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The phrases in their context!


Transcendental dialectic will therefore content itself with exposing the illusory appearance in transcendental judgements, and guarding us against it; but to make it, as in the case of logical illusion, entirely disappear and cease to be illusion is utterly beyond its power.
For we have here to do with a natural and unavoidable illusion, which rests upon subjective principles and imposes these upon us as objective, while logical dialectic, in the detection of sophisms, has to do merely with an error in the logical consequence of the propositions, or with an artificially constructed illusion, in imitation of the natural error.
There is, therefore, a natural and unavoidable dialectic of pure reason--not that in which the bungler, from want of the requisite knowledge, involves himself, nor that which the sophist devises for the purpose of misleading, but that which is an inseparable adjunct of human reason, and which, even after its illusions have been exposed, does not cease to deceive, and continually to lead reason into momentary errors, which it becomes necessary continually to remove.
II. Of Pure Reason as the Seat of Transcendental Illusory Appearance.
All our knowledge begins with sense, proceeds thence to understanding, and ends with reason, beyond which nothing higher can be discovered in the human mind for elaborating the matter of intuition and subjecting it to the highest unity of thought.
At this stage of our inquiry it is my duty to give an explanation of this, the highest faculty of cognition, and I confess I find myself here in some difficulty.
Of reason, as of the understanding, there is a merely formal, that is, logical use, in which it makes abstraction of all content of cognition; but there is also a real use, inasmuch as it contains in itself the source of certain conceptions and principles, which it does not borrow either from the senses or the understanding.
The former faculty has been long defined by logicians as the faculty of mediate conclusion in contradistinction to immediate conclusions (consequentiae immediatae); but the nature of the latter, which itself generates conceptions, is not to be understood from this definition.
Now as a division of reason into a logical and a transcendental faculty presents itself here, it becomes necessary to seek for a higher conception of this source of cognition which shall comprehend both conceptions.
In this we may expect, according to the analogy of the conceptions of the understanding, that the logical conception will give us the key to the transcendental, and that the table of the functions of the former will present us with the clue to the conceptions of reason.
In the former part of our transcendental logic, we defined the understanding to be the faculty of rules; reason may be distinguished from understanding as the faculty of principles.
The term principle is ambiguous, and commonly signifies merely a cognition that may be employed as a principle, although it is not in itself, and as regards its proper origin, entitled to the distinction.
Every general proposition, even if derived from experience by the process of induction, may serve as the major in a syllogism; but it is not for that reason a principle.
Mathematical axioms (for example, there can be only one straight line between two points) are general a priori cognitions, and are therefore rightly denominated principles, relatively to the cases which can be subsumed under them.
But I cannot for this reason say that I cognize this property of a straight line from principles--I cognize it only in pure intuition.
Cognition from principles, then, is that cognition in which I cognize the particular in the general by means of conceptions.
Thus every syllogism is a form of the deduction of a cognition from a principle.
For the major always gives a conception, through which everything that is subsumed under the condition thereof is cognized according to a principle.
Now as every general cognition may serve as the major in a syllogism, and the understanding presents us with such general a priori propositions, they may be termed principles, in respect of their possible use.
But if we consider these principles of the pure understanding in relation to their origin, we shall find them to be anything rather than cognitions from conceptions.