“Science is organized knowledge. Wisdom is organized life. ” ~ Immanuel Kant, Critique of Pure Reason
At the age of fifty-seven Kant published the first edition of the Critique of Pure Reason (1781; 2d ed. 1787). This enormous work is one of the most important and difficult books in Western thought. The aim of the critique is to explain how experience and reason interact in thought and understanding. The Critique of Pure Reason is a methodology (a collection of methods and rules) of how "understanding and reason [the power of understanding] can know apart from experience." This revolutionary proposal means that the mind organizes our experiences into the way the world appears and the way that we think about the world. Any experience is placed into one of these categories so that it can be understood. Kant also wrote that the mind can have knowledge of things that have or have not been experienced, but these are only possibilities. Kant does not say that the mind creates objects—only the conditions under which objects are noticed and understood. We can never know noumenal reality (theoretical objects or ideas that are understood by thought alone) with any certainty.