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"Both the proofs [for the cosmological and ontological arguments] previously cited were attempted transcendentally, i.e., independently of empirical principles. For although the cosmological proof is grounded on an experience in general, it is not carried out on the basis of any particular constitution of experience, but of pure principles of reason in relation to an existence given through empirical consciousness in general; and even this introduction is an occasion for basing itself on entirely pure concepts" (A615/B643).

Why, exactly, does Kant say that the cosmological proof is independent of "empirical principles"? What does he mean by "empirical principles"? That things exist would seem to be an empirical fact, or at least an empirical judgment. Isn't the cosmological proof an inference that includes both empirical and rational premises and so it is abductive?

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    That things (and appearances) exist is a condition of the possibility of experience, and so is causal connection of events, according to Kant, so both are "pure principles of reason". "Empirical principles" are those surmised from specific observations, not from a priori templates of "experience in general", and they are not needed in the cosmological argument. Its problem is rather that it applies templates of experience beyond any possible experience, to things in themselves.
    – Conifold
    Nov 18, 2022 at 23:32
  • Thank you Conifold. This is very helpful.
    – Gerry
    Nov 19, 2022 at 19:54

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