Schopenhauer's Criticism of Kant's Analysis of Object Essay

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Schopenhauer's Criticism of Kant's Analysis of Object

Schopenhauer makes it clear that he is indebted to Kant for his vision of transcendental idealism, and that his Critique of Pure Reason [2] is a work of genius. However, Schopenhauer argued that Kant made many mistakes when formulating his philosophy, and he set about the task of uncovering them in his Criticism of the Kantian Philosophy, an appendix to be found in The World as Will and Representation [1]. In this essay I wish to analyse the criticism made against Kant's determination of an object, since this is an important factor if we are to comprehend how we understand reality.

Kant's Critique of Pure Reason [2] is notoriously difficult to read and often unclear. Possibly,
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Only with the concept of the chair does the chair become known. Concepts are essential if we are to perceive the world: "in no other way can an object be given to us" [2; B33]. Thus, for Kant, intuition and thought complement one another: "thoughts without content are empty, intuitions without concepts are blind" [2; B75].

The scope of the concept of object goes further than the example I have given immediately suggests: it does not just deal with an object that I perceive at one particular time, but can deal with the object at different times, and at different positions in space. Thus, to take the example of the particular chair I am looking at, the same concept of the chair synthesizes my immediate intuition, along with the chair as it was yesterday when, I recall, it was in another room, and also with any expectation I have of the chair tomorrow. The concept is able to synthesize all of these manifold phenomena across time and space. It picks out those features that make it the same chair; for example, that it is a particular shape and colour, and that it has a particular scratch mark on one of its legs.

Bringing Thinking into Perception

Schopenhauer's first criticism of Kant is that he "brings thinking into perception" [1; p.439]. As we have seen, for Kant, an object is not perceived meaningfully for what it is, until it is thought. Yet, this seems odd, because it seems to me that I do not have