By W. H. Bossart
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Additional info for Apperception, Knowledge, and Experience
As Kant employs it, "intuition" stands both 40 APPERCEPTION, KNOWLEDGE, AND EXPERIENCE for an act of consciousness and for the datum toward which that act is directed. Thus it is possible to read Kant as distinguishing between the act of intuiting (an intuitive act of consciousness) and the object or intuited datum intended by that act. , without the intercession of any other representings or representeds, to the datum that it intends. Its object, in turn, is always singular or individual. 25 This interpretation is also supported by some of the things that Kant says about space and time.
Thus the distinction between sensibility and understanding, between intuition and thought, is required by transcendental apperception itself. Transcendental apperception, which we know to be the logical condition of all thought, requires this distinction in order that it may come to expression. Just as time provides the formal other to which the spontaneity of transcendental apperception is contrasted, sensible intuition provides the matter whose unification into a public world of public objects is the objective expression of transcendental apperception as a spontaneity that unifies.
But a spontaneity that operated independently of all constraints would be unbounded and formless caprice and hardly able to qualify as the highest principle of human knowledge. The spontaneity of an infinite intellect would take on concrete embodiment through the objects that it brings into being. A finite spontaneity, on the other hand, requires something other than itself to which it can be contrasted if it is to be raised to self-consciousness. In his moral philosophy Kant solved this dilemma by arguing that when it acts morally the self acts according to a law that constrains its actions.