"Thoughts without content are empty, intuitions without concepts are blind." -Immanuel Kant
Or a theory of cognition (as a psychological result of perception, learning and reasoning
), on those occasions when people treat "perception" as one of the contributors underlying cognition, rather than a synonym.
Intuitions, of course, concerned the faculty of Sensibility; and concepts (categories) the faculty of Understanding. IF perception were taken to be the receptivity of the conscious agent slash system to sense-data or objects... Then perception would pertain to the Sensibility. Interpretation/identification of the objects pertains to the Understanding. The merger of the two yields experience -- that is, their synthesis provides "content" for the concepts, from the Sensibility; and provides forms of thought for the appearances/objects, from the Understanding (eliminating the "blind" unawareness of them). Time, the other pure intuition in addition to space, also served as a bridge between sense and intellection, making their union possible.
KANT: "Without sensibility no object would be given to us, without understanding no object would be thought. [...] These two powers or capacities cannot exchange their functions. The understanding can intuit nothing, the senses can think nothing. Only through their union can knowledge arise. [...] For experience is itself a species of knowledge which involves understanding; and understanding has rules which I must presuppose as being in me prior to objects being given to me, and therefore as being a priori. They find expression in a priori concepts to which all objects of experience necessarily conform, and with which they must agree.
"...the receptivity of the subject, its capacity to be affected by objects [...] The constant form of this receptivity, which we term sensibility, is a necessary condition of all the relations in which objects can be intuited as outside us; and if we abstract from these objects, it is a pure intuition, and bears the name of space. Since we cannot treat the special conditions of sensibility as conditions of the possibility of things, but only of their appearances, we can indeed say that space comprehends all things that appear to us as external, but not all things in themselves, by whatever subject they are intuited, or whether they be intuited or not. For we cannot judge in regard to the intuitions of other thinking beings, whether they are bound by the same conditions as those which limit our intuition and which for us are universally valid."
(P93, P23, P71, P72; Critique of Pure Reason
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ANDREW BROOK: Three ideas define the basic shape (*cognitive architecture*) of Kant's model and one its dominant method. They have all become part of the foundation of cognitive science.
1. The mind is complex set of abilities (functions). (As Meerbote 1989 and many others have observed, Kant held a functionalist view of the mind almost 200 years before functionalism was officially articulated in the 1960s by Hilary Putnam and others.)
2. The functions crucial for mental, knowledge-generating activity are spatio-temporal processing of, and application of concepts to, sensory inputs. Cognition requires concepts as well as percepts.
3. These functions are forms of what Kant called synthesis. Synthesis (and the unity in consciousness required for synthesis) are central to cognition.
These three ideas are fundamental to most thinking about cognition now. Kant's most important method, the transcendental method, is also at the heart of contemporary cognitive science.
KANT: "To study the mind, infer the conditions necessary for experience. Arguments having this structure are called transcendental arguments."
Translated into contemporary terms, the core of this method is inference to the best explanation, the method of postulating unobservable mental mechanisms in order to explain observed behaviour.
(Kant's View of the Mind and Consciousness of Self