Kant’s Categorical Epistemology

by Max Andrews

The distinctions and categories in Kantian Epistemology:

What are true elements of knowledge?  Kant is a rationalist (the mind shapes the object with a priori categories). A priori, meaning prior to experience. Not from experience but from definition. A posteriori, after experience.

Content goes into five senses. Content equals sense-data called intuition sense-data. There are  innate categories of the mind. They mold, condition, and give form to the senses; a hermeneutical grid for the mind not the Bible. Time and space = pure intuition. The sermons form the hermeneutic “I make the world what it is to me.”

How did these elements develop into the two realms? A hypothesis that the mind is active requires that there be a distinction between the two realms (not a blank paper but something is already present to form the ideas). The objects present in the experience of the knower. The object rests beyond the experience of the knower. What they are?


  • Def. The five later put through the grid of the mind


  • Def. Things of thought, Plato, Kant, “Things in themselves (whatever they may be)” they exist but limited by rational apprehension and limiting concept.  One cannot know the noumenal realm by pure [Newtonian] reason.

That which comes through sensation, the intuitions, are shaped by the minds a priori categories, also Kant supported the reality of knowledge and indeed his quest was to establish the condition of the possibility of there being knowledge at all. This is a faith proposition for him a belief in knowledge especially for our purposes the knowledge of God, and yet in the process he greatly limited what is called knowledge.

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