FOM: History and f.o.m. wtait at
Sun Apr 5 17:24:55 EDT 1998

Walter Felscher wrote in response to my

>> It is interesting to think of Kant from this point of view,
>> .....
>>       ...  the mountain comes to Mohammed, so to speak;
>> because he couldn't understand how Mohammed could come to
>> the mountain.   .....

 the following: 

>I am not certain whether this humorous account describes Kant's

Walter, it refers to a passage in the Preface of the second edition of 
the Critique of Pure Reason, B xvi. In the Kemp-Smith translation:

``Hitherto it has been assumed that all our knowledge must conform to 
objects. But all attempts to extend our knowledge of objects by 
establishing something in regard to them *a priori*, by means of 
concepts, have, on this assumption, ended in failure. We must therefore 
make trial whether we may not have more success in the tasks of 
metaphysics, if we suppose that objects must conform to our knowledge.''

In connection with my remark in response to Neil Tennant about the 
meaning of *a priori*, note that Kant's use is not the traditional one 
(although He writes somewhere that he is using it in the traditional 
sense). Strangely, Frege *Foundations of Arithmetic*, p.3., gives the 
traditional notion of *a priopri* and asserts (in a footnote) that it is 
what earlier writers including Kant intended.

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