In the third section of the Prolegomena, Kant explains in section 40 (at least how I understand it) that ideas are merely the analogues categories of those concepts that cannot be experienced. As I understand it, he suggests that they are merely analogues to what categories were to experience.

However, when he later gives accounts of, for example, the psychological or the cosmological ideas, it seems more like these ideas, precisely, are where reason fails. It seems like he is saying: If we push experience of the cliff of our sensibility, we see the boundaries, and these boundaries are ideas.

So, how do these two views fit together, exactly? Are we saying that reason must be "constructed up" from where understanding fails?

  • Basically, yes, "categories without intuitions are empty just as intuitions without categories are blind". When categories are pushed "beyond every possible experience" we get the noumena (transcendent "ideas") and antinomies of pure reason (sec. 40). The reason conjures up the noumena to "round out" the experience, and mark its "boundaries", but then runs into paradoxes, for it tends to treat them "by analogy" to the experience they are placed outside of. See SEP Phenomena and noumena.
    – Conifold
    Oct 28, 2019 at 0:59
  • Thank you so much for your response. Oct 28, 2019 at 5:57


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