A novice, I do not feel prepared yet to, but shall in future, read Kant; please tell me if Kant's originals answer my question.
Source: p 255, Think: A Compelling Introduction to Philosophy (1 ed, 1999) by Simon Blackburn
For Kant the priority is to get away from this "inner theatre" model. We already met some of his approach in Chapter 4, on the self. There, we saw that various quite complex feats of organization are needed for self-consciousness.
[1.] We have to organize our experience not as what Kant calls a mere "rhapsody" or kaleidoscope of perceptions, but in terms of a temporal and spatial order.
Only so can we get a concept of ourselves as moving amongst an independent world of objects situated in a space. How does Kant use this insight to surmount the impasse left by the tradition from Descartes onwards?
Part of Kant's achievement was seeing that Locke is involved in an untenable conception of understanding. For Locke the paradigm of understanding would be to have something in the mind that "resembles" the features of things that cause it, like a picture. Berkeley shared this ideal. True, he thought that the resemblance could not really obtain ("An idea can resemble nothing but another idea"). But he drew the consequence that we only understand the world of our own ideas.
[2.] Kant sees that when it comes to space and time, size, shape, and the objective order, to have a concept is not to have a mental picture. It is to have an organizing principle or rule; a way of handling the flux of data. Having the same organizing principles or rules could give us the same understanding of the world in spite of differences of subjective experience.
How are the following pairs not already interconnected? I do not understand Kant's distinctions between: 1. 'perceptions' vs 'temporal and spatial order';
2. 'mental picture' vs 'organizing principle or rule'.
- Even when viewing rhapsodies or kaleidoscopes, do not humans interpret them spatially and temporally?
Here is my more realistic example: Observation of a beauteous waterfall presupposes organisation by time and space; by time because the observer must think of time as increasing to observe (the beauty of) the falling water (otherwise, she will not see the water as falling); by space because she must be standing away (at a safe distance) to observe.