, Research Paper
Kant theorizes that synthetic a priori judgments are conceived before an event occurs. He makes the assumption that these synthetic a priori judgments are plausible without any empirical knowledge, exposure, experience, or any related comprehension. Ergo it is false to assume that synthetic a priori conclusions are not justifiable because the articulation of conscious and unconscious stimuli is an occurrence since birth.
Kant explains that there are both analytic and synthetic judgments. Analytic judgments are those truths that are self-contained while synthetic judgments are the combining of two ideas to form a completely new idea. He also explains that there are both experiences that are a posteriori and those that are a priori. A posteriori is the knowledge that depends on experience and therefore is defined as after experience . A priori on the other hand is knowledge that can be known prior to experience .
Knowing this, we can conclude that analytic a posteriori are not possible. One cannot have a self-contained knowledge of something after an experience. Kant also explains to us that analytic a priori are in fact possible. For instance, the statement all bodies are extended things is an example of analytic a priori. This is because we know that this is true before seeing all of the bodies in the world. Analytic a priori are therefore
rationalist statements. Rationalism is a theory that reason is in itself a source of knowledge superior to and independent of sense perceptions. A rainy day is a wet day is an example of a statement that is both rationalist and analytic a priori. This is an analytic a priori judgment because we know that everyday that is a rainy day is also a wet day.
On the other hand, if somebody were to say that a rainy day is a warm day it would be an empirical statement. That is because we can only put these two situations together if they come together in experience or are observed. Statements such as these are also known as synthetic a posteriori judgments. Kant states in his work “The Critique of Pure Reason” that “all knowledge certainly begins with experience” but he does not necessarily say that it is the whole of knowledge. In stating this, Kant agrees with David Hume and his theory of throwing rationalism out of the picture.
After carefully reading Hume, Kant realized that Hume might have been too extreme in throwing away rationalism all together and theorizes that knowledge comes from a combination of both rationalism and empiricism. Kant describes this combination as synthetic a priori judgments. By saying this, Kant believes that one can describe a sensation, experience, or object prior to actually seeing it, if they are to put two ideas together. One example of this would be if someone was born with red sunglasses on and grew up with them on. The world, to them, would be red and therefore this person would believe that everything in the world was really tainted red. If, when this person was
grown up, he/she was asked to go skiing and had never seen snow before he/she would be confident that the snow was red when asked, even though they never experienced it before. Because of this, Kant believes that sensations may well contribute to what brings shape to experience.
Another example of this would be if you were to take clay, which is equivalent to sensations, and put it into a tool that shaped the clay. The tool would be comparable to the sensory apparatus and the shape of the clay after going through the tool would be the experience. The clay without some kind of tool to give form to it would be just a blob of clay. The shape of the hole that is in the tool in which the clay comes out of would resemble the synthetic a priori concept, but even so, the shape of the hole without any clay to shape is not shaping. If you can see what the shape of the hole is than you can imagine what the shape of whatever is squeezed through it. This is exactly what synthetic a priori judgments are.
Some people may be able to have a better synthetic a priori judgment than others. That is because of their ability to utilize their subconscious mind. Kant searches for a synthetic a priori within the context of the “universal problem of reason” but cannot prove that such judgments exist in pure natural science. This is because there can be mutations in pure natural science. When putting two things together the outcome is not going to be the same one hundred percent of the time. On top of that, science can’t even say when Earth was formulated hence it falls under the universal problem of reason.
Regardless of the ability an individual may have to recognize subconscious stimuli, or call upon the subconscious psyche, knowledge and correlations of past experience will formulate to produce what Kant calls synthetic a priori judgments. Although I believe it not to be achievable to make synthetic a priori judgments I give Kant credit in trying to explain a way of going about coming up with experiences before even presenting him/herself to them. One can easily guess at what the an experience will be before ever coming in contact with it but there is no way to prove that this experience will be true. This is valuable in our attempt to know the world because it gives a name for subconscious reasoning.