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Kant's Early Metaphysics and the Origins of the Critical Philosophy
 0924922206, 0924922702

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North American Kant Society Studies in Philosophy

General Editors

Manfred Kuehn Purdue University

Karl Ameriks University ofNotre Dame

Editorial Board Karl Ameriks Manfred Kuehn Hoke Robinson ·Guenter Zoeller




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Not1;h American Kant Society '

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St!-'di~.~n.~!'.ilosophy '



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Volume3 North American Kant Society Studies in Philosophy

Ridgeview Publishing Company

Atascadero, California

Copyright© 1993 by North American Kant Society All rights resen,ed. No part of this book may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electrical or mechanical, jncluding photocopying, recording or by any informational storage or retrieval system, without written permission from ·me publisher and the copyright owner.

Paper text: ISBN 0-924922-20-6 Cloth (Library edition): ISBN 0-924922-70-2

Published in the United States of America by Ridgeview Publishing Company Box 686 Atascadero, California 93423 Printed in the United States of America by Thomson-Shore, Inc.

TABLE OF CONTENTS Acknowledgements


Note on sources


Introduction L interpretation of Dreams II. The System of Physical Influx


11 . 25

III. The Material Nature of Immaterial Things


IV. The Arcana of Swedenborg


V. Dreams of o Spirit-Seer


VI. The Inaugural Dissertation


VII. Towards the Critical Philosophy



147 .





ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS I owe many debts to many individuals and institutions. This study began as a dissertation project when I was a graduate student at the University of Chicago. I gratefully acknowledge the generous financial support of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. The Council awarded me a Doctoral Fellowship to pursue my studies. I just as gratefully acknowledge the generous financial assistance of the University of Chicago and the Mrs. Giles Whiting Foundation. This support allowed me to finish writing my dissertation at leisure and without distraction. I have also received much support since coming to McGill University. I should like to thank the Graduate Faculty for a grant which helped me to complete the revisions of my manuscript. I should also like to thank the Computer Sub-Committee and the office of the Dean of the Faculty of Arts for assistance in the purchase of computer equipment. Finally, I should like to thank James A McGilvray for the assistance he gave me in making out my computer grant and for doing what he could to teach me how to use the equipment once it arrived. I profited very much from discussions about my work with Rae Langton, W. W. Tait and Jonathan Vogel. I received very helpful comments and criticisms from Michael Forster and Daniel Garber. I am most grateful for their assistance. Karl Ameriks saw this manuscript in many different forms at all stages of its development I wish to thank him not only for his very kind hospitality in South Bend, but also for all his encouragement and his very useful comments, questions and critcisms. They helped me clarifY my ideas, correct certain oversights, set the emphasis on certain points and pull the manuscript together as a whole. I am very grateful to him for this assistance. I must also thank Manfred Kuehn for helping me prepare the final manuscript. I owe a very significant debt to Michael Friedman, which I should like to acknowledge very gratefully indeed. When I first began work on this project, I had all sorts of plans and ideas-some very inchoate and almost all rather too ambitious. I was able to bring my ideas-and the project as a whole--into focus because of the unstinting, encouraging and perceptive feedback which I received from Michael Friedman. He helped me to see the importance of certain things for Kant's development, which I had initially tended to play down, notably the importance of Newton's natural philosophy and theory of universal gravitation. He helped me sharpen my analysis as I went along, and he taught me to leave no stone untumed. The project is a much better one for his assistance. I just hope that I might some day rnnke myself as helpful to a graduate student as he was to me. I owe another significant debt to Stephen Menn, who never tired of discussing my work with me, whose sharp, insightful comments kept me honest, whose broad, detailed knowledge of philosophy suggested new avenues for me to e>.-plaining how the soul is present in spaceexcept by way of his story about monads. Like the monads, souls are supposed to be present in space and yet absolutely simple. The one '\vay to solve the problem about the soul 1vas to call on the solution for monads. \Vhen pressed, Kant could only say that the soul is present in space not by a multiplicity of parts, but through the sphere of its activity-by the influence of the forces it impresses on other things, notably the body. The problem here was the matter of repulsive force. Nothing in the story so far commined Kant to the view that the soul has an original force of repulsion, just as he said the physical monads do. But given that the soul resembles a monad in everything else and given that Kant was apparently committed to ascribing bodily forces of one kind or another to the soul, it was natural to wonder-and Kant himself is on record as wondering in the Preisschrift of 1764-how he could show that the soul is not



in space through an original force of repulsion. Kant himself e>qJressed the worry as follows: I admit that the proof we have-that the soul is not matter-is ·good. But take care not to conclude therefrom that the soul is not of a material nature. For we do not simply mean thereby that the soul is not matter, but rather also that it is not such a simple substance that an element of matter could be. This requires a special proof, namely that this thinking being is not in space through impenetrability, as a corporeal element is; and that it could not constitute together with others a mass and an extended thing-whereof truly no proof has yet been given. which, if discovered would show the inconceivable way that a spirit is present in space (2.293.8-1&).

If the soul is present in space through a force of repulsion, it must have a

certain sensible quality, namely impenetrability. But an impenetrable soul cannot be everywhere present in every part of the (impenetrable) body, contrary to a fundamental assumption of Kant's rational psychology. Kant \Vas not especially interested in the nature of the soul as such-so little interested that his rational psychology was very impoverished indeed. The only thing that seemed to exercise Kant in tbis branch of special metaphysics was tbe problem of the soul's presence in the body. Kant was extravagantly optimistic that he could solve this problem by appeal to the notion of a force and the principle of co-existence. But, as enticing as the solution might have been, it raised new problems-the problem of showing that the soul is absolutely simple, though present in the same space occupied by the body. In the effort to solve this problem, Kant could not draw on the resources of rational psychology, for his rational psychology had none to offer. He had to depend on his story about the physical monads. This raised yet another problem: how to show that the soul is not present in space by forces of repulsion. Unless Kant could solve this problem, not only would he have to deny that the soul is present in every part of the body during the course of its natural existence, he would also have to admit that a soul can be an object of sensation for us-even if it had passed out of this life and on to the ne,'l. We could have immediate e"'Perience of separate souls, just as we have experience of bodies and their motions. If departed spirits have an original force of repulsion, we could crack a knuckle on them. Kant had re-created the realm of irrunaterial things in the image of material nature. 3

No one so forcefully and so vividly pleaded the case for spirits and the possibility of direct communication witb them than Emanuel Swedenborg. At the height of a distinguished career as scholar, statesman, engineer, geologist, physiologist under the Swedish kings Charles XII and Frederick of Hesse, Swedenborg began to have strange visions that convinced him he could communicate at ·will ·with the spirits of the dead and the angels in heaven. He took this as a sign that God had commissioned him to reveal the hidden meaning of Scripture and to announce the Second Coming. After nine years of intense labor, he published the Arcana coelestia, a line-by-line commentary of the first two Books of Moses with reports of some of the things he had seen on his trips to Heaven and Hell. Kant read this work some time in the mid-1760s, and it was of considerable interest to him for a couple of reasons. First, Swedenborg's account of the order that prevails in heaven is nothing less than a system of pre-established



harmony, with angels substituting for monads. Sweclenborg could criticize the metaphysicians of his day whole-heartedly: he himself was no less a metaphysician for all that. Second of all, Swedenborg unambiguously represents heaven in the image of material nature. "When I have been permitted to be in company with angels," he writes portentously in Heaven and Its Wonders, and Hell, "the things about me appeared precisely the same as those in the [material] world; and so plainly that I would not have known that I was not in the world and in a king's palace" (§174). Swedenborg has very detailed descriptions of the gardens, the animal life and the buildings in heaven, as well as the angels, their clothing and their manners. On Swedenborg's account. heaven could be a street corner in Stockholm. Kant discovered in the Arcana coelestia something like a caricature of his own metaphysics. Given that Kant himself could not conceive of the soul except perhaps as impenetrable, he could not justifiably dismiss Swedenborg' s claims to have e>.:perience of separate spirits; nor could he justifiably reproach Swedenborg for recreating heaven in the image of the physical world. The only siguificant difference between the two is that Swedenborg had a system of preestablished harmony; Kant, a system of real interaction. But Kant had as badly corrupted his own system as Swedenborg had corrupted the system of Leibniz. Metaphysics itself had gone as mad in the Nova dilucidatio as it had in the Arcana coelestia. In 1766, Kant wrote a review of the Arcana coelestia under the title, Dreams of a Spirit-Seer Explained Through Dreams of Metaphysics. An important part of my study will be devoted to this satirical work and its relation to the Inaugural Dissertation. I shall argue that Kant first takes stock of his early metaphysics in Dreams of a Spirit-Seer; that the satire directed against Swedenborg in this work is equally directed against Kant himself-and this, for the follo\\ring reason: Kant and the Swedish spirit-seer both treat immaterial things as though they could be objects of human sensibility. Swedenborg stands in for Kant here. As 've shall see in due course, the Dreams is also a diagnosis of Kant's early metaphysics. I shall argue that Kant finds especial fault with the way he had been using the idea of an external force: it was in part the unthinking use of this idea in his rational psychology that led to the sensuous treatment of immaterial things. As a remedy to this problem, Kant calls for an investigation into the limits of human understanding. So I shall argue that Dreams of a Spirit-Seer and the Inaugural Dissertation bear an interesting relation to each other: Kant canies out in the Inaugural Dissertation the investigation he had been calling for in his review of the Arcana coelestia. The relation between these two works deserves another word or two. I said that Kant finds especial fault in Dreams of a Spirit-Seer with his early. unthinking appeal to external forces. I shall argue that Kant is here adapting some of the reflections on alleged powers in the soul that he found in Hume's Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding. Apparently taking Hume as his example, Kant makes the following point in the Dreams against his earlier self: reason discovers no necessary connection between cause and effect; nor does it find any such connection between the content of the will and any motions of the body. Kant concludes that," ... the fundamental concepts of things as causes, of forces and activities are altogether arbitrary and can neither be confirmed nor refuted if they are not taken from experience" (2.370.21-22). Kant's idea is something like this. So long as reason can find no evidence a priori of any necessary connection between cause and effect, it must take care not to ascribe



e>Vell as the "food and feastings of the Better sort of


Interpretation of Dreams

Genii." More knows full well that he is treading on slippery ground. The more particular and circumstantial his account of the hereatler, the more likely he is to raise the jesters and scoffers against him. For, as he himself puts i~ " ... overexquisiteness may seem to smell of art and fraud."' But he thinks the risk worth laking, because he wants to answer those who argue, as Hobbes, that the possibility of separate souls cannot even be properly conceived. So long as he gives a coherent and probable account of the state of the soul after death, he can deflate the cavilling of dogmatic corporealists.' Or such, anyway, is his claim. Needl= to say, one ntight vel)' well adntit tim! the human soul is incorporeal, separable from the body after death and everlasting, \\itl10ut \\ishing to speculate so freely on life in tl1e hereafter. Christian Wolff takes litis attitude in his Psycho/agio rationalis. The German metaphysician is confident he can demonstrate that the soul sunives the body after death, that it continues to lmve percept.ions~indeed distinct perceptions~in this stale, and that it conserves its memO!)' (§§744-746). 1llis is enough to prove, he says, tlmt the hllTI1lln soul is immortal (§747).' Wolff also tllinks he can demonstrate that life in the hereafter is "connected" (connexus) to life herebelow. In other words, he tllinks he can demonstrate that our lot after the death of the body depends on how well we lived during tl1e course of our natural existence (§748). But this is as much as he will perntit himself to say. He tells us that the "light of reason" alone caru1oL show us what the coMection behveen the life as we live it now and the life to come will consist in. So, not surprisingly, he does not indulge in any speculation about ti1e pastimes and feasting of departed spirits, such as we find in tl1e works of Heruy 1vfore. an My point in all titis is just Umt, given the inunortality of the hllTI1lln soul, U1e existence of separate spirits is a legitinmte question for rational psychology. We might very well fault the evidence a metaphysician uses to make his case one way or the other, but we may not tax him with eccentricity just because he takes up the question. Thus the oddity of Dreams of a Spirit-Seer cannot lie in Kant's apparent pre-occupation with the question about spirits as such. Moreover, since Emanuel Swedenborg claimed to lmvc first-hand knowledge of the state of the soul after death, it would have been natural for a metaphysician concerned "ith tl1ese issues to take an interest in Swedenborg'sArcana coe/estia. Kant's work nlight be odd, but not n=sarily because it is supposed to pass for a re,iew of Swedenborg's biblical exegesis. Now there is no doubt Umt Dreams of a Spirit-Seer is a distinctly strange production; ti1e question is why. Why should Moses Mendelssohn, who would later go on himself to attempt a proof of the soul's immortality in ti1e Phadon, lmve found Kant's work so perplexing? By way of an answer, we must bear at least two things in mind. In the first place, Kant seems to associate the question of separate spirits with the question concerning the status and future of metaphysics as a science. It is not at all obvious on the face of it why these two questions should go hand in hand. Pcrlmps one ntight have reasons to doubt that Hell!)' More's tales of \\itch-.')llain why Kant associates the question of spirits and spirit-seeing with the status and future of metaphysics. To meet the first criterion, this account would have to do a nmuber of clifferent but related things. It would have to show what Kant took the failings of metaphysics to be; it would have to show precisely how Kant formulated the question about spirits and spirit-seeing; and, it would also have to e:..')llain Kant's attitude towards Swedenborg. In the second place, an adequate account of Dreams of a Spirit-Seer would have to clarify the rhetorical ambiguities of the work. To meet the second criterion, it would have to e:qJlain how passages that support e>.1ravagant theories about spirits are compatible with other scornful passages that clismiss such tl1ecries as errant nonsense. It would also have to eJ:plain how passages in Dreams of a Spirit-Seer can be reconciled with related passages in other works of Kant or in his correspondence. The principle of charity must naturally serve as a guide in tltis respect Though Kant admits in his letter to Mendelssohn that his work was written very hastily and even haphazardly," we cannot suppose Kant was in such a terrible muddle that he would allow any part of the piece to be at total variance with his ideas on any matter. Short of conducting that Kant held contraclictory views on spirits and metaphysics, we must charitably assume that we can somehow hannonize the apparently incompatible passages in his work.

2 Dreams of a Spirit-Seer CWTently has four rival camps of readers. What chiefly clistinguishes readers in the clifferent camps is the way tl1ey understand Kant's attitude on the one hand to Swedenborg and on tl1e otl1er hand to traclitional metaphysics. All apparently agree tlmt traclitional metaphysics was supposed to be a science of supersensible tltings; all apparently agree that Kant's interest in this peculiar science was behind his interest in Swedenborg. Readers in the first camp presuppose one way or another that Kant had some kind of enduring commitment to metaphysics as a science of supersensible things. They argue that Kant himself was a student of Swedenborg and tlmt he incorporated some of Swedenborg's ideas into his mvn metaphysics. Readers in the second camp argue, on the contrary, that Kant '''a5 cornrnitted to traditional metaphysics only in passing and that he renmmced it by the mid-1760s in the name of some kind of skeptical empiricism-a view accorcling to which knowledge begins, and even ends, with what the orclinary senses have to teach us. These people say tl1at Kant was never a student of Swedenborg.

16 Interpretation of Dreams They say that Kant used Swedenborg in Dreams of a Spirit-Seer for sport-as a caricature of the traditional metaphysician ludicrously claiming knowledge of things no one can know. Readers in the third camp agree with those in the second on this point at least: Swedenborg stands in the Dreams and in Kant's own mind for something gone wrong in traditional metaphysics. But they distinguish themselves in this respect: they deny that Kant ever had a taste for traditional metaphysics as such. These people claim that Kant was committed to some kind of empiricism from the begirming and that he tried to use this empiricism in order to reform traditional metaphysics. Finally, readers in the fourth camp argue that Kant had a very peculiar and evolving commilment to both empiricism and traditional metaphysics-and that his attitude towards Swedenborg was ambivalent as a result. I would like to discuss each of these accounts in turn. Each of them has something going for it; each of them has influenced the way we think about Dreams of a Spirit-Seer. Some continue to influence us, even though their original proponents may have fallen into relative obscurity. Bu~ as I shall argue, none of them fully satisfies the two criteria I suggested earlier. I think it will be useful to examine their various short-comings in light of the relevant te~is, because this will point us away from misinterpretations. Bu~ more importan~ it will bring into sharper focus what we should e>.-pect from a more successful reading of Kant's work. I shall offer my own account of the work in the fifth chapter of my study. Readers in the first camp include the eminent scholar, Hans Vaihinger," as well as an odd assortment of mystics, quacks and charlatans." These people claim that Swedenborg exercised a positive influence on Kan~ and they argue that we can find firm traces of this influence in a letter Kant addressed to Charlotte von Knoblauch in 1763, in certain passages of Dreams of a Spirit-Seer, in the Inaugural Dissertation and the lectures on metaphysics. Of the lo~ Hans Vaihinger makes the most serious case for this claim. He is especially struck by the fact that Kant seems to give a very sympathetic account of Swedenborg,s ideas in his lectures on mtional psychology as transcribed by his student Politz some time in the 1770s. For Kant goes so fur as to call these ideas "very sublime" (sehr erhaben) (28.298.37). This moves Vaihinger to write, "But the wildly fermenting must of Swedenborg' s mysticism was clarified by Kant into the noble, mild, yet vigorous wine of Criticism."" Vaihinger seems to think, in particular, that Swedenborg's ideas might have contributed positively to Kant's distinction in the Inaugural Dissertation behveen the mundus sens;bi!is and the mundus intelligibilis, and so ultimately to the Transcendental Aesthetic in the Critique ofPure Reason. Vaihinger's theory tlmt Kant owed some kind of philosophical debt to Swedenborg raises a nmuber of difficult questions. First of all, it raises a question about some very harsh pronouncements in Dreams of a S'pirit-Seer. Kant describes Swedenborg as "the arch-spirit-seer of all spirit-seers" (Erzgeisterseher unter allen Geistersehem) (2.354.20). He writes savagely that, "If many aut11ors, now forgotten or one day nameless, have gained no little profit from disregarding t11e cost of understanding in the composition of great works, tl1en witl1out doubt the greatest honor of them all falls to Mr. Swedenborg" (2.359.33-36). Kant seems to suggest in this passage, and others like i~ tlmt Swedenborg is somehow a real menace to tl1e future of metaphysics. Moreover, he makes it very clear that he has not cribbed any ideas from Swedenborg and that he tlunks it folly to take t11e spirit-seer as a model for his own works in metaphysics: But I get straight to the point: I say that I do not take the object ofsuch offensive comparisons as jest and I declare once and for all that either Swcdenborg's writings must be ru.ts sometimes make predictions \~hile they rave-as it appears., or at least as they themselves admit-predictions \\·hich now nnd then bear fruit (2.359.24-31 ).

Clearly, Kant would not have it said of him !hat he was ever a disciple of Swedenborg, since he goes on to say !hat Swedenborg's work is "completely empty of all reason" (2.360.3-4). If Kant really did owe some kind of philosophical debt to Swedenborg, how are we to understand tllese protestations to tlle contrary? Vaihingcr and company have two options. Their first option is to declare tllese hardhitting passages as disingenuous. Jolm Manolesco does just !hat in tlle introduction to his English-language translation of Dreams of a SpirilcSeer, he argues !hat tlle e>.iended passage I quoted above is a "glaringly puerile device" adopted by Kant to hide his debt to "the great master oftlle occult"" Now this is a very serious charge, all the more serious in light of Kant's assurances to Mendelssohn in tlle letter of 8 April 1766 !hat he would never say sometlling he did not really believe. If tile charge is true, not only must we conclude !hat Kant was insincere, but even ti1at he was capable of peijuring himself to one of tlle minds he most admired in Germany. Notlling in tlle testimonials on Kant's character suggests !hat Kant could be guilty of deceit; nothing in Kant's own writings from tlle period suggests !hat his pronouncements in Dreams of a Spirit-Seer admit any interpretation otller tl1an tlle literal and obvious one. If Vaihinger and company acknowledge !hat Kant is sincere in Dreams of a Spirit-Seer, and if tlley persist in thinking !hat Kant owed some kind of philosophical debt to Swedenborg in such later works as the Inaugural Dissertation, tllen tlley have only one option left open to tllem. They must conclude !hat Kant changed his mind about Swedenborg over time. But titis ntises a further question. Is it posSible !hat, in tlle four short years between ti1e publication of Dreams of a SpiritSeer and the Inaugural Dissertation, Kant could have so changed !tis mind about Swedenborg !hat he would incorporate Swedenborg's ideas in his first concrete effort to trace tlle lintits of human understanding-even after all tlle diatribes in his earlier work and tlle charge !hat Swedcnborg was a menace to metaphysics? Let us not forget that Kant already recommends an investigation of tlle limits of human understanding in Dremns of a Spirit-Seer, precisely as a cure for Swedenborg's special kind of madness. So it would have been highly unreasonable for Kant to make use ofSwedenborg's delusions in the Inaugural Dissertation, a work whlch is supposed to serve as a course oftllerapy. To be sure, people are wont to change tlleir mind, and it would be absurd to think such change impossible for Kant But it is wortb noting that Kant's assessment of Sweclenborg and tlle like in tlle Critique of Pure Reason, flfteen years after the publication of Dreams of a Spirit-Seer, hardly seems to have changed at all. Though Kant does not mention Sweclenborg by name in tlle Critique of Pure Reason, he clearly has him in mind in certain places. For, in a number of interesting passages, Kant takes up once again tl1e question about spirits and their intercourse in a world apart from tltis. The picture he gives of U1ose who indulge in speculation about such things is not especially flattering. He descnbes tlleir elucubrations as giving rise to an "imaginary science" (eine eingebildete Wissenschajl) (A395) and as "empty figments oftlle bntin" (leere Hirngespinste) (A770/B798). It is interesting to note as well just how worked up about Utis Kant can get, even after fifteen years. In the first-edition treatment of tlle Paralogisms, Kant exclaims that, only "tlle sobriety of a critique, at once strict and just, can free us from this dogmatic delusion [namely tlle imaginary science ofti1e soul and spirits], which through the lure of an imagined felicity keeps so many in bondage to theories and system;'' (A395)." And again, he exclaims in the same passage that such a critique has tlle virtue of

18 Interpretation of Dreams restricting "the voyage of reason" (die Fahrt unserer Vernunjl) to "the continuous coastline ofe:qx:rience" (die stetigfort laufended Kasten der Er[ahrung), " ... a coast we cannot leave wiU1out venturing upon a shoreless ocean which, after alluring us \lith ever- our first criterion. I shall try to answer these questions in the following chapters of my study. Those who fall into the third camp of readers argue that Kant was not so much skeptical of metaphysics as he was critical. Kant recognized that metaphysics was in crisis, they argue; and his concern was to plot the course it would have to take in order to find its way out of the morass. This seems to be the view of Herman de Vleeschauwer and also Lewis White Beck. To make his case, de Vleeschauwer argues first that the task of metaphysics, as presented in Drearns of a Spirit-Seer, is to show th.:'lt " ... its errors spring directly from a vicious method."" The metaphysician has gone astray, because he has tried to adapt the synthetic method of mathematics for his own use, and so he permits himself to combine simple concepts arbitrarily. The metaphysician's speculations about the state of the soul after death and its intercourse with other spirits can neither be confirmed nor falsified, because we have no legitimate grounds for combining the concept of an immaterial substauce with the concept of reason, with the concept of force and cause, or what-have-you. I! we are to make any progress in metaphysics at all, Kant seems to be saying on de Vleeschauwer's reading, we must first reflect on the dangers of adapting the synthetic method, and then we must resolve to use the analytic method of Ne\\1onian physics---the only method acceptable for the metaphysician.• De Vleeschauwer concludes that, " ... it is not metaphysics itself which is rejected, but a special type of metaphysics, namely that which rests on the faulty methodology referred to [i.e., the synthetic method more appropriate to the study of mathematics]."n On the assumption that tltis is the lesson Kant draws for metaphysics in 1766, de Vleeschauwer also concludes that there is nothing new in Dreams of a Spirit-Seer, no sudden change of heart about the future and status of metaphysics. After all, Kant had already cautioned the metaphysician to avoid the synthetic method in favor of the analytic, in t11e Preisschrij/ of 1764.~ Moreover, he had already e>."j)ressed concern and dissatisfaction in tllis work over loose talk about spirits: However, one will say that philosophers tOo sometimes explain [thing.:] synthetically ... for example, when a philosopher thinks in an arbitn:uy way of substance together with the faculty of reason and calls this substance a spirit [Geist]. But I reply: such determinations of a word-meaning are never

22 Interpretation of Dreams philosophical definitions, but if they must indeed be called explanations., they are purely grannnatical For it is not at all for the philosopher to say what kind of word I wish to associate with an .mitr.uy ooocept (2.277.8-15).

It would seem, then, that Kant was no more skeptical about the prospects of metaphysics in Dreams of a Spirit-Seer than he "\VaS in the Preisschrifi. One can perfectly well harbor doubts about our knowledge of spirits in the spirit world, without having to abandon all hope that metaphysics will one day achieve the status of a science in its own right De Vleeschauwer is quite right to deny that Dreams of a Spirit-Seer is shot through with a radical skepticism about the viability of metaphysics. Moreover, he is right to insist on the early Kant's opposition to Wolff and his inclination to take Newton's natural philosophy as a model for the metaphysician. But de Vleeschauwer's interpretation of the Dreams is missing something. Though it is certainly fair to say that some kind of continuity links Dreams of a Spirit-Seer to the Preisschrifl, de Vleeschauwer misconstrues the earlier work and so he overlooks an important new development in the later one. On de Vleeschauwer's reading of the Preisschrifl, Kant's endorsement of a Ne\\1onian-inspired analytic method in metaphysics goes hand in hand \\ith a kind of empiricism. When Kant urges the metaphysician to take given complex concepts as his point of departure, he really means to say-according to de Vleeschauwer-that metaphysics at least begins with e"-perience. As de Vleeschauwer puts it, "The only admissible point of departure [for metaphysics, on Kant's viev-l] is empirical detennination and immediate judgment of the given. "• The trouble is that there is no reason to suppose that the complex concepts, analyzed by the metaphysician, have to be given to us in e:-.-perience at all. Indeed, the evidence suggests just the opposite, because Kant makes it very clear in the Preisschrif/ that the metaphysician can e,_-pect the greatest possible success in his analysis of the concept of God's necessary existence--a concept framed by the understanding independently of all ex-perience (2.296-297). Whereas our concepts of God's "moral" attributes-his justice, providence, beneficence---depend on our having observed these tllings in ourselves and other human beings, the concept of God's necessmy existence requires no such analogy "ith human nature. It is an absolutely unique concept that forces itself upon the understanding by its mvn selfevidence. Though our concepts of God's moral attn'butes ralght very well depend on e:-.-perience, our concept of God's necessary existence does not; and thus it has the highest possible clarity and distinctness. Kant does not advocate an empirical point of departure for the metaphysician in the Preisschrift; but he certainly does so in Dreams of a Spirit-Seer, where he argues that all our knowledge of causal interaction must be grounded in e:-.-perience. This is clear from passages I quoted above. Witen de Vleeschauwer says that some kind of continuity links the Preisschrifl and Dreams of a S'pirit-Seer, he means that we can find Kant's appeal for the metaphysician to begin "ith ex-perience in both of these works. But plainly de Vleeschauwer is ralstaken in tllis, and thus he leaves unanswered a very important question about the basic philosophical motivations of the Dreams: why did Kant decide in 1766 tlmt ex-perience should be a concern for the metaphysician? In his important book Early Gennan Philosophy, Lewis White Beck seems to follow de Vleeschauwer on the Preisschr!f/ and Dreams of a SpiritSeer. So the same questions raised by de Vleeschauwer's reading are also raised by Beck's.~ Neither Beck nor de Vleeschauwer can satisfy our first criterion for an adequate reading of Kant's satire. Because they do not understand that Kant's appeal to empiricism in the Dreams is a new development, they do not understand


Interpretation of Dreams 23 precisely what problem this appeal is supposed to solve. Because they do not understand what problem Kant is trying to solve in the Dreams, they cannot explain why or how Kant associates the question of spirits and spirit-seeing with the status and future of metaphysics. I shall try to explain why Kant now thinks that e"perience should be a concern for metaphysicians in Chapter Five of this study. That just leaves us with the fourth camp of Kant readers. This camp is occupied exclusively by Robert Butts. Butts' reading of the Dreams in his Kant and the Double Government Methodology sounds many of the themes already announced by Kuno Fischer. To that extent, it can apparently make sense of Kant's harsh pronouncements against Swedenborg in the Dreams. So we learn from Butts that Kant was an avid student of the empirical sciences. He was eager to show that all knowledge begins with what is given, i.e., with certain data a=sible in principle to all of us. He was also eager to determine t11e methods best suited to regulate these data. So Kant considered Swedenborg something of an impostor, because Swedenborg's data were fur from publicly accessible. Worse yet, Swedenborg's methods of organizing these data were best suited not for ndvancing scientific knowledge, but for cultivating ignorance and fanaticism in his followers. Kant saw in Swedenborg evel)1h.ing that was wrong with traditional metaphysics understood as a science of supersensible things---a science of things for which data can be collected only by frauds and lunatics." This is why Kant mnde Swederiborg the object of satire in Dreams ofa Spirit-Seer. So fur, Butts seems to be sympatl1etic to Fischer. Unlike Fischer, though, Butts recognizes full well that Kant's attitude towards both Swedenborg and traditional metaphysics is not quite so simple. Butts points out quite rightly that Kant does not have only harsh words for Swedenborg. He points out that Kant mnde a regular practice of lecturing on Swedenborg at the University of Konigsberg and that the transcripts of these lectures show Kant to be, on the whole, rather open-minded." The reason for this ambivalence, says Butts, is that Kant had an enduring, but evolving conunitment to Leibniz' so-called "double government methodology." The double government methodology prescribes mechanical e"'Planation for physical

phenomena: we are to e>...1Jlain all physical phenomena as the result of the e>...'tension, figure and motion of the material particles in bodies. Kant apparently interpreted fuis prescription as raising the twin problems of evidence and method-the problems that call for some kind of empiricism as their solution. But the double government methodology prescribes another order of explanation. Leibniz apparently denied that bodies are real things. For this reason, he insisted that the ultimate explanation of tl1e way the world runs must say something about metaphysically real tllings never disclosed to our seuses. Such an e"'Planation must tlke fulaJ causes into account. As Butts sees tllings, Kant was a student of this double government methodology. Kant recognized that he had to make a place in his philosophy for final causes and metaphysically real tllings. The question was how to do this ;vithout suifusing scientific explanation with spiritual mumbo-jumbo. illtimately, the answer to tllis question lay in t11e Critical Philosophy. Thus Kant denied in his later years that we can have scientific knowledge of any but the objects of possible experience, and he argued tlmt our belief in tl1e inlmortality of t11e soul and in final causes is merely a regulative idea of pure reason. At the time of the Dreams, however, Kant had not yet resolved the tension in the double government methodology. So while dismissing talk of immaterial Ulings and final causes, we also find him trying to make room for it. Unlike Fischer, Butts has sometlting to say about the seeming ambivalence in Kant's attitude towards Swedenborg. But Butts is very much in the spirit of Fischer.

24 interpretation of Dreams So Butts takes the philosophical imperative of Kant's career to be the development of a vaccine for human reason against pseudo-scienlific fanaticism. \Vhalever else there is to say about Butts' stmy, it seems to be misguided as a reading of the Dreams and the Inaugural Dissertation. J...s I see things, the problem for Kant in the mid and late 1760s was to preserve traditional metaphysics from the taint of sensibility. I leave the defense of this claim for Chapters Five and Six." In what follows, I shall try to offer an alternative reading of Dreams of a Spirit-

Seer in order to answer some of the questions raised by current competitors. I hope to shed some light on Kant's dissatisfaction \lOth U1e state of metaphysics, his reasons for associating the status of metaphysics \loth t11e question of separate spirits and spirit-seeing, and his interest in t11eArcana coeleslia ofSwedenborg. I also hope to clear up the rhetorical ambiguities of the work; I shall try to show how the pages devoted to strange t11eories of spiritual interaction fit in \loth t11e pages filled \lOth contempt for speculation on such matters. To tlmt end, I propose to read Dreams ofa Spirit-Seer in light of Kant's earlier work in metaphysics-in particular, his efforts during the rnid-1750s to lay t11e foundations of a credible system of real interaction to supplant the system of pre-established harmony favored by Wolff and Leibniz. As we shall see, the commitment to real interaction ultimately led Kant to represent inlmaterial substances as t11ough they were subject to the conditions of space and time. We shall also see tlmt tllis result was thoroughly unacceptable to Kant and Utat he regarded it as a serious t11reat to metaphysics. I shall 1:Iy to show tlmt Swedenborg's angelology presupposes an awful lot of standard metaphysical baggage, Uta! the Swedish visioruuy subjects immaterial substances to the conditions of space and time in much tl1e same way t11at K,"111t did, and that this is tl1e reason for Kant's interest in tl1e Arcana coelestia. Finally, I shHll argue that Kant uses the

example of Swedenborg in Drearns of a Spirit-S'eer to warn metaphysicians against the d-"Ulger of subjecting immaterial substances to spatia-temporal conditions and Utat the call for an investigation of the limits of human understanding is supposed to

help secure metaphysics against this danger. Kant himself was later to undertake such an investigation in U1e Inaugural Dissertation~ and, as we shall see, it is significant Uta! tl1e frnit of tlus investigation was a metl1od for e~"]Xlsing the "metaphysical error of subreption," i.e., tl1e tendency of metaphysicians to subject objects of the intellect-immaterial substances among U1em----to the spatia-temporal conditions of sensibility.

CHAPTER TWO THE SYSTEM OF PHYSICAL INFLUX In the "Discipline of Pure Reason," at the end of the first Critique, Kant declares tha~ "ithout the benefits of the Critical Philosophy, " ... reason is, as it were, in the state of nature, and can establish and secure its assertions a11d clairn.s only through war" (A75l/B779). For lliltil we can determine the limits of reason, dogmatic philosophers will have free reign to bicker amongst themselves. The one can defend his position against the collilterclaims of the other simply by ex']Xlsing the cant of his rival. He need not wony if he fails to establish the truth of his own position with mathematical certainty, so long as he can detect near fatal weakness in the alternatives (A739-740/B767-768). Tltis picture of reason at war \\ith itself aptly describes the state of metaphysics in the m.id-l740s, when Kant was a student at the University of Konigsberg. A raU1er heated dispute had been raging over the system of causes best suited to e;...-plain the conununity (comrnercium) of body and soul. Wolff defined the terrru; of tl1e debate for all parties in Section Three of his Psychologia rationalis. Wolff tells us that a system of rational psychology is a conjecture about the relationship between body and soul, and notlting more than a conjecture. No one denies, he says, tl1nt perceptions of sensible tltings ruise in tl1e soul and vollliltal)' motions ruise in the body as if body and soul could really act on each other (537). Tl1e question is whether and how tltis is possible. Now Wollf despairs of finding a proof to resolve the debate once and for all. He is as little hopeful of conclusively establislting the system he favors most as he is of conclusively establishing the system he favors least So he says that we must settle for "philosophical h)']Xltl1eses" (530). Even if \\'e can never prove that a given system of causes is true, at least we

can pick tl1e most plausible one by ex']Xlsing the infelicities of U1e alten1ntives or the points on which they are incompatible with U1e laws of nature (532-533). Wolff contends that there are three systems of conununity to choose from: the system of

occasional causes, the system of pre-established harmony and U1e system of physical inlllLX.

The competing claims of the tl1ree rival systerru; of rational psychology can be stated as follows. Either creatures can ac~ or tl1ey cannot If tl1ey cannot, all change in creation must be the effect of God and God alone. Tltis is tl1e fundamental claim of anyone who defends tl1e system of occasional causes. Now if creatures can act, either they can act on one anotl1er, or they cannot. If they caru1ot, all change in any given creature m!Lst be the effect of the creature acting on itself by some kind of inner force.' The body acts on itself by its own special force and thereby produces all of its motions. Likewise, the souJ acts on itself by its own special force and thereby produces all of its perceptions. God arranged tltings so that cl=ge in these two substances-and indeed cl=ge in all substances-would always ruise in concert. These are the fundamental clailus of ru1yonc who defends the system of preestablished hannony. Finally, if creatures can act on one another, all change in

creation is the effect of real interaction. Perceptions are the effect of tl1e body's agency on the soul, and vollliltary motion is the effect of the soul's agency on the body. These are the fundamental clairru; of anyone who defends tl1e system of physical infltLx. Follo\\ing Leibniz, Wolff himself admits pre-established harmony as the least implausible system of psychological conllll!Lnity. He raises the standard Leibnizinn objections against both occasionalism and physical inlllLX in order to make ltis case.

26 The System ofPhysical Influx

He complains in particular that the advocates of physical infltLx conceive interaction as a current of "'being'' or "reality" flo..,-,~ng from one substance to another. A substance acquires a new accident when it opens its window to let in some being flowing from the open window of another substance. Wolff's picture of the doctrine is unfair, because a commitment to real interaction is not in itself a corrunitment to streams oflx:ing in the world or to !ransfusions of accidents. But having erected his man of straw, Wol£f argues reasonably enough !hat the straw position is scarcely intelligible (573).' Now it is important to see that Kant's first philosophical project was at least in part to put an end to the disputes in rational psychology. Kant was determined to show that the system of physical influx d= not presuppose any silly currents of being flowing from substmce to substance. He was supremely confident that he could find a more plausible way to construe his favored system and that he could defend it against the charge of incoherence. He even hoped to show conclusively that subst:wces of any kind have the power to act on one another, if they have the JXlWer to act at all. Kant was eager to demonstrate that physical infltLx is the true system of rational psychology and general cosmology alike. He earnestly believed that it could e;>q:>erience. Most of us would be very reluctmt to deny real interaction ofhody and soul, just because we have the distinct impression that it takes place all the time. Johann Christoph Gottsched, one of Wolff's most devoted students and pre-eminent e"-'}XlSitors, argued against his master in the First Grounds ofthe Whole of Philosophy tlmt !ltis is reason enough to admit physical inflw..-perience. We can understand Kant's commitment in light of the way he conceived the relationship between metaphysics and natural philosophy. But first let us consider the views of

The System of Physical Influx 27 Leonlmrd Euler on this matter, for Euler seems to have had some kind of influence on Kant

We can find !he best ex-pression of Euler's view in Reflexions sur l'espace et le temps of 1748. Euler begins by impressing on his reader that the principles of mechanics are unshakable. Even if we cannot yet derive them from the general principles of metaphysics, he says, it would be folly to renounce them-folly indeed, because !he principles of mechanics can be used to ex-plain so many things: !he motion of solid and fluid bodies here at the earth's surface, as well as the motions of the heavens. Euler concludes as follows: These truths [namely t:hat a lxxiy at rest will rem:Un at rest and that a \x:.dy in motion will tend to move in the same direction with the same speed] are so indubit:lbly established that th...J• mu..."t chapter of this book that Kant unwittingly revoked this exemption. I shall argue tha~ as a consequence of Kant's early views, the rational soul is subject to the laws of mechanics at least insofar as it engages in a community of certain Newtonian forces with the body." I shall argue, moreover, that this was unacceptable on the terms of Kant's own metaphysics." TI1ough less naive than Euler, Kant let the laws of mechanics dictate tl1e content of rational psychology. Euler himself would have fom1d this scandalous. 2 Precisely because Kant recognized that the law of inertia all on its own would not unsettle the system of pre-established harmony, he had to modify Euler's strategy.

32 The System of Physicallnflux He tried to show that the law of inertia is a specific instance of a much more general, purely metaphysical law (the so-called principle of suc=ion); he tried to establish tilis new law on grounds independent of natural philosophy; and, he tried to u.se it to show systematically that physical influx prevails throughout all of creation-even among the proper objects of metaphysics. Whereas Euler makes the law of inertia his main line of attack against preestablished harmony, Kant calls upon his new law of metaphysics, the principle of succession. The principle of succession states that, "No change can occur to substances unless they are connected to other substances; the reciprocal dependence of substances determines mutual chllnge of state" (1.410.18-20). According to tile principle of su=sion, ll substance will undergo no dkwge at all unless it e"1emally relates to other substances. Furti1ermore, substances \\ill remain unchanged, even if they e:-..iernally relate to one another~ so long as their e:-.:temal relations remain unchanged. Kant inlagincs a world in which everything is at rest in order to make his point Motion, he says, is change of position or the "phenomenon of change of connection" (phaenomenon pennutati nexus). \Vhcn a body moves, a change occurs in tile e"1emal relation that body bears to other bodies. Tims no change can take place in a world in which everything is at rest. For though the substances in this world e"1ernally relate to one another, their e"1emal relations are always the same." Consequently, their inner states must also remain the same. Kant concludes that no succession of any kind whatsoever can take place in such a world. He also argues timt time would be absent, given that time is the order of succession. Kant offers several different demonstrations of the principle of succession. Here is the first of them. Suppose Umt some simple substance exists unto itself, bearing no relation to any other substance in U1e universe. TI10ugh Kant himself d= not say so, we might just as well imagine timt noUting at all exists besides this one substance. Now the problem is to determine whether this substance has the power to effect change in itself. Kant argues, of course, that ti1e inner state of titis substance cannot change at all. For this inner state must have a sufficient reason. By hypothesis, this reason must lie \\ithin the substance itself. Kant seems to titink that the presence of this reason in tl1e substance will prevent the substance from assuming any other inner state. So he concludes tJ1at no change can take place in the substance as long as no change takes place in Utis reason. TI1is leads !tim to conclude that the substance has no power of its own to effect change in itself. For the sufficient reason of the inner state of ti1e substance cam1ot change unless change is imposed on it from witl10ut (1.410.30-35). The second demonstrntion of the principle of succession seems to tum on ti1e following idea. If we deny real interaction an1ong substances, we must conclude timt every substance has \\~thin itself the sufficient reason of every change it will ever undergo. Kant's point is ilmt these changes will unfold instantaneously unless there is some sufficient reason to delay them. The suilicient reason of tills delay has to lie outside of the substance. For so long as the substance has \\iUlin itself the suilicient reason of all its future changes, it ·will not be reluctant-as it were-to bring them about. But if ti1e substance presents all of its future states all at once, it would not really undergo any change. So Kant concludes that something must act on the substance from \\ithout, oUlClwise no real change \\Oil take place in it (1.411.1-9). Kant offers a third demonstration for his new principle. Let us suppose for the sake of argument that the instantaneous su=sion of states in a soli tal)' substance can count as real change. Kant says that a substance can have incompatible inner states over the course of time: it is impossible for a substance to be red and not to be

red at the same time, but it can perfectly well assume first one color and then anoUwr

The System ofPhysical Influx 33 at different times. So it would be impossible to conceive of a substaoce whose inner states succeed one another instantaneously, because such a substance would have incompatible inner states at one and the same time. Since the instantaneous succession of inner states in a substance is absolutely inconceivable, no change is possible in a substance alone in all the universe. Change can take place ·in a substaoce-if at all--only insofar as something acts on the substance from \\ithout (1.4ll.l0.14). These are rather strange argnments. At best, they seem contrived; questionbegging, at worst Each of the three proofs is designed to show that a substance which bears no relation to any other substance cannot undergo change. But each of the proofs turns on the question whether change is conceivable in such a substance. Kant answers No, but as often as not he seems to beg the question Why? Nonetheless, I have come to think that something quite interesting is going on in these proofs, especially in the second of the three. The question seems to be how we can e>:plain the possibility of any kind of temporal order in the world. Like Wolff and Leibniz, Kant rejects the Newtonian conception of absolute space and time. He denies that time is a real thing really distinct from things that undergo change. Time is nothing but the order of succession-the order in which the states of things succeed one after the next Kant's idea is that the order of succession will be impossible unless change in things occurs at a certain rate: if change takes place instantaneously, we cannot say that one state of a thing has followed another. Kant seems to think, moreover, that whatever this rate of change may be, it must have a sufficient reason. Then he tries to argue that, even if a creature is itself the sufficient reason of all the change it will ever undergo, it cannot be the sufficient reason for the rate at which this change \\ill take place. For the effect of this sufficient reason \\111 be to delay the changes occurring in the creature. Kant claims that the creature itself cannot be the cause of this delay: if the creature has everything it will need to bring about all the change it \\ill ever undergo, why would it hesitate to do its business? So the conclusion apparently has to be that creatures really act on one another. A creature \\ill not instantaneously pass from one state to the next, because it has to wait for another creature to effect change in it The rates of change in creation are detennined by real interaction. In a nutshell, Kant's argnment against pre-established harmony is that the fuvored system of Wolff and Leibniz cannot explain how the order of succession is possible. This, I think, is a very interesting line of argnment, though it has some obvious limitations. For one thing, tl1e challenge to Wolff and Leibniz in the Nova dilucidatio depends on a very strong commitment to the principle of sufficient reason. But what Kant has to say about this principle in 1755 is very murk-y indeed. To evaluate thoroughly the merits and limitations of Kant's challenge to Wolff and Leibniz, we would have to investigate his account of the principle of sufficient reason. But it is not my intention to do that here. I reserve such an investigation for future work. The thing of concern for now is the relation between the principle of succession and the law of inertia. What I have said so far should be enough to establish that Kant's principle of metaphysics is independent of the laws of mechanics. Unlike Euler, in other words, Kant does not have to appeal to the laws of mechanics to mount his challenge to WolJI and Leibniz. But now I would like to show that the principle of succession and the law of inertia have something in common, even if the first is independent of the second in tl1e order of reasons. We would not go so far wrong to say tlmt the two principles describe realities of the same kind. The principle of succession states that all creatures have some kind of inertia and some kind ofNe\vtonian force, even if not all creatures are subject to Newton's

34 The System ofPhysical!njlux laws of motion." It is important to see this, because, by the end of tl1e game, Kant cannot avoid ascribing bodily forces to immaterial tlungs such as the rational soulor so I shall argue in the nexi chapter. Kant already makes it clear in his first publication, tl1e True Estimation afLiving Forces of 1747, that he thinks the law of inertia has special significance for the metaphysician. He begins by observing in § l that Leibniz was the first to teach tlmt every lxxly has an essential force, a force prior even to exiension. He tells us in §2 that metaphysicians later tried to spell out Leibniz's ideas more precise!)' and this, it seems, led to a fundamental mistt-tke. For these metaphysicians were of the opinion that bodies can do nothirg more than produce motion. They could not help then but conclude that Leibniz's essential force of bodies is a moving force, a force through which a lxxly causes motion in itself or in some oU1er body. \Vhy does a body move? It has the power to do so. Kant argues that this device is worthy of the Scholastics, ·who would not hesitate to call upon a vis calorifica in order to ex-plain heat or a vis frigifaciens in order to e~'j)lain tl1e ccld (!.18.2-16). According to Kan~ tl1e error of the mek1physicians following Leibniz was to suppose that motion is an action {eine Wirkung). Only because they conceive of motion in this way do they ccnclude tlmt it presupposes a force as its cause. A body that encounters very little resistance, for example, moves freely. Such a body docs not act at all, says Kant; it simply preserves its sk1te of motion \lith respect botl1 to speed and direction. As fur as Kant is ccncemcd, it makes no sense to say that a force causes the motion oftllis body (!.18.!8-36). Some metaphysicians would argue against Kant from the example of a weight suspended on a string or from tl1e example of a weight resting on a table. The weight suspended on the string remains at rest so long as tile string remains intact; likewise, the weight resting on the table remains at rest so long as the table holds it up. But once the string is cut or the k1ble removed, tl1e weights \\ill fall to tl1e grow1d. Now neither tl1e action of cutting U1e string, nor the. action of removing the table, is enough to produce motion in tile weights. So tl1e mek1physician would conclude timt the ·weights fall by a force which is inscribed in tl1eir very nature. Kant would presumably say that gravity causes tl1e fall of ti1e weights. But gravity is either tl1e effect of a subtle matter, or it is ti1e effecl of the Earth's attractive force. In the first case, the weights fall--{)b\iously--by no force of their own; like\\ise in the second case. For then tl1e weights fall by a force impressed on them by tile Earth. TI1ough the weights have motion when ti1ey fall to the ground, it is not right to say tlmt tl1ey act. At any rate, it is not right to say that U1ey act upon themselves; rather they are acted upon by other bodies. Since tl1e bodies do not a~ they surely exert no force upon themselves; so we may not conclude that a force inscribed in the very nature of the weights is tl1e cause of their fall to the ground. Plainly the law of inertia underlies the Kantian criticisms of moving force in the True Estimation. A body has no special iimer force Umt produces its motion. For bodies are fund:"Ullentally inactive. \Ve do not call upon forces to e:\.-plain motion as such, but rather the change from one state to another. Cl1.:'U1ge of state in bodies presupposes a community of forces; bodies would undergo no change of state if they did not really interact (l.l40.10-15). The law of inertia may be w1derstood, then, as ascribing to bodies a natural and fundamental impotence, at least "itl1 respect to tl1e possibility of self-inflicted change of state. To tlmt e~1en~ Kant argues in the True Estimation that it serves to correct U1e errors of metaphysicians who attributed essential moving forces to bodies. Here Kant is arguing very much in the spirit of Euler.

The S)'Siem ofPhysical Influx 35 Now we can think ofU1e principle of succession in ilie Nova dilucidatio as stating ilie lesson I just rehearsed from ilie True Estimation in purely metaphysical tenms. Kant's point in ilie Nova dilucidatio is fuat substances of whatever kind iliey may be are as ftmdamentally inactive as bcxlies. All substances have a natural and

fundamental impotence "iili respect to se!f-inilicted change of sillte. They tend to preserve t11eir state, whatever that state might be, so long as nothing acts on them from \\iilioul Change of state in a substance----be it a soul or what have you-is always ilie effect of real interaction. AI; I say, ilie principle of succession tells us fuat all creatures have some kind of inerti~ even if tl1e law of inertia as such only governs



It is worth pointing out fuat U1e principle of succession seems to be furee distinct principles in one. Kant's principle silltes Umt: 1) no substance has ilie power to effect change in itself; 2) all clmnge in a substance must be ilie effect of a connection (commercium) or ilie action of, some oilier substance;" 3) change of state in substances is "mutual," i.e., equal and opposite. TI1us ilie principle of succession seems to stand in a peculiar relation not only to U1e law of inertia (as in 1), but to ilie oilier two laws of motion as well (as in 2 and 3). We can fuink of Kant as making ilie claim in 2 fuat all change in any given substance is ilie effect of some kind of external force impressed on ilie substance by anoilier substance. The force \\111 be a bodily force governed in ilie first instance by ilie laws of motion if it is impressed by one body on anoilier body; oiliemise, it must be some kind of spiritual force, for lack of a better word. AI; Kant himself puts it "if one wished to know how, ilien, changes ... arise, since ilicy do not proceed from ilie internal state of any substance considered in isolation, I would have him direct his mind to ilia! wh.ich results from U1e connection offu.ings, i.e., ilieir mutual dependence in determinations'' (1.411.2428)." By "dependence in determinations" Kant just means "force." AI; e>.-pressed in 2, ilien, the principle of succession recalls Newton's second law of motion. It alsc recalls Ne"1on's fuird law, inscfur as Kant claims-as in 3-Utat this "dependence of determinations" among substances is mutual. In oilier words, U1e external forces substances impress on one another are equal and opposite.~ AI; I say, ilie principle of succession states fual all substances have some kind of inertia and exercise some kind of e>.ternal force, even if not all substances are subject to ilie laws of motion. It is important lo emphasize, however, ti1lll U1e U1ree principles included in ilie principle of succession are meant to be principles of metaphysics. They are at once more primitive and more fundamental Umn any of U1e laws of mechanics.• Th.is becomes clear in light ofilie foiJo"ing consideration.


The laws of motion govern the behavior of Ulings under U1e conditions of space and time. According to the law of inertia, for instance, a body at rest will remain at rest and a body in motion will move in a straight line wiili wllionn speed, so long as iliey do not suffer ilie effects of an e>.ternal force. The body at rest "ill undergo no change of place, while U1e body in motion »1!1 pass furough equal distances in equal times-ajways in ilie same direction. In oilier words, ilie law of inertia presupposes the concepts of place, direction, time-interval and temporal ordering." Th.is is true of ilie oilier two laws of motion as well. But it is certainly not true of ilie principle of succession, however we might construe it The principle of succession states very simply tl1llt change in a substance is always produced by ilie agency of anoilier substance; time, place and tl1e rest of it do not yet enter ilie picture. Indeed. far from presupposing spatia-temporal conditions, tl1e principle of succession-together 'liili ilie principle of co-existence-lays the ground of t11eir very possibility. Kant makes fu.is perfectly clear. AI; a corollary of U1e principle of succession, he states fuat "Hence, if the co!lllection of substances is completely abolished, succession and time

36 The System ofPhysicollnjlux too disappear'' (1.410.27-28). Moreover, as a corollary of the principle of coexistence, he says that the spatial conditions of substances are determined by their real interaction as conceived in ti1e schema of the divine intellect (1.414.10-20). Precisely because the principles of succession and co-existence do not presuppose the conditions of space and time, but rather lay the ground of their possibility, they are both more fundamental thnn any of tile laws of motimt No doub~ Kant would say that they are in fact the foundation of these laws and indeed tile whole of mechanics. It should he noted accordingly that Kant's metaphysical concept offora: is very peculiar. Newton himself defines ''impressed force" (vis impressa) in rather abstract terms as just the "action exerted upon a body in order to ch.c'Ulge its state, eitl1er of rest, or of uniform motion in a right line."• Now Kant's concept afforce seems to he very much in 1l1e spirit of Newton's. For Kant, a force is just a "dependence in determinations," i.e., the agency of one substance at work in another substance. But Kant takes the concept of fora: to a level. of abstraction even higher thnn Ne\\1on does. Since Newton defines a force as whatever changes a body's state either of rest or motion in a right line, ti1e Newtonian cona:pt of force presupposes-if nothing else-the concept of place, direction and change of either place or direction over time. Since Kant holds that these concepts are themselves possible only by reason of the principles of succession and co--; so that theyrathcrcontendasimple substance to b.! exposed to continual dunges by :m intcm.'l.l principle of activity. Certainly their arguments are knov·.n [to me]; but th:lt they are trivial, I urn hardly less oonvill=l (1.411.16-20).

If true, the principle of succession undernlines pre-established harmony as a system of general cosmology or theory of the world. So long as the constitutive elements of matter undergo change, they must really act on one another by some kind of e>-1emal

force. But if Kant's case against pre-established harmony is perhaps more secure in general cosmology than that of Euler, it raises certain questions about the nature of the rational soul. According to the principle of succession, the soul has as little power to change its state as the body. Euler would contest tilis on the grounds tlmt ex'}.'>erience teaches us othenvise. Even if certain representations arise in the soul against its will, the soul apparently has U1e power to change some of its inner states all by itself. It can spontaneously imagine whatever it likes. It can flit from one idea to another >'ithout any e>-1emal prompting. Moreover, it can change its mind about sometlling upon a whim. The phenomena suggest that tile soul lms the power to produce change in itself---at least some of the time.)1 Euler insists on this, because this is what apparently makes the important difference between tile soul and the body. As we shall see in due course, this important difference becomes blurred in Kant's metaphysics, even though Kant tries to make his metaphysics independent of the laws of mechanics. 3 The principle of succession is supposed to e"']Jlain how change in the world is possible, namely through real interaction among created substances. Now Kant has to e>.']Jlain how real interaction is possible. He does so by calling on the second special principle of his system, the so--']Jlain the possibility of real interaction among ti1en1. For we can conceive of creatures in existence \\~U10ut having to conceive of them as having any effect on one another. Now interaction takes place when one creature impresses some kind of Ne\\1onian force on anotl1Cr creature. Kant argues that God is the reason of eve!}' commmlity of impressed forces and thus the ultimate reason of all interaction in ti1e world. So he formulates the principle of co-existence as follows. "Finite substances bear no relations by tl1eir existence alone," he says, "and plainly they partake in no interaction unless they are sustained in an arrangement of reciprocal relations by the common principle of their existence, namely the divine intellect" (1.412.36-413.2). Created substances interact, not just because they happen to exist, but because God conceives of them as doing so (1.414.1-8). God has a certain rational plan for the world (U1e "schenm of the divine intellect"), and the

38 The System ofPhysical lriflux world submits to this plan. TI1e plan requires that creatures really interact with one another according to certain laws, and so they do. Kant himself puts it as follows at tbe end of the demonstration of the principle of co-existence: But thenceforth it is CT)'Sbl clear that, lithe same schcrna oftl1e ilivine intellect, \\hich bestows

c:xisicnce on [creatures], established relations [among them J insofar as it conceives their existences as correlated, the urUversal commerciwn Of all thin~ is C."ternal relations to each oilier. In addition to the core of its iMer determinations, every element also has certain relational properties. These relational properties constitute the sphere of its activity.

The }vfaterial Nature of Immaterial Things


So long as Kant is entitled to tl1e principle of co-existence, he is entWcd to distinguish between the core of an clement's inner determinations and the sphere of its activity, So long as Kant is entitled to make tllis distinction, he is entitled to say !hat an element has volume by reason of the latter and the status of a true, simple substance by reason of the former. An element is spatially extended, only because it has a sphere of activity, Though the element makes itself present in space through the influence it has on other elements, it is a simple substance nevertheless. 3

The Physical Afonadology teaches us two important things about the constitutive elements of matter. First, the elements are spatially e>.1ended only because they really act on one another. Second, they have inner determinations distinct from their presence in space, Consequently, the elements are genuine substances, i.e., U1ey are absolutely simple tllings, at least "ith respect to the core of their inner determinations if not with respect to the sphere of their activity. Now it is striking to see tlmt Kant's ratimuol psychology is vel)' impoverished. Kant is not especially interested in the nature of the soul as such. His primary concern-indeed, his only concern-is to e":plain the possibility of physical inillLX between t11e soul and the body. AI; a result, Kant's ratioikol psychology has two, maybe three, fundamental tenets. First, tl1e soul is a genuine substance, because it is absolutely simple. Second, U1e soul and the body really act on one another. Third, the soul is present in space, just because it acts on ti1e body. This is vel)' interesting, because it shmvs that almost everything we can say about the constitutive elements of matter we can also say about souls. In fact, if one were to enquire how a soul can be perfectly simple and yet occupy space, Kant would lmve to appeal to some kind of analogy with U1e elements. He would have to say that the soul is present in space by the sphere of its activity and tlmt, though Ulis sphere of activity is divisible, U1e soul itself is not 11 This is problematic, because Kant argues tlmt U1e elements can be present in space only by forces of repulsion, "The force by wllich a simple element of body occupies its space," he writes in the Physical }vfonadology, '"is the same as tl1at which ot11ers call impenetrability, nor can there be a place for the element if you depart from !hat force" (1.482.4-.1ended" (28.147.21-24)." Now obviously tl1e soul cannot be in all places of tl1e body if it is impenetrable. The soul nmy very well be present throughout the whole body by a sphaera activitatis, and perlmps we may very well conceive this sphaera activitatis on the model of Kant's physical monadology. But then it is clear that the soul must not l1.:'1ve a force of repulsion: its sphaera activilafis must be the effect of some oU1er kind of force. Indeed, U1is is precisely what moves K.:mt to say that, "The corporeal elements e:-..1.emally act on one another through forces of repulsion [Zuracksloflung] etc. etc. relatione c:-.1cma then;-Now since tlhe soul is not present [in the body] by U1e force of impenetrability [ Undurchdringlichkeit], the body cannot act on U1e soul by the same forces whereby it acts on [other] bodies" ( But of course tl1ese claims raise anotl1er question: if not by forces of repulsion, how is the soul present in space at all? Here

The }vfaterial Nature of Immaterial Things


Kant has to plead ignorance: "What kind of lmv ofpresence is this? Tllis clifficulty is completely mysterious, because one has not understood a spirit, much less the union with the body'' (28.147.3-7). Precisely because Kant is conunitted to the idea that the soul is everywhere present in every part of the body, he must resist the conclusion that the soul has an original force of repulsion just as the physical monads do. If he also insists on using the physical monads with their spheres of activity as some kind of analogy for understanding tile soul, he has no choice but to say that ti1e forces exercised by the soul are unlike any other known to us. As a price for tilis, however, Kant must give up the almost extravagant optiralsm of his first publication. In the True Estimation of Living Forces of 1747, Kant went so far as to say that real interaction between body and soul is as little mysterious as real interaction between one body and another (1.20.23-21.25). He argued that, in first case as in t11e second, e"1emal forces are at play. But nm\' it turns out that the e:'.iernal forces at play in any real interaction between body and soul must be unlike any that have hitherto been revealed to us in the course of orcliruuy e:-c'j)Crience. TI1ough it ralght be possible to work our way up from the phenomena to the general law governing a physical monad's presence in space, the law of a soul's presence in space can be at best fue object of speculation.

Moreover, even if we suppose that the soul does impress certain llilknown forces on the body, it is not at all clear that the body can act on the soul. This much is clear

at any mte: the body cannot act on U1e soul by forces of either attraction or repulsion. Ne\\tonian-type e"1emal forces are always equal and opposite. The body can impress forces of attraction and repulsion on the soul just in case the soul impresses like forces on fue body and in the same degree of intensity, though oppositely directed. But, again, if fue soul did impress such forces on t11e body, it would be itnpenetrable-and heavy to boot. Unless the body can impress some kind of spiritual forces on ti1e soul, it is not clear that it can act on the soul at all. Indeed, Kant himself draws this inference in the Herder lectures: Thus the soul can act on the body from v.ithln, but not the body on the sou\:-1be soul knows the inner state of cacb and every clem....'tlt; and [if] it acts on every inner state, it is pre>..ient that his reports of heaven and hell presuppose that inunaterial substances can be objects of

sensatio!l I shall argue in the next chapter that tlus is how Kant himself understood his relation to Swedenborg. I shall argue that Kant was moved on the occasion of reading the Arcana coelestia to \Vrite Dreams of a Spirit-Seer as a diagnosis of the problems in his own metaphysics and as a general warning to all of the dangers of subjecting inunaterial things to the conditions of sensibility.' A5 we shall see in due course, the lesson of Dreams of a Spirit-Seer is that the only way to correct the error of sensualising inunaterial things is by conducting an enquil}' into the limits of human understanding. Tiws Dreams of a Spirit-Seer serves as a kind of prolegomenon to the Inaugural Dissertation. Before I undertrlke my annlysis of Dreams of a Spirit-Seer, however, I think it will be useful to examine carefully the doctrines of Swedenborg. This exercise will help us understand the objections that Kant raises in his review. There are striking parallels in the Arcana of Swedenborg and the early metaphysics of Kant Sometimes this is noted by scholars, but either tl1ey prefer not to dwell on it or they draw the ludicrous conclusion that Kant was unconsciously drawn to the ideas of Swedenborg in spite of himself. I hope to show that the sympathetic harmony which resonates in the works of the two men is not an accident but I am far from thinking that Kant was a closet Swedenborgian. On the contrary, the emerging parallels come as a result of Kant's commitment to physical influx. I think that Kant himself understood this. Kant was intellectually put off by Swedenborg, because he found in Swedenborg's prophetic visions a sign that something w:Js fundamentally wrong with his own system. I take it then, that Kant's own ideas are under attack in the venomous critique of Swedenborg which \Ve find in Dreams of a Spirit-Seer. But to see this, we mnst first ll}' to understand Swedenborg himself; then we mnst ll}' to detemaine precisely what Kant fow1d so distwbing in tl1eArcana coe/estia.

1 Emanuel Swedenborg was bam in Stockholm in 1688, the son of a prominent Lutheran cleric who was later to become Bishop of Skara. At ll1e age of eleven, Swedenborg entered the University of Upsala where he excelled in the study of matl1ematics and natural philosophy. In 1710, after receiving his degree, Swedenborg set out for England. TI1ere he infonnally pursued his studies in mathematics and mechanics. One of his great ambitions at the time was to perfect and retail his metl10d of finding longitude at sea by tl1e position of the moon. Edmund Halley, he boasted in a letter home, had given him some encouragement in litis project Meanwltile, Swedenborg took room and board >vith London tradesmen not only to S:JVe money on ren~ but also to learn their crafts. He took up engraving, lens-grinding and instrument-lTh'lking. It was during tltis stay in England that Swedenborg had the idea to set up a Scientific Society in Sweden, apparently on tl1e model of the Royal Society of London. Sweden was suffering the ill effects of

58 The Arcana ofSwedenborg Charles XII's milil:aly ambitions. Almost thirty years of campaign had brought the country to ruin. Swedenborg hoped that progress in mechanics and technology would stimulate trade and production. The Scientific Society would have an important part to play in Ulis renewal of the country. In a letter to his brother-in-law, Eric Benzelius, librarian at the University of Upsala, Swedenborg wrote that the Scientific Society would "... heal our land ... both in the establishment of manufacturier and in connection with mines, navigation, etc. ... "4 Swedenborg returned home in 1715 determined to make himself u.seful to his country. He already had an imposing list of projects. As he e>.'Plained in another letter to Benzelius, he planned" ... the construction of a ship which, '>'ith its one-man crew, could go under the sea, in any desired direction, and could inflict much injury on enemy ships;"' he hoped to build certain " ... constructions even in places where there is no flow of water, whereby a whole ship wiU1 its cargo can be raised to a given height in one or two hours;"• he would design "a drawbridge wllich can be closed and opened from within U1e gates a11d walls" and also "a flying carriage."' The first thing Swedenborg did upon his arrival was to make the acquaintance of Christopher Polhem, a noted Swedish inventor who had earned the nickname "Archimedes of the North." At his own e>.-pense, Swedenborg founded the first Swedish scientific journal, which he called Dcedelus hyperboreus. The inaugural issue was devoted to one of Polhem's inventions, an ear-trumpet. For the second issue, Polhem contributed a short treatise on lliithmetic under the title, "Glorious in Youth, Useful in Manhood, Pleasant in Old Age."• On Polhem 's recommendation in 1716, Charles XII made Swedenborg an honor31y appointment as Assessor Extraordinary on the Swedish Board of Mines. Since mining was the pillar of the Swedish economy, the Board was a very powerful body. It was directly responsible to the king, and it controlled eve!)' facet of production. Swedenborg distinguished himself as Assesscr for many years, striving to make tile industry more efficient and to develop better techniques in production. He rose from a non-sallliied position of little influence to Assessor Ordinary, in which capacity he served tl1e king until 1747. In the years that followed his appointment, Swedenborg busied llimself with all sorts of projects. In 1718, he accomplished a singular feat of engineering at the siege ofFredericshall, where he devised a way to haul two galleys, five boats and a sloop si.xieen miles overland to the relief of Swedish troops in the war against Norway. He travelled all over Europe when he could take leave from the Board of Mines. During his travels, he continued his studies in mathematics, physics, optics, astronomy, chemistry, physiology and anatomy; he published ma1y volumes on these subjects. He is said to be the first to have inferred from the geological evidence that Sweden was once immersed in the sea. He is said to be the first to have discovered timt tile processing of sense data and the motor functions of the human body are located in the cerebral cortex. He is also credited "ith having fonnulated a nebular h)-pothesis of the origin of the heavens. Swedenborg ·was no charlatan. He was a very distinguished, very accomplished man of considerable leanling. In 1743, Swedenborg was at the University of Leyden, studying anatomy and preparing his Regnum animale for publication. This was a time of anxiety for him. He was disturbed by very peculiar dremns at night. During the day, his frame of mind would S\ving alarmingly from one e.\.ireme to the other. First Swedenborg was in raptures. then he would sink into the blackest melancholy. Sometimes he would have waking visions; sometimes, at rlight, he would find himself tossed about his rooms as by supernatural forces. Swedenborg's unease persisted until 1744, the year of his great vision. Three N.B.'s appear ne>.i to the entry for April6 in Swedeborg's

The Arcana ofSwedenborg


private jownal. Swedenborg went to bed at 10:00 o'clock that nigh~ after an evening of disturbing reflections. A half an hour later, he found himself trembling from head to foot After tl1is e:---perience had repeated itself several times, Swedenborg felt the presence of sometlling divine before him. He soon fell asleep, but later around 1:00 or 2:00 in tl1e morning he woke \\ith tl1e noise of something like a wind storm in his ears. He was shuddering so violently from head to foot that he was thrown prostrate. Now, Swedenborg says, he was completely a·wake. He found himself on the floor, praying aloud with words somebody else put into his mouth, "Oh all-powerful Jesus Chri~ You who deign approach such a great sinner \\ith such great grace, make me worthy of this grace!" Swedcnborg put his hands together to pray, but then he felt the hand of another grasping his own. He immediately continued his prayer. As Swedenborg reports, "At that momen~ I found myself in his bosom and I saw him face to face. It was a face of holy bearing, \\ith indescribable traits, and smiling, as I imagined his face looked while he was living. He spoke to me and asked me if! had a certificate of health. I answered, 'Lord, You know better than I. "'• The holy presence replied, "Well then, act!" Sweden borg understood this to mean tlmt he should love Christ "ith sincerity. Swedenborg found he did not then have the strengtl1to comply. He roused himself, shivering, and found that he was all absorbed in though~ neither sleeping nor waking. Swedenborg carne to tl1e conclusion that he had been in the presence oftl1e Son of God. April6 1744 was a turning point in tl1e life and career ofEmmmel Swedenborg. According to the traditional stmy reported by Carl Robsalun, a friend of Swedenborg's old age, tl1e Assessor was commissioned by God at this time to

undertake a new project, the most ambitious project of his whole career. Swedenborg was to e:--'jllain the inner meaning of Scripture to people. To win Swedenborg's confidence, God opened up the world of spirits to him. When Swedenborg recognized the souls of departed friends and colleagnes, he immediately offered himself to God's service. ln Augnst 1745, Swedenborg returned to his work on tl1e Board of Mines \\itl1

nary a word about his otherworldly e:..:periences. Hmvever, the visions persisted. In The Word Explained, after a year of communion "ith spirits and angels, Swedenborg reports that: ... in company \\ith other men, I spoke just as any other man, so that no one was able to distinguish me eithe:r from myself as I had l'l~X>n fonnerl)', or from any other man; and, nevertheless., in the midst of C()(l1Jl311)' "1tb. other men. l sometimes spoke \Vith spirits and with those \\ho were around me; and perhaps they might have somethlng from this circumslance, Howe\'er, I do not know whether anyone noticed anything from the fact that the internal seTL'>e'i were sometimes withdr.mn from the extcmal. though not in any such way that anyone could make a judgement from it; for al such times, they could judge no otherth:m that I was occupied with thoughts. 10


Apparently, no one detected tl1e reason for Swedenborg's occasional preoccupation, because it was so far business as usual for the Assessor. Indeed, so impressed were his colleagnes with his work Umt they unanimously recommended him to be named in 1747 to the highest position on the Board, tlmt of Councilor of Mines. Swedenborg, however, requested that U1e King release him from the appointment; he asked that he might retire "ith half-pay after nearly thirty years of service. As soon as he was released from his duties, Swedenborg set down to work. He devoted himself to the study of Hebrew and tl1e Holy Scriptures. He undertook a mammoth project of Biblical exegesis Umt was to culminate nine years later in the Arcana coe/estia, a line-by-line commentai)• of the first hvo Books of Moses. The work was published anonymously in London at the author's e>--pense.

60 The Arcana ofSwedenborg Swedenborg revealed nothing about his mission or his strange prophetic powers untill756. After a long voyage to England, Swedenborg disembarked in Gotenborg on July 19 of that year. Swedenborg went immediately to the horne of a certain William Castle, where he was to hnve di1mer. He excused himself from the company around 6:00 in the evening. When he returned, he was visibly agitated. He aunounced that a rapidly spreading fire hnd just broken out in Stockholm on the Sudermalrn, fifty miles from Gotenborg. Wonied, Swedenborg left the room and returned several times during the evening. He reported that the house of a fiiend, whom he identified by name, hnd burned to the ground and that his own estate in Stockholm was at risk Again at 8:00, he excused himself from the company. When next he returned, he announced triumphantly that the fire hnd just been put out and that it hnd reached the third gate from his home. The story ofSwedenborg's vision spread as rapidly tluough Gotenborg as the fire hnd spread tluough Stockholm. That very evening, the Governor in the city hnd already heard the news. The Governor summoned Swedenborg the following day-a Sunday-to question him. Swedenborg described tl1e course of the fire in very great

detail. All the city now knew tl1e story, and many were naturally very concerned about fiiends, relatives and property in Stockholm. The merchants' guild dispatched a messenger to the stricken capital on Monday. He returned to Gotenborg the same evening. His report exactly confirmed Swedenborg's vision. The Royal Courier

arrived at the Governor's residence on Tuesday with further continuation in every detail. News of Swedenborg and his e>.1Iaordinary powers spread far and wide." Though the stories often strained credulity, it seemed impossible to dismiss them lightly.

They were always iron-clacL and there were always witnesses of, it seemed, unimpeachable chnracter. Besides t11e Gotenborg-fire inciden~ two ot11er stories made an impression on the public-and piqued the curiosity oflmmanuel Kant The first story took place at tl1e Swedish Court. Swedenborg paid a visit to Queen Louisa Ulrika one. day; he begged leave to make her a gift of some of his books. The Queen hnppily obliged; and, eager to put her guest's celebrnted talents to the t~ she asked Swedenborg to greet her late brotl1er, Frederick the Great, and to bring back word of him, should Swedenborg encounter the royal shade on one of his trips to the land of the dead. Two or tluee weeks later, Swedenborg returned to Court with the promised books. The Queen honored his request for a private audience, but she soon reappeared pale and distraught Diguitaries at Court later let it be known that Swedenborg hnd blandly passed on two messages to her from Frederick: an apology for neglecting the last letter Louisa Ulrika hnd sent him and an answer to the letter, something that only brother, sister and God could hnve known-a state secret of some delicacy, it seems, considering that Sweden and Prussia hnd been at war while Frederick was still alive. There is anotl1er famous story told about Swedenborg's strange powers. Shortly after the death of her husband, the Dutch Envoy at Stockholm, Madame Harteville received a staggering bill from Mr. Croon, a goldsmith, for a silver service that her husband hnd ordered. Madame Harteville knew llillt her husband was too punctilious to neglect the bill, but she could not produce the receipt She must hnve known of Swedenborg tluough her husband, who was at the Swedish Court the day Swedenborg conveyed the bomb-shell message of Frederick the Great to Louisa Ulrika. In desperntion, Madame Harteville turned to Swedenborg, hoping that he might speak to her husband's spirit to learn the state of the family accounts. Within three days, Swedenborg appeared at the widow's home while she was entertaining guests. He mildly informed her tlillt he hnd spoken with her husband, and tlillt she

The Arcana ofSwedenborg


could rest easy, for the debt had been paid. The receipt, he added, was in a bureau in one of the upper rooms of the house. Madame Harteville protested that the bureau had been emptied and that the receipt had not been found among the papers. Then Swedenborg told her about a secret compartment in the bureau. One had to pull the knob of a left-hand drawer to discover a wooden board which could be removed, giving access to the =et compartment The company immediately removed to the upper room. Madame Harteville searched the bureau according to Swedenborg' s instructions. There was the secret compartment, and there in the =et compartment was the missing receipt u

2 Swedenborg is usually thought of either as a lunatic or as a mystic concerned foremost with individunl spirituality-a man who found his path through very intimate, persounl revelations. But neither way of thinking gets to the heart of the matter. It is more than likely that Swedenborg was unbalanced; but even if so, that cannot be the whole story, since Swedenborg's project was too well conceived to be the fruit of lunacy alone. There is no doubt, on the other hand, that Swedenborg's

visions were intensely personal: Swedenborg saw what no one else can see. But it is simply wrong to think that Swedenborg's first concern was individunl spiritualityto find his own path. Swedenborg had much grander ambitions. He sought full-scale reform of the Church. The Church. he believed, had failed in its mission, because its ministers neglected the spiritual meaning of Scripture, all too happy to make out with the letter of the Word. For that reason, men of the Church could not see that divine things lie behind every part of the natural world. How, then, could they be expected to guide their flocks? Since Swedenborg had been granted the privilege of seeing divine things first-hand, he thought it was his duty to renew Biblical exegesis so that the special meaning of the Revelation would not be lost and to instruct the people about the divine so that they could find a place in heaven. Swedenborg's intentions are very clear in the Introduction to Heaven and Its Wonders, and Hell. For he writes: The man of the church at this day know.:: scarcely anything about heaven and hell or about his life after death, although these are set forth and described in the Word; and many of those bom v-:ithin the church even refuse to believe in them, sa~ in their hearts, "Who has come from that world and told us?" Lest, therefore. such a spirit ofdenial, which especially prevails with those who have much worldly wisdom, shouldalq,laincd to hlm tlmt each angel is !11e cause of all the clUlllge tlmt it undergoes. For it seems that angels are wont to love themselves above other things. When self-love gains ascenck'U1C)' in the angels, U1eir love of God diminishes and so does their wisdom in consequence (158).

The Arcana ofSwedenbarg


Swedenborg informs us that, by virtue of their-changing-inner states, all angels have particular differences, but some of them resemble one another, as members of the same fan1ily often have similar features and mannerisms (47). Angels form societies ,;oth other angels whose inner stales exlubit tins kind of familial resemblance (44). The thoughts and inner states of every angel are perfectly transparent to all the rest. Angels read off from the minds of other angels all of their thoughts and inner states. Then they naturally tend to congregate ,;oth those angels in whom they observe thoughts and inner states similar to their own. Just as the individual angel is governed by its love, faith and intelligence, so the angelic societies are governed by angels who exceed all U1e others in wisdom. For the government ofti1e most ,;osc preserves order (213). Thus are formed ti1e societies of heaven. The bond that ties all the members of an angelic society together issues directly from U1eir inner states. Consequently, an angel outwardly e:-...-prcsses not only its own inner states in the relation it bears to oti1er angels, but ti1e inner states of all its confederates as well (47). Thus, by virtue of its inner states, every angel reflects the whole of which it is a part. Now different societies in heaven relate to one another in the same way that the individual angels relate to one another. All heaven is a great society of angelic societies. For the sphere oflove and faith·that draws certain angels together in one society ex1ends from that society to other societies formed by angels of different temperament, as it were. Every angel is thus a member of societies of greater and greater compass. It seems, then, that every angel eO\.']Jresses the whole of heaven from a certain point of view. Indeed, Swcdcnborg says that every angel is a heaven in smallest form (53). Though one n1ight take Swedenborg'sArcana to be a veritable flight offimcy, it should be apparent that the visionary of Stockholm is follm\ong very well trodden paths. As I say, the angels in Swedenborg's heaven have the same function as the simple substances in the cosmology of Wolff and Leibniz. Like simple substances, angels have inner states timt constantly undergo change. The succession of an

angel's inner states is produced not by any re.:1l interaction among the angels, but rather by some internal agency-self-love. In just the same way, inner force produces a succession of inner states in the Wolffian element, and appetite produces a succession of perceptions in the Leibnizian monad. The principle of indiscernibles applies as well to angels as it does to monads and elements. For no two angels have exactly the same inner states. Moreover, just as the outward relations one simple substance bears to another are founded on the inrer states of the simple substances, so it is for the outward relations of t11e angels. Swedenborg's idea that eve!)' angel ex.-presses the whole society of which it is a part and that. indeed, every angel is a "heaven in smallest form" is obviously of Lcibnizian provenance. For Leibniz characterizes the monads as "concentrated worlds"n and "kingdoms \\~thin kingdoms.'"' Swedenborg's angelology easily )ields sometiling like universal preestablished harmony. For just as Leibrliz holds that perceptions always arise in concert in different monads, so it is for Swedenborg.l!! Swedenborg 11imself often uses the word "harmon)'' to descnbe the co-existence of angels in heaven. In the Arcana coelest;a, he relates that it was one time granted hin1 to hear a large number of angels from an especially sanctified host. Together these angels seem to have formed a society, a chorus in which tl1ey had the same thoughts from different points of view. They conjured up a marvelous vision of a golden crown \lOth dian1onds set upon the brow of God, tl1rough a rapid succession of images in their minds. Swedenborg reports tlm~ though U1ere were a great many angels, all tl1ese different images perfectly agreed \lOth one another. The

66 The Arcana ofSwedenborg representations of all the angels were in harmony, because every angel outwardly eAlJressed its nwn nature, and the nature of every angel was inwardly attuned to the nature of every other angel. This, says Swedenborg, is the "harmony" that orders all good people who find a place in heaven after death (3350).• So fur, Swedenborg seems to be just anoU1er cosmologist in the Lcibnizian tradition: eccentric to be sure, but hardly an innovator. One might suppose, nonetl1eless, tlmt Swedenborg is closer to the occasionalists tlllt!l to Wolff or Leibniz, because of the importance he places on ~'divine inillL-..:." Sometimes the word that he uses-as in tl1e story about drawing Jots to settle philosophical debates in tl1e spirit world-is "spiritnal infltLx." Either way, tl1e idea seems to be tlmt God himself is the cause of all order among creatures, whether it be in heaven or on. earth. Consider the following passage from Heaven and Its Wonders, and Hell: 1bc angels taken col!ectivdy are called heaven, for they constitute heav~ and yet tha1 v.hich makes heaven in general rutd in p.vticular is the Divine that tlO\VS forth from the Lord. £10\ving into the angels and lx~ received by them And as the Divine that gc.!S forth from the Lord is the good of love and the truth of faith, tlidstence. To say that love flows from God into the angels is also to say that God's pmver concurs wit11 that of his creatures. Swedenborg apparently thinks that tl1e angels require God's assistance to make their power take effect. Just for tlmt reaso11, divine

The Arcana ofSwedenborg


influ.x--God's universal concourse-is the ultimate cause of all order in heaven and on earth. We might well wonder how God can assist the angels 'vithout doing everything for them. This is an interesting question, but I am not sure that Swedenborg has any kind of systematic answer to it. Besides, the tlting to point out now is that Swedenborg shares tltis idea of God's urtivcrsal concourse with Leibniz. Leibniz's system of pre-established ham1ony rests as squarely on the idea that God must assist creatures as it does on the idea that creatures can act under their own steam. Indeed, it is interesting to note that Leibniz speaks of God's urtiversal concourse in language very much like that of Swcdenborg. At §42 oftheA.fonadology, for example, Leibniz e:qJlains that," ... creatures have their perfections from the influence of God, but ... they have their imperfections from their own nature, since they are incapable of being without limits." Leibniz says quite plainly here that creatures owe whatever reality they have to God's influence, God grants them certain perfections, including the power to act. But creatures exercise this power on their own behalf. God does not interfere \vith his creation; he co-operates ""til it Tl1us, Leibniz would happily agree ""th Swedenborg: God's universal concourse is the ultimate cause of all harmony in heaven and on earth. If God did not concur with the monads, they could not exercise their powers of appetition in concert with one anoU1er. Leibniz makes this very clear in his

comments on the philosophy of Spinoza. Indeed, he writes, ''My vie\\' is that every substance is a kingdom \\otltin a kingdom, but one in precise ham1ony \\otll

everything else. No substance receives an inlltL"X from anything else whatsoever, except from God, but yet it depends upon everytlting else tilrough God, its autl1or; it proceeds immediately from God, and yet is produced agreeing ""th evel}'lhing else."" Leibniz seems to argue that urtiversal pre-established harmony would be impossible witllout God's wtiversal concourse. The interesting thing about this passage is that, like Swedenborg, Leibniz describes God's action on creatures as some kind of "infltL'X." Leibniz insists over and over again that no infltL"X can ever take place between one creature and anoU1er. But here he is quite happy to say that all creatures =ive an influx directly from God. Indeed, one imagines that Leibniz would be happy to descnbe tltis inlllLx as an infltcx of love. Swedenborg's talk of divine influx does not suggest a departure from Leibniz; on the contrary, it suggests a rapprochement. Leibniz and S'\vedenborg may well speak a conunon language of"divine inflm;" but one thing that seems to set tilem apart is Swcdenborg's use oft11e term "spiritual influx." Sometimes "spiritual infltL'X" is synonymous with "divine infllL"X." But just as often it seems to signify a certain influence tlli'lt souls or spirits have on Utings in U1e material world. In the first instance, it seems to sign.ii)' a certain influence that the soul has on the body. Thus Swedenborg e":plains that, "Tl1e tltings that flow in from God flow first of all into our souls, tlrrough our souls into our rational ntinds, and tl1rough tl1ese into the elements tlmt constitute our bodies."• Tl1e body does not receive an in.flm: of divine love directly from God himself, but by the mediation of the soul to which it is joined, Swedenborg is a proponent of wlmt we ntight call "trickle-down metaphysics." The effect of this divine influence trickling down through the soul to matter is to instil life in tl1e body. As Swedenborg e>-'[Jlains: The premisejlL.:plaining to Kant's friend thai God had given him the power to communicate with spirits at will. The Englishman reminded Swedenborg of his promise to answer Kant's letter. Swedenborg said that he would certainly have fulfilled his promise more promptly, but that he intended to lay the whole matter before the public. He would soon be off to London to supervise the publication of another book in which Kant would find a reply to his letter, paragraph by paragraph. Need!= to say, Kant was very eager to read this book; but either it never appeared, or, when it did appear, it did not answer Kant's questions. The Englishman passed on to Kant news of Swedenborg's assistance to Mme. Harteville, the \\odow of the Dutch Envoy to Stockholm, in U1e recovery of the receipt for her departed husband's silver service; he also passed on ne'\vs of the Stockholm-fire incident. In his letter to lvtiss Knoblauch, Kant says of the second story U1at it appears to be of "the greatest demonstrative power [die gr6}3te Br;weiskraj/]" (10.44). He writes: How can 001! que:;tlon the credibility of this incident? The :fr1end, \\ho \\rites about this to me, lUmsdf lnvestign.tOO all this not only in Stockholm, but also in Gotenborg rougj:lly two months ago where he knows very well the most dlsition for the wonderfuL So much is o..---rtain that regardless ofall stories about apparitions and the goi.ng>-on in the spirit reahn-when.>ofa great many ofthe most probable are known to m0-l always 0011.'iicL_"fed it to be most in keeping with the rule ofsound reason to ste...--r away from the disputed side. Not th:lt I claim to have di..!a cause or have a force; rail1t refmcd thought is able to acruaie the grossest matter? Were we emp:1wered, by a secrct wish, to remove mountnins. or control the planets in their orbit: thL e;\tensive authority would not b.! more e:-.1r..tordinary, nor more b..!yond our comprehension. But if by consdousness we perceived any power or energy in the wilL we must know this power, we must know its COrtnt!xion with the elfect; we must know tht! secrt!"t union of soul and body, and the nahlre of both these substances; by \\·hich tl1e one is able to opcrutc, in so nuny instances. upon tl1c other. 10

Both the ideas and tile images in ti1e passage I quoted from Dreams of a Spirit-Seer seem to come from Hume's Enquiry.n But we must ask ourselves what Kant found so appealing in them and wlmt use he thought he could lTh'lke ofti1em." Tilis is what I would like to suggest. Hume's critical reflections on alleged powers in ti1e soul play right into Kant's hands. As I have argued, ti1e problem for Kant is to ward off ti1e conclusion that ti1e sonl might be impenetrable and ti1us an object of sensation. Kant is faced 1\0til Ulis conclusion only because he was willing to say in the True Estimation and the Nova dilucidatio timt ti1e soul impresses some kind of spiritual Ne1\1onian forces on the body. So Kant must now figure timt he can appeal to Hume's reflections in order to frustrate this line of thought. Since pure reason can discover no instmce of a causal relation, all our knowledge of causes and effects must come from e:-.:perience. But e>q:>erience so far reveals no power or agency in the soul; it reveals a constant conjunction of certain volitions and cerl-'lin motions in the body. As a result, we must reject any metaphysics fool-lu1rdy enough to C:\.'Plain U1e union ofb..-plained to his students at the University of KOnigsberg, "one would have to conceive it, however, if they

Dreams of a Spirit-Seer


[spirits] occupy a space as simple parts of bodies do, and thus constitute an extensum impenetrahile ..." (28.1.145). Now we know from the published works that these issues were of great concern to Kan~ who eJoc'Plicitly raised the question whether the soul is present in space through repulsive forces in the Preisschrifl of 1764. But there is a very important difference between Kant's position in the Preisschrifl and the material in the Herder Lectures. At the time of the Herder Lectures, Kant seemed to think it obvious that the soul was not impenetrable-that one would not have to remove particles of matter in order to fill a space already occupied by a body. By the time of the Preisschrijl, however, Kant was much less sanguine about the problem. I quote once more the relevant passage: I admit thai the proof we have, that the soul is not matter is good. But take care not to conclude therefrom th:l.t the soul is not of a material nature. For we do not only mean thereby that the soul is no matter, but rather also that it is not such a simple substance that an element of matter could be. This requires a special proof; namely that this thi.nki.ng being is not in spare through impenetrability, as a corporeal element is: and that it could not constitute together with others a mass and an e>ct.ended thing---whereof truly no proof has yet been given, \\hich if discovered, would show the inconceivable way that a spirit is present in space (2.293.7-18).

If the material in the Herder Lectures faithfully represents Kant's views on this question, we must assume that it pre-dates the Preisschrifl. We know that Kant delivered the Herder Lectures some time between 1761 and 1764. So even if he then believed that he could eJoc'Plain how an immaterial substance can be present in space "ithout being impenetrable, he obviously became much less confident by 1764 when he published the Preisschrifl. This is helpful for putting Part One, Chapter One of Dreams ofa Spirit-Seer into perspective. Dreams of Spirit-Seer was published in 1766. By that time, Kant was not satisfied that he could adequately eJoc'Plain how a spirit can be present in space mthout resisting penetration. Now the voice who speaks in Part One, Chapter One of the book is just as reluctant to admit impenetrable souls as Kant himself was, and apparently for the same reasons: it is impossible to reconcile spiritual impenetrability vvith the co-existence of body and soul in the same place. "I would require a strong proof;" says the voice, "before I would find absurd what the School-men say: my soul is wholly in tl1e whole body and wholly in every one of its parts" (2.325.2-5). If we say that the soul is impenetrable, we have to say that the soul occupies a determinate place in tl1e body as tl10ugh it were a piece of tissue. "Bu~ then," says the voice, "one could no longer recognize mth any certainty any characteristic peculiar to the soul-any characteristic that would distinguish the soul from the raw material of bodily natures; and, Leibniz's amusing notion, according to which we might perhaps swallow atoms destined to become [the souls of men] when we drink our coffee, might no longer be such a laugh after all" (2.326.23-327.3). Nevertheless, we know that the voice speaking in Chapter One must belong to a satirical persona; because the solution offered to tl1e problem of spiritual impenetrability in this chapter violates the strictures Kant lays down in Part Two, Chapter Three. Remember that one of tl1e lessons of Part Two, Chapter Three of Dreams of a Spirit-Seer is adapted from Burne's Enquiry: we have no ground to say tlmt souls have any kind of power, force or causal efficacy. Kant's strategy in this final chapter is apparently to frustrate the line of t11ought that leads to the problem of spiritual impenetrability before it can get going. The intelligent tiling to do, says Kant, is to resist the temptation to posit any forces in the soul at all. But notice that the persona in Part One, Chapter One has another strategy altogether. He suggests that we


Dreams of a Spirit-Seer

conceive the soul as we do physical momds, but that we deny souls an original force of repulsion. Thus souls are present in space by reason of their forces or spheres of activity just as the momds are. TI1e difference is just that elements have repulsive forces while souls do not. Souls have some other kind afforce (2.323.12-3.4). Now the persom in Part One, Chapter One has no confidence that he can tell us what kind afforce this might be. Indeed, he comes to the conclusion, as Kant himself had in the Herder lectures, that the presence of the soul in the body is as great a mystery in metaphysics as any other for just this reason. But lack of confidence in the persom on this difficult problem is not a sign of critical self-reflection, The persona has already stepped out of line when he introduced the idea of spiritual forces. From the point of view Kant e>.'J'resses in Part Two, Chapter Three, this idea is wrongheaded. We shouldn't be positing forces in souls at all. The proof that we shouldn't be doing this can be found in Part One, Chapter Two. For there the persona goes on to speculate about special forces in spirits and !he laws of spiritual interaction. But however spiritual lhese forces are supposed to be, we discover at !he end of !he chapter that Phantasten must still have a hard time distinguishing !he spirit world from the material world of bodies. Thus, even if we banish repulsive forces from the realm of spirits, immaterial substances seem bound to fall into the world of seusible things just to !he e>.ient that !hey impress some kind of Ioree on one anolher. The second chapter of Part One goes by !he title, "A Fragment of !he Secret Philosophy, Opening !he Conununity wilh !he Spirit World." This is a clue that !he voice who speaks in Chapter Two no more belongs to Kant !han !he voice who speaks in Chapter One. For, again, Kant would hazard no conjecture about !he community of spirits, unless he had already traced !he limits of hurrum reason. It is

less clear, however, whether the voice of Chapter Two is the same as the voice in Chapter One. I am inclined to suppose that it is, tl1ough I cannot prove it. But I think it is oflittle or no consequence to Kant's rhetorical strategy ei!her way. All Kant has to do is to establish tlmt tltis "fragment of secret philosophy'' rests on !he doctrine e>.')Xlunded in !he preceding chapter. This !he uncritical metaphysician suggests in !he opening paragraph of Clmpter Two: The irlltiate has already accus:t.omed h.i.mselfto abstract concepts and to elevating the understanding once weighed down by the outer senses. And now he can see i>pirirua.l forms stripped of corporeal raiments in that milight where the dim light of metaphysics illuminaies the kingdom of shadows. After having withstood difficult prepamtions, we wish then to try our luck on the hazardous route (2.329.4-!0).

Here speaks one who has removed tl1e blinkers of seusibility, eager at last to survey !he dark and mysterious world of spirits v.ilh no other aid but pure reason. It is a measure of !he persona's temerity that, though he recognizes tl1e light of metaphysics is "dim," he still remains confident that it will illuntinate this "kingdom of shadows." How might !he uncritical metaphysician have acquired the powers of reflection he v.ill need to set out on this quest? He must simply lmve taken to heart !he lessons of Chapter One. To have properly overcome tl1e obstacles put up by sensibility, tl1e voice who speaks in Clmpter Two would have to have understood that spirits are immaterial beings; tlmt !he possibility of spirits has to be admitted and that a spirit has no special place, !hat it is evei),Vhere present in every part of !he whole body. These are !he fundamental premisses of !he "secret philosophy." If spirits were impossible,

they could never stand in community ·with one another. If they were material beings, !hey would interact v.ilh otl1er material beings according to !he laws of physical causality; and, again, tl1ere would be no special community of spirits. Suppose,

Dreams of a Spirit-Seer


finally, that a spirit had a place in the body as the liver or kidneys do. 1bat spirit would then fill space as though it were a piece of bodily tissue, as though it were a material object; and, again, there would be no special conununity of spirits. Now all these insights come from Chapter One of Dreams of a Spirit-Seer. When the uncritical metaphysician says that we may now embark on our hazardous journey, having "withstood difficult preparations," he means that, having anned ourselves with the insights of Chapter One, we may now set out in earnest to investigate the community of spirits. One might object perhaps that the voice who spellks in Chapter Two must belong to Kant himsel( because, after all, we find in this chapter a theory of the Phantast almost exactly like the one Kant eJqxmnded to his students in the Herder Lectures. Here the voice argues that the human soul is at once a member of the material world and the world of spirits. 1n most people, that part of the soul which interacts with material objects has no idea of what happens to that part of the same soul which interacts with the spirits and the angels. But the voice suggests that, in a very few people, the imagination is somehow greatly heightened. It suffers acutely the effects of spiritual interaction, and so it creates all sorts of sensations which, though they have no connection with reality, are nevertheless so vivid that spirits seem to dance before one's very eyes. These sensations are all illusion, but they are still the effects of the soul's community with separate spirits: However, this kind of appearnnce cannot be something conunon and fruniliar, but rather it occurs only in persons whose organs have an e)drnordinarily great sensitivity, so that they amplify more than those ofhealthy men do, or should do, the images oftl1ePhantasie, according to the inner state of the soul through hannonious motion. Such str.:tnge persons would be disturbed at cert.'lin moments by the appearance ofmany objects as outside them, which appearances they would hold to be a presence ofspiritual natures which affect their COfJX'fe.-plaining that the doctrines of the "secret philosophy" expounded in Part One of Dreams of a Spirit-Seer are not to be taken seriously, he went on to descnbe them as" ... an example of how far one can proceed altogether unhindered in philosophical fabrications when there are no data ..." (10.69). So Kant apparently turns to satire in Part One of his review as a last resort If he cannot persuade metaphysicians by argument alone that they must initiate reform in their science, he will do his best to persuade them by other means that they are every bit as absurd as his satirical persona For all satire is an appeal to vanity: it assumes that the wayward are not so far gone that tl1ey could ever relish ridicule. Having determined who speaks when, with what tone and to what purpose, we may now reflect on the content of the metaphysics that Kant tries to ex-pose in Part One. Since the uncritical metaphysician neglects to investigate properly the limits of hUlllan reason, it is here in these chapters that we may ex-pect to find a good specimen of uncritical metaphysics. I shall argue that this specimen of uncritical metaphysics fails for precisely the same reasons that Swedenborg's Arcana were bound to go astray: it wrongly treats immaterial snbstances as though they could somehow fall under the senses. We shall see, then, that the specimen of uncritical metaphysics in Part One of Dreams of a Spirit-Seer is a caricature of doctrines that Kant himself once espoused in the Nova dilucidatio and the Physical ivfonadology. 4

A5 I say, we find the basic premisses of the uncritical metaphysics in Chapter One where the satirical persona begins by e?.:plaining that the word "spirit'' means a sin1ple, immaterial being possessed of reason. "Either tl1e meaning of the noun 'spirit' is the one I have inclicated," says the persona, "or the word has no sense at all" (2.321.26-28). To be sure, this proves neither that spirits exist, nor even that they are possible. The uncritical metaphysician rightly observes that, if e>.-perience were the test of a thing's possibility, we should have to dismiss all talk of spirits as airy nonsense. A material object makes its presence known to us in experience by resisting the effort of any other material object to penetrate the space that it occupies. Thus we know the force of repulsion is possible, though we might never know how. Spirits are in1material snbstances; consequently, they do not make their presence known through the force of repulsion, nor, tl1erefore, in ex-perience. Indeed, we cannot even try to imagine them to ourselves in concreto, by forming sensuous

representations of spirits in our mind, as we might form sensuous representations of material things. This just goes to show that our concept of spirit is plagued by a sort of unintelligibility in empirical terms. Now the uncritical metaphysician argues that snch unintelligibility does not prove that spirits are impossible; all it proves is that we cannot think about spirits the way we think about material objects disclosed to us

in ex·perience. \Vhat could be more reasonable? Once \Ve have admitted that "spirit" means a sin1ple, in1material being possessed of reason, it snrely makes no sense to think of spirits as tl1ough they were material objects. A5 long as we have no proof that spirits are impossible, reasons the uncritical metaphysician, we may safely


Dreams of a Spirit-Seer

admit their possibility, as by hypothesis. We have no hard evidence or demonstration that spirits are possible, but tl1e uncritical metaphysician tells us that it is a safe, if not a sure, bet (2.323.10-12). On the supposition that spirits are irmnaterial beings and that they are possible, we have to find a way to e~'jllain how they could be present in the same space filled by bodies. The human soul, for instance, is an immaterial being; and yet, it is present in the same space filled by a certain body throughout the course of its natural existence. In itself, this is easy enough to e"1Jlain: though the body is impenetrable, the soul is not. But nnw we are faced "~th a difficult question about the nature of souls or spirits. Space is divisible, but spirits are supposed to be simple beings. Presumably, spirits too would be divisible if they could be present in space. If spirits were divisible, they wouJd be composite things, whlch is impossible. Here we begin to see that the rational psychology Kant is trying to expose depends on doctrines U1at Kant himself e~1JOWlded in U1e Physical }Jonadaiogy of 1756. For the uncritical metaphysician suggests that we can rewlve the dilliculty by stipulating that a spirit is not present in space tilfough its existence alone, but Ulfough the sphere of its activity. He is clearly titinking of spirits the way that Knnt conceived the clements of body in the late fiflies. The analogy is a nntural one. Like spirits, the elements are perfectly simple substances. To be sure, elements are the constitutive parts of a body, but the bulk of a body-ti1at aspect of the body which fills space-is the sum of the volwne of tl1c elements. The volume of an clement is nothing more Umn appearance~ it consists in tl1e element's sphere of ac!i\oty or tl1at part of space through which the clement's force of repulsion overcomes U1e effect of its force of attraction. Now an clement's sphere of activity is divisible in space. So if elements were no tiling but the sphere of tl1cir acti\oty, they too would be di\osible into parts, each of which could exist separately from the oti1ers. But tl1en bodies would not consist of simple substances. In and of themselves, tl1e elements must be absolutely indi,osible; every element must have certain inner dctenninations that do not fill space. According to ti1e uncritical metaphysician in Cik1pter One of Dreams of a SpiritSeer, spirits and elements are tile same kind of tiling but for these differences: spirits possess reason; elements exert a certain force of repulsion on account of which matter is impenetrable. Though spirits do not have repulsive force, they seem to l1ave a force of a different kind. For spirits are active beings, and they can make tl1eir inDuence felt arow1d and about tl1em. Thus we learn from the uncritical metaphysician that a spirit is present to some space by U1e sphere of its activity, as though it were an element. But, whereas the forces of attraction and repulsion constitute an element's sphere of activity, other forces must be at work in the case of spirits. T11e uncritical metaphysician will later suggest in Chapter Two that a spirit has forces of public and private interest. Though spirits make themselves manifest in space by tl1e interplay of U1cse opposing forces, in and of themselves, they do not really fill space. So we


no more call into doubt the simplicity of a spiril by

reason of its presence in some space than we may call into doubt the simplicity of a corporeal element by reason of its presence in some space through the force of its repulsion. In summary, then, spirits and the elements of body have this in corrunon. They arc intelligible substances, simple by nature, ti10ugh present in some space by the spheres of their acti\oty. The w1critical metaphysician makes this perfectly clear in Chapter One: Such spiritualnnturcs would b:pressed his hope that Mendelssohn would never doubt his sincerity, and tl1en he e:-.'jlressed his great contempt for metaphysics as it was cWTently practised: As to my expressed opinion ofthl! value ofmdn.physics in general, fX1'haps here and again my words [in Dreams ofa Spirit-Seer] were not sufficirntly careful and qualified But I c;:mnot COOCt!a..l my repugn:mce, and even a ~'ltain hatred, toward the inflated nrrog:mce of whole volumes full of wha1 are pa..iernal agency." How is it possible, in other words, for something to effect change of state in something else? The union of a rational soul with the human body, he added, is but a special instance of a much more general problem. But the 1 metaphysician is not satisfied with partial solutions. He seeks a system of universal causality; he wants to know how it is possible for any substance at all to produce change in any other. Now e;>,.-perience yields only a few instances of the causal relation, namely the forces of attraction and repulsion and the atcelerations that they produce in matter. Though e>.-perience can show us that physicnl influx is possible among txxlies, it cannot show us that such interaction is possible among other substances. It does not even establish physicnl influx between body and soul. At most, said Kant, we discover in e>..'J)erience a certain concordance behveen the inner state of the soul-its thoughts and its volitions-and the outer condition of the body. But we have no empiricnl evidence that the soul and the body really act on one anot11er. How could \Ve? Bodies effect clkwge in one another by a community of attractive and repulsive forces under the conditions of space and time. If the soul and the body could effect change of state in one another just as bodies do amongst themselves, souls would have to be subject to the conditions of space and time; and, they would likely have forces of attraction and repulsion. But t11e soul is not supposed to have either weight or impenetrability, because it does not have a material nature. Since we have no experience of physicnl infltL~ between the soul and the body, we have no way lo determine whether or how the body and the soul really act upon one another. That leads us, said Kant, to the following conclusion: ... the upshot of all this is th::tt one is led to nsk. v.hether it is intrinsically possible to determine these powers of spiritual substances by means of a priori rational judgments. 1bis investigation resolves itself into another, namely, whether one can by means of rational inferences disoover a primitive powe:-, that is, the primary, fundamental relationship of cause to effect. And since I am certain that this is impossible, it follows that, if these po\vers are not given in experience, they can only be invented. But this invention, an heuri..1ic fiction or hypothesis, can never even be proved to be possible, and it is a mere ddusion to argue from the mere £'\d. of its conceivability (which has its plausibility only because no impossibility can be derived from the concept either). Such a delusion is Swedenbor_?'s reverie, though I myself would try to defend it if someone were to argue it impossible,

The metaphysician's quest for a system of universal system of causality is in vain. For e"-perience can teach us nothing about any :;p.i.tiJ!!llLfl;u;.g::;,.">As a result, the metaphysician must take care not to represent immaterial things in the image of things from the sensible world. The metaphysician would do just as well to claim he has first-hand e"-perience of inmmlerial substances-a delusion every bit as outrageous as the visions of Swedenborg. Dreams of a Spirit-Seer and tile letter to Mendelssohn raise a very clifficult q_uestioiL Even if the true and lasting welfare of the human race does indeed depend on metaphysics, what kind of funrre lies in store for this science now that it has become plain that Kant's initial project has failed for good? Kant hinlself might be excused for thinking that the prospects of renewal are very grim. But the letter to Mendelssohn, if not the publication timt aroused Mendelssolm's concern in tile first place, is rather optimistic-all things considered. Metaphysics has not come to an end, wrote Kant, it must simply chart a new course. In fact, Kant tried his best to enlist Mendelssolm's help in ti1e w1dertaking. "It befits brilliant men such as you," he exclaimed, "to create a new epoch in this science, to begin completely afresh, to draw up the plans for ULis heretofore haphazardly constructed discipline witl1 a

The Inaugural Dissertation 103 master's hand."' Far from giving up on metaphysics, Kant was as detennlned as ever to carry it fonvard. But how to proceed? Since metaphysics has not yet become a science, it would be reasonable as a first step to determine the conclitioru; under which it might do so in the future. Such a project would be fraught \\1th dilliculty. For the object would not be simply to cultivate an infant science that showed every promise of reaching matnrity with grace over time, but rather to pull down a shaky edifice to its very foundation and build all over again. In the Jetter to Mendelssohn, Kant could suggest only in the vaguest terms that his newly projected reform of metaphysics would have a purely negative pUJ]Xlse, namely "the avoidance of stupiclity,"' "Although the innocence of a healthy but un:iru;tructed understancling requires only an organon in order to arrive at insight," he wrote, "a propredeutic is needed to get rid of the pseudo insight of a spoiled head."' In Dreams of a Spirit-Seer, he urged the reader to investigate the limits of human reason. But the renewed project of reform clid not really take shape for Kant until 1770, the year in which he defended his Inaugural Dissertation.


Unlike the Nova dilucidatio, the Inaugural Dissertation is not a system of metaphysics. Kant deHnes metaphysics in the Inaugural Dissertation as "philosophy containing the first principles of the use of the pure intel/ecf' (2.395.16-17). But there is no mention besides Ulis of any such first principles anywhere in the Dissertation. ApparenUy, Kant has noUling to say in 1770 about either the principle of contracliction or the principle of suJftcient reason. Why the omission? The answer is very simple. What Kant now has to offer us is at once more modest and more fundamental, namely a specimen of a propredeutic science to whlch we must apply ourselves before we can make any progress in metaphysics at all. "But tlmt science whereof we present a specimen in this our dissertation," he rumounccs, ""is the propredeutic that leaches how to clist:ingu:ish between sensitive knowledge and knowledge oftl1e intellect" (2.395.17-19). In otl1er words, the possibility of reform in metaphysics depends on drn\\1ng a clistinct:ion between tl1e conclitioru; that govern seru;ibility and the conclitioru; tl1llt govern the understancling.' It makes perfect sense that tl1c prop:edeutic should involve a clistinction of this kind. The soul is an imrr)aterial substance, and thus we can learn nothing about its nature from e:--pericnce. When Kant first attempted to defend the system of physical inflm:, he came very close to ascribing repulsive forces to the soul, and thus he subjected someUung intelligible to conclitioru; tlmt prevail in the sensrble world. Indeed, Kant represented all created intelligible things under the conditions of sensibility-not just the soul, but the constitutive elements of matter as well. Kant lmd argued in tl1e Physical A1onadology tl1llt the elements exercise forces of repnlsion and attraction, and tl1at the real opposition of these forces deterrcines their volume. On Kant's accow1L, il1e e1emenLY------anyway, tl1e spheres of their activi!)'-are spatially e:--tended; U1cy are parts of boclies. Now Lcibniz specifica!Jy denied that elements or mm1llds are parts of boclies, though he would lmve been willing to agree tl1llt tl1ey are tl1e foundation or tl1e suJftcient reason of all material things.' If the elements are parts of boclies, not only could we feel them by touch, provided the nerves in our finger tips were sufficiently sensitive; perhaps we could even see them-tlrrough the microscope, if not ""th the naked eye. Kant had apparently pushed tllings so far ll1lll he could adnlit no created inunaterial substance totally exempt from the conclitioru; of seru;ibilit;•. TI1Us we could learn much of what

104 The Inaugural Dissertation

we could ever hope to know about souls and elements from e>..-perience \\~th the aid of ma1hematics,' in which case 1hese substances must be objects of natural philosophy. Now 1he proper objects of metaphysics are not supposed to be subject to 1he conclitions of sensibility; they are supposed to be immaterial substances--{)bjects of pure understancling. The effect of Kant's early metaphysical projects was apparently to deprive metaphysics of its proper object" AJ; we know from 1he letter to Mendelssohn, Kant still took 1he future of metaphysics very much to heart--eyen after 1he publication of Dreams of a Spirit-Seer. So he figured 1hat, if metaphysics bas any objeqt at all, we must find a way to clistinguish it from 1he object of natural philosophy. ofhisjustiCI! and his .~oodnt!SS. can have certainty in this science only through approximation,(?.- a et."ftainty that is mor.J;For there is !>"till much that is quite undevelopcti even in the concepts thai we h.1.vc ofthese determination_~ in ourselves (2,297.31-37).

The great virtue of our concept of God's neces5al)' existence is tlmt it does not rest on any kind of analogy. Thus it is one of tl1e most distinct and tl1e most certain concepts in all of metaphysics. Now tl1e passages I just quoted are from tl1e Preisschrifl of 1764, but there is no reason to believe that Kant would have changed his mind on any of this by 1770. So we can now see the attraction that the concept of

God's necessary existence would presumably have exerted on Kant as he was writing the Inaugural Dissertation. Precisely because tllis concept rests on no analogy of any kind, our knowledge of God will remain free from tl1e taint of sensibility so long as we keep a fLx on it Our question has been how Klli1t can prevent us from representing intelligible things as though they were subject to the conditions of sensibility. Part of the answer

to this question has to be tha.t Kant conceives of God as a neccss.:1..ry existence. For Kant takes God to be tl1e principle of t11e fonn of the intelligible world, and tl1e concept of necessary existence excludes anything tlmt the senses nlight teach us. But

this can only be part of the answer. Even if Kant can show us tlmt corrununity among tlungs in the intelligible world depends on God, he "1ll still have work to do

to show us tlmt tllings in U1e intelligible world never mingle


tllings in the

sensible world.

TI1e solution to tllis problem is to impose a certain restriction. Kant will have to find a way to keep the objects of sensibility aplli1 from the objects oftl1e intellect and he "ill have to show that tl1e principle of t11e form of the sensible world is different from the principle of the form of t11e intelligible world. But tllis strategy will involve an important modification to t11e doctrines of tl1e Nova dilucidalio. At the time that Kant wrote the Nova dilucidalio, he believed thm ti1e schema of God's intellect and

the mutual interaction an1ong creatures issuing from it were the sufficient reason of the world as a whole. He believed that they were ti1e sufficient reason of creatures and their relational properties. The relational properties he had in mind were spatial, in the first instance, and sensible, in the second inst.:wce. I say Umt he had sensible properties in mind insofar as the sensible ones depend on the spatial ones (as, for example, weight and impenetrability in bodies). No-w, in the inaugural D;ssertation, Kant wants to argue tlmt tl1ese spatial and sensible properties do not proceed in any straightforward way from tl1e schema of God's intellect. He wants to argue that these properties do not have tl1eir ground in any real tlling in itself: he now tllinks tlmt

The Inaugural Dissertation lll lhcsc properties are subjective and that ti1ey depend on tile Vel}' nature of hwnan sensibility. Thus Kant writes: But the world, insofar as it is corL~ickred a p~ i.e., with f\...~ to the sensuality of tho:! bt..trnanrnind, dc.es not know any principle of its form save a subjective one, i.e., a settled law of the soul on account of which it is necessary that all thing;, \\hich can be objects of the senses (through the quality of the senses), are SU-"11 necessarily to belong to the same whole, So whatever be, then, the principle of the form of the sensible world, there will be lncludcd in it, however, only actual thfngs insofar as they can be consid.>red as falling under the senses, Therefore neither immaterial subsbnces, whlch as such are excluded by definition from the e;,:t.L'nu.l senses, nor the cause of the world ... can be objects ofthc senses {2.398,16-26).

Precisely becanse spatial and sensible properties depend on tile conditions of hwnan sensibility, whereas community among immaterial substan= depends on \he schema of God's intellec~ Kant Utinks Umt he can show rigorously that immaterial substan= cannot fall under tile senses. This is useful, he thinks, because it offers us a rnethcxl for e>.:posing and correcting systematically tl1e false representation of immaterial substan= that Kant lmd found so worrisome in hls own system of the world. I shall discuss this method in some detail in section four of tile present chapter. Before pushing on, \here is one more thing to note. Kant's strategy in \he Inaugural Dissertation is to show that ti1e spatial and sensible properties of things are cut off from \he realm of immaterial substances and so depend on certain principles ofhwnan sensibility. He proceeds to argue-r anJ"'ay to claim-that ti1e principles in question are space and tinle. Kant himself states \he claim in \he foUow:ing terms. He says tl1.:'1t, "These fonnal principles of the phenornenal universe are two, as I shall presently demonstrate. They are space and time, which are absolutely first, calholic and besides as it were ti1e schemata and conditions of aU sensitive titings in hwnan knowledge" (2.398.27-29). This claim is interesting for a number of reasons. First of all, it introduces a new and important twist in Kant's conception of space and time. In \he Nova dilucidalio, Kant treated time as noUting more tl1l!ll \he order of succession-as nothing apart from things that undergo change. Moreover, he treated space as nolhing apart from titings that e>.1emally relate to each olher. He considered bolh space and time as residual effects of mutual interaction among creatures. But now in \he Inaugural Dissertation Kant grants space and time a new priority. He treats them not as consequences, but as the very grounds of mutual interaction among things-insofar as t11cse tltings are objects of \he senses. Kant says of space, for example, that it is first-prior to \he sensible lhings that e>.1emally relate to one anoU1er: And so space i.tlce ofobjects, \\tllcb modifications can be different in diJfen.-'!lt circumst.:mces nccorrling to the changes of the subjects; but [since] \\halevcr knowledge is exempt from such sut~ct.-tivc conditions relates only to the ol~cct it kno\\TI by the senses are representations of things as apparent, v.hilc intellectual thing> are repre:st.>rltations of things as they really are (2.392.23·29).

No problem arises so long as sensitive knowledge is predicated of a sensitive subject, or intellectual knowledge is predicated of an intellectuul subject. In the first case, we

fonn a judgment strictly in accordance \vith the appea.rances; in the second case, we form ajudgrpent strictly in accordance wiU1 what we know to be true of obj~ts in· themselves ..ifhe trouble is caused by predicating sensitive knowledge of intellectuul concepts, as though the predicate in such a judgment could e'-'j}ress the real state of U1e subjeclj · For lxcause the predicate in any judgment, \\tllch is alfmncd intcllectual.ly, is the condition \\ithout \\hich the sut~cct is not to b.! nsscrted, the prcdic:a1c is thus the principle of knowing: if it is a sensitive concept, it will only b.! the oondition of possible sensitive knowledge, and therefore it v.ill especially suit the subject in a judgment whose conD..-'f)l is llkev.i.o;;e sensitive, And if it \:x: applied to an intellectual conD..-'j)t. such a judgment wil! b.! valid only by virtue of subjective Jaws. Hence it is not to b.! objectively proclaimed and predicated of the intellectual notion itset£:: )Jut on{y as a condition without which there is no place for sensitive knowledge oft he given concept (2.411.31412.5).

If we have a judgment in which the subj~t is conceived intellectu.:'llly and ti1e predicate sensitively, tile subject pertains to tl1e object itself, but the predicate can ex-press only the sensible conditions govemlng t11e object as appearance. It is a mistake to think tlmt we can objectively affirm a sensitive predicate of an intellectuul · subject. Kant claims that U1ere are ti1ree kinds of delusion giving rise to subreptive axioms. These delusions are all based on one of the following three principles: 1. The S3me sensitive condition. under wb!ch alone the imultion of an object is possible, is the condition ofth~ possfhility ofthe object ilo;;elf.

The Inaugural Dissertation 117 2. 1be same sensitive condiUon. unck.,- \\hich alone things given can be taken together for the formation of an intellectual concept of the object, is also the condition of the possibility of the

object itself 3. 1be same sensitive condition. under which alone the subsumplfon of any encountered object under a given intellectual concept, is also the condition of the. possibility of the object itself (2.413.22-29).

It is useful to consider some of Kant's examples of the subreptive axioms that can follow from these principles. For here we find Kant e;;posing and correcting the errors of metaphysics, and indeed the errors of his own metaphysics. Kant lists CrushiS' fundamen!al maxim in §27 as an example of a subreptive axiom of the first kind. According to Crusius, whatever is, is somewhere, somewhen. It is plain that !his maxim follows from the first of the three illUSOI)' principles, because it presupposes that space and time, U1e sensitive conditions under which alone the intuition of an object is posSJole, are the conditions of the possibilily ofthe object itself. No thing exists except as given in some place at some time. Kant had been critical of this maxim-for other reasons-even before the publication of the Inaugural Dissertation," but it is not unfair to say that he himself had unwittingly made it the key-stone of his own system. After all, he argued in the Nova dilucidatio that God sustains all creatures---even immaterial substances--in a certain community of forces; and he argued, morecver, that creatures must all have spatio-temporal determinations as a result. Not surprisingly, Kant is critical, in this passage of the Inaugural Dissertation, of precisely the concerns that had preoccupied him so intently in his earlier works. He cites, in particular, the problem oftl1e soul's presence in the material world: Hence, concerning the place of immaterial substances in the corporeal universe ... , concerning the :lrl! to:,._~ about; and since sensitive things are improp.-'11)' mingled \\ith intellectual things. as the square and the round, it very often happens that, among the parties to the discussion. the one seems to milk a ram while the other holds out the sieve (2.414.2-7). seat of the soul and other things of the kind, empty quc.tions

Kant himself had tussled \\Otll a daiq ram. For, to all intents ai>d 1purposes, he had located the rational soul in ti1e sphere of its acti\ity, i.e., in ti1e glace where it exerts, and suffers the effects of, certain forces: the difficulty had alwa)$"been to show that these forces \Vere not original forces of repulsion_ Kant now proceeds in his indictment, even praising Euler for admitting his ignorance of the way souls and bodies act upon one another: But space does not contain the conditions of }'X'l'>Sible mutual actions, except for those of ma.tLcr, inde«l, it absolutely esc:lpt notion [i.e., the lcgit.im:llc argument of the intellect], and is therefore heedlessly substituted for it Thus, that the size ofthe worid should b.! limited (that it not b.! a maximum); that it acknowledges the principle of it; that OOdies consist of simple things: all this can ccrt.'linly b.! kno\\n by an infulliblc sign of reason. But that the universe should b.! mathematically finite with respect to rna.~ thai the age of the world should be measurable>, that any body should consist of a dcfmite number of simple things: these are propositions that clearlr sp..:ak of thcir origin in the nature of sensitive knowledge; and however they can b.! held for true m other respoxts, they labor nevertheless from the blemish oftheirdoubtful origin (2.415.30-416.9).

Precisely because Kant confused tl1e law of tl1e understandlng and the law of sensibility, he assumed in the Physical }vfonadology timt the simple things in every body must be finite in nun1ber, and tl1us he subjected objects of the understandlng to tl1e condltions tlmt govem appearances. Like\\ise, our intellectual knowledge of qualities falls into the metaphysical error of subreption '\Vhcn we wliversally subject tile law of contradiction to the conditions of time. Of course, it is perfectly reasonable to appeal to time in tl1e formulation of the law of contradlction, because it is impossible for a certain quality and it.s opposite to belong to any sensible tiling at one and tl1e same momenl But we may not take the temporal formulation of tills law as a universal definition of the impossible. According to Kant, we may not say tlmt, " ... every impossibility simultaneously is and is not ..." (2.416.17). For not all things are subject to the condltions of sensibility. The impossible of tl1e intelligible world crumot be the same as the impossible of ti1e sensible world, even if we have no way of discovering the difference for ourselves. All scrts of illusions have proliferated throughout metaphysics, precisely because we have confidently assumed that sometlling is possible when no impossibility can be detected accordlng to the condltions of sensibility. It is surely significant that Kant singles out the notion of forces exerted by immaterial substances to illustrate !lis point: Hence so many vain inventions offorces, of what I do not know, of thing> concocted at pleasure, the obstacle of contr.:J.diction-ru.1itute natural connection. 12 ·

Kant's claim is obscure. But it seems to depend on the follO\ving idea. Natural lav.'s have a certain fonn or structure. We discover this form by reflecting on a natural law in general, and we can us:e our reflection, or rather what we discover thereby, a~ a schema for our thought of the law at work in the intelligible world .... So our reflection on the fonn of a natural law in general apparently gives us 'a· model for our thought of the law of freedom. Kant himself puts it as follows:

144 Towards the Critical Philosophy This law [supplied by the understanding to an idea of reason], as one which can be exhibited in concreto in objects of the senses, is a natural law. But this natural law can. for the purpose: ofjudgmen~6e used only in its fonnal aspec,9and it may, therefore, be called the type of the moral law, J

Kant's reasoning here must be something like this. When


reflect on the

"formal aspect" of a natural law in general, ·we focus our attention on its universal scope. We note, for example, that Newton's laws of motion apply universally to all material particles, and to all such particles without exception. Now we can think of a law as universally applicable to a whole class of things without having to think of the lmv as deterministic. Kant apparently wants to· say that our thought of the moral law is wholly exhausted by our thought of its commanding us universally. Just for that reason, we are prevented from thinking of the moral law as ·a deterministic law of nature. Thus we may use the "formal aspect" of a natural law in general as the "type" of the moral law. \Vhen we do so, we represent the moral law as the Jaw of an intelligible realm whose members have transcendental freedom. The schematism of our imagination and the type of the moral Jaw together separate the intelligible world of the Kingdom of Ends from the sensible world of possible e~'Perience. Under the schematism of our imagination, we represent objects of possible e>-.'Perience as governed by deterministic laws of nature. Under the type of the moral law, we represent ourselves as subject to a universally valid imperative of pure reason and so blessed with transcendental freedom. Kant said in the Groundwork of/he }vfetophysics of Morals that even the most ordinm)' understanding conceives of a realm beyond the senses and indeed itself as a citizen ofthis.realm. But such an understanding also tends to represent the intelligible realm impurely, as though it could be an object of the senses after all. Kant himself put it as follows: A conclusion of this kind must be reached by a thinking man about eveT)1hing that may be presented to him. It is presumably to be found even in the most ordinary intelligence, which. as is well known. is always very much disros~:d to look behind the objects of the senses for something further that is invisible and is spontaneously active: but it goes on to spoil this by immediately sensif)'ing this invisible something in its tum-that is to say, it wants to make it an object of intuition. and so by this procedure it does nol become in any degree wiser.H

The ordinary understanding has a natural tendency to "quibble" with the moral law, i.e., to find ways of accommodating the moral law to its desires and inclinations. It seeks an exemption for itself, while recognizing the claim of the moral law on others. In effect, it is trying to restrict the universal scop~ of the moral law. The consequence of this is to deny oneself access to the intelligible realm and to represent oneself as subject to universal laws of anot.her kind, namely the universal lmvs of nature. Insofar as it quibbles with the moral law, the ordinary understanding pollutes its conception of the intelligible realm and thus its awareness of its own freedom. For the universal laws of nature .are deterministic. But Kant thought that he had a method of purification. By the time of the second CrWque, the method apparently consisted in employing the type of the moral law and the schemaHsin of our imagination. Together these two innovations would permit us to restore and reaffim1 the universal scope of the moral law outside the usual course of material nature. In other words, they would permit us to distinguish clearly the intelligible world from the sensible world.

Towards the Critical Philosophy 145 In conclusion, I would like to suggest that we can understand the Critical Philosophy as the result of Kant's efforts to complete the work he had begun in the Inaugural Dissertation. The Critical Philosophy completed the cosmology of sensation, which Kant had barely sketched in 1770, by making our understanding God's vicegerent in the sensible world. It completed the project of drawing a sharp distinction between the sensible world and the intelligible world by offering us an account of the schematism of our imagination and the type of the moral law.

NOTES NOTES TO INTRODUC.'TION 1. Dieter Henrich has argued, for instance, that we are mistaken to think that the word "'deduction" means a string of syllogistic inferences for Kanl The Transcendental Deduction is not. in the first instance, a string of such inferences, though a number of such inferences arc to be found in it Henrich argues on the basis ofte>..1ual and historical evidence that Kant took the so-called Deduktionsschrijlen of the fourteenth through eighteenth centuries a.~ the model for his Transcendenta.l Deduction, A Dedut-rionsschrift is a kind of legal brief for justil)•ing a claim to an acquired right. Henrich makes the point that Kant's contemporary readers '''ould have understood that Kant was using the word "deduction" in the sense of these Deduktionsschriflen. The trouble is just that readers today do not know what a Deduldionsschrift is. Henrich hinu:df puts it thus, "Kant •.• had very good reasons to assume-given the widespread practice of arguing through deduction \\Titings-that his audience would understand him when he transferred the term 'deduction' from its juridical usage to a new, philosophical one. \\'hat he could not foresee was that such a widespread usage would very soon become obsolete, when the Holy Roman Empire was abolished under pressure from Napoleon. With this, the Imperial Courts and the practice of writing deductions disappeared forcvcr, and the term 'deduction' became extinct and almost incomprehen.~ible. With regard to the Critique and its deductions, we can thus understand in a new light the old saying that books, too, have their destiny." See Henrich, "Kant's Notion of Deduction," in Kant's Transcendenral Deductions, cd. Eckhart Fllrster, (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1989), 33.

2. The system of pre·cstablishcd hannony and the notion that substances cannot be described mathematicaJly (i.e., geometrically) arc some oftl1c ntist:lkcs that Kant has in mind here. 3. I would suggest, furthermore, that having discovered some of Kant's original motives for distinguishing our two faculties of knowledge, we might come to understand better the subsequent developments leading to the formulation of Kant's mature doctrine of transcendental idealism. I shall give a sketch of how we might understand these subsequent developments in the concluding chapte-r of this study. 4. I develop these ideas in the concluding chapter of this study. For now, it is enough to say that the lesson of the later works is that we can have knowledge of real interaction only as taking place among the objects of possible e;-.:perience. We can have no knowledge of real interaction runong things in themselves. I would venture to say, moreover, that the later Kant leaves room for the system of pre· established harmony as the system of C'.LUses prevailing among the noumena. A1 any rate, he says e;-.:plicitly in the Note to the Amphiboly that Leibniz was right to go for pre·esiahlished harmony, at least insofar as Leibniz was reasoning from the unschcmatized concept of community (A.274·275/B330·331). I cannot help but think that the Kingdom of Ends, described in the Groundwork and the Critique of Practical Reason, is a system of pre·~1ablished harmony. But, of course, speculative reason, has no right to claim that h has scientific knowledge of such a system. For we can have knowledge only of the objects of possible e>.1Jcricnce. Again, l develop tltesc ideas in the concluding chapter. 5. The matter has to be more complicated than this, if only because Kant thinks that the principle of succession is the metaphysical foundation of the law of inertia. Let me also emphasize right now that Kant does not think. by reason of the principle of succession or any other principle, that the proper objects of metaphysics-immaterial su!Jstances such as the rational soul or the monads underlymg all matter-are subject in any straightforward way to tlte laws of motion, I have more to say about this in Chapter Two. 6. I shall discuss these points at the end of Chapter Two. 7. This is a fundamental tl1esis of the Physical Alonadology, an academic dissertation of 1756. I shall discuss this work at length in Chapter Three. NOTES TO CtL\PTER ONE

1. Cassirer, Kant's Lifo and Thought, trans. James Haden, (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1981 ), 77. 2. See the Untersuchung ii.ber die Deutlichkeit der Grundsi1rze der nalilrlfchen Theologie und der }.fora! in the second volume of the Academy cditioiL Hereafter. I shall refer to this work as the Preisschrfjl.



3. Indeed, the public would have to wait until 1786 for the eXp>!cted Metaphysical Foundations of Natural Science, and 1797 for the expcctcd.Afetaphysics ofMoral.T,

4, Mendelssohn, Gesammefte Schrijlen, second series, volume 4, cd. G. B. ,\lcndelssohn, (Leipzig: F. A Brockhaus, 1844), 529,

5. Bacon. The Advancement of Learning, in Selected H;ritings, ed. Hugh G. Dick, (New York: Random House, 1955), 160. 6, Ibid, 251·252. 7. More, The Immortality ofthe Soul, ed, Alexander Jacob, (Dordrccht: Martin us Nijhof. 1987), 12. 8. Ibid., 12-13. 9. Of course, it is still a further question whether the soul sloughs oiT all corporeal raiment after death, Though Leibniz was as keen as anyone on the inunort.ality of :;ouls (human and brutish alike), he believed that souls never entirely disassociate themselves from bodies (Sec §6 of the Principles of Nature and Grace, Based on Reason). ll1is is not to say that he wa.,·lore's either), But it should be noted that debates on the matter were still very lively. H~uy Charles Lea notes in his }..faten'als Toward a History of Witchcraft, volume three, ed. Arthur Howland, (New York: Thomas Yoselo£f, 1957) that the Dlsputatio juridica de jure spectrorum, a thesis for the Doctorate of Laws presented to the faculty at the University of lena by Andreas Becker, was reprinted as late as 1745. This is a perfectly serious piece in which the author argues for the existence of ghosts and separate spirits, after which he proceeds to consider the legal implications of haunted real estate and the like. Lea also notes that Valentin VOlckerling defended his thesis on the demon RUbezahl (said to be haunting the Riesengebirge between Bohemia and Silesia)---De Spiritu in Monte Gigantaeo Silesiorum apparente, vulgo RUbe-Zahl-at the University of Wittenberg in 1740. 11. Cassirer, Kant's Lifo and Thought, 78-79. 12. He reports, for instance, that he would send parts of his work lo the printer one at a time. so that he did not always see how a given section would come out in the end (10,6&). 13, See Hans Vaihinger, Kommemar zu Kants Kritik der reinen Vernunft, second edition. volume two (Stuttgart: Union Deutsche Verlagsgesellschafl1922). 14. See, in particular, Tafel's Supplement zu Kants Bfographle und zu den Gesarnmtausgaben seiner Werke, oder die von Kant gegebenen Erfahrungsbeweise for die Unsterblichkeit und fortdauernde WiedererinnerungsJ..iaft der Seele, durch Nachweisung einer groben FiJLrchung in ihrer Unveiflil.rchtheit wiederhergestellt, nebst einer WUrdigung seiner frilheren Bedenken gegen. sowie seiner spiJ/eren Vernunftbeweise fUr die Unsterblfchkeit, (Stuttgart, 184.5). See the introduction to Karl du Prel's edition of Kant's \o:ctures on rational psychology as transcribed by P~litz, Kants Vorlesungen ilber Psychologie. (Fforzheim: Rudolf Fischer, 1967). See the conunentary appended by

Notes 149 Goer\\itz to his English-language translation of Dreams of a Spirit-Seer, (New York: Macmillan. 1900), ,Also see the commentary appended by Jolm Manolesco to his more recent English-language translation ofDreams ofa Spirit-Seer and Other Related Wn'rings. (New York: Vantage Press, 1969). 15. Vaihinger,Kommentar, 513.

16. Manolesco, Dreams ofa Spirit-Seer, 17. 17. The emphasis is mine,

18. It should be clear, however, that Swedenborg cannot be the only target of Kant's criticism in this passage. Kant is at least as worked up about the rational psychology of Wolff and company as be is about Swedenborg's spirit-seeing. 19. Vaihinger himself describes the crypto-Swedenborgian theory of spiritual intercourse that appears in Part One, Chapter Two of Dreams of A Spfri/-Seer as "half 10 earnest, half in jest" (see Vaihinger, Kommentar, 512). Bui Vaihinger thinks that it is earnest enough (in light of the POlitz lectures on rational psychology) that it might have served as the prototype for Kant's account of the intelligible world in the Inaugural Dissertation. (See Vaihinger,Kommentar, 5 13). 20. This is not to say that,. on Kant's view, either the concepts of God and the other world or Swedenborg's visions could ever give us the right reason to live virtuously. The good heart seeks virtue for its ov.'ll sake, not for the sake of life in the hereafter. "Can he, who would rather abandon himself up to his favorite vices were it not for the fear of future punishment, be properly called honest or virtuous;" exclaims Kant in Dreams of a Spirif.Seer, "will we not have to sa.y rather that he fears the practice of wickedness, though he nurtures a vicious disposition in his soul, and that he loves the advantages of virtuous-like action. while. hating virtue itsciJ'i'" (2.372.29-34). The. point in the Poli1.1. lectures on rational psychology is just that Swedcuborg's visions,. like the usual concepts of God and the other world, can at least give us a picture or an idea of moral perfection.

21. Fischer, Geschichte der neuern Philosophie, volume four, (Heidelberg: Carl Winter's Universitatsbuchhandlung, 1898), 141. 22. Ibid. 23. Though Cassirer does not see the history of Kant's intellectual development as the outcome of ..real opposition" between negative magnitudes, his reading of Dreams ofa Spirit-Seer is essentially the same as that ofKuoo Fischer's, In Kant's Lifo and Thought, he suggests that Kant was a very sophisticated partisan ofthe "philosophy of the Enlightenment," a philosophy that"•.• rejected the supcrsensible and limited reason to the 'here-and-now' and to what can be apprehended empirically •.• " (83). This partisanship compelled him to reject dogmatic metaphysics. "Mctn.physics is still science for [Kant]," writes Cassirer, "however, it is no longer a science of things in a supcrsensible world, but of the limits of human reason" (Ibid). 1\foreover, as a partisan of the Enlightenment, Kant naturally found Swedenborg's claim to have direct communication with the spirit world quite preposterous, Cassirer claims that Kant used Swcdcnborg as a caricature for the dogmatic metaphysician in order to cast the ' science ofsupersensible things into doubt (80). 24. Of course, it is not at all obvious that Swcdcnborg's claims to communicate with the angels on high and the spirits of the dead are necessarily absurd from the standpoint of the empiricist. ·After all, Swcdenborg sees him..ody of a rhinoceros in the middle of Africa. And, in the case of a deregulation of my body, if God adjusted the body of a rhinoceros so that its motions were so much in accord with the orders of my sou! thai it raised its hoof when I wanted to raise my hand, and so with other operations, this would then be my body. 1 would suddenly find myself in the form of a rhinoceros in the middle of Africa. But in spite of that, my soul would continue the same operations. I would also have the honor of writing to Your Higlmess, but I do not know how she would then receive my letter" (3.11.187-188). As far as Euler is concerned, the system of pre-established ham1ony is absurd on more than one count. It supposes that the soul owes nothing to the body or the senses for its knowledge and representations. So, when I read in the papers that the Pope is dead, the physical act of browsing through the paper contributes nothing to the knowledge I have of a death in the Vatican. Reading the paper is an act of the body. But, according to the system of pre·cstablished harmony, the soul develops its ideas under its O\\TI power. "It [the soul] judges from its mm comiitution," says Euler, '-'1hat he [the Pope] must absolutely l>e dead, and happily this knowledge comes to it just ns I read the paper, so that ! imagine reading the paper conveyed this knowledge to me, although I drew it from the depths of my soul'' (3.11.189). Euler migl1t well have pointed out that, even ifhe did not sit do\\TI to read the paper on the day the Pope died, he would ~1i!l have learned all about it, for his soul is fated from all eternity lo know on a certain d.1.y that a certain Pope passed away. Euler's efforts to show that the ~ystem of Wolff and Lcil>niz is absurd in rational psychology are not really new. Nor are they especially tt:lling, But Euler's n:marks are noteworthy for their heavy-handed irony. Euler never pulled any rhetorical punches when campaigning agaim1 pre·cstablished harmony. Euler's efforts to show that pre-established ham1ony is as impious as absurd are no more original. They call on objections already raised by the Pietist theologians at the University of Halle. Euler :u-gues that, according to Wolff and Leibniz. we are all "doul>!e machines" insof:u- as body and soul automatically carry out their operations in conunon accord: they exercise no real influence on one another. Euler concludes that this picture of things abolishes human freedom. My soul cannot be responsible for the motions of my body, since it does not produce them voluntarily. This is impious, for the faults of men must be laid to the charge of God who created them in this manner, The argument is not new, but Euler proves to be much more forgiving than the Pietist theologians. In a spirit of conciliation. Euler abjures the Princess from thinking that the Leibnizian philosophers would really want to endorse all the impious consequences of their unholy system (3.11.191). 15. Evidence for this way of thinking can be found in Kant's first work of any importance, the True Estimation of Living Forces of 1747, For example. Kant appeals in the openmg few sections of the

Notes 153 work io the laws of mechanics in order to correct the views of metaphysicians about the union of body and soul, He argues in effect through §6 that Leibniz and his followers misunderstood the laws of mechanics and the nature of motion, and be argues in effect that this misconception stood in the way of their understandin~ the union o~body and soul, It is only because ofthelr misconceived d)n:unics, he says, that these ph1losophers derued that body and soul really act on one another. Kant goes so far as to say that once we understand rightly the laws of mechanics and the nature of motion, real interaction between body and soul receives "no small light" (1.20.26-27). See below. 16. Sec below, This is especially clear in the opening discussion of Kant's True Estimation ofLiving Forces, I shall have things to say about this discussion in the following pages. 17. Sec Section Two of the ne:-.t chapkr. 18. I shall argue in 'Chapter 1bree that Kant found it difficult to avoid the conclusion that souls are present in space by original forces of repulsion. 19. See the following chapter, 20. From the fact that the external relations among substances never change in a world in which everything is at rest, Kant concludes that their inner states always remain the s:une. No doubt. he would say that this also follows for a world in which all substances move in the same direction with the same unifonn speed: in such a world, the external relations substances bear to one anotl1er would not change. (Notice, however, that this raises the question how we could tell the difference between a world in which everything is at rest from a world in which everything moves in the same direction v.1th the same unifonn speed). Wh:U would Kant say about a world in which all substances move with inertial motion, but with different speeds and in different directions? Let us suppose, moreover, that the substances never collide or other>vise ca.usc one ano1hl.'f to undergo acceleration. What would he say about that? Under these conditions, the external relations the substances bear to one another would certainly change, and so one might expect Kant to say that their inner determinations do so as well. And yet Kant would in fact deny that change of inner determinations must occur in this scenario. For he thinks that ch:mge of inner state is always the result of interaction by e>..temal forces; in other words, all change of inner state is an acceleration. We can see, thcn, that Kant disregards motion or change of position as an effect of true interaction. Indeed, Kant takes motion to be purely phenomenal. Cf. also Gedancken von der wahren Schtitzung der lebendigen Krtifle, §3 (1.18.18·36), Tills is quite peculiar, because, as a corollary of the principle of co-existence, Kant argues in the Nova dilucidatio that place, position and space are the result of real interaction among substances (1.414,10·20). Since motion is supposed to be purely phenomenal. substances can apparently move without being in space. They can also apparently move without being in time, because Kant thinks that time is also grounded on real interaction (1.410.27·28). 21. 1 am especially indebted to l\.·Iichae\ Friedman for stressing the peculiar relation between the: principle of succession and the Jaw of inertia. This is something he stresses in the introduction to Kant and the Exact Sciences, (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1992), 6. 22. Notice that, in the presentation of the pri11ciple of succession, Kant conceives of inertia in the same way as Euler, namely as a natural and fundamental impotence, i.e,, as the inability o[a thing under any circumstance to produce change of state in itself. 23. It should be noted that. for Kant. the words "cmmection" (commffrclum, nexus or Verb!ndung) and "mutual dependence" (dependentia reciproca, gegenseitige Abhtingigkeit or Wechselwirkung) aU mean basica.!ly 1l1e same thing. namely real interaction, 24. The emphasis is mine. 25. It is worth noting, however, that, although Kant musters arguments to show that spont::meous change in a substance is impossible and that all change in a substance is the effect of an external agency, he does nothing to establish that the "dependence of determinations" of substances on onc another is always mutual. Tills is a peculiar omission, on the face of it. But on the other hand, Kant tries to establish the reciprocity of the influence created substances have on one another with the principle of co--existence, I shall discuss the principle of co--existence in the following section of this chapter. 26. I take it that Kant would want to say that the Jaws of mechanics somehow follow from the principle of succession, together with thc other principle of his system. namely the principle of co-existence, But Kant gives no indication how, 27. Aithe very least, they prl.-suppose relative space and relative tin1e.

154 Notes 28. Defmiiion Four. 29. Actually, the question concerning Kant's attitude towards Nc\\1on's concept of force is much more complicated than this. Perhaps, as I have suggested, Kant thinks Newton's concept of force is all right, so far as ii goes. and that it prcsupposcs or rests on Kant's more fundamental metaphysical concept of force. On the other hand, perhaps Kant thinks that Ne\\ton's concept is somehow confused and that his 0\\TI metaphysical concept of force is the required corrective, One reason for thinking litis might be the case is that Newton's system of the world presupposes the concepts of absolute space, time, motion and rest.. The concept of force is of great importance to Newton. because he says that forces are the cause of absolute motion (and judging from the concluding words of the General Scholium appended to the definitions, the avowed purpose of the Principfa is to distinguish the absolute! from the relative motions in the world). Since absolute motion is just U1e translation of a body from one immovable place in absolute space to another, the concept of absolute space (and also that of absolute time) is presupposed by Nev.ton's concept of force, Now Kant seems to have been critical of the concepts of absolute motion. rest. space and time during the 1750s. AI. least. this is the impression one has from reading the Ne:»• Doctrine o[A!otfon and Rest. Kant argues in that work that a\1 motion and rest is purely relative, and he concludes that we cannot defend the concept of absolute motion by appeal to absolute space, (Kant does not actually use tht! words "absolute space" in this conte;...~ he speaks rather of"a mathematical space empty of all creatures" (2.17.23-27).) Since Kant is suspicious of absolute space and motion (and presumably absolute time and ri!St as we! I), h-e would no doubt reject Nc\\ton's concept of force. Or rather, he would strip that concept bare and defino! force in the: purely met..'lphysical krms of the Nova dilucidatio as the effect produced by the agency of one substance in another. This definition would appeal in no way to either space or time at a\1, taken either in the absolute or the relative sense. lfthis is Kant's attitude, then he must think his own metaphysical concept of force corrects the m.istakt.-s in Nev.ton's concept of force. 30. It is of course debatable whether the principle of succession alone is enough to show that body is the cause of all change of state in the soul. Why couldn't God or other souls be the cause? Kant tries to argue that the principle of succession is all he needs to make the case for bodies. See Usus 1 (1.411.32412.5). \Vhatever we may think of this argument. it is clear that the principle of succession-if trueundermines pre-established hannony as a system of rational psychology. For obviously all change of state in the soul must be produced by anoU1er substance, whether that substance is a body or is something else. 31. In a paper of 1763 called Attempt to introduce Negative Magnitudes into Philosophy, Kant e>.."]llicitly raises the question how the mind can freely associate ideas without anything acting on it from withouL How is it possible first to in1agine a tiger, then to stop thinking about the tiger, and then to begin imagining a jackal? Kant argues as one would e>..lJect: precisely the same sort of thing that produces a change of state in a body produces the change of state in my mind when I engage in such free association. namely a "verita.ble active force" (eine wahrhaftig thrJtige Kraft). There is just one important difference, he goes on to say: the force that produces change of state in a body must come from a source e;...ternal to the body, but the force that produces change of sta.te in a mind can sometimes come from the mind itself. Kant is thus making an important qualification here about the principle of succession (2.191.29-192.5). He comes round to the position of Euler and others: the soul differs from the body insofar as it can occasionally produce chang!! ofst:lte in itself. 32. Kant's diagnosis of vulgar influxionism is perhaps fine. as far as it goes, But it is not clear- whose errors he is trying to correct. The picture of physical influx as being flowing from one sub~1.ance to another seems to have been Lcibniz's invention. I have always assumed that Le-ibniz invented vulgar influxionism to make pre-established harmony more attractive. At least one thing going for physical influx is that it squares nicely wi1h ordinary e:•;perience, I have the distinct impression that my will is the cause of the voluntruy motions in my body and that the motions of bodies are the cause of perceptions that pass through my mind. Though Leibniz might sununon up the most telling arguments for preestablished harmony, he will always have difficulty overcoming this natura~ if naive, confidence in what ordinary C:>..lJeriencc teaches us. In order to undermine our confidence, Le-ibniz dreamed up the influxionist-a cartoon philosopher who holds a barely intelligible doctrine: natural change in body and soul is the effect of being flowing from one substance to the other, At least this is what I have always supposed that Leibniz was up to, But Eileen O'Neill bas a more complicated and more interesting story to tell, She suggests that Le-ibniz invented the system of physical influx to raise tht! [eve! of discussion about natural change in bodies and souls. She argut.-s that Lcibniz's predecessors and contemporaries might throw their lot in with the Scholastics, the Neo·Platonists, the Corpuscularian Philosophers or the Optical Men. But ultimately they all make a final appeal to an obscure transmission theory of natural change: either because they really have nothing better to offer, or because they have not understood the limits of the mechanical philosophy. Eileen O'Neill argues that Ldbniz invented the system of physical

Notes 155 influx in order to expose this conunon failing. Her work is valuable, not only for the light it sheds on Leibtllz, but also for her reconstruction of the history ofinfluxionism. She is the first, I think. to attempt such a reconstruction. Sec her ..Influ:xus Physicus" in Causation in Early Jvfodem Philosophy. ed. Steven Nadler, (University Park: The Pennsylvania Sta.tc University Pn:ss, 1993), 27-57. Now, whoever or whatever might have been the object of Leibniz's criticisms., it is clear that Lcibniz had laid down a challenge for anyone who might want to defend physical influx. The challenge was to show how real interaction is possible, without descending into the absurdities Leibniz attributes to the vulgar influxionist committed to the transfusion theory. When K:mt speaks of the superiority ofhis O\~n system of physical influx over that of the vulgar influxionists, he makes it clear that he is responding to Leibniz's challenge, Indeed, an important lesson of Kant's Nova dilucidatio is precisely that we will descend into the absurdities of vulgar influxionism if we do not emphasize that tl1e possibility of real interaction among created substances depends on God's universal concourse. This is the point that Kant is trying to make in the demonstration and discussion of the principle of co-existence. 33. Ameriks, "The Critique of Metaphysics: Kant and Traditional Ontology," in the Cambridge Companion to Kant. ed.Paul Guyer (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1992), 263. 34. Kant's commitment to universal gravitation is quite radical and most unusual. He seems always to have believed that bodies can act immediately upon one another at any distance as through empty space. See the UniVersal Natural Hisrory and Theory of the Heavens of 1755 (1.308.27-34), the Nova dilucidatio also of 1755 (1.415.5-16) and the Physical Afonadology of 1756 (1.475.26-27). This is ratl1er surprising. because the notion of universal nnd inunediate gravit.ation was hotly contested on the continent, even by those otherwise sympathetic to Newton, I'm not sure why Kant was won over to the idea. He says in the Physical Monadology that it has been demonstrated rigorously in geometry, but he does not elaborate. Michael Friedman has nrgucd that this commitment to univt..'rnll gravit.ation was of central importance to the development of Kant's Critical Philosophy. See Kant and the Exact Sciences, (Cambridge: Harvard University Press. 1992). 35. Kant would later re-use precisely these arguments in ilie.Metaphysfcal Foundations of the Natural Sciences. Cf. Observation One, Proposition Seven in Chapter Two, "The Metaphysical Foundations of D)nruru"'" (4.513-514). NOTES TO CHAPTER THREE

1. As Kant puts it, "If the e;>..temal phenomenon of the universal action and reaction through all space in which bodies relate to one another be the mutual approach of these bodies, it is called attraction-which attraction e;>..tends through any distance, when i1 is effected by the mere compresence of bodies. and is called Newtonian attraction or universal gravitation. Therefore it is probable that this attraction is effected by the same connection of substances whereby they determine space •.• " (1.415,8-13). Notice how circumspect Kant is here. He docs not say lhat the universal action and reaction of bodies as through empty space is the effect ofuniv'ersal attraction; rather, he says that, if the universal action and reaction of bodies tlu-ough space is the mutual approach of one body to another, then it must be the effect of universal attraction. He st.."!h.-s it as a verisimilitude, not as the truth itseU: that substances determine space by the same nexus which makes possible their mutual attraction. Contrary to the misleading impression of John Reuscher's English translation of the Nova dilucidatio in Kant's Latin Writings, ed. Lewis White Beck, trans. Becket al., (New York: Peter Lang, 1986, Kant docs not say dogmatically that universal attraction is the most primitive law to which matter is subject This he also states as a verisimilitude. And whereas one expects Kant to say that universal attraction of bodies is made possible by God. he says simply that this is an opinion ofNe\\ton's followers. 2. I shall discuss thePhysicalMonadology in some detail in the second section of this chapter. 3. Nowhere do the notions of spiritual inertia and spiritual acceleration appear more fanciful than in the third section of the Theory of the Heavens. Kant seen1S to think that the rational perfection of a soul is inversely proportional to its spiritual inertia. The natural tendency of every soul is always to prt..-serve the same perception, to resist drawing any inference from the evidence presented to it during the course of experience and to adhere to thc: same r~..-solutions and the same course of action. A soul is more perfc:ct the more susceptible it is to change of inner state: the more readily its pL'Tceptions succeed from one to the next., the more swiftly it comes to conclusions and the more promptly it makes up its mind. Kant goes so far as to claim that spiritual inertia is directly proportional to the specific density of the matter that constitutes the body of a rational bdng. In other words. the greater the material inertia of the body, the more the soul is sluggish and dull: "The perfection of creatures endowed with reason, insofar as it depends on the constitution of the matter in which they are fettered. is very much established by the subtleness of the matter whose influence upon them determines how they shall represent, and react to, the world. Inertia and the resistance of matter very much restricts the freedom of action of spiritual

156 Nares beings and the distinctness of their sensation of outer things: it dul!s their capacities, since it does not obey their motions with becoming ease" {l.330.ll-l9). The rational soul is just as resistant to change of will and perception as its body is resi~11Lnt to change of speed and direction, This is quite useful for Kant, because it gives him a way to measure very precisely th!! forces impressed on a soul by surrounding bodies. These forces mul>i equal the mass of a soul's body times the soul's spiritual acceleration. i.e., the time-rate ch:lrlge of its inner states. 4, The argument was to appear all over the place, It is, indeed, the center-piece of Martin Knutzen's Philosophische Abhandlung der immateriellen Natur der Seele, (KOnigsberg: J. H. Hartung, 1744). Martin Knutzen was Kant's teacher at the University ofK6nigsberg. 5, I shall argue in what follo\\'S that, because Kant apparently does away with the distinction behveen the rational soul and the col15titutive elements of matter, he ascribes a material nature to the rational soul. I should note that, on the face of it. doing away with the distinction in question need not lead to this. Consider the example of Leibniz. Lcibniz thinks that the constitutive elements of matter are the souls of very primitive animals. Leibniz thinks that these souls all have a power of representation. even if they are too primitive to reason in accordance with the law of non-contradiction and the principle of sufficient reason. On Leibniz's account. the constitutive elements of matter have as much right to the title of soul as the rational soul of men and angels. For these elements or monads, to use Leibniz's terTn. have a power of representation. and U1ey are immaterial. On Leibniz's account, there is no difference in kind between rational souls and U1e primitive monads underlying matter. But since these primitive monads do not have a material nature, there is no danger of ascribing a material nature to rational souls. The difference between Kant's monadology and that of Lcibniz, however, is that Kant-like Wolff and just about everybody else at the time-was eager to deny the elements of matter any soul-like features. Leibniz's panpsychism was more than anybody could swallow. As we shall see, Kant ascribes a material nature to the constitutive elements of matter. See notes 12 and 13 in Chapter Tv..·o. To the ex1ent that Kant blurs the distinction between souls and elements, he raises the expectation in us that souls have a material nature too. 6. Hereafter, I shatl refer to this work as the PhysicalMonadology. 7. 1l1is recalls Roger Cotes' criticism of one of the corollaries to Book Three, Proposition SLx that appeared in the first edition of Ne\\ton's Pn'ncfpia. Proposition Six ~1ates that all bodies gravitate towards every planet, and that' the weights of bodies towards any given planet, at equal distances from the planet's center, arc proportional to their mass. Newton concluded in the first edition that space must be absolutely empty, because-as he had shown in Book Two-bodies cannot move freely if space is absolutely full. Cotes observed that Ne\\1on took the ma.S of a body to be proportional to its inertia, and that he must also have assumed that tl1e inertia per unit volume in every body is the same. Cotes objected very astutely that we have no reason to think this is so. Why should it be unreasonable to think that inertia per unit volume caru10t vary from body to body? If it can. we may not conclude that space is absolutely empty. See CoiL-s' letter to Nc\\ton of 16 February 1712 in tl1e Correspondence of Sir Isaac Newton and Professor Cotes, ed. J. Edlcston. (London: John W. Parker, 1850), 65-66. It was in response to this objection that Nev.ton qualified his conclusion in the second edition as follows, "If all the solid particles of all bodies are of the same density, and cannot be rarefied withOut pores. then a void, space or vacuum must be granted. By bodit.-s of the same density. 1 mean those whose inertias are in the proportion of their bulks" (Nev.ton. Principia, 414). Now Kant seems to refer directly to this qualification of the second edition of the Principia, because Proposition Twelve of the Physical Monadology states that specific differences in the density of bodies must be explained by the specific differences in the inertia of the elemenL">, and Kant then goes on to say that, "If all the elements enjoyed the same force of inertia and the same volume. absolute void intermixed with their parts is needful for undcrst.andingthe difference in density of bodies. For according to the demonstrations of Newton, Keill and others, there is no place for free motion in a perfectly filled medium'' (1.486.8-11). Since Kant assumes that inertial force does ind.:ed vary from element to element, he is free to conclude in Proposition Thirteen that the elemenL~ of a body possess a pelfectly clastic force which is different in different things and Umt they constituh: a primordial clnl>1ic medium without any pockets of empty space, Thus, for Kant, bodies gravit.1tc towards one another as if through empty space. In other words, they gravitate towards one another not by the agency of U1e primordial elastic medium, but by the universal force of their attraction alan-.1 question would be this: where is the place of this human soul in the world of bodies? I would an..o;;wer: that body whose changes are my changes is my body; and the place of that body is at the same time my place, If one pursues the question further by asking. Where then is your place (of the soul) in this body?, I would suspect something fishy here, For one easily observes that something is already prL-supposed in it which is not known through e:-.:perience, but which rests rather on imagined conclusions, namely that my thinking I is in a place distinct from the places of the other parts of this body which belong to my Self. But no one is immediately aware of a particular place in his body, but rather only of that which he occupies as a human being \v:ith respect to the world around him. So I would stand by the common e:-.:pericnce and say for now: I am where I have seru;.ation. I am just as immediately present in my fmgertips as I am in my head. It is r who feels pain in my heel and whose heart beats with emotion. When my com hurts. I feel the impression of pain not in a nerve in my brain, but in the tips of my toes. No e),:perience leaches me to avoid any parts of my sensation. or to lock up my indivisible Self into a microscopically small place in the brain so as to put into motion from there the lever of my body-machine or in order thereby to encounter myself. Thus I would require a .strong proof before I would find absurd what the School-men say: My soul is wholly In the whole body and wholly in ever}' one ofirs parts" (2.324,15-325.5). 23. Cf. also 28.281,2-282.31 in the Ll lectures on metaphysics (1770s). 24. There is no evidence that the early Kant renounced either of these commitments in the face of this difficulty.

NOTES TO CHAPTER FOUR 1. Gottfiied Leibniz. "Letter to Pierre Coste, 19 December 1707" in Philosophical Es.rays, trans. Ariew and Gar-ber (Indianapolis: Hackett. 1989), 195-196.

2. See, for instance, Kant's remarks about Leibniz in the section of the Critique ofPure Reason devoted to the amphiboly of1he concepts of reflection (A274-275/B330-331). See also Kant's remarks about Leibniz in ilieMetaphysicalFoundations ofNatural Science (4.507.32-508.10). 3. I do not claim that Kant acquired any new insight into his own work by reading the Arcana coelestia, I do not claim. for instance, that, upon reading the Arcana coelestia, Kant came to the conclusion that his own metaphysics somehow unwittingly committed him to any particular vision reported by Sweden borg or even to the over-all picture of heaven :and hdl. That'sjust not the case, So my claim is the following. Kant seems to have already been pre-occupied by the questions raised by the impenetrJ.bility of the soul (2.293.7-18). On Kant's 0\"'TI view, it would seem that the soul is an object of sensation inasmuch as we could collide with one. Now Swedenborg also represents inunaterial thingsangels and departed spirits-as objects of sensation; and he does so in the most extravagant way. Kant was struck by this whcn he read the Arcana coelestfa. He was impressed by the general fact that he could not reasonably dismiss Swedenborg's reported conversations with angels and departed spirits so long as it was possible on his own view to collide with spirits who had passed on to the hereafter. Swcdcnborg must have represented to him the cxtrnvagance of his O\~Tl metaphysics. Swedenborg was therefore the occasional, if not the true, cause of the harsh self-appraisaJ penned by Kant in Dreams .of

a Spirit-Seer. Note again that Kant did not find Sweden borg's work problematicju1.1. because it is all about angels and spirits. Kant himself was not troubled by admitting that it might be possible for such things to exist. Even in Dreams of a Spirit-Seer. he is refuses to say that the exi~1.ence of angels and spirits is impossible (2.349.26-350.6; cf. also 10.69}. 1l1c problem with Swedenborg was rather that the spiritseer of Stockholm represents immaterial things as though they could be subject to -the conditions of sensibility. I shall have more to l>nY about this later.

4. Emanuel Swedenborg. The Letters and Memorials a[ Emimuel Sweden borg, cd, and trans, Alfred Acton (Bryn Athyn: Swedenborg Scientific Association, 1948), 90.

5. Ibid., 57. 6. Ibid. 7. Ibid., 58.



8. Signe Toksvig. Emanuel Sweden borg (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1948), 61. 9. Emanuel Swedenborg, Le Livre ties (Pari,, 19&5), 54.


(DrOmboken), trans. Regis Boyt.>r, Berg International

10. Quoted in Toksvig., Emanuel Sweden borg, 156.

11. It also became general knowledge around 1761 that Swcdcnborg was the author of some very strange theological works which had been published anonymously. 12. Kant relates all three of these stories-the story of the Gotenborg ftre, the Queen of Sweden, and the missing receipt-in a letter to t-.Hss Charlotte von Knobi::J.uch of 10 August 1763,

13. Emanuel Swedenborg., Heaven and its Wonders. and Hell, trans, J. C. Ager (New York: Sweden borg Foundation. 1969), 2-3. 14. See the preface to Emanuel Swcdcnborg's Apocalypse Revealed, trans. John \Vhitehead (1\1ew York: Swedenborg Foundation. 1931-19 56). 15. Emanuel Swedenborg, Soul-Body Interaction, trans, George F. Dole (New York: Paulist Pr!!SS, 1984), 227-228. 16. Ibid, 255. 17. Emanuel Sweden borg. Arcana coelestia, as presented in The Universal Human and Soul-Body Interaction, trans, George F. Dole (New York: Paulist Press, 1984), 54. 18. Ibid, 55. 19. Ibid. 20. Ibid

21. Thid 22. It is very interesting to note that, in the Principia ar the First Principles ofNatural Things, trans, James R. Rendell and Isaiah Tartsley (London: Swedcnborg Society, 1912}-a work fmt published in 1734-Swedcnborg adopts a rational cosmology much like that of Wolff. So it would have been quite natural for him to tn.ke something like universal pre-established harmony as the governing principle of heaven, with angels as elements or simple substances, 23. Leibniz. "From the Letters to de Voider" in Philosophical Essays, 177. Strictly speaking, Leibniz is not talking about monads as such in this passage, but rather about "entelechics." Howevcr, to the e;...'tcnt that a monad has such an entelechy, a primitive active force, it can surely be considered a "'concentrated world." 24. Leibniz, "Conunents on Spinoza's Philosophy" in Phflosophlcal Essays, 280, 25. It should be noted likewise that Swedenborg seems to share with Leibniz the idea that the orders of nature and grace are harmoniously prc-~ublished. Consider the following passage from Swedenborg's Arcana coelestia: "No man ... can live (that is. be affected by good, exercise will, be affected by truth or think), unless in like manner he is conjoined with heaven through the angels who are with him ... For every man while living in the body is in some society of spirits and angels ... 1lll:re is, therefore, an equilibrium of all and of each with respect to cel~tial, spiritual and natural things ... And therefore no evil can befall any one without being instantly counterbalanced; and when there is a preponderance of eviL the evil or evildoer is chastised by the law of equilibrium ... but solely for the end that good may come. Heavenly order consists in such a fom1 and the con..o;;equenl equilibrium, and tltat order is formed, disposed, ar~d preserved by the Lord alone, to eternity" (§§687-688). Compare that passage with the following passage from Leibniz's Principles of No cure and Grace, Based on Reason: "All minds, whether of men or genies, entering into a kind of society with God by virtue of reason and eternal truths, are members of the City of God, tlmt is, members of the perfect state, formed and governed by the greatest and best of monarchs. Here there is no crime without punishment, no good action without proportionate reward, and finally, as much virtue and happiness as possible. And this is accomplished

rNotes 161 without disordering nature.•• Consequently, nature itselfleads to grace, and grace perfocts nature by making use ofit." Leibniz, Philosophical Essays. 212.

26. Swedeoborg, The Universal Human, 56, 27. Leibniz. Philosophical Essays, 280, 28. Swedenborg. Soul-Body lnferaction, 236. 29, Ibid., 241-242. 30. Ibid. 31. Notice the irony here. Swedenborg claims that metaphysicians are tempted by pre-established harmony, because they are too much impressed by the phenomena of their inner life: it seems to them that soul and body act simultaneously. The irony here is that Leibniz and the other advocates of preestablished harmony say that people are templed by physical Lnflux and real interaction, for precisely this reason: they arc too much impressed by the phenomena of their inner life. They believe in real interaction between body and soul. because it seems to them thn.t body and soul really act on one another. Leibniz and company recognize, moreover, that common, every-day, personal experience is one of the chief obstacles to a cotlUllitment to pre-established harmony. Swedenborg is the only one that 1 know of who argues that cormnon, every-day, person:.tl e:\:perience might make pre-established harmony attractive to us, 32. Swedenborg. op. cit, 227. 33. Though generully sympathetic to Sweden borg, Emerson could not help but e;qm.-ss his exasperation on the subject of these correspondences, for it all seems so arbitrary, Emerson writes in the following passage: "[Swedenborg] fastens each natural object to a thcologic notion;-a hor= signifies carnal understanding; a tree, perception; the moon, faith; a cat means this; an ostrich that; an artichoke, this other, and poorly tethers every symbol to a severn\ ecclesiastic sense, The slippery Proteus is not so easily caught In nature, each individual symbol plays innumerable parts, as each particle of matter circulates in tum through every system, The central identity enables any one symbol to express successively all the qualities and shades of real being. ln the transmission of the heavenly waters, every hose fits every hydrant" Ralph Waldo Emerson, Representarive A/en, new and revised edition (Boston: Houghton, Osgood and Company, 1879). 100, 34. Emanuel Swedenborg.Arcana coelestia, trans. John Faulkner Potts, fourth American edition (New York: Swedenborg Foundation. 1949), 137. 3.5, Quoted in Signe Toksvig's Emmanuel Swedenborg (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1948), 328.


1. It should be emphasized that Kant is especially reluctant to admit the possibility of separate spirits so long as we assume that they disturb the natural order of things. If we admit that such spirits are possible, then, to the e>..ient that we are philosophers, we must admit that they are governed by some kind of natural Jaw, A£ philosophers, we must e>.tend the en1pire of nature as far as possible, 2. The assumption is that we cannot perceive intelligible substances through sensibility, The spirit-seer sees no spirits; rather, spirits act on his own spirit, and this unleashes his imagination. Since the body cannot put a check on the imagination, this creative faculty invents sensations which represent nothing in either the spirit world or nature, l11ese sensations are all illusory, 3, I must emphasize that Kant was already thinking about the problem of subjecting immaterial things to the conditions of sensibility before he read the Arcana coelestia. I do not claim that his reading of the Arcana coelestia was what first made him think about these things; I claim rather that the similarities between his metaphysics a.nd Swedenborg's visions, combined with the special e;..travagance of Swcdenborg's claims, impressed on him the great importance of careful reflection on iliese problems. 4, I would not be surprised if Kant is thinking especinlly of the story which Swedenborg relates in the Arcana coelestia about the newly departed spirit 'Nho attended his own funeral in Swedenborg's company and who watched all of the proceedings through Swedenborg's eyes (§4622).

162 Notes 5, Swedenborg has, of course, a reply to this sort of objection, l-Ie claims in Heaven and Hell that angels arc not disembodied minds. Angels arc not pure intellect: they have sensibility just like natural men. It may be far more acute than ordinary human sensibility, but it is sensibility none the less. Kant would no doubt take this to be further evidence that Sweden borg's conception of spiritual nature is too low, But Swedenborg charges that our conception of spiritual nature is too low when we hastily assume that spirits are disembodied minds. Obviously, it is not a simple thing to determine what constitutes a "low" conception of something. 6. It should be noted that this insight is not original to Dreams of a Spirit·Seer. Kant had already made the point in the essay on negative magnitudes of 1763, For he raised the following que!."tion: "How I ought I to understand thai because Something is, there is something else as weU? A logical consequence is given only because it is one with the ground ••. The will of God contains the real ground of the existence of the world. 1l1e divine will is something. The existing world is somethln!; quite else. However, through the one, the other is given ••. Now you may analyze the concept of the d1vine will as much as you please, you will never find an existing world in 1t, as ifit were contained therein :lild given through identity ... " (2.202.20·37). I should also like to point out that the insight is already a consequence of the principle ofco·existence in the Nova tlilucidatfo. The principle of ctH':xil>1ence !.1atcs that, "Finite substances bear no relations by their exil>1ence alone; and, plainly they take part in no interaction unless thcy arc sustained in an arrangement of reciprocal relations by thc common principle of their existence, namely the divine intellect" {1.412.37-413.2). We C:lil reformulate the principle of coexisU:nce as follows: substances are not the cause of change in one nnother,just because they happen to exist. Hence community among sub~t..'Ulccs is not already contained in our concept of them, For once God resolved to create substances, he still had to decide whether he would sustain them in an "arrangement of reciprocal relations." 7. Now one wonder.; how K:lilt can preserve nny commitment to real interaction between body and soul. Anything we know about the relationship between body and soul, we \cam from experience. But experience teaches us at most that there is a con._~t conjunction between what my soul wants my body to do and the motion of my limbs. 1l1is is compatible with prc·cstablished harmony and occasionalism. as well as with physicnl influx. 8. Cf. the Jetter to !'vlosL"S Mcnddssolm of 8 April 1766. Kant \~Tites: "As far as I am concerned, everything depends on searching for the dara of the problem how the soul is present in the world, as well in material natures as in other natures of its own kind. So one ought to look for that force of external efficacy :lild that receptive faculty for suffering effects produced from without whereof the union with the humnn body is just a special instance, Now since we have no e;>.:perience through which we can learn of such a subject in its different relations (and which alone can reveal its outer force or capability), and since the hannony of the soul :lild the body discloses only the coincidence [das gegenverhtiltnis] of the inner state of the soul (of thought :lild volition) with the ourer state of the matter of our body, but no relation thereby of one outer activity to another outer activity and is thus useless for resolving the questio, one wonders whether it is pos.">ible in itself to determine these forces of spiritual substances a priori through judgements of reason. 1l1is L'Tlquiry resolves itself into mother, namely whether one can discover through inferences of reason a primitive force, i.e., the fir.-1 fundamental relation of cause to effect: and since I am certain th:~t this is impossible, it follows tlmt, unless these forces a.re given tom~: in experience, they can only be feigned" (10.68..69).

9. Sec, for example, Lewis White Beck, "A Prussian Hume and a Scottish Kant," in Essays on Kant and Hume, (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1978), 114-115; Kuno Fischer, Immanuel Kant und seine Lehre, Erster Theil, Enlstehung und Grundlegung der krltischen Philosophie, (Heidelberg: Carl Winter's Uni.vcr.;itiitsbuchhandlung, I 898), 293. I 0. 1-lume, An Enquil)• Concerning Human Understanding, (lndinnapolis: Hnckcn Publishing Company, 1977), 43. II. Hume's Enquiry was first trnnslato:d into Gem1an in 1755 under the editorship of Joharm Georg Sulzer. Moses Mendelssohn tried to confute Hume's skepticism in an essay on probability of 1755, and he says in this essay tl1at the Enquiry was "in e\'eryone's hands." For these and further details of Hume's reception in Gemmny, see Manfred Kuelm, "Kant's Conception of 'Hume's Problem"' in the Journal ofrhe History of Philosophy, val. 21, number 2, April 1983, 177·178n. See also Kuehn's Scottish Common Sense in Germany, 1 768.] 800, (Montreal: !l.lcGill·Queen's University PrL-ss, 1987). Given that Part Two, Chapter 1l1rce of Dreams of a Spirfi·Seer parallels pa._Sages in Humc's Enquiry and given Kuehn's discovery that the Gemmn translation of the Enquiry had such a wide readership in Germany. it seems very like\)1 that Kant himself had read Hume's work.

Notes 163 12. Other passages in Dreams of a Spirit-Seer also recall Hume's Enquiry. In Part Two, Chapter Three, Kant writes, "One must fu-st make acquaintance with the dispensable, nay the impossible; but fmally science reaches the detennination of the limits set by the nature of human reason; but all groundless projects, whlch perhaps might not be unworthy in themselves except that they lie outside the sphere of the humanly possible, fly to the limbo of vanity. Then shall metaphysics itself become •.• the companion ofwisdom'' (2,369.14-21). Note also his words a few pages earlier, "The other advantage [of metaphysics] is better adapted to the nature of human unders1llnding., and it consists in this: to see whether the task is also determined from what we C:J.n know, to sec what relation the qu~ion bears to the concepts of C>..lJcriencc, the concepts on which all our judgements must always repose. To that c;..'tent, metaphysks is a science of the llmlfs of human reason" (2.367.31·368,2). It is interesting to compare these passages wiili the following from Hume's work, "The only method of freeing learning, at once, from these abstruse questions, is to enquire seriously into thi! nature of human understanding, and show, from an ex:u:t a.na.lysis of its powers and capacity, that it is by no means fitted for such remote and abstruse subjects. We must submit to this fatigue, in order io live at ease ever after: And we must cultivate true metaphysics with some care, in order to destroy the false and adultctate" (Enquiry, 6). 13. There is, however, at least one important respect in which Kant departs from Hume. Hume is as unwilling to ascribe forces or powers to bodies as he is to ascribe them to souls. Thus he writes, "We are ignorant, it is true, of the manner in which bodies operate on each other: Their force or energy is entirely incomprehensible ... " (Enquiry, 48). In fact, Hume seems to tl1ink tlmt it is somehow !!ask>r to admit that the force ofbodies is incomprehensible than it is to admit that tl1e force of souls is incomprehensible, For his strategy h!!rc is to break dov.n our rcsh1nnce (or rather that of the occasionali.sts and their sympathizers) to these considerations about souls by showing tl1at We have no greater understanding of their agency than we have of the agency of bodies. Thus he immediately raises the question. "But are we not equally ignorant of the manner or force by which a mind, even the supreme mind, operates either on itself or on body?" (Enquiry, 48), So Hume is debating with someone who thinks that knowledge of God and souls will give us an understanding of agency before knowledge of bodies will, But Kant is looking at this from anotl1er angle. For he himself apparently thinks just the reverse, namely that knowledge of bodies will give us an undcrsta.nding of agency or forces before knowledge of souls will. Kant is prepared to grant Hume's case that we are ignorant of the force in minds. But he is not at all prepared to deny force to bodies. In fact, he says that ex-perience aided by mathematics has sho\\TI in no uncertain terms that bodies do have forces, namely a force of gravitational attraction, " ... observations have lately revealed to us, after having been resolved by matht!!natics, the force of attraction in matter ... " (2.371.22·24). Titere is an interesting asymmetry here: as far as the soul is concerned, exJ>ericnce reveals only a constant conjunction betweL'fl our volitions and the movement of our limbs; but as far as bodies are concerned, ex-perience provides evidence of an attractive force in matter. Kant is not satisfied to say that Ne\\ton's law of gravitation-as derived from tltc phenomena--best describes certain effects or constant conjunctions; he believes tltat this law says something a.bout the very nature of maner itself, namely that matter ho. -'> a certain active power. Note Hume's reticence on this score, "We fmd by ext>erience, that a body at rest or in motion continues for ever in its present state, till put from it by some new cause: And thai a body impelled takes as much motion from the impelling body as it acquires itself. These are facts. When we call this a vis inertiae, we only mark tJtcse facts, without pretending to have any idea of the inert power; in the same manner as, when we talk of gravity, we mean certain ejfecrs ·without comprehending that active power'' (Enquiry, 48n; tlH: emphasis is mine). The difference bel ween Kant and Hum1ing to observe that. for all the Humean echoes in Dreams of a Spirit-Seer, Kant never once says tltal tJte idea of necessary connection is the result of a habit of thought or a "cu!.1omary transition" from tJte idea of the cause to the idea of the effect induced by rl!pl!ated instances of a ccrt..1.in conjunction, Humc himself cannot escape this conclusion. because he has no other way to explain tJ1e origin of our idea of necessary connection . He certainly cannot say that we come to this idea by considering the active powers of things. Now Kant docs not address the question of the origin of this idea in Dreams of a Spirit-Seer. But precisely because he is willing to ascribe forces to bodies (if not to minds), he is not compelled to say with Humc that the idea of necessary connection is the result of a habit of thought. 14. Indeed, the language, content and order of presentation in the discussion led by this persona seems to follow lectures on this very subject which Kant himself plarmcd to deliver around 1762·1764, Cf. Loses BlattXXVAO from tJtc Herder Lectures on Metaphysics (28.145·148). 15. Cassi.rer.Kant's Lifo and Though!, trans, Jan1es Haden (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1981), 79. 16. See the letter from Ka.nt to Mendelssohn. 8 April 1766 (1 0,68),

164 Notes 17. One wonders why all abstraction has to begin with e;-.']Jerience, Why couldn't we abstract the concept of spirit from pure concepts of the intellect? 18, Cf.Loses Blatt XXV.40 (28,145-148),

19. Pope, letter to Arbuthnot in Literary Criticism ofAlexander Pope, ed. Bernard Goldgar, (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1965), 40. 20. Kant says that" •.• my attempt to give an analogy of a real, moral influence in spiritual natures with universal gmvit:ltion is not really a serious opinion of mine, but rather an example of how far one can proceed unhindered in philosophical fictions where there are no data,,," (10.69). 21. Hume does not have the same optimism on this score. See note 13 above.

22. Kan~ Philosophical Correspondence, 57. NOTES TO CHAPTER SIX 1. Immanuel Kant. Phflosophfcal Correspondence, 1759-1799, ed. and trans. AmulfZweig (Chicago: Univcr.:;ityofChicago Press, 1986), 55. 2. Ibid.

3. Ibid., 56. 4. Ibid., 55.

5. Ibid. 6. Ibid., 55-56. 7. Perhaps it would be better to s.ay that everything now depends on distinguishing the conditions that govern the objects of sensibility from the conditions thai govern the objects of the understanding. 8. See in particular Leibniz.'s letter to de Voider of June 30, 1704. Thus, Leibniz \\Tote, "However, properly speaking. matter isn't composed of constitutive unities. but results from them. since matter, that is e:>.'tended mass is only a phenomenon grounded in things ... and ali reality belongs only to unities ... Substantial unities aren't really parts, but the foundations of phenomena" Gottfried Leibniz, Philosophical Essays, ed. and trans. Aricw and Garber (Indianapolis: Hackett, 1989), 179. Leibniz has to deny that the monads-true substantial unities-are parts of bodies, because hc: must absolutely refuse them any c;..tension. The monads arc perfectly simple substances; simple substances cannot have e>.tension, because space is infinitely divisible. If a simple substance filled space, it would not be sin1ple. Kant's argument that the elements can be both simple and spatially e;..i.cnded is not available to Leibniz, who denies of course that the elements can really act on one another. Remember that Kant's argument in the Physical Afonadology depends on the distinction between an element's sphere of activity and its inner determinations. The element's sphere of activity is just that region in space through which its forces of repulsion and attraction can have effect on other elements. Though the c!cmc:nt's sphere of activity is spatially e;..tendc:d, its inner detenninations an: not. Thus, we need not call into question the element's simplicity just because it has e:>.1.cnsion. Unless the clements really act on one another by forc~..-s of attraction and repulsion, this docs not make sense. If we follow Leibniz's example and deny real interaction among the elements, we must also- deny that the elements are spatially e;\.'tended and that they are actually parts of bodies. Now Lcibniz also argues that every monad is somehow associated with a body. To the e>.1.ent that the body is situated in space, he says that we may assign certain spatial determinations to its constitutive monads. But the monads do not have these detenninations through themselves but only through the body. Properly speaking, the monads are not spatially determined. Thus, Leibniz \\Tote to de Void~ on June 20, 1703, "For eVI!fl if they arc not e>.1cnded, monads have a certain kind of situation in e;-.1ension, that is, they have a cert:tin ordered relation of co-existence to other things, namely, through the machine in which they are present. I think that no finite substances exist separated from every body, and to that e;-..1.cnt they do not lack situation or order with respect to other coexisting things in the universe. Extended things contain many things endowed with situation. But things that are simple ought to be situated in e;-.1ension, even if they don't have e:\.1.ension, though it may be impossible to designate it exactly, as, for example, we can do in incomplete phenomena." Leibniz, Philosophical Essays, 178.

Notes !65 9. It might seem a little odd to say that we could describe the soul mathematically. But, again. if the soul has a repulsive force just like that ofbodies, it should be possible in principle to measure it. Kant himself ventures to say in the Physical Monadology that repulsive forces vary inversely wiili the cube of the distance, I should also point out that, from Lcibniz's -point of view, it would be at least as strange to say that monads can be described mathematically as it is to say this of souls. Since monads do not have e;-..tension, properly speaking, they are not subject to the propositions of geometry. We might very well measure the repulsive force of something. but how could we ever measure a monad's appetite or its power of representation?

10. Of course, God is still the object ofnaturnl theology, because thcre is no reason to think that Kant's early system of physical influx subjects the divine being to the conditions of sensibility. To be sure, God acts on creatures; and, to that extent, he has a "place"--God is ever)".Vhere, One might worry that Kant's natural theology runs into the same difficulties that we encountered in his theory ofthc soul. God is a simple substance; he acts on things, and he has a place, So there seems to be no difference between God and the constitutive elements of matter. Indeed, Kant himself says in the Physfcal Monadolagy that the simplicity of the elements is no more doubtful in view of their presence in space than God's simplicity is doubtful in view ofhis presence throughout creation. So Kant is apparently conscious of the analogy between God and the elements. Since he also argues that the elements can only fill space by forces of repulsion. must he not conclude the same of God as wdl? That would be disastrous, because no tv.·o impenetrable things ~ occupy the same place, lf God has repulsive force, he must be impenetrable, If God is impenetrable, there can be no room for creatures in the world. However, the worry here is groundless. God acts on creatures, but creatures can never act on God. Action by repulsive forces is always reciprocal. Since creatures cannot act on God, God cannot be impenetrable. But even if Kant has not subjected God to conditions of sensibtlhy, it is not obvious that God can be the object of natural theology in the same way that we would expect the soul to be the object of rational psychology or the elements to be the object of general cosmology. After all, it is doubtful that we can know God except through his works and negation. But the metaphysician claims to have positive knowledge of the nature of souls and elements, It is more or less uncontroversialthat Utis kind of knowledge of God is unavailable to us in this life. If the metaphysician has to give up souls and elements as the object of his science, then he is pretty much out of business, even if he can still claim God as the object of natural theology. 11. In what follows, 1 shall discuss Kant's distinction bet\Veen the principles of the fonn of the sensible world and the principle of the fonn of the intelligible world, and 1 shall do so in detail. But there is something relevant worth pointing out right now, though I cannot develop it here or in this book in the detail that it deserves. The distinction betwct.'Tl the two worlds-the world of sensible things and the world ofintelligible things-corresponds to a real distinction between two separate faculties: sensibility and the intellect In the passage from thc: dissertation that I just quoted, Kant characterizes sensibility as a "receptive faculty." Thus he says that, "Sensibility is the receptivity of the subject through which it is possible that the subject's representative state be affected in a definite way by the presence of some object." Kant contra.