Tracing the chain of dependence from something contingent to that upon which it depends. Kant states that the completion of these activities can be understood in two distinct, and opposed, ways. One way would be to find a first member of the series, such that it is a condition for the rest, while it requires no condition. Another way would be to show that the series is infinite, in which case the series is completed by showing an infinite totality of conditioned and conditions.
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Unformatted text preview: The first way is that of dogmatism , which completes the series by appeal to an object which is distinct from all objects of experience. The second is that of empiricism , which insists that the series be kept strictly within the bounds of experience. The fundamental problem with dogmatism is that it satisfies reason with ideas beyond the scope of the understanding. Conversely, empiricism accommodates the understanding with ideas too small for reason. The arguments for the theses advanced by dogmatism and the antitheses advanced by empiricism are of the same type -- indirect. Each side assumes the position of the other and attempts to show that it is inconsistent with a high-level principle it takes to be true. Since each side can reduce the other to conflict, either the last argument given is the most persuasive, or one walks away in disgust, converted to skepticism....
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