Kant, Second Analogy, and Causation
In the critique of pure reason, Kant states, “All alternations occur in accordance with the law of the connection of cause and effect.”1 This statement is interpreted in two different ways: weak readings and strong readings. The weak readings basically suggest that Kant's statement only refer to “All events have a cause”; however, the strong readings suggest that “the Second Analogy is committed not just to causes, but to causal laws as well.”2 To understand the difference between the readings, it is helpful to notice Kant's distinction between empirical laws of nature and universal transcendental principles. Empirical laws have an empirical ...view middle of the document...
I am therefore only conscious that my imagination places one state before and the other after, not that the one
state precedes the other in the object; or, in other words, through the
mere perception the objective relation of the appearances that are succeeding one another remains undetermined. Now in order for this to be
cognized as determined, the relation between the two states must be
thought in such a way that it is thereby necessarily determined which of
them must be placed before and which after rather than vice versa. The
concept, however, that carries a necessity of synthetic unity with it can
only be a pure concept of understanding, which does not lie in the perception, and that is here the concept of the relation of cause and
effect, the former of which determines the latter in time, as its consequence, and not as something that could merely precede in the imagination (or not even be perceived at all). Therefore it is only because we
subject the sequence of the appearances and thus all alteration to the
law of causality that experience itself, i.e., empirical cognition of them,
is possible; consequently they themselves, as objects of experience, are
possible only in accordance with this law.”(B233-234)
To explain his argument, it is necessary to distinguish between objective succession and subjective succession. Objective succession is a succession in appearances. Appearances, as Kant introduces in A20/B34, is a kind of representations that are empirically real and transcendentally ideal. Appearances are objects of empirical knowledge that contain both intuitive matter that correspond to the sensation, and conceptual form. On the other hand subjective succession is the succession in apprehensions; and as Kant puts it we can “derive the subjective sequence of apprehension from the objective sequence of appearances” (A193/B238). In A21 Kant introduces apprehension as the action of synthesizing the perceptions via imagination, he says,"Since imagination has to bring the manifold of intuition into the form of an image, it must previously have taken the impressions [the perceptions] up into its activity, that is, have apprehended them"
Accordingly, Kant's states, “I perceive that appearances...