A rough equivalent in English would be “something schopenhauer world as will and representation volume 2 pdf is thought”, or “the object of an act of thought”. Plato’s principal legacy to philosophy.
In each instance the word “transcendental” refers to the process that the human mind must exercise to understand or grasp the form of, and order among, phenomena. Kant asserts that to “transcend” a direct observation or experience is to use reason and classifications to strive to correlate with the phenomena that are observed. Humans can make sense out of phenomena in these various ways, but in doing so can never know the “things-in-themselves”, the actual objects and dynamics of the natural world in their noumenal dimension – this being the negative correlate to phenomena and that which escapes the limits of human understanding. Many accounts of Kant’s philosophy treat “noumenon” and “thing-in-itself” as synonymous, and there is textual evidence for this relationship.
Opinion is far from unanimous. Kant’s writings show points of difference between noumena and things-in-themselves. For we cannot in the least represent to ourselves the possibility of an understanding which should know its object, not discursively through categories, but intuitively in a non-sensible intuition. A crucial difference between the noumenon and the thing-in-itself is that to call something a noumenon is to claim a kind of knowledge, whereas Kant insisted that the thing-in-itself is unknowable.
But Stephen Palmquist explains that this is part of Kant’s definition of the term, to the extent that anyone who claims to have found a way of making the thing-in-itself knowable must be adopting a non-Kantian position. But if we understand by it an object of a non-sensible intuition, we thereby presuppose a special mode of intuition, namely, the intellectual, which is not that which we possess, and of which we cannot comprehend even the possibility. The positive noumena, if they existed, would be immaterial entities that can only be apprehended by a special, non-sensory faculty: “intellectual intuition”. Kant doubts that we have such a faculty, because for him intellectual intuition would mean that thinking of an entity, and its being represented, would be the same. Since, however, such a type of intuition, intellectual intuition, forms no part whatsoever of our faculty of knowledge, it follows that the employment of the categories can never extend further than to the objects of experience. That, therefore, which we entitle ‘noumenon’ must be understood as being such only in a negative sense. Without them, there would be only phenomena, and since potentially we have complete knowledge of our phenomena, we would in a sense know everything.
Further, the concept of a noumenon is necessary, to prevent sensible intuition from being extended to things in themselves, and thus to limit the objective validity of sensible knowledge. But in so doing it at the same time sets limits to itself, recognising that it cannot know these noumena through any of the categories, and that it must therefore think them only under the title of an unknown something. Furthermore, for Kant, the existence of a noumenal world limits reason to what he perceives to be its proper bounds, making many questions of traditional metaphysics, such as the existence of God, the soul, and free will unanswerable by reason. Kant derives this from his definition of knowledge as “the determination of given representations to an object”. As there are no appearances of these entities in the phenomenal, Kant is able to make the claim that they cannot be known to a mind that works upon “such knowledge that has to do only with appearances”. These questions are ultimately the “proper object of faith, but not of reason”. Kantian scholars have long debated two contrasting interpretations of the thing-in-itself.
Kant, the idea that undergirds it, that matter has an absolute existence which causes it to emanate certain phenomena, had historically been subjected to criticism. Kant, asserted that matter, independent of an observant mind, is metaphysically impossible. Qualities associated with matter, such as shape, color, smell, texture, weight, temperature, and sound are all dependent on minds, which allow only for relative perception, not absolute perception. Essentially there could be no such thing as matter without a mind.
Volume 4, “Kant, Immanuel”, section on “Critique of Pure Reason: Theme and Preliminaries”, p. Volume 4, “Kant, Immanuel”, section on “Transcendental Aesthetic”, p. Volume 4, “Kant, Immanuel”, section on “Pure Concepts of the Understanding”, p. But note that the terms are not used interchangeably throughout.