3 Answers

  1. It's pretty simple. A “thing-in-itself”, according to Kant, is how a thing exists by itself, in fact, when no one sees it. That is, it is reality itself. A ” thing for us “(or” phenomenon”) is how we see it and think about it; it is how it is presented in our head as an image or concept.

    Kant's idea comes from the observation that we cannot perceive reality in its entirety. At the same time, Kant believed that we are limited not only at the level of perception, but also at the level of thinking – our perception and thinking are formed in a certain way even before experience (a priori), predetermined by human nature itself.

    The combination of these limitations means that reality as we perceive it is not identical with reality in its entirety. The way we see reality is different from the way a dog sees it, for example. At the same time, neither our perception nor the dog's perception is identical with reality itself. There is a thing for us, there is the same thing for the dog, and the thing in itself is what it really is.

  2. I would start by saying that “thing-in – itself” is a mistranslation. Kant basically said a simple thing: the thing itself (ding an zih) – that is, the thing before it was perceived by anyone.

    Thus, Kant proposes to clearly distinguish things as they are and things as they are perceived by someone in the context (“thing-for-us”). However, this division is NOT based on the difference between the objective (something that is independent of me) and the subjective (something that affects my psyche and the structure of the organs of cognition). Kant wants to explain something more complex: if I get experience, then it is already structured in some way, but structuring is like “casting a net”. Can we be sure that the WHOLE thing got into this network? Kant is doubtful, hence this division.

  3. We have a maximum of five (some people have fewer) perceptual organs through which external things and events enter our experience. On the basis of these data alone, our mind can form a primary idea of a thing, and we can use language to give it a name and define it as a concept.

    What if we had more sensory organs? What if we could sense, for example, the intensity of the Earth's magnetic field, which we know exists but can't see or touch? The magnetic field is precisely that unknowable property of our planet, as a thing-in-itself, which we cannot clearly experience in experience (except with instruments), but can deduce with the help of pure reason (with the tools of mathematics).

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