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For instance, when knowledge is reduced to a set of physiological and mental processes, it is forgotten that these processes are intelligible to S only if the transcendental conditions of S’s relation to them are not reducible to the relations between objects. One such transcendental condition for the conceivability of an object is that it is a self-consistent unity. Therefore, when S knows an object A and another object B, the interobjective relations that obtain between A and B are completely distinct from the ‘relation’ of A and B individually with S. The inductive method is not capable of uncovering these transcendental conditions of possible experience, because it is precisely these conditions, discoverable only through a reflective analysis of the nature of knowledge, that make the application of the method possible (NS, 15).

On the other hand, the Kantian transcendental method correctly emphasizes that the ‘logical implicates of experience’ such as space, time, and causality cannot be known in the same way that specific empirical objects are known. The post-Kantian developers of this method argue that all objective entities, such as tables and trees, as well as the universal conditions of objects of experience, such as space and time, exist for the self which is in this sense ‘the centre of the universe’. Mukerji notes that this method has ‘staunch advocates not only in England where Hegelianism has come to establish itself as a permanent philosophical tendency, but it is accepted as final also by many accomplished thinkers of contemporary Italy and India …’ (NS, 17).

However, while British idealists such as Green and Caird have correctly accepted the transcendental approach to the ego, they are engaged in a ‘logical see-saw’ in which they have alternately emphasized one of the following points, both of which they have inherited from Kant: the self as the transcendental presupposition of empirical objects, and the self as unknowable. Green has highlighted the distinction between the pure ego and empirical objects and denied that the pure ego is knowable, while Caird has emphasized the knowability of the pure ego and almost removed its distinction from empirical objects (NS, 70). Mukerji has in mind statements of Green such as the following: ‘That there is such a consciousness is implied in the existence of the world; but what it is we only know through its so far acting in us as to enable us, however partially and interruptedly, to have knowledge of a world or an intelligent experience’ (NS, 74).

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