The Complexity of Intuition

The reading for this week is very difficult to understand and interpret from a vocabulary standpoint as well as from a conceptual view. Kant poses many important and complex ideas in his “Critique of Pure Reason” that delve into the elements of knowledge and thinking, particularly, the unification of self-consciousness. One particular term of interest that sticks out to me is his explanation of intuition, or “pure apperception”(B132), and its role in completing the conscious of self.

I think my confusion with his terminological breakdown of intuition is the fact that intuition is defined as “prior to all thought” (B132) or without the presence of conscious thinking and is yet a part of one’s self-consciousness. Can intuitions be a part of one’s conscious without being necessary thought of in a conscious matter but rather already being known? It seems as though the intuitions are connected in some sense to the “empirical apperceptions” Kant mentioned in the fact that they both include the “presentations that comprise the transcendental unity of apperception”(B132). I just think it’s hard to comprehend how an unconscious state of mind can dually comprise a conscious being.

One response to “The Complexity of Intuition

  1. I agree with you on the difficulty on the text that we had this week. It was hard to understand exactly what Kant meant on “presentation”. In response to your question about intuition and consciousness, I would say yes, it is possible. Kant says that “presentation is an act of spontaneity” and “as my presentations (even if I am not conscious of them being mine) …must conform…to the condition under which alone they can stand together in one universal self-consciousness” (B132). So, since intuition is presentation that can be given prior to all thought, and that presentation is an act of spontaneity, and that you can be unconscious of your presentations, it seems that intuition can be part of one’s consciousness without being thought of in a conscious matter since intuition can be “spontaneous”. I don’t know if this makes any sense to you- I have a vague idea of it myself- but I hope that it could clear up your confusion a little. Who knows, I might be wrong. 🙂

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