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The detailed reason in Kant’s “Critique of Pure Reason” is sometimes difficult to follow. I wonder if this is relevant:

According to Aristotle, the circles and the spheres are a perfect figures and the heavens are a region of perfection. Therefor the heavenly bodies must move in circles. This type reason serves as a bridge or relation between ideas and objects. Am I right in assuming that this type of relation was criticized by Kant (as one of his main points in the book)?

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Just to add a little color — Kant showed that a lot of what was previously philosophical “givens” was capable of being argued equally well either way (the famous antinomies about the size and age of the universe). That is only experience could determine whether the universe is finite or infinite in extent or age; we could argue in circles all day without experiential data and scientific analysis.

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Short answer is yes.

Kant tried to cut off most of traditional metaphysics as speculative, ie. making assertions about something we cannot actually know anything about.

Basically, the Kantian critical paradigm is that all knowledge (even of ideas that we can never actually experience themselves) is based on experience and that all ideas (or content) has to be validated by or on the basis of experience, not the other way round (Prolegomena, 4:473f. fn.).

The main thrust of the critical idealism is that ideas or assumptions that have no direct correspondence in empirical experience need to be established as necessary for the possibility of some empirical experience via deduction ('transcendental') or it will remain problematic.

In other words: Just because we think the concept of circles and spheres are perfection and heavenly bodies are perfect, they have to be circular and spherical, that inference is null and void if either of the premises is not empirically valid. Validating either perfection empirically is pretty hard, and there is no way to infer the actual shape and properties of objects that cannot possibly be experienced from empirical experience.

On the other hand, one should keep in mind that this is for objects only, not constructs. Kant is perfectly fine with construction purely a priori, like in mathematics. And he also wrote that when we got a science proper (built on transcendental principles a priori - which have to have an empirical grounding), you couldn't fail in constructing knowledge about objects from there on - like in an axiomatic system. His philosophy of nature is not exactly one of his stronger sides though, even if it puts forward some interesting ideas.

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    Kant taught rather specifically that we have knowledge that does not come from experience. That doctrine has been a major source of Kant criticism. Commented Nov 22, 2022 at 18:22
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    @DavidGudeman Knowledge about constructs, yes, not knowledge about objects. The main thrust of the critical idealism is that ideas or assumptions that have no direct correspondence in empirical experience need to be established as necessary for the possibility of some empirical experience via deduction or it will remain problematic, though.
    – Philip Klöcking
    Commented Nov 22, 2022 at 23:40
  • It might be worth clarifying that in the answer. In the answer you just say that all knowledge comes from experience. Commented Nov 23, 2022 at 2:40
  • @DavidGudeman I expanded a bit to address this.
    – Philip Klöcking
    Commented Nov 23, 2022 at 6:02

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