13 May 2010

When You Think About You, You Affect Your Self: Summary of §24 'On the Application of the categories to objects of the senses in general' in Kant CPuR

by Corry Shores
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[The following is summary. My own notes are in brackets. The full text for the summarized section is provided at the end.]

When You Think About You, You Affect Your Self: Summary of §24: On the Application of the categories to objects of the senses in general.

Immanuel Kant
The Critique of Pure Reason
I. Transcendental Doctrine of Elements
Part 2: Transcendental Logic
Division 1: Transcendental Analytic
Book I: Analytic of Concepts
Chapter II: On the deduction of the pure concepts of the understanding
(Second) Section II: Transcendental deduction of the pure concepts of the understanding. (as in the second edition) (<§§15-27)


Important Points in This Section:

- [Even before we sense things in space and time, we receive them as spatial and temporal, which means we have a pure a priori representation of space and time. In our experiences, we will become aware of manifolds, spanning time and space. But each temporal part of the manifold is related to the rest through their relations of succession. Each moment already belongs with its neighbors in the succession. But the reason they belong together is because during each one, there was the same consciousness performing that specific action corresponding to that part of the manifold. So we must be continually self-aware of the one self-same unified consciousness performing the different acts of consciousness. So there is an a priori unity in our sense intuitions based on our unified self-consciousness. Likewise, in our understanding, what grounds the unity of our concepts is again the unity of our self-consciousness. This unity must already be there before we conceive or perceive something. But] because both our conceptions and our perceptions are made possible by an a priori unity of consciousness, our understanding can know already that its unity may apply to the unity of sense intuitions.

- The parts of a sense-manifold are unified by a figurative synthesis, and those parts of a manifold of an intuition in general are unified by a combination of the understanding.

- Our imagination is productive when it synthesizes spontaneously, but it is reproductive when it synthesizes according to the empirical law of association.

- The unity of our consciousness provides the grounds for all syntheses that we perform. What unifies our consciousness is our continual self-consciousness. But to be conscious of ourselves implies certain things. 1) Our inner sense produces inner-sense intuitions of ourselves. In a way, we ourselves are being sensed in a passive way. 2) Our a priori unity of consciousness regards all our inner intuitions as all belonging together and all belonging to it. So there is a part of us that makes-up the intuitions of ourselves that we then synthesize and determine as our own. This is the determined part of us; it is the passive subject. But our unity of apperception in our understanding is what guides the synthesis of our inner sensings of ourselves. So this part of us is the determining part of us, [perhaps we might say our active subjectivity].

Points Relative to Deleuze
[under ongoing revision]:

- There is a part of us that is being sensed when we are self-conscious. This is the determined part of us, our passive subjectivity. But this means then that there is another part of us that is doing the determining. Because it is not determined but rather determining, Deleuze will note that it is an undetermined part of us. Deleuze will then also relate the "I think" to the determinate part, and the "I am" to the indeterminate. [This might be because the being who is doing the thinking, the I- it is not the determined part of us but the determining and hence the undetermined part of us. When we notice ourselves thinking in the "I think", this would then be the determined part of us, the part that we are determining as being an action belonging to the determining (undetermined) part of us. But note how it is only by means of these determinations that our self-consciousness expresses itself and can become aware of itself. So in a way, it is also on the basis of the determined part of us that we determine the undetermined part as being our own self-consciousness. We might say then that the determined part of us is a determination that determines our undetermined selves as being us. So there is a third determination, which we might call determinability itself, or as Deleuze calls it, the determinable. This relation of difference between the undetermined and the determined, which determines the undetermined, is also what determines that both share the same determination, the same self-consciousness. Because both sides of the determination are not inherently separate (they are the same self-consciousness), this is an internal difference and not an external one. Now, all this again is based on how the determined sensed part of us (the I think) determines the sensing/synthesizing part of us as being the same self-consciousness. Our sensings of ourselves are always inner sensing, and hence are always temporal. For this determining to happen, there must be a manifold intuition of our inner-sensing of ourselves. That means we need succession, time, in order for us to appear to ourselves in the first-place, and thereby be determined in such a way that we also determine the determining part of ourselves as being ourselves. Hence time as inner disjunction is the form under which our undetermined existence is determined. But also, what enables the successivity of time is the belonging-together of the successive parts, which belong-together because they all belong to one self-same self-consciousness. Hence pure time itself and our inner disjunction co-found each other. We have time because our unified self-hoods are really made-up of an internal disjunction, and as well we have our self-hoods, which are internally disjoined, on account of the pure form of time.]

§24: On the Application of the categories to objects of the senses in general.

In our understanding, we have concepts. They are pure when we have not yet applied them to sense-intuitions. [They are like empty containers that can be filled by whatever sense-intuitions are appropriate for them. Because they are empty and can be filled by a variety of different possible intuitions, Kant says that] they are "mere forms of thought". [I miss some of his reasoning here: "The pure concepts of the understanding are related through the mere understanding to objects of intuition in general, without it being determined whether this intuition is our own or some other but still sensible one, but they are on this account mere forms of thought, through which no determinate object is yet cognized." (B150; p.256b)] [While the imagination will synthesize the parts together of our empirical intuition, so that they may fit with a concept,] the unity of the concept's manifold is grounded in the unity of our self-consciousness, that is, "the unity of apperception." [Because all cognition will depend on this unification, which is based on the unity of our self-consciousness], the unity of apperception is thus "the ground of the possibility of cognition a priori insofar as it rests on the understanding" (B150; p.256b). It is transcendental in Kant's sense of the term, because it is a condition for the possibility of cognition. And because it does not yet accompany sense-intuitions, it is purely intellectual. [Now recall also how we have pure a priori representations of space and time. Because of our manner of receiving impressions of external objects, we already from the beginning welcome them as spatial objects. In a similar way, we always already welcome our inner impressions as occurring in time. This means that even before our experiences of spatial and temporal things, we already have a representation of space and time. But since we do not yet sense some object with qualities, our a priori representation is 'pure'. It is pure space itself and pure time itself. Yet despite being pure, they still involve a synthesis. Time in its pure representation would still somehow express the trait of successivity. In succession, one thing already belongs with what precedes and follows it. So even in the pure intuition of succession, there is already an a priori synthesis which expresses the togetherness of temporal parts. We might think of space in similar terms. Things are spatial only if they exist in a spatial medium whose spatial parts are continuously meshed together. So again, already in the concept of space there is an a priori synthesis. So at the basis of our sense-representations is that the parts in their manifold are already together. Now, in order for them all to belong together, they all must belong to one consciousness. This means for each of the parts of the sense-manifolds, there must be an awareness that they belong to one self-same consciousness. This awareness then is our continual self-consciousness, and it again is the unity of apperception. Thus even though the pure concepts of our understanding do not yet apply to specific sense-impressions, the unity of our consciousness as it finds itself in our understanding already can think the unity of our sensible intuitions; for they share the same common ground: the continual and pervasive belonging-together and belonging-to one self-same unified self-consciousness. Kant writes:]
But since in us a certain form of sensible intuition a priori is fundamental, which rests on the receptivity of the capacity for representation (sensibility), the understanding, as spontaneity, can determine the manifold of given representations in accord with the synthetic unity of apperception, and thus think a priori synthetic unity of the apperception of the manifold of sensible intuition, as the condition under which all objects of our (human) intuition must necessarily stand, through which then the categories, as mere forms of thought, acquire objective reality, i.e., application to objects that can be given to us in intuition, but only as appearances; for of these alone are we capable of intuition a priori. (B150-151; p256b.c)
So we know that we have a priori grounds for synthesizing the manifold of our sensible intuitions, just as we know that we have a priori grounds for the synthetic unity of our concepts. But their synthetic unities are different sorts. [Consider that we receive a manifold of sense-impressions. We then give form, shape, or 'figure' to what we perceive]. Kant calls the synthesis of the sensible manifold "figurative" (synthesis speciosa). [Our concepts for things often are a cluster of traits. For example, a triangle has three points connected by three lines to make a plane shape. These traits in a way are combined with one another in our concept.] And Kant calls the synthesis of the manifold of intuitions in general the "combination of the understanding" (synthesis intellectualis). "both are transcendental, not merely because they themselves proceed a priori but also because they ground the possibility of other cognition a priori." (B151; p.256d).

[Consider how we can imagine things not there available to our senses.] For Kant, the imagination is "the faculty for representing an object even without its presence in intuition" (B151; p.256d). Figurative synthesis unifies a manifold of sense-intuition. This unity is grounded on the unity of our self-consciousness (transcendental apperception). Hence the transcendental unity involved in figurative synthesis is based on the transcendental synthesis of the imagination. Now, one side of our imagination deals with intuitions, which are sensible, and for this reason this aspect of the imagination belongs to the sensible [and thus the empirical a posteriori, and not the a priori.] However, the imagination organizes and synthesizes the sense intuitions in accordance with the concepts that these synthesized objects will then correspond to. So the intuitive material that it synthesizes can be determined to belong to a certain object whose concept we have in our understanding. So the intuitions are determinable. But because the imagination takes part in the spontaneous activity which determines the intuitions, it is a part of the determining and not just the determined. The unity of apperception allows the imagination to take intuitions and fuse them together, on account of their already belonging together, by belonging to one self-same self-consciousness. This means that the imagination can determine the form of what we sense even before we sense something, and so this a priori determination of our sense-intuitions would then be the transcendental synthesis of the imagination.

We may regard the imagination as productive when it synthesizes spontaneously. The synthesis of reproductive imagination, however, is subject to the empirical laws. Foremost among them is the law of association. As empirical, it cannot tell us anything about a priori cognition, and hence reproductive imagination is more of a matter for psychology to study.

[Section break]

Kant has us recall §6 [where he discusses the implications of the a priori representation of pure time]. Here he explains how we always already receive our internal intuitions as happening in time. Yet also, we have been discussing the self-consciousness which is a self-unity that enables all the synthetic unifications that we are able to perform. But, to be self-conscious implies that we have an inner intuition of ourselves. When we have any intuition whatsoever, we are internally affected by what we intuit. So when we intuit ourselves, that means we are internally affected by our awareness of ourselves. But then there seems to be a contradiction. For on the one hand, we are actively the ones performing the act of consciousness. Yet on the other hand, we are also that object that we are being conscious-of, so in that sense we are also passive in that interaction.
Here is now the place to make intelligible the paradox that must have struck everyone in the exposition of the form of inner sense (§6 ): namely, how this presents even ourselves to consciousness only as we appear to ourselves, not as we are in ourselves, since we intuit ourselves only as we are internally affected, which seems to be contradictory, since we would have to relate to ourselves passively; for this reason it is customary in the systems of psychology to treat inner sense as the same as the faculty of apperception (which we carefully distinguish). (B152-153; p.257c).
[We synthesize our intuitions in accordance with the concepts of our understanding. So its a priori unity is responsible for the a priori unity of our inner intuitions. Kant writes:] "That which determines the inner sense is the understanding and its original faculty of combining the manifold of intuition, i.e., of bringing it under an apperception (as that on which its very possibility rests)." (B153; p.257c) Now, the understanding does not produce intuitions, and we are not able to put sense-intuitions into our understanding itself (which is purely conceptual). [But the understanding still performs a synthetic combination process, when it unifies the manifolds making up its contents. So] the understanding can be conscious of the synthesis it performs already without intuition. All unifications, whether by the understanding or the imagination, happen on account of the unity of the action which performs the unifications. So the understanding can be aware of the unity of this action, even without any regard to the sense-contents that are being unified. And in fact, it is this unity of consciousness in the understanding that is responsible for the unifications that occur in the imagination. So by means of the transcendental synthesis of the imagination, the understanding then determines the way we unify our sense-intuitions. Now let's consider again those inner intuitions of ourselves. The understanding would determine the way our imagination synthesizes those inner intuitions. So that side of us (that is, of our facultative operation) that experiences or undergoes the inner intuitions of ourselves- this side of us is the passive subject.
Under the designation of a transcendental synthesis of the imagination, [the understanding] therefore exercises that action on the passive subject, whose faculty it is, about which we rightly say that the inner sense is thereby affected. (B153-154; p.257-258, bracketed substitution and emphases are mine)
The synthetic unity of apperception is what foremost enables the combination of manifolds. Our inner sense provides us with manifolds that are already temporally conditioned. This provides the grounds for their combinations, arrangements, and organizations, but this temporality is not by itself these combinations. That requires the understanding to guide the imagination, which means it requires the unity of apperception in the understanding to provide the ground for the transcendental synthesis of the imagination. Also, we combine our intuitions according to the conceptual categories that we use to understand them. The synthetic unity of apperceptions, then, is not at all the same as our inner sense. Our inner sense is merely what receives our internal intuitions. It does not contain the understanding's categories, rather, it only has the mere form of intuition [as being spatial or temporal]. But because the inner sense does not by itself combine the intuitions, the inner sense then does not posses any determinate intuitions, "which is possible only through the transcendental action of the imagination (synthetic influence of the understanding on the inner sense), which I have named figurative synthesis" (B154; p.258ab).

So we only have determinate intuitions when our understanding aids our imagination in giving shape or figure to our intuitions. So we might think of the concept of a line in general. But we cannot think about some line unless we draw it in our thought. We need then our understanding to tell our imaginations how to arrange its parts. And while we carry with us the pure form of time as an a priori representation, we cannot represent time to ourselves in such a way that we understand it, unless we draw a straight line to represent the way inner intuitions succeed one another, using some of the properties of space an analogous medium to represent time, even though time is not at all spatial.
we cannot even represent time without, in drawing a straight line (which is to be the external figurative representations of time), attending merely to the action of the synthesis of the manifold through which we successively determine the inner sense, and thereby attending to the succession of this determination in inner sense. (B154; p.258bc)
So we understand time by representing it with one-dimensional space. But the moments of time are not like the points on a line, because the points on a line are simultaneous. So instead we think of the line in terms of a line or trace of motion. And we obtain this sense of motion from observing our own actions. When we subtract the spatial dimension of this concept of motion, we then obtain the concept of the succession we already undergo in our inner sense. (B155; p.258c)

So for the understanding to conceive lines, it needs to apply the concept to the sense intuitions. The understanding then does not find the intuitions making a line already combined. Rather, it must produce them by affecting our inner sense.

Now we consider the "I" [the unity of the acts of the understanding] that is thinking about itself, and also the "I" [the unity of the acts of inner sense] that is being thought. We might consider them also as (a) the I as intelligence and thinking subject that cognizes (b) the self as an object that appears to us as a phenomenon and that is being thought. But if they are both unities of the same self, then how do we explain their distinction in this action of the self-affection of self-awareness?

[Kant will draw an analogy to our experience of external things. They appear to us insofar as they affect us. We cognize them then as appearances (which are their affections on us), but not as they are in themselves. Likewise, we cognize ourselves in terms of how we appear to ourselves, but not as we really are.] Consider how we can only cognize time by using the image of a line. But time is not something external like space. [So we cognize time in terms of how we are affected by something non-temporal, even though this non-temporal thing represents the way that time appears to us. Hence we cognize time not as it is in itself, but by means of an affection which represents the way time appears to us.] [Also consider how we use clocks to measure time or tell us the times that events happen.] We need the alterability of an external thing (and its external affections on us) to represent to us our inner experience of time, which is not external or spatial. Now, we cognize external objects according to how we are externally affected by them. In a similar manner, we intuit ourselves according to how we are internally affected by our selves. [So there is a part of us that is who we are in ourselves, and that self affects us internally in such a way that we appear to ourselves. We then cognize ourselves in terms of those appearances or internal affections, and not in terms of the selves as we are in ourselves which are doing that affection. Here Kant seems to be saying that who we are in ourselves can affect our very same selves, and as a consequence of that self-affection, there is a representation of ourselves presented to ourselves, this representation being the way we appear to ourselves when we affect ourselves. Hence it is not a contradiction to think that there is a part of us that is the cognizer and a part of us that is the cognized. This is because the part of us that is the cognizer is who we are in ourselves, and the part of us that is cognized is who we are as we appear to ourselves, when the cognizer affects itself and thereby appears to itself.]

From the text of the Meiklejohn translation:

SS 20.
Of the Application of the Categories to Objects of the Senses
in general.

The pure conceptions of the understanding apply to objects of intuition in general, through the understanding alone, whether the intuition be our own or some other, provided only it be sensuous, but are, for this very reason, mere forms of thought, by means of which alone no determined object can be cognized. The synthesis or conjunction of the manifold in these conceptions relates, we have said, only to the unity of apperception, and is for this reason the ground of the possibility of a priori cognition, in so far as this cognition is dependent on the understanding. This synthesis is, therefore, not merely transcendental, but also purely intellectual. But because a certain form of sensuous intuition exists in the mind a priori which rests on the receptivity of the representative faculty (sensibility), the understanding, as a spontaneity, is able to determine the internal sense by means of the diversity of given representations, conformably to the synthetical unity of apperception, and thus to cogitate the synthetical unity of the apperception of the manifold of sensuous intuition a priori, as the condition to which must necessarily be submitted all objects of human intuition. And in this manner the categories as mere forms of thought receive objective reality, that is, application to objects which are given to us in intuition, but that only as phenomena, for it is only of phenomena that we are capable of a priori intuition.

This synthesis of the manifold of sensuous intuition, which is possible and necessary a priori, may be called figurative (synthesis speciosa), in contradistinction to that which is cogitated in the mere category in regard to the manifold of an intuition in general, and is called connection or conjunction of the understanding (synthesis intellectualis). Both are transcendental,


not merely because they themselves precede a priori all experience, but also because they form the basis for the possibility of other cognition a priori.
But the figurative synthesis, when it has relation only to the originally synthetical unity of apperception, that is to the transcendental unity cogitated in the categories, must, to be distinguished from the purely intellectual conjunction, be entitled the transcendental synthesis of imagination.* Imagination is the faculty of representing an object even without its presence in intuition. Now, as all our intuition is sensuous, imagination, by reason of the subjective condition under which alone it can give a corresponding intuition to the conceptions of the understanding, belongs to sensibility. But in so far as the synthesis of the imagination is an act of spontaneity, which is determinative, and not, like sense, merely determinable, and which is consequently able to determine sense a priori, according to its form, conformably to the unity of apperception, in so far is the imagination a faculty of determining sensibility a priori, and its synthesis of intuitions according to the categories must be the transcendental synthesis of the imagination. It is an operation of the understanding on sensibility, and the first application of the understanding to objects of possible intuition, and at the same time the basis for the exercise of the other functions of that faculty. As figurative, it is distinguished from the merely intellectual synthesis, which is produced by the understanding alone, without the aid of imagination. Now, in so far as imagination is spontaneity, I sometimes call it also the productive imagination, and distinguish it from the reproductive, the synthesis of which is subject entirely to empirical laws, those of association, namely, and which, therefore, contributes nothing to the explanation of the possibility of a priori cognition, and for this reason belongs not to transcendental philosophy, but to psychology.

* See note on p. 34.
We have now arrived at the proper place for explaining the paradox which must have struck every one in our exposition of the internal sense (SS 6), namely -- how this sense represents us to our own consciousness, only as we appear to ourselves, not as we are in ourselves, because, to wit, we intuite


ourselves only as we are inwardly affected. Now this appears to be contradictory, inasmuch as we thus stand in a passive relation to ourselves; and therefore in the systems of psychology, the internal sense is commonly held to be one with the faculty of apperception, while we, on the contrary, carefully distinguish them.
That which determines the internal sense is the understanding, and its original power of conjoining the manifold of intuition, that is, of bringing this under an apperception (upon which rests the possibility of the understanding itself). Now, as the human understanding is not in itself a faculty of intuition, and is unable to exercise such a power, in order to conjoin, as it were, the manifold of its own intuition, the synthesis of understanding is, considered per se, nothing but the unity of action, of which, as such, it is self -- conscious, even apart from sensibility, by which, moreover, it is able to determine our internal sense in respect of the manifold which may be presented to it according to the form of sensuous intuition. Thus, under the name of a transcendental synthesis of imagination, the understanding exercises an activity upon the passive subject, whose faculty it is; and so we are right in saying that the internal sense is affected thereby. Apperception and its synthetical unity are by no means one and the same with the internal sense. The former, as the source of all our synthetical conjunction, applies, under the name of the categories, to the manifold of intuition in general, prior to all sensuous intuition of objects. The internal sense, on the contrary, contains merely the form of intuition, but without any synthetical conjunction of the manifold therein, and consequently does not contain any determined intuition, which is possible only through consciousness of the determination of the manifold by the transcendental act of the imagination (synthetical influence of the understanding on the internal sense), which I have named figurative synthesis.

This we can indeed always perceive in ourselves. We cannot cogitate a geometrical line without drawing it in thought, nor a circle without describing it, nor represent the three dimensions* of space without drawing three lines from the same point* perpendicular to one another. We cannot even cogitate time, unless, in drawing a straight line (which is to


serve as the external figurative representation of time), we fix our attention on the act of the synthesis of the manifold, whereby we determine successively the internal sense, and thus attend also to the succession of this determination. Motion as an act of the subject (not as a determination of an object),* consequently the synthesis of the manifold in space, if we make abstraction of space and attend merely to the act by which we determine the internal sense according to its form, is that which produces the conception of succession. The understanding, therefore, does by no means find in the internal sense any such synthesis of the manifold, but produces it, in that it affects this sense. At the same time, how "I who think" is distinct from the "I" which intuites itself (other modes of intuition being cogitable as at least possible), and yet one and the same with this latter as the same subject; how, therefore, I am able to say: "I, as an intelligence and thinking subject, cognize myself as an object thought, so far as I am, moreover, given to myself in intuition -- only, like other phenomena, not as I am in myself, and as considered by the understanding, but merely as I appear" -- is a question that has in it neither more nor less difficulty than the question -- "How can I be an object to myself?" or this -- "How I can be an object of my own intuition and internal perceptions?" But that such must be the fact, if we admit that space is merely a pure form of the phenomena of external sense, can be clearly proved by the consideration that we cannot represent time, which is not an object of external intuition, in any other way than under the image of a line, which we draw in thought, a mode of representation without which we could not cognize the unity of its dimension, and also that we are necessitated to take our determination of periods of time, or of points of time, for all our internal perceptions from the changes which we perceive in outward things. It follows that we must arrange the determinations of the internal sense, as phenomena in time, exactly in the same manner as we arrange those of the


external senses in space. And consequently, if we grant, respecting this latter, that by means of them we know objects only in so far as we are affected externally, we must also confess, with regard to the internal sense, that by means of it we intuite ourselves only as we are internally affected by ourselves; in other words, as regards internal intuition, we cognize our own subject only as phenomenon, and not as it is in itself.*

* Length, breadth, and thickness. -- Tr.

* In different planes. -- Tr.

* Motion of an object in space does not belong to a pure science, consequently not to geometry; because, that a thing is movable cannot be known a priori, but only from experience. But motion, considered as the description of a space, is a pure act of the successive synthesis of the manifold in external intuition by means of productive imagination, and belongs not only to geometry, but even to transcendental philosophy.

* I do not see why so much difficulty should be found in admitting that our internal sense is affected by ourselves. Every act of attention exemplifies it. In such an act the understanding determines the internal sense by the synthetical conjunction which it cogitates, conformably to the internal intuition which corresponds to the manifold in the synthesis of the understanding. How much the mind is usually affected thereby every one will be able to perceive in himself.

Summary based on:
Kant. Critique of Pure Reason. Eds. & Transls. Paul Guyer and Allen Wood. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998.

Full text taken from:
Kant. Critique of Pure Reason. Transl. J.M.D Meiklejohn.
Available at:

10 May 2010

The Experience of Cognition: Summary of §22: 'What objective unity of self-consciousness is' in Kant's Critique of Pure Reason

by Corry Shores
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The Experience of Cognition: Summary of §22: What objective unity of self-consciousness is

Immanuel Kant
The Critique of Pure Reason
I. Transcendental Doctrine of Elements
Part 2: Transcendental Logic
Division 1: Transcendental Analytic
Book I: Analytic of Concepts
Chapter II: On the deduction of the pure concepts of the understanding
(Second) Section II: Transcendental deduction of the pure concepts of the understanding. (as in the second edition) (<§§15-27)

Important Points in This Section:

- By means of our senses, we have empirical intuitions of things in space and time. What makes this possible are the a priori representations of pure space and time. We may also think about our concepts in our understanding without appealing to our senses. We may for example think about mathematical concepts in a purely conceptual way. However, we do not have cognitions until we apply our concepts to our empirical intuitions.

Points Relative to Deleuze [to be revised as we learn more. These points are mere speculations.]:

- Before we experience things in time, already we sensibly intuit a pure 'empty' form of time, which Deleuze explains is grounded on an internal disjunction in our self-consciousness.

§22: The category has no other use for the cognition of things than its application to objects of experience

[Our mind grasp things, but firstly as them being made-up of parts. Our minds engage in a manifold of acts of consciousness, but these are already pre-united by means of a self-consciousness of the unity of the one consciousness committing all these other acts in the manifold. Also, our imaginations synthesize the parts of the manifold of intuitions so to bring them together into the phenomenon of a recognizable object. Previously Kant defined thinking as the activity which brings the synthesized manifold of intuition to the unity of our self-consciousness. He explains now that this is not yet cognition.] There are two components to our cognitions.

The Two Components of Cognition
1) The concept. We need such a category in order to think the object.
2) The intuition. Our mind must also be grasping some mental content that will apply to the concept.

So for us to cognize, we need both mental 'material' filling the 'shape' of the concept (Kant writes: "if an intuition corresponding to the concept could not be given at all, then it would be thought as far as its form is concerned, but without any object, and by its means no cognition of anything at all would be possible, since, as far as I would know, nothing would be given nor could be given to which my thought could be applied" B146; p.254b).

Our intuitive mental graspings involve our sensibility ("all intuition that is possible for us is sensible (Aesthetic)" ). So we could on the one hand just think of an object in general by means of a pure concept. But if we want our thinking to reach the level of cognition, we also must relate this concept to the senses.

[Let's review the a priori of space and time. When we sense something external to us, we already regard it as external, which means it is located in a space outside us. This indicates that all our sensings of external objects are conditioned by a pure representation of space that we have prior to our experiencing external spatial things. Also consider that our inner mental life does not have spatial dimensions. So what prevents all our inner intuitions from getting mixed-up with each other rather than each being on its own in a way? We instead give our inner intuitions each their own 'place', in a sense, by placing them along a temporal succession. One intuition comes before and after other ones. In this way we may distinguish and relate them. But we do this successive placing even from the beginning, which means that we must already have a pure representation of time, even before we have inner mental experiences. Hence] on the grounds of our pure intuitions of space and time, we may then have sense-intuitions of things found in space and time: "Sensible intuition is either pure intuition (space and time) or empirical intuition of that which, through sensation, is immediately represented as real in space and time. Through determinations of the former we can acquire a priori cognitions of objects (in mathematics), but only as far as their form is concerned, as appearances; whether there can be things that must be intuited in this form is still left unsettled." (B146-147; 254bc, emphasis mine). So we can think of mathematical concepts without using sense-intuitions. But this means that no mathematical concept is a cognition. However, spatial and temporal things are only given to us as perceptions, which are the representations that accompany our sensations; and for this reason we say that they are only given through empirical representation.

So our sense intuitions are empirical intuitions. When we apply to them to our categories (our concepts), then we obtain empirical cognitions. "The categories consequently have no other use for the cognition of things except insofar as these are taken as objects of possible experience." (B147-148; p.255a)

Summary based on:
Kant. Critique of Pure Reason. Eds. & Transls. Paul Guyer and Allen Wood. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998.