The principle of these is: Experience is possible only

through the representation of a necessary connection

of Perceptions.


Experience is an empirical cognition; that is to say, a cognition which determines an object by means of perceptions. It is therefore a synthesis of perceptions, a synthesis which is not itself contained in perception, but which contains the synthetical unity of the manifold of perception in a consciousness; and this unity constitutes the essential of our cognition of objects of the senses, that is, of experience (not merely of intuition or sensation). Now in experience our perceptions come together contingently, so that no character of necessity in their connection appears, or can appear from the perceptions themselves, because apprehension is only a placing together of the manifold of empirical intuition, and no representation of a necessity in the connected existence of the phenomena which apprehension brings together, is to be discovered therein. But as experience is a cognition of objects by means of perceptions, it follows that the relation of the existence of the existence of the manifold must be represented in experience not as it is put together in time, but as it is objectively in time. And as time itself cannot be perceived, the determination of the existence of objects in time can only take place by means of their connection in time in general, consequently only by means of a priori connecting conceptions. Now as these conceptions always possess the character of necessity, experience is possible only by means of a representation of the necessary connection of perception.

The three modi of time are permanence, succession, and coexistence. Accordingly, there are three rules of all relations of time in phenomena, according to which the existence of every phenomenon is determined in respect of the unity of all time, and these antecede all experience and render it possible.

The general principle of all three analogies rests on the necessary unity of apperception in relation to all possible empirical consciousness (perception) at every time, consequently, as this unity lies a priori at the foundation of all mental operations, the principle rests on the synthetical unity of all phenomena according to their relation in time. For the original apperception relates to our internal sense (the complex of all representations), and indeed relates a priori to its form, that is to say, the relation of the manifold empirical consciousness in time. Now this manifold must be combined in original apperception according to relations of time- a necessity imposed by the a priori transcendental unity of apperception, to which is subjected all that can belong to my (i.e., my own) cognition, and therefore all that can become an object for me. This synthetical and a priori determined unity in relation of perceptions in time is therefore the rule: "All empirical determinations of time must be subject to rules of the general determination of time"; and the analogies of experience, of which we are now about to treat, must be rules of this nature.

These principles have this peculiarity, that they do not concern phenomena, and the synthesis of the empirical intuition thereof, but merely the existence of phenomena and their relation to each other in regard to this existence. Now the mode in which we apprehend a thing in a phenomenon can be determined a priori in such a manner that the rule of its synthesis can give, that is to say, can produce this a priori intuition in every empirical example. But the existence of phenomena cannot be known a priori, and although we could arrive by this path at a conclusion of the fact of some existence, we could not cognize that existence determinately, that is to say, we should be incapable of anticipating in what respect the empirical intuition of it would be distinguishable from that of others.

The two principles above mentioned, which I called mathematical, in consideration of the fact of their authorizing the application of mathematic phenomena, relate to these phenomena only in regard to their possibility, and instruct us how phenomena, as far as regards their intuition or the real in their perception, can be generated according to the rules of a mathematical synthesis. Consequently, numerical quantities, and with them the determination of a phenomenon as a quantity, can be employed in the one case as well as in the other. Thus, for example, out of 200,000 illuminations by the moon, I might compose and give a priori, that is construct, the degree of our sensations of the sunlight. We may therefore entitle these two principles constitutive.

The case is very different with those principles whose province it is to subject the existence of phenomena to rules a priori. For as existence does not admit of being constructed, it is clear that they must only concern the relations of existence and be merely regulative principles. In this case, therefore, neither axioms nor anticipations are to be thought of. Thus, if a perception is given us, in a certain relation of time to other (although undetermined) perceptions, we cannot then say a priori, what and how great (in quantity) the other perception necessarily connected with the former is, but only how it is connected, quoad its existence, in this given modus of time. Analogies in philosophy mean something very different from that which they represent in mathematics. In the latter they are formulae, which enounce the equality of two relations of quantity, and are always constitutive, so that if two terms of the proportion are given, the third is also given, that is, can be constructed by the aid of these formulae. But in philosophy, analogy is not the equality of two quantitative but of two qualitative relations. In this case, from three given terms, I can give a priori and cognize the relation to a fourth member, but not this fourth term itself, although I certainly possess a rule to guide me in the search for this fourth term in experience, and a mark to assist me in discovering it. An analogy of experience is therefore only a rule according to which unity of experience must arise out of perceptions in respect to objects (phenomena) not as a constitutive, but merely as a regulative principle. The same holds good also of the postulates of empirical thought in general, which relate to the synthesis of mere intuition (which concerns the form of phenomena), the synthesis of perception (which concerns the matter of phenomena), and the synthesis of experience (which concerns the relation of these perceptions). For they are only regulative principles, and clearly distinguishable from the mathematical, which are constitutive, not indeed in regard to the certainty which both possess a priori, but in the mode of evidence thereof, consequently also in the manner of demonstration.

But what has been observed of all synthetical propositions, and must be particularly remarked in this place, is this, that these analogies possess significance and validity, not as principles of the transcendental, but only as principles of the empirical use of the understanding, and their truth can therefore be proved only as such, and that consequently the phenomena must not be subjoined directly under the categories, but only under their schemata. For if the objects to which those principles must be applied were things in themselves, it would be quite impossible to cognize aught concerning them synthetically a priori. But they are nothing but phenomena; a complete knowledge of which- a knowledge to which all principles a priori must at last relate- is the only possible experience. It follows that these principles can have nothing else for their aim than the conditions of the empirical cognition in the unity of synthesis of phenomena. But this synthesis is cogitated only in the schema of the pure conception of the understanding, of whose unity, as that of a synthesis in general, the category contains the function unrestricted by any sensuous condition. These principles will therefore authorize us to connect phenomena according to an analogy, with the logical and universal unity of conceptions, and consequently to employ the categories in the principles themselves; but in the application of them to experience, we shall use only their schemata, as the key to their proper application, instead of the categories, or rather the latter as restricting conditions, under the title of "formulae" of the former.

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first edition 1994/12/23 last modified 1999/8/29