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The phrases in their context!


The rule of right and wrong must help us to the knowledge of what is right or wrong in all possible cases; otherwise, the idea of obligation or duty would be utterly null, for we cannot have any obligation to that which we cannot know.
On the other hand, in our investigations of the phenomena of nature, much must remain uncertain, and many questions continue insoluble; because what we know of nature is far from being sufficient to explain all the phenomena that are presented to our observation.
Now the question is; "Whether there is in transcendental philosophy any question, relating to an object presented to pure reason, which is unanswerable by this reason; and whether we must regard the subject of the question as quite uncertain, so far as our knowledge extends, and must give it a place among those subjects, of which we have just so much conception as is sufficient to enable us to raise a question--faculty or materials failing us, however, when we attempt an answer.
the world
Now I maintain that, among all speculative cognition, the peculiarity of transcendental philosophy is that there is no question, relating to an object presented to pure reason, which is insoluble by this reason; and that the profession of unavoidable ignorance- the problem being alleged to be beyond the reach of our faculties- cannot free us from the obligation to present a complete and satisfactory answer.
For the very conception which enables us to raise the question must give us the power of answering it; inasmuch as the object, as in the case of right and wrong, is not to be discovered out of the conception.
But, in transcendental philosophy, it is only the cosmological questions to which we can demand a satisfactory answer in relation to the constitution of their object; and the philosopher is not permitted to avail himself of the pretext of necessary ignorance and impenetrable obscurity.
These questions relate solely to the cosmological ideas.
For the object must be given in experience, and the question relates to the adequateness of the object to an idea.
If the object is transcendental and therefore itself unknown; if the question, for example, is whether the object--the something, the phenomenon of which (internal--in ourselves) is thought--that is to say, the soul, is in itself a simple being; or whether there is a cause of all things, which is absolutely necessary--in such cases we are seeking for our idea an object, of which we may confess that it is unknown to us, though we must not on that account assert that it is impossible.* The cosmological ideas alone posses the peculiarity that we can presuppose the object of them and the empirical synthesis requisite for the conception of that object to be given; and the question, which arises from these ideas, relates merely to the progress of this synthesis, in so far as it must contain absolute totality--which, however, is not empirical, as it cannot be given in any experience.
Now, as the question here is solely in regard to a thing as the object of a possible experience and not as a thing in itself, the answer to the transcendental cosmological question need not be sought out of the idea, for the question does not regard an object in itself.
The question in relation to a possible experience is not, "What can be given in an experience in concreto" but "what is contained in the idea, to which the empirical synthesis must approximate." The question must therefore be capable of solution from the idea alone.
For the idea is a creation of reason itself, which therefore cannot disclaim the obligation to answer or refer us to the unknown object.
[*Footnote; The question, "What is the constitution of a transcendental object?" is unanswerable--we are unable to say what it is; but we can perceive that the question itself is nothing; because it does not relate to any object that can be presented to us.
For this reason, we must consider all the questions raised in transcendental psychology as answerable and as really answered; for they relate to the transcendental subject of all internal phenomena, which is not itself phenomenon and consequently not given as an object, in which, moreover, none of the categories--and it is to them that the question is properly directed--find any conditions of its application.
Here, therefore, is a case where no answer is the only proper answer.
For a question regarding the constitution of a something which cannot be cogitated by any determined predicate, being completely beyond the sphere of objects and experience, is perfectly null and void.]
It is not so extraordinary, as it at first sight appears, that a science should demand and expect satisfactory answers to all the questions that may arise within its own sphere (questiones domesticae), although, up to a certain time, these answers may not have been discovered.
There are, in addition to transcendental philosophy, only two pure sciences of reason; the one with a speculative, the other with a practical content--pure mathematics and pure ethics.
Has any one ever heard it alleged that, from our complete and necessary ignorance of the conditions, it is uncertain what exact relation the diameter of a circle bears to the circle in rational or irrational numbers?
By the former the sum cannot be given exactly, by the latter only approximately; and therefore we decide that the impossibility of a solution of the question is evident.