I'm confused on a section in the Critique of Pure Reason. Kant says "Hence time is merely a subjective condition of our (human) intuition (an intuition that is always sensible-- i.e. inasmuch as we are affected by objects); in itself i.e., apart from the subject, time is nothing. Nevertheless, time is necessarily objective in regard to all appearances and hence also in regard to all things that we can encounter in experience"(A35).

Could someone explain what he means by time being a subjective condition of human intuition but also objective in regard to things we encounter in experience?

  • First off, who isn't confused. Secondly, what do "subjectivity" and "objectivity" mean? Mar 9 at 3:08
  • Kant is describing conditions of knowledge of the "transcendental subject", an idealized version of rational human with senses ("sensible intuition"). Time is relative to this type of subjects, hence subjective, for radically different subjects (like God) it would be "nothing". On the other hand, it is a necessary condition of experience (which takes the form of "appearances") for all transcendental subjects (in particular, all humans), hence objective "in regard to all appearances".
    – Conifold
    Mar 9 at 3:30
  • @Conifold thank you! Mar 9 at 4:10


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