Empirical Psychology (§§589-91)



Signature A: Nachl. Johann Gottfried Herder XXV.38 (8°, 1 p., Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin – Preußischer Kulturbesitz)


One sheet (10 x 17.5 cm), ribbed paper with a partial watermark (eagle with a sword in the right talon), and a horizontal fold-crease in the middle. The writing, ink and paper is a fairly close match to the slightly-larger format 2 pp. RP 742 (sig. B). It appears to be the identical paper and format to the Blaues Studienbuch, although the corners are not rounded (as they are in the notebook). Text only on one side, with a 2.5 cm margin at the bottom, in light brown ink. Concerns Baumgarten, §§589-91 (empirical psychology). Printed at Irmscher [1964, 65-6] and AA 28: 143-44.


[XXV.38] ms 1


[Sectio VII]
[Facultas fingendi, §§589-594]

[1] / Dichtungsvermögen:–

vereinigt ˚die Begriffe ˚.auf ˚eine andre Art, als s.ie in ˚der Phantas.ie wären.

/ 1) [a] combinando:

z.E. Menschen ˚.mit Flügeln z.E. Merkur, Pegasus:[2]

/ 2) praescindendo:

dieß ist ˚.von abstrahendo so unterschieden, ˚daß dieses heißt: etwaz ˚nicht denken: ˚.von etwaz

˚einen Begrif unterlassen: ˚und dies: etwaz negiren, ˚den Gedank.en ˚aufheben: — Ich laße

˚.ein Prädikat ˚.von ˚meiner Phantasie ˚aus: – ich denke blos ˚einen Theilbegr.iff bei ˚der

Abstrakt:ion – verneine ich aber die andre Theilbegriffe: so fingire ich schon.

/ Alle Erdichtungen

sind neu: ˚.und blos partialit.er in ˚den sinnl.ichen Empfindungen. Sie sind

/ 1) intellectual:

[b]

z.E. in ˚der Philos:ophie ˚der Begrif ˚.vom Geiste, ist ˚.von ˚der Luft, [c] willkührl.ich abstrah.iert ˚durch

Trennung ˚.und Verbindung:[3] alle Philos.ophischen Fiktionen müssen ˚durch Beweise Wahrheiten

˚werden z.E. ˚der Begr.iff ˚.von ˜Gott: ist willkührl.ich erdichtet: — Leibniz subtiles

Seelen körperchen ist ˚eine Fiction:[4]

/ 2) sensual:

z.E. Träume: nicht nach Vernunftgründen: Ein Luftbaumeister, ˚der Luft

schlößer ˚.auf Robinsons Insel[5] baut:

/ Das praescind.endo

ist hiebei weit schwerer, als combin.ando, ˚weil ˚die Seele hier wider ˚die Gewohn-

heits Ideen streben muß:

[590-91][6]

/ S.ie sind 1)

Chimären:} [d] s.ie ˚werden nach ˚der Natur ˚der Phantas.ie beurteilt

/ 2)

wahre:  }[e] nicht die Empfindung selbst: ob ˚sich das combinirte widerspricht

˚oder ˚nicht: — ˚werden s.ie vor Empfindungen gehalten: so ˚werden es ¿ Chimären z.E. die des

Don Quixotte:[7] – ˚die Wahrh.eit derselben ˚wird nach ˚der Mögl.ichkeit der Coexist.enz ˚der Pdikate

beurteilt. – z.E. ˚der Stoische Weltweise trennt Dinge ˚.von den Menschen, ˚die ˚sich ˚nicht

abtrennen laßen: — Roußeaus Erdichtung ˚.von Emil ist s.ie wahr oder Chimäre

im praktischen Verstande: — : vielleicht ˚nicht; wenigstens hält er ˚die Sittlichk.eit ˚der

gemeinen Erziehung vor Chimären:[8] – ˚Die Allegor.ien müssen stets ˚einen Grad

˚der Wahrh.eit haben: ˚der ˚wenn er erreicht wird, s.ie [f] ˚nicht ˚eine Chimäre ist: — Mohammeds[g]

geschwinde Reise[9] ist an ˚sich ˚nicht Chimäre: ˚wenn s.ie aber vor wirkl.ich gehalten wird,

so ists fies: — Gesicht des Mirza:[10] ist [h] nicht Chimäre: — ˚Die Dichter erdichtungen

müssen also ˚nicht nach ˚der ‹logischen› Wahrh.eit ˚sondern in ihrer Art betrachtet ˚werden: daß die Dinge

˚sich ˚nicht wiedersprechen: ˚.und das Gegentheil ˚nicht gewiß ˚.und also wahrscheinlich ist.

Miltons Erdichtungen ˚sind also nicht[i] blos ˚keine Unmöglichkeiten: ˚sondern ˚.auch wahrscheinlich.[11]

aber Sünde ist vielleicht schon zu weit ˚.vom Körperl.ichen praescind.irt ˚.wenn s.ie als Person vor~

gestellt wird:[12] — In ˚der Philos:ophie insonderh:eit Physik erdichtet ˚.man sehr: daher

entstehen Hypothesen z.E. Magnet in ˚der Erde:[13] ˚die ˚durch Gründe bestärkt ˚werden müß[en]

˚und Wahrh.eiten ˚werden können.

[datum: 14.09.2013 / 18.05.2014 / 09.06.2017]


Explanatory Notes
[EP 589-91]

ms 1


[1] There are no section numbers from Baumgarten indicated on this page of notes, but the discussion concerns Section VII (facultas fingendi), beginning with §589. Click on the '¶' for a parallel page of notes from EP 531 (A10).

[2] [Merkur, Pegasus] Mercury, with winged feet and holding a caduceus, is the Roman god of communication and various other activities and is one of the twelve gods of the Roman pantheon. The winged-horse Pegasus comes from Greek mythology and was originally captured and ridden by Bellerophon.

[3] [der Begriff von Geist … Verbindung] At EP 531-A10, commenting on the same passage in Baumgarten (§590), we find: “Spirit is neither an experienced nor an abstracted concept.”

[4] [Leibniz … Fiktion] Kant is referring here to Leibniz’s doctrine of monads (Leibniz 1720).

[5] [Robinsons Insel] See the related discussion at EP 531-A10 and corresponding note.

[6] [590-91] Baumgarten, §590, distinguishes between true fictions (where part of an image is taken to be the whole) and false fictions (chimeras or “empty images,” where the fiction is impossible because it either brings together things that are compatible, or abstracts out some essential part of a thing). Herder appears to be making this same distinction here between false and true fictions.

[7] [Don Quixotte] See the related discussion at EP 531-A10 and corresponding note.

[8] [Roußeau … Erziehung vor Chimären] See Rousseau’s pedagogical novel Émile, ou De l’éducation (1762).

[9] [Mohammeds geschwinde Reise] Kant is referring to the “night journey” from Mecca to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, as alluded to in the Koran, chap. 17, verse 1, and described in more detail in several hadiths:

“It is narrated on the authority of Anas b. Malik that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: I was brought al-Buraq Who is an animal white and long, larger than a donkey but smaller than a mule, who would place his hoof a distance equal to the range of vision. I mounted it and came to the Temple (Bait Maqdis in Jerusalem), then tethered it to the ring used by the prophets.” (Sahih Muslim, Bk. 1, #309)

After reaching Jerusalem, Mohammed, in the company of the Archangel Gabriel, ascended through the seven heavens. Kant discusses Mohammed in the “Arabia” section of the physical geography lectures (e.g., Holstein Beck, AA 26.1: 247-48, where this journey through the seven heavens is mentioned); and see Ont/Cos-B2, where the night journey is mentioned in the context of waking dreams.

Bayle’s Dictionary devotes 18 pages to “Mahomet” (1743; vol. 3, pp. 258-75) and briefly recounts the story of the night journey in note H (p. 260), although Kant’s source was likely Salmon (1747, 85) who, after relating the story, considers how it should be understood:

“Diese Reise des Mahomets nach dem Himmel, wurde, wie er selbst berichtet, in dem zehenden Theil von einer Nacht zurück gelegt; allein, als er solche des folgenden Morgens dem Volk erzehlte, wurde solche, wie sie auch verdiente, mit einem allgemeinen Gelächter aufgenommen, und viele seiner Jünger waren im Begriff hinter sich zu gehen. Da trat Abubeker hinein, und gab der ganzen Erzehlung Beyfall; so, daß er durch diese seine öffentliche Beknntniß, ihnen allen eine bessere Meinung davon beybrachte. Durch welchen auserordentlichen Dienst er sich den Titul Affadick oder des Gerechten erworbe. Und dieses erdichtete Mährgen wird nun von den Mahometanern so festiglich gebläubet als irgends ein anderer Glaubensartikul: Nur scheinet die Sache einmal in so weit streitig gewesen zu seyn, ob es nur vor ein blosses Gesicht, oder vor eine wirkliche Reise zu halten sey?” [excerpt]

[10] [Gesicht des Mirza] This “vision of Mirza” comes from Joseph Addison’s The Spectator, #159 (Saturday, 1 September 1711), and translated into German by Gottsched (1751, vol. 2, pp. 380-86). The vision, which was presented by Addison as simply the first in an entire book of visions, became a well-known allegory of human life in 18th century Europe. Christoph Martin Wieland wrote a continuation of this story, a later vision, in 1754, but it is presumably Gottsched’s translation of Addison that Kant is referring to here.

Addison begins his account with a motto from Virgil’s Aeneid: “Omnem, quæ nunc obducta tuenti / Mortales hebetat visus tibi, et humida circum / Caligat, nubem eripiam” (“I will snatch away every cloud now drawn before you and that dulls your mortal vision and sends mists around you”):

“When I was at Grand Cairo I picked up several Oriental Manuscripts, which I have still by me. Among others I met with one entitled, The Visions of Mirza, which I have read over with great Pleasure. I intend to give it to the Publick when I have no other Entertainment for them; and shall begin with the first Vision, which I have translated Word for Word as follows.” [excerpt]

Addison’s story – presumably his own invention, and not a translation of any kind – recounts how Mirza ascended the hills above Baghdad to meditate and pray when he heard someone dressed as a shepherd playing beautiful music on a summit not far from him; this was, he assumed, the “Genius” of whom he had often heard, and the Genius eventually stopped playing and called to him to approach, after which he led Mirza to the highest pinnacle. Looking eastward, Mirza saw “a huge Valley and a prodigious Tide of Water rolling thro’ it” – this was the “tide of eternity” passing through the “vale of misery”, rising out of a mist at one end and passing back into a mist at the other, this visible portion being what we call “time.” Mirza then saw a bridge passing above this sea of water – this was “human life,” and there were countless humans walking along it. Mirza counted 70 complete arches to the bridge and many broken arches after that; the elderly near the end of the bridge would eventually all fall through various gaps where the arches were broken, but there were also a great many trap-doors in the bridge through which humans often fell. Mirzah felt such despair at what he was seeing that the Genius then directed his eyes to the thick mist at the end of the valley, where he could see an immense ocean divided by a huge “Rock of Adamant,” on one side of which were “innumerable Islands, that were covered with Fruits and Flowers,” etc. This was the abode for those who lived upright lives. When he asked to see the other part of the ocean, the vision ended, the Genius disappeared, and the valley before him was just the valley of Baghdad, “with Oxen, Sheep, and Camels grazing upon the Sides of it.”

[11] [Miltons Erdichtungen … wahrscheinlich] Kant develops this reference to John Milton in greater detail in the Blomberg logic notes (early 1770’s; AA 24: 56):

“When I cognize the thing as it actually is, then my cognition is true. For aesthetic perfection, truth is also required. Therefore Milton is reproached for representing death and sin as persons, as it were, because this is not appropriate to their constitution. But with the aesthetically perfect we do not require as much truth as with the logically perfect. With the aesthetic, something may be true only tolerabiliter. In this way it is aesthetically true that Milton represents the angels in Paradise Lost as quarreling, and caught up in battle, for who knows whether this cannot occur. A good fable must in all cases contain aesthetic truth.” (Young transl.)

See the parallel passage at EP 531-A10.

[12] [Sünde … wird] In the Blomberg logic notes, we find:

“Therefore Milton was reproached for having represented death and sin as person, since that does not suit their constitution.” (AA 24: 56, l.16-18)

“Dahero wird am Milton getadelet, daß er den Tod und die Sünde gleichsam als Persohnen vorgestellet, weil solches ihrer Beschaffenheit nicht gemäs ist.”

[13] [Magnet in der Erde] This magnet in the earth is briefly discussed in Herder’s physical geography lecture notes at Land(8°)-6 with a reference to Halley. See the related discussion at Kaehler (AA 26.2: 415).


Textual Notes
[EP 589-91]

[Here is a mark-up key for the transcription.]

ms 1


[a] An '@absci@' is crossed-out.

[b] A '2) sensual:' is crossed-out.

[c] A 'so' is crossed-out.

[d] A 'wahre' is crossed-out before 'Chimären:' and 'Z.E. fabeln' is crossed-out after.

[e] What appears to be a right curly-bracket is drawn here, combining this and the preceding line – thus, bracketing together 'Chimären:' and 'wahre:' – such that the text following each of these words should be read as a single sentence: “sie werden nach der Natur der Phantasie beurteilt, nicht die Empfindung selbst: ob sich das combinirte widerspricht oder nicht:”

[f] A 'zu' is crossed-out here.

[g] Reading 'Mahomets' as 'Mohammeds'.

[h] An 'in' is crossed-out.

[i] '˚nicht' is written over a 'bl'.