“Plato abandoned the world of the senses because it set such narrow limits for the understanding, and dared to go beyond it on the wings of the ideas, in the empty space of pure understanding” (Kant 140).

There are many different ways to interpret understanding, which is a word Kant uses multiple times throughout his introduction. The Oxford English Dictionary provides one definition of understanding that is simply “mind, purpose, intent.” When discussing the differences between “understanding” and “pure understanding,” it is decided by the individual. For Kant, understanding is the ability to separate each type of cognition and the differences between experience and knowledge. Each person is responsible for discovering these truths for themselves; Kant is providing the backbone for understanding.

Kant, Immanuel. “Introduction (Books I-VI).” The Critique of Pure Reason. Tr. & Ed Paul Guyer, Allen W. Wood. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge IP, 1998.

Oxford English Dictionary: “understanding” 1d.

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