more from Immanuel Kant

Single Idea 5537

[catalogued under 12. Knowledge Sources / A. A Priori Knowledge / 5. A Priori Synthetic]

Full Idea

The proposition that with two straight lines no space can be enclosed cannot be derived from the concept of straight lines and the number two. You are forced to take refuge in intuition, ..which is a pure a priori intuition of a synthetic proposition.

Gist of Idea

That two lines cannot enclose a space is an intuitive a priori synthetic proposition


Immanuel Kant (Critique of Pure Reason [1781], B065/A47)

Book Reference

Kant,Immanuel: 'Critique of Pure Reason', ed/tr. Guyer,P /Wood,A W [CUO 1998], p.170

A Reaction

A very nice example. If you gave a child two rods and told them to make a shape, they might quickly learn this from experience. Kant's proposal is nice, but I am not convinced. We learn that to create shapes you must turn corners.