The terms Kant uses in the quote are easily as important as the whole of the quote together. Kant has a very specific understanding of most words demonstrated in his works. Thus, I will begin by defining some of the words in terms of Kant's use of them. The “experiment” Kant refers to is quite simply the question of whether metaphysics as it has been known trying to grasp things in themselves, or metaphysics as Kant will develop it will achieve more towards the ends of reason. An “object” is anything of the corporeal world we can experience through our mode of cognition. As a finite being, one's knowledge has limits, a boundary of experience, and as such we cannot have experiences outside of the corporeal world in space and time. Our experience of objects come from them being given to use through the framework of our mode of cognition, via sensible intuition. In essence, we experience an object of the corporeal world through sensations, and from that come to understand its properties. “Metaphysic” i...
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...ive and determined by our mode of cognition.
The quote from Kant's “Critique of Pure Reason” proceeds from four premises: that it has been previously supposed that all our knowledge must conform to objects, that everything metaphysics has tried to do by means of concepts have not works to that point, that we would better succeed in the problem of metaphysics by supposing objects must conform to our mode of cognition, and that metaphysics required a priori knowledge to make sense of what is given to us by experience. From this argument raises a set of implications, most of which involve shifting notions of concepts. Altogether, Kant is effectively outlining his Copernican Revolution in this quote.
Kant, I. (1998). Critique of pure reason. In L. Beck (Ed.), The great philosophers; Kant selections (pp. 85-144). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice-Hall Inc.
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