I'm certain this question must have been asked many times before, but I could not find an answer searching the archived posts here. So please excuse me as I am new to this forum and might have posted a duplicate.
My question is this: "If I take away the thinking subject, the whole material world must vanish, as this world is nothing but the phenomenal appearance in the sensibility of our own subject" (CPR, A 384).
So how does Kant reconcile this with the fact that the universe existed long before any perceiving subjects were around?
I am aware of one possible answer, namely that time itself is just a form of intuition, but this does not make it any clearer to me. Is he saying objects (such as suns and planets) existed, but not as phainomena, but noumena instead? Does not make it any clearer either.
I would appreciate any pointers, to either a post or article which could help me clear this up.