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Which clippings match 'Spatial Metaphor' keyword pg.1 of 1
03 MARCH 2013

The trouble with Kant's spatial metaphor

"In consequence of this revolutionary assertion Kant states that: 'Space is not an empirical concept which has been derived from outer experiences.' (B/38) On the contrary: '…it is the subjective condition of sensibility, under which alone outer intuition is possible for us.' (A/26; B/42)

In other words, Kant asserts that space (and time) are not objective, self–subsisting realities, but subjective requirements of our human sensory–cognitive faculties to which all things must conform. Space and time serve as indispensable tools that arrange and systemize the images of the objects imported by our sensory organs. The raw data supplied by our eyes and ears would be useless if our minds didn't have space and time to make sense of it all. ...

Kant's view of space (and time) is the groundwork of his Critique [of Pure Reason], However the inseparable bond he claimed between geometry and the nature of space serves to undermine his case rather than support it. ...

When Kant refers to geometry, he must mean Euclidean geometry, since Non–Euclidean geometry, the brainchild of the 19th Century, was unknown to him. Hence space, in Kant's philosophical system must conform to Euclidean geometry. Norman Kemp Smith, in his Commentary on the Critique, remarked that for Kant '…space in order to be space at all, must be Euclidean.'

Space, in Euclidean Geometry, is a concept which is independent of the attributes of our human minds and senses. The word Geometry is derived from Greek – geo 'earth', and metron 'to measure', namely 'earth measurement'. With such semantic–conceptual roots its hardly conceivable that Euclid regarded Geometry as divorced from an objective independent space."

(Pinhas Ben–Zvi, 2005, Philosophy Now)

Ben–Zvi, P. (2005). "Kant on Space." Philosophy Now, January/February 2005(49).


cartographic metaphor • Critique of Pure Reason • empirical concept • Euclidean geometryeyes and earsgeometryGottfried Leibniz • human minds • human perception • human senses • human sensory-cognitive faculties • Immanuel KantIsaac Newtonlogical-analytical paradigmmetaphors of reality • nature of space • Non-Euclidean geometry • Norman Kemp Smith • noumena • noumenon • objective independent space • objective knowledgeobjective realityobjective world • outer experiences • philosophical system • self-subsisting realities • semantic construct • sensory organs • space and timespatial metaphorsubjective conditiontime


Simon Perkins

Visuo-spatial structuring of non-geographic data

"Maps, as metaphors of reality, may be seen as a natural extension of the organizing principle of human perception––albeit a facet restricted to the spatial percepts. The use of spatial metaphor to define relations between abstract objects or between real–world objects represented in an abstract, hypothetical, space, is so common in digital 'environments' or on the computer 'desktop' that it often goes unrecognized. Such metaphors are too many to be addressed by this paper, which restricts its survey to those commonly found in a cartographic context."

(John L. Old, 2002)

L. John Old (2002). "Information Cartography: Using GIS for visualizing nonspatial data", proceedings of the ESRI International Users Conference.


abstract information spaces • abstract objectsabstractionCartesian • Cartesian coordinate system • cartographic metaphorcartographychart • computer desktop • conceptual spacecoordinate systemcyberspacedatadata visualisationdigital environments • document space • GISgraphic representationhuman perception • hypothetical • information cartographyinformation spaceinformation spacesmapmetaphormetaphors of reality • non-spatial data • orderingreal-world objectsrepresentationspacespatial • spatial data • spatial metaphor • structure information • visual representationvisualisation • visualising • visuo-spatial structuring of information


Simon Perkins

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