Some Things Just Are

"We are in possession of certain a priori cognitions, and even the common understanding is never without them."

Immanuel Kant's "Critique of Pure Reason" relies heavily on this notion of a priori cognition. To prove the possibility of pure reason, we must agree that a priori cognition exists; that is to say that "cognition independent of all experience and even all impressions of the senses," exists. First, the distinction must be made between a priori cognition, and empirical cognition; the latter referring to "cognitons that have their sources a posteriori, in experience." Though Kant concedes that "no cognition in us precedes experience" he still argues for the possibility that pure reason, reason free from experience, is possible, with the understanding that if a judgement is thought in strict university, which is to say that no exception to that judgement is possible (e.g."bodies are heavy"), it can indeed be a cognitive fact without the necessity of experience to deem it so. He argues that Empirical cognition only augments the a priori understanding. In short, though experience is necessary to come to an understanding of certain cognitions, pure reasoning, a priori cognition, must still always be present. There must be some awareness we can come to based on intuitive cognition.

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