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    I'm having a hard time understanding this sentence

    I was reading Kant's The Critique of Pure Reason and as I was reading the introduction, I came across a sentence that I kind of understand but not fully.

    But, though all our knowledge begins with experience, it by no means follows that all arises out of experience. For, on the contrary, it is quite possible that our empirical knowledge is a compound of that which we receive through impressions, and that which the faculty of cognition supplies from itself (sensuous impressions giving merely the occasion), an addition which we cannot distinguish from the original element given by sense, till long practice has made us attentive to, and skilful in separating it.

    I understand the first sentence but I don't really understand the second one and how it is connected with the first sentence by the phrase "on the contrary"

    Can someone please explain the second sentence and the connection with the first sentence?
    Oh and in the first sentence, I don't really understand "it by no means follows that all arises out of experience"

  1. probus's Avatar
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    Re: I'm having a hard time understanding this sentence

    To paraphrase the passage in more modern English: Although all of our knowledge begins from experience, it does not follow logically that all of it arises from experience alone. On the contrary, our empirical knowledge (i.e. the knowledge that we believe to arise solely from experience) may well depend on a combination of both experience and reasoning. Impressions from our senses may trigger ideas that we perceive as purely empirical, and only long practice can enable us to identify the implicit, but at first invisible, logical additions or modifications to those sensory impressions.
    Last edited by probus; 23-Apr-2015 at 05:03.

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