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The phrases in their context!


If, for example, we presuppose that the world of sense is given in itself in its totality, it is false, either that it is infinite, or that it is finite and limited in space.
Both are false, because the hypothesis is false.
For the notion of phenomena (as mere representations) which are given in themselves (as objects) is self-contradictory; and the infinitude of this imaginary whole would, indeed, be unconditioned, but would be inconsistent (as everything in the phenomenal world is conditioned) with the unconditioned determination and finitude of quantities which is presupposed in our conception.
The apagogic mode of proof is the true source of those illusions which have always had so strong an attraction for the admirers of dogmatical philosophy.
It may be compared to a champion who maintains the honour and claims of the party he has adopted by offering battle to all who doubt the validity of these claims and the purity of that honour; while nothing can be proved in this way, except the respective strength of the combatants, and the advantage, in this respect, is always on the side of the attacking party.
Spectators, observing that each party is alternately conqueror and conquered, are led to regard the subject of dispute as beyond the power of man to decide upon.
But such an opinion cannot be justified; and it is sufficient to apply to these reasoners the remark:
Non defensoribus istis Tempus eget.
Each must try to establish his assertions by a transcendental deduction of the grounds of proof employed in his argument, and thus enable us to see in what way the claims of reason may be supported.
If an opponent bases his assertions upon subjective grounds, he may be refuted with ease; not, however to the advantage of the dogmatist, who likewise depends upon subjective sources of cognition and is in like manner driven into a corner by his opponent.
But, if parties employ the direct method of procedure, they will soon discover the difficulty, nay, the impossibility of proving their assertions, and will be forced to appeal to prescription and precedence; or they will, by the help of criticism, discover with ease the dogmatical illusions by which they had been mocked, and compel reason to renounce its exaggerated pretensions to speculative insight and to confine itself within the limits of its proper sphere--that of practical principles.
CHAPTER II. The Canon of Pure Reason.
It is a humiliating consideration for human reason that it is incompetent to discover truth by means of pure speculation, but, on the contrary, stands in need of discipline to check its deviations from the straight path and to expose the illusions which it originates.
But, on the other hand, this consideration ought to elevate and to give it confidence, for this discipline is exercised by itself alone, and it is subject to the censure of no other power.
The bounds, moreover, which it is forced to set to its speculative exercise, form likewise a check upon the fallacious pretensions of opponents; and thus what remains of its possessions, after these exaggerated claims have been disallowed, is secure from attack or usurpation.
The greatest, and perhaps the only, use of all philosophy of pure reason is, accordingly, of a purely negative character.
It is not an organon for the extension, but a discipline for the determination, of the limits of its exercise; and without laying claim to the discovery of new truth, it has the modest merit of guarding against error.
At the same time, there must be some source of positive cognitions which belong to the domain of pure reason and which become the causes of error only from our mistaking their true character, while they form the goal towards which reason continually strives.
How else can we account for the inextinguishable desire in the human mind to find a firm footing in some region beyond the limits of the world of experience?
It hopes to attain to the possession of a knowledge in which it has the deepest interest.
It enters upon the path of pure speculation; but in vain.