Presentation on theme: "A COLLECTION OF CHARTS ON KANT’S THEORY OF KNOWLEDGE:"— Presentation transcript:
1 A COLLECTION OF CHARTS ON KANT’S THEORY OF KNOWLEDGE: The mind makes the world rather than the world makes the mind.Kant declared metaphysics is impossible.Transcendental Idealism-Saving Science: An Alternative to Skepticism and Dogmatism.What can I know?What should I do?For what may I hope?
2 In summary: What is the Structure of Rational Thought: 1. The Categories of Thought and Forms of Intuition;2. The Self and the Unity of Experience3. Phenomenal and Noumenal Reality4. Transcendental Ideas of Pure Reason as Regulative Concepts5. The Antinomies and the Limits of Reason6. Proof of God’s Existence
3 Principle Arguments/Divisions of the Critique of Pure Reason: 1st Division: Any cognition must be based on perception and conception. Objects of our knowledge conform to our cognition.2nd Division: Transcendental Analytic: Kant understood the distinction between sensibility, that is, perception, and understanding, that is conception, as bound up with another fundamental distinction, that between receiving information and sorting and combining that information.3rd Division: Transcendental Dialectic: Main task is to reveal metaphysics as a product of misunderstanding the ideal character of the systematizing principles of reason Despite their great utility for science, the tendencies of reason to seek ever deeper, more systematic explanations leads to metaphysical questions that are beyond our abilities to answer.
4 Structure of Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason: PrefaceGeneral Logic:Applied Logic:IntroductionDoctrine of Method:Part 2: Reflections on the methodological implications of that theory whereby he contrasts mathematical & philosophical proof, between theoretical & practical reasoning, between his own method & dogmatic, empirical, & skeptical methods of philosophy. Four sections are:Doctrine of Elements:Part I: An Exposition of his theory of a priori cognition & its limitsTranscendental Aesthetic: Considers the a priori contributions of the fund. forms of our sensibility (namely, space & time), to our knowledge.Transcendental Logic: Considers the a priori contributions of the intellect, both genuine & spurious, to our knowledge.1: In “Discipline of Pure Reason” Kant provides an ext. contrast between nature of mathematical proof & philosophical argument, offering important commentary on his “transcendental” method.Transcendental Dialectic: Spurious attempt of reason working independently of sensibility to provide metaphysical insight into things as they are in themselves.Analytic of Concepts: Argues for universal & necessary validity of pure concepts of the understanding, or the categories (e.g., concepts of substance & causation).Transcendent-al Analytic: The conditions of the possibility of experience & knowledge2: In “Canon of Pure Reason,” Kant prepares the way for his subsequent moral philosophy by contrasting method of theoretical philosophy to that of practical philosophy, & giving the 1st outline that runs through all 3 critiques: practical reason can justify metaphysical beliefs about God, & freedom and immortality of soul although theoretical reason can never yield knowledge of such things.Analytic of Principles: Argues for the validity of fund. principles of empirical judgment employing those categories (e.g., principles of conversation of substance & universality of causation).3-4: In the “architectonic of Pure Reason” & the “History of Pure Reason,” Kant recapitulates the contrasts between Kant’s own philosophical method & those of the dogmatists, empiricists, & skeptics which he began, treating these contrasts in both systematic & historical terms. Here he outlines history of modern philosophy as transcendence of empiricism & rationalism by his own critical philosophy.(1) Concept of Pure Reason & (2) On the Dialectical Inferences of Pure Reason: Kant explains how pure reason generates ideas of metaphysical entities such as the soul, the world as a whole, & God & then attempts to prove the reality of those idea by extending patterns of inference which are valid within the limits of human sensibility beyond those limits.“Inferences” divided into 3 sections: “The Paralogisms of Pure Reason”, “The Antinomy of Pure Reason”, & “The Ideal of Pure Reason” –Exposes metaphysically fallacious arguments about soul, world, & God.
5 Central Divisions of Thought: Transcendental Aesthetic: Kant argues that space and time are subjective forms of human sensibility, through which the manifold of sense is given to the mind, rather than ether self-subsisting realities (Newton) or relations between subsisting things (Leibniz). He also argues that only the conception of space is capable of accounting for the possibility of geometry, which he equated with Euclidean geometry.Transcendental Analytic: By means of a “transcendental deduction” he argues that certain pure concepts or categories, including substance and causality, are universally valid with respect to possible experience, since they are necessary conditions of such experience. On this basis of these results, he then argued for a set of synthetic a priori principles regarding nature, considered as the sum total of objects of possible experience. Prominent among these are the principles that substance remains permanent throughout all change and they every alternation has a cause. This latter is usually viewed as Kant’ response to Hume’s sKepticism regarding causality.
6 Transcendental Aesthetic: Transcendental Analytic: Space and time are subjective forms of human sensibility, through which the manifold of sense is given to the mind.This is contrast, for example, to self-subsisting realities (Newton) or relations between subsisting things (Leibniz). The only the conception of space is capable of accounting for the possibility of geometry, which he equated with Euclidean geometry.Transcendental Analytic:Understanding is equipped with a set of a priori concepts or categories (for example, causality and substance) which are required for the knowledge of an object or an objective realm. From this Kant concludes that all objects of possible experience must conform to these categories.Transcendental Idealism:His overarching metaphysical doctrine. The world as known to creatures like ourselves, who rely on perceptual experience & conceptual understanding, is not the world of ‘things-in-themselves’-of things as they are indep. of cognition, but of ‘appearance.’ We have knowledge only of ‘phenomena’ (things in the sensible realm), & not the noumena-which are knowable only by God, capable of non-sensory ‘intellectual intuition.’ For ex., we experience world as spacio-temporal, even though space & time are ‘forms of (our) sensibility’, not features of reality-in-itself. Kant favorably contrasts his transcendental idealism w/ transcendental realism & empirical idealism, which hold that our knowledge extends to things-in-themselves, & that objects of experience aren’t grounded in extra-mental reality.Transcendental Deduction:A name for the reasoning which simultaneously justifies both the applicability of the pure concepts of understanding (categories) to objects of experience & the objectivity of experience itself. Starting from the fact that all my representations are grasped together in one consciousness (the unity of apperception), the argument asserts that such unity is possible only because synthesized according to the rules contained in the pure concepts.
7 Transcendental Deduction: The objective validity of certain pure or a priori concepts (the categories) is a condition for the possibility of experience. Among the concepts required for having experience are substance and cause.Their apriority consists in the fact that instances of empirical concepts are not directly given sense experience in the manner of instances of empirical concepts such as red. This fact gave rise to the skepticism of Hume concerning the very coherence of such alleged a priori concepts.Now if they don’t have objective validity, as Kant tried to prove in opposition to Hume, then the world contains genuine instances of the concepts.The feature of experience on which Kant concentrates is the ability of a subject of experience to be aware of several distinct inner states as well as belonging to a single consciousness.Refutation of Idealism shares a trait with Transcendental Deduction:a. One is conscious of one’s own existence as determined in time, i.e., knows the temporal order of some of one’s inner states. According to the Refutation, a condition for the possibility of such a knowledge is one’s consciousness of the existence of objects located outside oneself in space. If one is indeed so conscious, that would refute the skeptical view, formulated by Descartes, that one lacks knowledge of the existence of a spatial world distinct from one’s mind and its inner states.
8 What is Kant’s Contribution? Recognizing the limits as well as the power of reason, his three great Critiques of reason and judgment, Kant provides what can be seen as the culmination and synthesis of both rationalism and empiricism, while at the same time rejecting the underlying idea that our knowledge of the true world is either inferred from experience or discovered by way of reason.
9 Though Rationalists & Empiricists followed different paths, they both reached the same skeptical dead end:Empiricists, who argued that we have access to the actual world in sense perception, held that what we perceive are ideas caused in us by things outside of us (e.g., impressions lead to ideas). Thus, we only know our own ideas.Since the rationalists had written off perception as mere confused thinking, their theories remained only speculation, incapable of being verified or refuted.“Meanwhile, the working scientists, unperturbed by philosophical doubts about the nature of their subject, had been making advance after advance, and the Hobbesian vision of the world that was thoroughly mechanistic seemed about to be fulfilled in detail. Hence Hobbe’s challenge to the traditional religious and teleological view of the cosmos was more formidable than ever. It had begun to occur to scientists that they might get on very nicely without the hypothesis of a God; as regards morality, it seemed clear that in a completely deterministic universe obligation cold be only a vain and chimerical delusion. It was therefore no longer necessary to protect the infant science of physics from the theologians. Indeed, the show was now on the other foot. It looked as if traditional values were becoming subjective illusions in a world of neutral fact” [W.T. Jones, History of Philosophy, Kant, 16].
10 Kant’s Epistemological Project is to forge a third way between dogmatism & skepticism: RationalismSkepticismEmpiricismSynthetic A PrioriA priori present forms are given by the faculties of the human & experience (what is given in experience).It is the human mind that constitutes the way the world is (tinge of Berkeley) within space time and time.3. His project is two=fold: It is both secure & limit knowledge. It is secure because the human mind brings a priori intuition and concepts to experience in contrast to Hume who states that our impressions form ideas, thus leading one to skepticism). On the other, there is a limit for anything that is outside of space & time is beyond our personal experience.
11 His Strategy:The Problems of knowledge and the foundation of science are addressed with his Critique of Pure Reason (1781).Within the realm of phenomena and the world as we know it, experience presupposes sensibility (intuition) and understanding, that ‘faculty’ which orders and organizes our sensations with the help of the imagination so that they become and experience of something.We constitute the “objects” of our experience out of our intuitions, locating these objects in space and time and in causal relationships with other objects. Without the concepts of the understanding, Kant claims our intuitions would be blind.But without sensations our concepts would be empty. Experience is always the application of the understanding to sensations, and the world as we know it is the result.
12 Basic Vocabulary:1. A Priori knowledge (knowledge independent of experience)2. A Posteriori Knowledge (knowledge derived from experience)3. Concept: is in fact nothing other than a power to make judgments of a certain kind. To possess the concept “metal”, for example, is to have the power to make judgments expressible by sentences containing the word ‘metal’ or its equivalent).4 Judgment: To think is to judge in contrast to knowledge which is the end product of judging; judging is a kind of putting together.5. Manifold: Expression Kant uses to refer to the data supplied to the mind through sensation. In the Critique of Pure Reason, he argues that these data are given in accordance with the mind’s form of sensibility, space and time, and that their unification, which is necessary for experience, is brought about through the synthetic activity of the imagination guided by the understanding.6 Knowledge: “a cooperative affair between the knower and the thing known; it is the end product of judging.6. Transcendental: the conditions that make an experience of objects possible).7. Transcendental logic:a. Logic is concerned with the kinds of putting together that occurs in judgment;b. Transcendental: the conditions that make an experience of objects possible.There is transcendental “Analytic” (proper use of logic whereas the Transcendental “Dialectic” is concerned with its improper use.
13 That which is produced by external influences is called “matter.” While the forms may be discovered by a consideration of the constant and universal element in our knowledge (e.g., space and time), matter is that which may change and vary.Built-in Structure, basic rules of the human mind (not innate knowledge):That which is produced by external influences is called “matter.”3 A Priori Present Forms:Intuition: space & time are pure forms of intuition (modes of ordering):Space is a way in which mind orders things; it is a datum of outer sense;Time is temporal order (coming before, after or simultaneous with other experiences we have; time is a form of inner sense, that, is our awareness of ourselves and of our inner state).Of understanding = concepts (e.g., Logic, that is, the art of thinking)(c) reason: the task of reasonto form absolute totalities.Without concepts of the understanding our intuitions would be blind; but without sensations, our concepts would be empty. Experience is always the application of the understanding to sensations, and the world as we know it is the result.That which is given by faculty itself is called “form”1. The way we experience the world is conditioned or structured by the way we can know (spacial -temporal conditions): the principles of sensibility.Anything beyond space & time is beyond the domain of the construction of our mind.
14 The Self and the Unity of Experience: What makes it possible for us to have a unified grasp of the world about us?2. This leads Kant to say that the unity of our experience must imply a unity of the self.1. Mind transforms the data given to ourselves into a coherent and related set of elements.4. To have such knowledge involves, in various sequences, sensation, imagination, memory, and powers of intuitive synthesis.3. The unity of our experience must imply a unity of itself, for unless there was a unity between several operations of the mind, there could be knowledge of experience.5. Our self-consciousness is affected by the same faculties that affect our perception of external objects. Thus, I bring to the knowledge of myself the same apparatus, & thus, impose upon myself as an object of knowledge the same lenses through which I see everything. Just as I do not know things as they are apart from the perspective from which I see them, so also I do not know the nature of this “transcendental unity of apperception” except as I’m aware of the knowledge I have of the unity of the field of experience. What I am sure of is that a unified self is implied by any knowledge of experience.
15 Three Key Faculties which are indispensable for human knowledge Sensibility: Pure forms of intuition, space, & time:The object is given by means of an affection upon the mind.The capacity of the mind to be affected is called sensibility (receptivity). The effect of the object, the material of sensibility, is called sensation.The pure forms of intuition are space and time.4. The relation to an object by means of sensation is called empirical (a posteriori).Understanding: Pure concepts of understanding, the categories:The object, an indeterminate manifold of intuition, is thought. i.e., determined.The capacity to determine an object, i.e., to create representations of one’s own accord (spontaneously), is called understanding, the faculty of concepts (rules).The pure concepts of the understanding are the categories.4. The relation to an object by means of the categories of the understanding is called pure (a priori).Judgment: The Transcendental schemata & principles of pure understanding:Judgment is the faculty of subsuming under rules, i.e. of discerning whether or note something falls under a given rule. The conditions of the possibility of applying pure concepts of the understanding to appearances are transcendental specifications of time: they are both conceptual & sensible: the transcendental schemata, a transcendental product of imagination.
16 AN ILLUSTRATION OF KANT’S SYSTEM: SAUSAGE MACHINE Percept is the raw material of human knowledge, that is, the sense information that enters the mind through the forms of sensibility“Concepts without percepts are empty; percepts without concepts are blind.Forms of SensibilitySpaceTimePerceptsPerceptsCATEGORIES OF THE UNDERSTANDING:Entering the box of Kant’s sausage machine brings to what called categories of understanding. There are 12 categories by means of which the human mind shapes, influences, and affects the raw material of human knowledge that comes from sense experience. What enters the mind through the forms of sensibility, what Kant calls percepts, is never an object of knowledge at that time. Human consciousness of the objects of knowledge only begins once the categories of the human understanding have added form or structure to the sensible content. If you take away the categories, then all you have is a collection of colors, sounds, etc. that add up to nothing. Thus, human knowledge, has two necessary conditions: (1) the form supplied by the mind (otherwise known as the categories) and the content supplied by the senses. Neither condition is sufficient by itself to produce knowledge.Concepts1. Nozzle is device by which cuts of meat enter into machine (the Forms of Sensibility: Space & Time). Kant denied that space and time exist independently of the human and are somehow perceived outside the mind. Rather, Kant argued that space and time are added to our perceptions by the mind. Thus, everything we perceive (sense experience) appears to us as though it were in space and time.
17 AN ILLUSTRATION OF KANT’S SYSTEM: COIN COUNTING MACHINE: Unsorted Coins represents the percepts, the raw material of knowledge.Forms of SensibilitySpace & Times: Forms of SensibilityJust as the machine sorted out the different coins, so the mind functions as a manifold that places our percepts into appropriate categories and produces the class concepts that advance the knowing process.The gears inside of machine represent the categories of the understanding.
18 Kant’s Critiques:In Kant’s critical philosophy, he contends against earlier rationalists like Descartes and Leibniz with their un-provable pretensions of reason.In his practical philosophy, he rejects the subservient role accorded to reason by British empiricists like David Hume. Hume, once declared:“Reason is wholly inactive, and can never be the source of so active a principle as conscience, or a sense of morals.” (Treatise, ).
19 NO CAPABILITY TO TRANSCEND OUR OWN LIMITATIONS! Noumena (are objects we have no sensible intuition and hence no knowledge at all; these are things-in-themselves (e.g., God, soul,& freedom of the will; they are undecidable by human reason)While we cannot help thinking that there is something that exists beyond space and time. In fact, reason demands ultimate intelligibility but we are limited. It keeps trying but we are unable to probe beyond space and time because we are bound to spacial and temporal conditions of the mind, that, is, our subjective constituting apparati. Thus, Kant denies that noumena as objects of pure reason are objects of knowledge because reason gives knowledge ONLY of objects of sensible intuition (phenomena).What reality is like in itself, apart from our human perception and cognition is completely unknown and unknowable.NO CAPABILITY TO TRANSCEND OUR OWN LIMITATIONS!Phenomenal: The world of ordinary sense perception & of science: It is spatial & temporal. Space & time are “molds” into which our experience is cast. Everything we perceive & think is filtered through our mind & senses.
20 Kant’s Notion of Cognition: We cannot lift the restrictions of our cognition.We cannot determine whether the objects we do cognize are as we cognize tem to be, if we abstract from our cognition.If we can know objects only through sensory data they cause in us, then there is no other route to the objects that would confirm or deny that they are as our interpretations of the sensory date take them to be.Thus, to make the restriction “of which we can have cognition” evident, Kant characterizes the objects of cognition as “phenomenal.” This means that the natural world described by science is only “phenomenal because although science allows us to explain and predict the behavior of the objects we cognize, it has no resources for disclosing the properties of the world INDEPENDENTLY OF OUR COGNITION.
21 Noumena are Platonic Ideas and Forms: KANT VS. PLATO:Noumena: The world as it actually is. It is what reality is apart from human cognition & perception are completely unknown & unknowable.Noumena are Platonic Ideas and Forms:Space and time are the molds into which we our experiences are cast.Phenomena are things displaying themselves to the senses.For Plato there is the possibility for one to become familiar with the eternal forms whereas for Kant, there is no possibility. Why? They could not be decided in the progress of science nor can be revealed as necessary for cognition (B, pg. 827).For Plato we should strive to intimately know the Forms whereas for Kant it is useless to pursue what we cannot ever know. It is undecidable by human reason.Both agree that we can’t take reality as given in the senses to be ultimately reality.4. Plato’s theory drives us to mysticism whereas Kant drives us to agnosticism for we can’t know or deny noumena; it is just impossible for us to know; we just can’t affirm or deny that ultimate reality is given to the senses because the structure of our mind is spacially and temporally conditioned.
22 Hoffding’s comment on Plato and Kant is interesting: Hoffding writes:The old opposition, which originated with Plato, between noumena and phenomena, the world as it is in itself and is known by thought on the one hand, and the world as it presents itself to the other senses on the other, seemed now about to receive a fresh confirmation as his hands. And the sharp distinction between perception and understanding seemed also to show that their spheres must be different [Ibid., 46].
24 The world as we perceive it with ourselves and understand it, is adapted to our mode of perception and cognition. Therefore, the real world is “filtered” through both our human mind and human senses and it is only as thus “filtered” that we can be aware of it.
25 It is the human mind that constitutes the way the world is. The world as we know it must “conform to our faculties” our subjective constituting apparati. In other words, what we see and think depends on the nature of our mind. Or said differently, it is the nature of our mind that determines the nature and scope of our knowledge rather than the nature of reality itself.It is the human mind that constitutes the way the world is.
26 Since our mind and senses are always with us (unlike sunglasses with which we can remove and “see reality as it is”), all we can have is knowledge of the phenomenal world, that is filtered through the sense organs and minds we possess. Why? The way we experience the world is conditioned by space and time.
27 Kant’s System of Forms Involves 3 Groups: 3. Ideas of Reason:Three Ideas: Soul, God, and World.Consider the following by Hoffding:
28 Soul, World, and God: Involuntary craving of consciousness to reach a conclusion, an immovable hook: Hoffding writes:We seek for a definitive knowledge of inner experience, a definitive knowledge of outer experience, and a definitive knowledge of the origin of all things in existence. Kant attempts to prove that these Ideas are not invented, but proceed from the very nature of reason itself, by showing that they correspond to the three forms of conclusion which are ordinary distinguished in logic (the categorical, the hypothetical, and the disjunctive form). But this deduction is very strained…. he is right in tracing the Ideas of the soul, the world, and God to the involuntary craving of consciousness to reach a conclusion to affix the chain of thought of consciousness to reach a conclusion, to affix the chain of thought to a fixed and immovable hook, to form an absolute synthesis in imitation of the synthesis which is the fundamental form of thought.”
29 WHAT IS THE ESSENCE OF SPACE AND TIME? Hoffe points out that the “essence of space and time” is very controversial. Consider:Are they something object and real or merely something subjective and ideal (Berkeley)?And if they are real, they constitute substances (Descartes)?Or are they properties of divine substance (Spinoza) orAre they a relation between finite substances? (Leibniz?).What is Kant’s solution to these difficulties?“Space and time are something quite different from all other familiar entities; they are a priori forms of our (human) outer intuition and inner sensing.”
30 WHAT IS THE ESSENCE OF SPACE AND TIME? Hoffe notes:Because empirical knowledge is not possible without outer and inner sensations, and these are not possible without space and time, ‘empirical reality’ is to be accorded [agree] to the pure forms of intuition (B 44 with B 53). In contrast to the ‘dogmatic idealism’ of Berkeley ( ), who according to Kant takes space together with all things as merely imaginary (B274), space and time are for Kant objective: without them objects of outer and inner intuition, hence of objective, cannot exist. It does not follow, however, that space and time subsist in themselves and in the form of substances, properties, or relations. On the contrary, they are the sole conditions under which objects can appear to us; they have, says Kant, ‘transcendental ideality’ (B 44 with B 52). With this theory Kant rejects Newton’s notion of space as God’s infinite, uniform sensorium and thereby shows that he recognizes Newton’s physics as a paradigm of exact since without uncritically accepting its philosophical presuppositions [Hoffe, Immanuel Kant, 63].
31 Kant’s Example of an Analytic Judgment vs. Synthetic Judgment: The statement, “all bodies are extended is an example of an analytic judgment whereas “all bodies are heavy” is an example of a synthetic judgment.Why? “Extension” is a part of the concept “body” whereas “weight” is not.Critique: For some:Kant’s distinction between analytic and synthetic proposition is no wholly satisfactory. It is clearly intended to be universally applicable to propositions of all kinds, yet not all propositions are structured in the simple subject-predicate form he uses in his definition. The notion of ‘containing’ is metaphorical and although the distinction is clearly to be a logical one, Kant sometimes speaks of if as if it were a matter of psychology. Some later philosophers tried to tighten up the distinction, and others tried to break it down; but it retained a permanent place in subsequent philosophical discussion [Anthony Kenny, The Rise of Modern Philosophy, 3:157].
32 What is Transcendental Logic? It is called “logic” because it is concerned with the kinds of putting together that occur in judgment (in contrast to the immediate, sensuous putting together discussed in the Aesthetic);He called it “transcendental” because he is not concerned with the content of experience, but with the conditions that make an experience of objects possible.Remember, for Kant, to think is to judge; knowledge is the end product of judging; and judging is a kind of putting together: A direct, sensuous component and a conceptual, structural component.
33 What is Transcendental Logic? Certain judgments must be synthetic a priori in order to provide an underpinning for the inductive procedures of the sciences. Remember:he did not hold that all judgments in the natural sciences are a priori (in contrast to mathematical judgments which are).
34 2 Elements in Judgment (to think is to judge): According to Kant, there are 2 different components that are always involved in judging: a direct, sensuous component and a conceptual, structural component. The difference between the components is like the difference between a guidebook on Leavenworth and a direct experience of it.Leavenworth, Washington
35 2 Elements in Judgment (to think is to judge): A man might study the book and tell us a lot about the community. But he has never been there, then his knowledge of it is, in Kant’s terminology, “empty.” He lacks a concrete filling of perception and feeling: experiential element. On the other hand, the one who visits Leavenworth but went through it so fast has no knowledge of it; he is, using Kant’s term, “blind” for he lacks the knowledge that would structure, organize, and focus on the sensory experience: There is not a structural or relational element (a conceptual ordering of the precepts and feelings are needed).Leavenworth, Washington
36 When an experience is brought under a concept can it be identified or known for what it is. Most rationalists, from Plato to Descartes and his successors, had taken it for granted that cognitive processes form a continuum: they regarded perception as a “confused thought-, that is, as the same sort of activity as reasoning, differing only in degree of adequacy.Though the empiricists did not maintain that perception is confused, they did not draw the Kantian distinction between percepts and concepts, for the treated concepts as fictions or even merely as words.
37 When an experience is brought under a concept can it be identified or known for what it is. W.T. Jones writes:Hence, then, is another reason why Kant’s theories can be regarded as a watershed in the history of philosophy. On the whole, 19th-20th century philosophers have accepted Kant’s distinction between percepts and conceptions, with the limitations that this entails regarding the direct, immediate knowledge of the self and its world. Those philosophers who did not nevertheless had to deal with the distinction Kant had drawn, philosophy could not return to its pre-Kantian course.
38 How are synthetic a priori judgments possible? Experience provides the content (synthetic) and mind provides the structure (the a priori element which includes intuition and concepts with spacial-temporal framework) in which the content from experience is organized and understood.
39 Analytical Synthetical The General Problem of Pure Reason: How are synthetical a priori judgments possible?4 Logical Classes:A PosterioriA Priorianalytical a posteriori: This is null class since all analytical judgments are universal & necessary.2. analytical a priori:Warranted by law of non-contradictionAnalytical3. synthetical posteriori:Warranted by experience.synthetical a priori:Warranted by an organizing principle of the mind.SyntheticalWe have two pair of judgments: a priori-posteriori and analytical-synthetical.2. These pairs yield four logically possible classes.Synthetical a priori: While all our knowledge begins with experience (asLocke and other empiricists insists), it does not necessarily follow that it allarises out of experience. All knowledge contains elements that are notdrawn from experience but supplied by the mind itself.
40 Example: Collies are Dogs: Analytical Judgment: The predicate is covertly contained in the subject and may be obtained by analysis of it.Synthetical judgment the predicate is not contained in its subject. “Some collies are sable and white” is an example. Sable and white is not a part of the definition of collies.Class 2: Analytical A Priori (warranted by law of non-contradiction): Since being a collie is part of the definition of a dog, we would contradict ourselves if we asserted that a collie is not a dog.Class # 3: Synthetical a posteriori (warranted by experience): The judgment: “This collie is sable and white” is warranted by the visual experience of the dog’s fur.”
41 But what is his justification for synthetic a priori? Kant writes:“But though all our knowledge begins with experience, it does not follow that it all arises out of experience. For it may well be that even our empirical knowledge is made up of what we receive through impressions and of what our faculty of knowledge (sensible impressions serving merely as the occasion) supplies from itself. If our faculty of knowledge makes any such addition, it may be that we are not in a position to distinguish it from raw material, until with long practice of attention we have become skilled in separating it.This, then, is a question which at least calls for closer examination, and does not allow of any offhand answer: whether there is any knowledge that is thus independent of experience and even of all impressions of the senses. Such knowledge is entitled a priori,and distinguished from the empirical, which has its sources a posteriori, that is, in experience.”But what is his justification for synthetic a priori?
42 Analytic vs. Synthetic Judgments: Synthetic Judgment is a proposition the predicate concept of which actually contains more information than is contained or thought in the subject concept.Therefore, the predicate concept in a synthetic judgment actaully amplifies, or adds to, what is contained in the subject concept.So, in cases that are synthetic we appeal to something beside our understanding of X (e.g., empirical experience).Analytic Judgment:The predicate concept merely explicates what is in part or in whole contained with the subject concept.Remember Hume claims that matters of fact or existence are knowable, if at all, only a a posteriori. While Kant agrees with Hume that all a posteriori (or empirical) judgment are synthetic, Kant denies that all synthetic judgments must be a posteriori. Upshot, if we accept Hume’s assumption that no synthetic judgment may be known a priori, it would follow that causal knowledge is impossible.
43 The Distinction between Analytic and Synthetic Judgments: Both rationalists and empiricists divide all judgments into two kinds:1. a priori knowledge, that is, knowledge without experience;2. a posteriori knowledge, that is, knowledge only by reference to experience.Kant accepts this distinction but add his own distinction!What is apodeictic knowledge?Descartes, Hume, & Kant believed that any judgment the truth of which is knowable a priori expresses a necessarily or universally valid truth. Kant calls such truths “apodeictic.”Apodeictic means they can be known to be necessarily true, without absolute certainty, independently of any sense experience.How is apodeictic knowledge to be understood?
44 What are Synthetic Judgments? Consider Otfried Hoffe’s definition:Synthetic judgments which ‘flow’ a priori from the pure concepts of the understanding under the conditions of the schemata and upon which all other a priori knowledge rests are principles of the pure understanding: for analytic judgments the law of non-contradiction, for synthetic judgments the axioms of intuition, the anticipations of perception, the analogies of experience (e.g., the principle of causality) and the postulates of empirical thought.
45 What is an analytic judgment? According to Hume:1. all a priori knowledge can concern nothing more than relations between ideas.2. What is distinctive about all true judgments concerning relations between ideas, is that their denial will involve a contradiction. Understood this way, their a priority is a matter of course, and their necessity and universal validity issue from the absolute necessity and universal validity of logic.
46 What is an analytic judgment? 1. In essence, Kant calls analytic those judgments Hume would say concern relation between ideas.2. Analytic judgments express nothing in the predicate of the judgment that has not already been thought in the concept of the subject. For example: “All bachelors are unmarried” will be analytic judgments. The predicate concept, “being unmarried” is already contained in the relevant subject matter: “being a bachelor.”
47 What is an analytic judgment? 1. In essence, Kant calls analytic those judgments Hume would say concern relation between ideas.2. Analytic judgments express nothing in the predicate of the judgment that has not already been thought in the concept of the subject. For example: All bachelors are unmarried will be analytic judgments. The predicate concept, “being unmarried” is already contained in the relevant subject matter: “being a bachelor.”
48 The justification for an a priori judgment is the same for relations between ideas: 3. Like Hume, Kant asserts that what is distinctive about analytic judgment is that they all wholly depend for their truth on the principle of contradiction. In other words, when true, their denial would express a contradiction.4. According to Kant, then, analytic truths are knowable a priori; and they are knowable a priori for precisely the same reasons that truth concerning relations between ideas are knowable a priori for Hume.
49 Kant’s Transcendental Idealism: In view of Prolegomena, Kant is particularly interested in investigating the possibility that metaphysics might “be able to come forth as a science.”But what qualifies as a science, is at least, to be a discipline with a subject matter capable of genuine and systematically justifiable knowledge.
50 Synthetic A Priori Judgments: Kant agreed with Hume that genuinely metaphysical claims are never merely analytic. Consequently, they must be synthetic.Kant also accepted Hume’s claim that empirical, or a posteriori, knowledge of necessary truths are impossible.Kant insisted that the truth of a metaphysical claim can only be known a priori.But here’s the problem…
51 Synthetic A Priori Judgments: For Hume, metaphysical knowledge must be impossible precisely because metaphysical claims are both necessary and synthetic.Why? For Hume, synthetic truths can be known, it at all, only a posteriori, and since necessary truths can be known only a priori, it will follow-as Hume sees things, that synthetic a priori knowledge is impossible. And since any genuinely metaphysical knowledge will, by its very nature, be a synthetic a priori judgment, it follows that metaphysical knowledge is impossible. There can be no rationally justifiable metaphysical claims or principles.
52 How is Synthetic A Priori Knowledge Possible? If Kant can successfully defend the possibility of synthetic a priori knowledge, then, whether not he goes on to establish its actuality-he will thereby have successfully undermined Hume’s general skeptical strategy. What’s Hume’s argument?No necessary and universal truth can be established a posteriori (Kant agrees here);Only analytic truths are capable of being established a priori (Kant disagrees here).
53 Critical Distinctions: Analytic Judgments:Their predicates are wholly contained in their subjects.For example:“All bachelors are unmarried.”Synthetic Judgments:Their predicates are distinct from their subjects.Add new information about the subject.For example:“All bodies are heavy.”
54 Critical Distinctions: Analytic A Priori: warranted by law of non-contradiction.Synthetic A Priori:Not only are possible but in fact serve as foundation for mathematics & natural science. Applied this synthesis to aesthetics, political philosophy, & ethics.Analytic Posteriori:is not a real possibilitySynthetic Posteriori:Warranted by experience.
55 Critical Distinctions: A Posteriori JudgmentsBased on experience;Are contingent, forever tied to the circumstances of experience.For example,“This door is red.”“The dog is wet.”A Priori Judgments (independent of experience)Based on Reason;Are Necessarily True.For example,1 + 1 = 2.
56 How is Synthetic A Priori Knowledge Possible? There are two domains of knowledge the possibility of which depends upon the existence of synthetic a priori judgments: mathematics and natural science.Kant assumes in the Prolegomena that we possess mathematical and natural scientific knowledge.Hume believed that the necessity and a priority of pure mathematics are always analytic (using Kant’s terminology). But Kant will show how this is wrong.
57 Synthetic Status of Mathematical Judgments: Their truth does not follow from logic; their truth is not ascertained by analysis of the concepts involved. Two examples:5 + 7 = 12 (judgment). The concept of the sum of seven and five “contains” nothing besides the idea of their union in a single number-the particular number itself is not part of or contained in the thought. You will not develop 12 in the concept.Concept of a Triangle:The concept of a triangle amounts to something like a figure enclosed by three sides and possessing three angles. But surely it is a universally valid geometric truth, knowable a priori, that the sum of the interior angles of a triangle is equal to the sum of two right angles (1800).
58 Kant writes:“All mathematical judgments, without exception, are synthetic. This fact though incontestably certain and in its consequence very important, has hitherto escaped the notice of those who are engaged in the analysis of human reason….”
59 Kant’s Justification for believing that math is a priori? All of mind’s objects have spatial characteristics, meaning that the mind organizes its experiences spatially.The apriority of space validates the claim of geometry to bean a priori and synthetical science because geometry is the science of space.We can think of space without objects in it but we can’t think of objects that are not in space. Thus, our experience of space is prior to, and a condition of, our experience of objects.Thus, space is not an independently existing entity but a way in which the mind organizes its experience. What the geometrician investigates is not the properties of outer objects but the modes of faculty of intuition (outer perception).
60 Kant’s Justification for believing that math is a priori Kant’s Justification for believing that math is a priori? SPACE IS A FORM OF THE MIND’S APPREHENSION OF THE WORLD:Kant writes:Geometry is a science which determines the properties of space synthetically, and yet a priori. What, then, must be our representation of space, in order that such knowledge of it may be possible? It must in its origin be intuition; for from a mere concept no propositions can obtained which go beyond the concept-as happens in geometry. Further, this intuition must be a prior, that is, it must be found in us prior to any perception of an object and must therefore by pure, not empirical, intuition. For geometrical propositions are one and all apodeictic, that is, are bound up with the consciousness of their necessity; for instance, that space has only three dimensions. Such propositions cannot be empirical or, in other words, judgment of experience , nor can they be derived from any such judgments.How, then, can there exist in the mind an outer intuition which precedes the objects themselves, and in which the concept of these objects can be determined a priori? Manifestly, not otherwise than in so far as the intuition as its seat in the subject only, as the formal character of the subject, in virtue of which, in being affected by objects, it obtains immediate representation, that is, intuition, of them; and only in so far, therefore, as it is merely the former of outer sense in general.
61 Regarding the Triangle Kant writes: Critique of Pure Reason:Suppose a philosopher be given the concept of a triangle and be left to find out, in his own way, what relation the sum of its angles bears to a right angle. He has nothing but the concept of a figure included by three straight lines and possessing three angles. However long he meditates on this concept, he will never produce anything new. He can analyze and clarify the concept of a straight line or of an angle or the number three, but he can never arrive at any properties not contained already in these concepts.Once will not merely analyze the concept of a triangle and arrive at the knowledge that the sum of the interior angles of any triangle is equal to the sum of two right angles.One must not merely rely on understanding of the concepts involves but must also appeal to “intuition.”
62 Space and Time as the A Priori Forms of Intuition: Time: Every object is presented to us as situated in time.Space: Every external object is presented to us as situated in space.No object, whether an object of inner sense or an external object (an object of outer sense) will count as presented to us except insofar as it is presented to us as situated in time and surely no external object will count as presented to us unless it is presented to us as situated in space and time (see sec. 10 of Prolegomena):Intuition is a basic cognitive faculty whereby our mind casts all of our external intuitions in the form of space, and all of our internal intuitions (memory, thought) in the form of time.
63 Space and Time as the A Priori Forms of Intuition: “Space is not an empirical concept that has to be derived from outer experience” [Critique of Pure Reason, 38].“Time is not an empirical concept that can be derived from outer experience” [Critique of Pure Reason, 46].
64 How can make this claim that space and time are a priori principles of sensibility? Let’s consider two possibilities.1. Our sensations come in a particular temporal order, the order of the sensation is not another sensation. For example, I see lightening and hear thunder-the order of the sensations is not another sensation.Problem: Our representation of relative spatial position (“above, below, to the left of, between) depend on the positions of objects in the world. Our sense organs are well designed to register such relations.2. Lorne Falkenstein understands space and time as “orders of sensations.” On this view, it would be the organization of the retina, for example, that accounted for our representing the moon as above the horizon. The orders would not be arbitrary, but grounded in the constitution of our sense organs. The benefit is that it honors Kant’s insistence that some features of sensory perception go beyond anything that is directly sensed, yet it avoids the charge that these additional features, created by the mind are simply arbitrary.The orders of our sensations are grounded in the constitution of our sense organs.
65 The Case of the Red Apple: In opposition to the Empiricists, Kant argues that cognition was possible only because the understanding combines information “spontaneously,” according to its own rules whereas the empiricists argue that the senses take in information, which then becomes “associated” into complex concepts and judgments according to the patterns in the sensory data.For example, the complex concept of an apple would be formed by the constant association of the round, shape, red color, distinctive taste, and smell of it. Constant association of these properties in sensory experience produces associations of them in the mind, the concept of an apple, the judgment “apples are red,” and so forth.In contrast, Kant believed that concepts and judgments require spontaneous combination according to the mind’s own rules. A priori concepts would be those concepts that were produced by the rules governing the mind’s combining activities, insofar as those activities were necessary conditions for the production of any concepts and judgments whatsoever. Since cognition requires concepts as well perception, these activities and the concepts they construct would be necessary for all cognition.
66 The Case of the Red Apple: As a spatio-temporal framework is necessary for sorting hallucinations from perceivings of real objects, so too is a framework of beliefs about various kinds of substances and their properties, and the causal relations among them. The forms of intuition make cognition possible by combining sensory representations into a unified system of relations among substances and their properties, causes and their effects.
67 Kant Combines Rationalism and Empiricism according to Patricia Kitcher’s “Immanuel Kant” in pg. 237. In support of Empiricism:He agrees with empiricists who deny any particular causal relation or substances can be determined a priori.Human faculty of understanding actively sought substances and causes in the sensory data. With new evidence, crude beliefs will be replaced for sophisticated ones.In support of Rationalism:They were right about the need for causes and substances, because any background system of belief adequate to distinguish objects from illusions must represent objects of cognition as particular kinds of things that causally interact in particular ways.
68 Kant’s Answers to Locke Kant’s answer to Locke is that substance is not inferred from properties. It is the principle of organization according to which we experience a thing and its properties to begin with.All of our knowledge begins with experience (and is based on sensations), but the basic categories of our experience are not learned from experience but instead are brought to experience, as a priori organizing principles.
69 But if we “constitute” our world, could we not do as we please? Could we not choose to perceive a world with more than three dimensions of space? Could we not reverse time? Could we not choose to see the world as Leibnizian monads or substantial Berkelean ideas?Kant’s answer is “No!”We do not choose the sensations that form the basic material of our experiences.Nor can we choose any alternative to three dimensions of space and irreversible one-dimensional time. Nor can there by different sets of categories, different ways of organizing, interpreting, or constituting or experiences.The categories that form the basic structures or rules of the mind are universal and necessary. There are no options, no alternatives. To prove this Kant offers us a formidable Transcendental Deduction of the Categories, showing not only that the categories are necessary for every experience but that there could not be any alternative view of the world. It is a remarkable combination of radical re-thinking and conservative support of our common sense and scientific view of the world.
70 Metaphysical Deduction of Categories: A. Kant took from Aristotle the notion of “category.” Aristotle attempt to draw up a list of different types of things which might be predicated of an individual.B. The list contained ten items: substance (e.g., human), quantities (e.g., four-foot); qualities (white or knowledge of grammar); relations (e.g., double), places (Paris), time (e.g., yesterday); positions (e.g., sitting), havings (e.g., having shoes on); doings (e.g., cutting), and sufferings (e.g., being cut).C. It is hard to know how seriously Aristotle’s scheme was meant as an ultimate classification of types of predication. Kant, at all events, rejected the list as hopelessly unsystematic.D. In its place, Kant offers his own metaphysical deduction of the categories based upon the relationship between concepts and judgments. A concept is nothing more than the power to make judgments of certain kinds. The different possible types of concept are therefore to be determined by setting out the different possible types of judgment.E. What Kant is doing that is new is that he is deriving from these classification of judgments is anew and fundamental classification of concepts:
71 Fixed Forms or Concepts: These are categories of thought which deal more specifically the way the mind unifies or synthesizes our experience. The mind achieves this unifying act by making various kinds of judgments as we engage in the act of interpreting the world of sense.:Fixed Forms or Concepts:Judgments:Categories:UniversalParticularSingularAffirmativeNegativeInfiniteCategoricalHypotheticalDisjunctiveProblematicAssertoricApodicticUnityPluralityTotalityRealityNegationLimitationSubstanceCauseInteractionPossibilityExistenceNecessityQuantityWhen we assert a judgment of quality we have in mind one or many.QualityWhen we assert a judgment of quality we make either positive or a negative statementRelationWhen we assert relation, we think of cause & effect, on the one hand, or the relation of subject & predicate on another.ModalityWhen we assert modality, we have in mind that something is possible or impossible
72 Fixed Forms or Concepts: All these ways of thinking are what constitute the act of synthesis through which the mind strive to make a consistent single world out of the manifold of sense impressions.“Manifold” refers to the data supplied to the mind through sensation. These data are given in accordance w/ the mind’s form of sensibility, space and time, & that their unification, which is necessary for experience, is brought about through the synthetic activity of the imagination guided by the understanding.:Fixed Forms or Concepts:Judgments:Categories:UniversalParticularSingularAffirmativeNegativeInfiniteCategoricalHypotheticalDisjunctiveProblematicAssertoricApodicticUnityPluralityTotalityRealityNegationLimitationSubstanceCauseInteractionPossibilityExistenceNecessityQuantityWhen we assert a judgment of quality we have in mind one or many.QualityWhen we assert a judgment of quality we make either positive or a negative statementRelationWhen we assert relation, we think of cause & effect, on the one hand, or the relation of subject & predicate on another.ModalityWhen we assert modality, we have in mind that something is possible or impossible
73 According to Aristotle, there are 10 Basic Categories: ARISTOTLE VS KANT ON CATEGORIES:According to Aristotle, there are 10 Basic Categories:Reality, Substance (e.g., human), quantity (two-footed), quality (knowledge of grammar), relation (double), place (Lothlorien), time (yesterday), posture (sitting), state (shoes on), action (reading) & passivity (being cut).These ten categories can, in turn be understood as taking the category of substance as fundamental or basic and the other nine as different ways that a substance can be modified or qualified. For example, my collie weighs 40 pounds and is sable and white.What is crucial for Aristotle’s approach to the categories is that he took them to give us real divisions in the actual world in itself as it exists “out there,” i.e., as it is in itself independent of human thought or language. For him, the categories are the broadest, real divisions of life.
74 For Kant, there are 12 categories: They are not divisions of the world as it is in itself (noumenal). Rather, they express the divisions of the world as it is appears to us as knowing subjects (phenomenal).Thus, Kant’s categories express the different ways that knowing subjects organize and classify the world of their sensory experience.A Kantian category is a broadest division of phenomenal world, the sensory world as it is experienced by us.Thus, a study of the categories does not tell us about real divisions in the world as it is in itself. Rather, it gives us insight about how we as sensing and knowing subjects must divide the world of sensory experience to make it knowable to us.
75 Self and the Unity of Experience: What makes it possible for Ann to have a unified grasp of the world is that her mind transforms the raw data given to her senses into a coherent and related set of elements. To have a knowledge of experience then there must be a unity between several operations of the mind. To have such knowledge involves, in various sequences, sensation, imagination, memory, as well as the powers of intuitive synthesis. Thus, Ann, the same self, at once senses an object remembers its characteristics, imposes upon it the forms of space and time and the category of cause and effect. All these activities must occur in her or there could be no knowledge, for if Ann only had sensations, no memory, etc., the sensible manifold could never be unified.
76 Self and the Unity of Experience: Where and what is this single subject that accomplishes this unifying activity is what Kant defines as “The Transcendental unity of apperception” is the self, that is, is "the pure, original, unchangeable consciousness which is the necessary condition of experience as such and the ultimate foundation of the synthetic unity of experience.”
77 Self and the Unity of Experience: The transcendental indicates that Ann does not experience the self directly even though such a unity, or self, is implied by her actual experience. Thus, the idea of this self is a priori as a necessary condition for the experience Ann does have of having knowledge of a unified world of nature. In the act of unifying all the elements of experience, Ann is conscious of her own unity, so that her consciousness of a unified world of experience and her own self-consciousness occur simultaneously.To be sure, her self-consciousness is affected by the same faculties that affect her perception of external objects. She brings to the knowledge of her self the same apparatus, and therefore, imposes upon herself as an object of knowledge the same lenses through which she sees everything. Just as she does not know things as they are apart from the perceptive from which she sees them, so also she does not know the nature of this transcendental unity of apperception” except as she is aware of the knowledge she has of the unity of the field of experience. What she is sure of is that a unified self is implied by any knowledge of experience.
78 TRANSCENDENTAL IDEAS OF PURE REASON AS REGULATIVE CONCEPTS: SELF, COSMOS, & GOD Produced by pure reason alone (not intuition) and prompted by experience-in the sense that we think those ideas in our attempts to achieve a coherent synthesis of all our experience, there are three regulative ideas we tend to think about, ideas that lead us beyond sense experience: Ideas of self, of cosmos, and of God.SELF IS THINKING NATURE STRIVING FOR TOTALITY:1st Idea:“the first [regulative] idea is the ‘I’ itself, viewed simply as thinking nature or soul… endeavoring to represent all determinations as existing in a single subject, all powers, so far as possible, as derived from a single fundamental power, all change as belonging to the states of one and the same permanent being, and all appearances in space as completely different from the actions of thought.” TOTALITY: In sum, our pure reason tries to synthesize various psychological activities we are aware of into a unity, & it does this by formulating the concept of the self.
79 TRANSCENDENTAL IDEAS OF PURE REASON AS REGULATIVE CONCEPTS: SELF, COSMOS, & GOD 2nd Idea Concept of the world:Pure reason tries to create a synthesis of the many events in our experience by forming the concept of the world so that…“the second regulative idea of merely speculative reason is the concept of the world in general…. The absolute totality of the series of conditions… an idea which can never be completely realized in the empirical employment of reason, but which yet serves as a rule that prescribes how we ought to proceed in dealing with such series…. The cosmological ideas are nothing but simply regulative principles, and are very far from positing… an actual totality of such series.”
80 TRANSCENDENTAL IDEAS OF PURE REASON AS REGULATIVE CONCEPTS: SELF, COSMOS, & GOD 3rd Concept of God:The third idea of pure reason, which contains a merely relative supposition of a being that is the sole and sufficient cause of all cosmological series, is the idea of God. We have not the slightest ground to assume in an absolute manner the object of this idea…. It becomes evident that the idea of such a being, like all speculative ideas, seems only to formulate the command of reason, that all connection in the world be viewed in accordance with the principles of a systematic unity-as if all such connection had its source in one single all-embracing being as the supreme and sufficient cause.”
81 TRANSCENDENTAL IDEAS OF PURE REASON AS REGULATIVE CONCEPTS: SELF, COSMOS, & GOD He criticizes earlier rationalists for making the error of treating transcendental ideas as though they were ideas about transcendent or actual beings. “There is a great difference between something given to my reason as an object absolutely, or merely as an object in the idea.”Kant’s use of these regulative ideas exemplifies his way of mediating between dogmatic rationalism and skeptical empiricism.The idea of the self, cosmos, and God cannot give us any theoretical knowledge of realities corresponding to these ideas.The function of these ideas is simply and solely regulative.4. As regulative ideas, they give us a reasonable way of dealing with the constantly recurring questions raised by metaphysics.
82 The Four Antinomies: TDCC The 4 Antinomies:1. Time2. Divisibility3. Causation4. Contingency“The point of constructing the antinomies is to exhibit the mismatch between the scope of empirical inquiry and the pretensions of pure reason.”~ Anthony Kenny, Rise of Modern Philosophy, 3:106
83 4 Antimonies show us that when we discuss the nature of the world beyond experience we can argue with equal force on opposite sides:(1) The world is limited in time and space, or it is unlimited(2) Every composite substance in the world is made up of simple parts, or that no composite thing in the world is made up simple parts since there nowhere exists in the world anything simple.(3) Besides causality in accordance with the laws of nature there is also another causality, that of freedom, or that there is no freedom since everything in the world takes place solely in accordance with the laws of nature;(4) There exists an absolute necessary being as a part of the world or as its cause, or an absolutely necessary being exists.
84 Consider Kenny’s Discussion of Kant’s Fourth Antinomy: Anthony Kenny writes:“In his fourth antinomy Kant proposes arguments for and against the existence of a necessary being, and then in a later section of the Critique he goes on to consider the concept of God’s existence into three fundamental types, and shows how arguments of every type must fail. If God is to have a place in our thought and life, he believed, it is not as an entity whose existence is established by rational proof [Ibid., 106].”
85 The Antinomies and the Limits of Reason: Antinomies: the inability of the mind to discuss to self, cosmos, or God-the nature of the world beyond experience:There is a difference for Kant between a priori or theoretical scientific knowledge and speculative metaphysics. The difference is that we can have scientific knowledge of phenomena but cannot have scientific knowledge of the noumenal realm. Our attempts to achieve a science of metaphysics is doomed to failure. Whenever we try to discuss the self, the cosmos, or God as though they were objects of experience, the inability of the mind ever to do so successfully is indicated by what Kant calls the antinomies into which we fall.
86 The Antinomies and the Limits of Reason: Since regulative ideas do not refer to any objective reality about which we can have knowledge, we must consider these ideas as the products of pure reason. As such we can’t bring to these ideas the a priori forms of time and space or the category of cause and effect since these are imposed by us only upon the sensible manifold.Science is possible because all people, having the same structure of mind will always and everywhere order the events of sense experience in the same way; that is, we all bring to the given of sense experience the same organizing faculties of understanding. But there can be no science of metaphysics because there is not the same kind of given when we consider the ideas of self, cosmos and God as when we consider “the shortest distance between two points.”What is given in metaphysics is the felt need to achieve a synthesis of the wide variety of events in experience at ever-higher levels and of discovering an ever-wider explanation of the realm of phenomena.
87 4 Antimonies show us that when we discuss the nature of the world beyond experience we can argue with equal force on opposite sides:They reflect disagreements generated by dogmatic metaphysics, disagreements based on non-sense for they are attempting to describe a reality about which they can have no sense experience;These antinomies justify saying that the world of space and time is phenomenal only and that in such a world freedom is a coherent idea. This follows because if the world were a thing-in-itself, it would have to be either finite or infinite in extent and divisibility. But these antinomies show that there can be no demonstrative proof that either alternative is true. Insofar, then, as the world is phenomenal only, we are justified in affirming moral freedom and human responsibility3. As regulative principles they help us to synthesize our experience.
88 Another Look at Antinomies: Thesis is the error of dogmatism and antithesis is the error of empiricism1. In order to dismantle a priori cosmology, Kant sets up 4 antinomies which lead to contradictory conclusions (a thesis & antithesis).2. In each antinomy the thesis states that a certain series comes to a full stop and the antithesis states that it continues forever.3. In each case Kant presents the series as a series of entities that are conditioned by something else-an effect, for instance, is in his terms ‘conditioned’ by its cause.4. In each antinomy, the thesis of the argument concludes to an unconditional absolute.5. Kant believes that both sides of each antinomy are in error: the thesis is the error of dogmatism and the antithesis is the error of empiricism.6. The point of constructing the antinomies is to exhibit the mismatch between the scope of empirical inquiry and the pretensions of pure reason.7. The thesis represents the world as smaller than thought (we can think beyond it); it antithesis represents it as larger than thought (we cannot think to the end of it). “We must match thought and world by trimming our cosmic ideas to fit empirical inquiry.” ~ Anthony Kenny, The Rise of Modern Philosophy, 3:106.
89 Thesis: The Error of Dogmatism: Antithesis: The Error of Empiricism: Kant does not want us to conclude both contradictions are true: the moral lesson is that reason has not right to talk at all about the world as a whole.Thesis: The Error of Dogmatism:Antithesis: The Error of Empiricism:.Thesis states that a certain series comes to fall stop.Thesis concludes to an unconditioned absolute.Thesis is an error of dogmatism.Thesis represents the world as smaller than thought for we can think beyond it.Antithesis states that it continues forever.Antithesis is an error of empiricism.Antithesis represents the world as larger than thought (we cannot think to the end of it).Thesis: The world has a beginning in time and is limited in space.Antithesis: The world has no beginning in time and no limits in space.
90 How Can the Antinomies be Resolved? The seemingly irreconcilable claims of the Antinomies can only be resolved by seeing them as the product of the conflict of the faculties and by recognizing the proper sphere of our knowledge in each case. In each of them, the idea of "absolute totality, which holds only as a condition of things in themselves, has been applied to appearances" (A 506/B534).
91 Results of Kant’s Analysis of the Antinomies: We can reject both claims of the first two and accept both claims of the last two, if we understand their proper domains.In the first Antinomy, the world as it appears to us is neither finite since we can always inquire about its beginning or end, nor is it infinite because finite beings like ourselves cannot cognize an infinite whole. As an empirical object, Kant argues, it is indefinitely constructible for our minds. As it is in itself, independent of the conditions of our thought, should not be identified as finite or infinite since both are categorical conditions of our thought.
92 Results of Kant’s Analysis of the Antinomies: We can reject both claims of the first two and accept both claims of the last two, if we understand their proper domains.Kant's resolution of the third Antinomy (A 445/B 473) clarifies his position on freedom. He considers the two competing hypotheses of speculative metaphysics that there are different types of causality in the world: 1) there are natural causes which are themselves governed by the laws of nature as well as uncaused causes like ourselves that can act freely, or 2) the causal laws of nature entirely govern the world including our actions. The conflict between these contrary claims can be resolved, Kant argues, by taking his critical turn and recognizing that it is impossible for any cause to be thought of as uncaused itself in the realm of space and time. But reason, in trying to understand the ground of all things, strives to unify its knowledge beyond the empirical realm. The empirical world, considered by itself, cannot provide us with ultimate reasons. So if we do not assume a first or free cause we cannot completely explain causal series in the world. So for the Third Antinomy, as for all of the Antinomies, the domain of the Thesis is the intellectual, rational, noumenal world. The domain of the Antithesis is the spatiotemporal world.
93 Consider the following comment from the Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 4:316. “Kant is enormously impressed by the discovery of these contradictions, and it is regrettable only that he does not sufficiently discuss their formal character…The only way to avoid these antinomies, in Kant’s opinion, is to adopt his own (critical) point of view and recognize that the world, that is, the object of our knowledge is a world of appearances, existing only insofar as it is it constructed; this solution enables us to dismiss both parties to the dispute in the case of the first two antinomies, and to accept the contentions of both parties in the vase of the other two. If the world exists only insofar as it is constructed, it is neither finite nor infinite but indefinitely extensible and so neither has nor lacks a limit in space and time. Equally, if the world is phenomenal we have at least the idea of a world that is not phenomenal; and natural causality can apply without restriction to the first without precluding the application of a different type of causality to the second. This is admittedly only an empty hypothesis so far as theoretical reason is concerned, but Kant argues that it can be converted into something more satisfactory if we take account of the activities of practical (moral) reason.”
94 What about God?In preface to Critique of Pure Reason, one reason why he is limiting knowledge is to make room for faith. He argues that the proper grounds for belief in God and in afterlife are not to be derived from proofs of metaphysics, but faith. Thus, belief in God and salvation depend on one’s hopes for Divine justice.~ Patricia Kitcher, “Immanuel Kant” in Blackwell Companion to Modern Philosophy, 240.
95 Proofs of God’s Existence: Kant rejects traditional proofs of God’s existence for we cannot employ the a priori categories of the mind in trying to describe realities beyond sense experience.But just as we cannot demonstrate God’s existence, neither can we demonstrate that God does not exist. By pure reason alone we can neither prove nor disprove God’s existence.
96 Argument against Ontological Argument: Argument against ontological proof is that it is all a verbal exercise, for the essence of this proof is the assertion that since we have the idea of a most perfect being, it would be contradictory to say that such a being does not exist.Kant argues that this line of reasoning is “taken from judgments, not from things and their existence,” that the idea of God is made to have the predicate of existence by simply fashioning the concept in such a way that existence is made to be included in the idea of a perfect being.This argument nowhere indicates why it is necessary to have the subject, God.Kant states, “All the trouble and labour bestowed on the famous ontological or cartesian proof of the existence of a supreme Being from concepts alone is trouble and labour wasted. A man might as well expect to become richer in knowledge by the aid of mere ideas as a merchant to increase his wealth by adding some noughts to his cash account.”
97 Kant’s Argument against Ontological Argument: Argument against ontological proof is that it is all a verbal exercise, for the essence of this proof is the assertion that since we have the idea of a most perfect being, it would be contradictory to say that such a being does not exist.Kant argues that this line of reasoning is “taken from judgments, not from things and their existence,” that the idea of God is made to have the predicate of existence by simply fashioning the concept in such a way that existence is made to be included in the idea of a perfect being.This argument nowhere indicates why it is necessary to have the subject, God.Kant states, “All the trouble and labour bestowed on the famous ontological or cartesian proof of the existence of a supreme Being from concepts alone is trouble and labour wasted. A man might as well expect to become richer in knowledge by the aid of mere ideas as a merchant to increase his wealth by adding some noughts to his cash account.”
98 Kant’s Argument against Cosmological Proof: The cosmological proof “takes its stand on experience”:“I exist, therefore, absolutely necessary being exists” on the assumption that if anything exists an absolutely necessary being must also exists.Kant’s problem with this argument is that while it begins with experience, it moves beyond experience.Though it is legitimate to infer a cause for each event within the realm of experience, “the principle of causality has no meaning and no criterion for its application save only in the sensible world.”In essence, Kant states that we cannot employ the a priori categories of the mind in trying describe realities beyond sense experience.Therefore, the cosmological argument cannot secularly lead us to a first cause of all things. The most we can infer from our experience of things is a regulative idea of God. Whether there actually is such a being, a ground of all contingent things, raises the same question posted by the ontological argument, namely, whether we can successfully bridge the gap between our idea of a perfect being and demonstrative proof of its existence.
99 Kant’s Argument against Teleological Proof: The Teleological Proof:“In the world we everywhere find clear signs of an order in accordance with a determinate purpose…. The diverse things could not themselves have cooperated, by so great a combination of diverse means, to the fulfillment of determinate final purposes, had they not been chosen and designed for these purposes of an ordering rational principles in conformity with underlying ideas.”Kant replies by saying that it may very well be that of our experience of order that the material stuff of the world could not exist without an orderer.The most this argument from design can prove, says Kant, “is an architect of this world who is always very hampered by the adaptability of the material in which he works, not a creator of the world to whose idea everything is subject.”To prove the existence of a creator leads us back to the cosmological argument with its causality, but since we cannot use the category of causality beyond the things in experience, we are left simply with an idea of a first cause or creator, and this takes us back to the ontological argument, with its deficiencies.
100 Kant’s Argument against Teleological Proof: Kant’s conclusion against these traditional arguments for God’s existence is that we cannot use transcendental ideas or theoretical principles, which have no application beyond the field of sense experience, to demonstrate the existence of God.It also follows that just as we cannot demonstrate God’s existence, Kant argues that neither can we demonstrate that God does not exist.Pure reason alone can neither prove nor disprove God’s existence.If therefore, the existence of God cannot be effectively dealt with by the theoretical reason, which Kant has gone to such lengths to show has relevance only in the realm of sense experience, some other aspect of revelation must be considered as the source of the idea of God.
101 Summary of Kant’s Project: ~ W. T Summary of Kant’s Project: ~ W. T. Jones, History of Western Philosophy, Kant to Wittgenstein and Sartre, pg1. Make a new analysis of the nature of knowledge that would (a) show its proper limitations (as Empiricists did) but also (b) validate knowledge within its own proper field (as empiricists failed to do).2. Central feature is the Galileo factor: observe and demonstrate-which none of Kant’s predecessors had known how to combine effectively.3. Main reason for success was his grasp of the role of experiment, namely, that the answers one gets depends on the questions one asks. The result of Kant’s recognition of the mind’s role as a “questioner” of nature was a wholly new conception of the nature of the self and its objects.
102 Summary of Kant’s Project: ~ W. T Summary of Kant’s Project: ~ W. T. Jones, History of Western Philosophy, Kant to Wittgenstein and Sartre, pgCentral points:1. Self and not-self are not metaphysically distinct “ultimates” but “constructs” within the field of experience.2. Experience is a spatiotemporal manifold in which distinctions are made, including the distinction between self and not-self.3. Natural sciences are limited to describing and generalizing about this spatiotemporal manifold and the various ‘objects’ distinguished within it, including the self (science of psychology) and not-self (physics, chemistry, and so on).
103 Summary of Kant’s Project: ~ W. T Summary of Kant’s Project: ~ W. T. Jones, History of Western Philosophy, Kant to Wittgenstein and Sartre, pg4. Experience-the spatiotemporal manifold-is dependent on “transcendental conditions. Because they are “transcendental,” these conditions are not in experience (in the sense that red and blue, hot and cold, sweet and sour, are in experience). Despite Hume’s failure to find them, there is no evidence for denying their existence. Hume was simply looking for the wrong things in the wrong place.5. Those these transcendental conditions are not in experience, and hence cannot be objects of scientific cognition, we know that they exist, for they are the necessary conditions of experience. We can argue what is known in experience to what must be true for there to be this knowledge in experience.
104 Summary of Kant’s Project: ~ W. T Summary of Kant’s Project: ~ W. T. Jones, History of Western Philosophy, Kant to Wittgenstein and Sartre, pg6. These transcendental questions, which are nothing but the basic types of questions the mind asks of nature, validate the sciences in their own field and at the same time limit them to this field.7. Since ‘God, freedom and immortality’ fall outside this field, the sciences can say nothing one way or the other about them.8. It follows that God and the free immortal self are neither substantival nor causally efficacious, for substance and causality are concepts relevant only within the experiential field.9. Nevertheless, God and the free immortal self are real, for their reality is guaranteed by the facts of moral experience.
106 “Kant’s Philosophical Development” from Hoffding, History of Modern Philosophy, 2:41-9 Kant observes that the first step in philosophy is “always dogmatic.” Hoffding observes that nowhere does Kant appear to be a thorough-going dogmatist (pg. 40)., his first period of scholarship, is a dissatisfaction with previous philosophical systems and a demand that analysis must precede construction of a philosophy., his second period of scholarship, is primarily an inquiry into the possibility of a transition from analysis to construction.
107 Kant’s Philosophical Development from Hoffding, History of Modern Philosophy, 2:41-9: First Period in Kant’s Development: ::First period of scholarship reflects his dissatisfaction with existing philosophical systems and his attempt to find means to erect a new and more thorough but less imposing structure.“Metaphysic for Kant became a doctrine of the limits of knowledge and began to speak of a critique of reason itself (pg. 41).Kant extends Newton’s demand that demonstrable causes ve assigned to all phenemena.The wildest hypothesis is preferable to an appeal to the supernatural (pg. 42).
108 1755-69: First Period in Kant’s Development Kant’s Philosophical Development from Hoffding, History of Modern Philosophy, 2:41-9: First Period in Kant’s DevelopmentOne central reason why previous philosophies were dissatisfactory and imperfect to Kant:They operated with incomplete concepts by assuming that we must construct philosophy just like we do in mathematics. Thus, they too quickly moved from analysis to construction (pg. 43). Hume’s skepticism awaked Kant from his uncritical acceptance of Leibnizian metaphysics.For example, Kant refers to the concept of “spirit” by Descartes and Leibniz in their “spiritualistic psychology”.Another example is the “problem of causality.” How can the causal concept be valid if itself is incomprehensible (Hume sees the problem insoluble… yet we claim it as a fact).In sum, Kant is concerned with “transference of the problem from the objective or metaphysical form to the subjective or epistemological form. This transference followed naturally from Kant’s increasing conviction that analysis must precede construction” (pg. 45).
109 Consider this account by Hoffding: “ Since the analysis of a concept so important for exact science as the causal concept presented a problem which Kant found himself unable to solve, it is no wonder that this general tone of mind towards the end of the fruitful years , which produced no less than five important treatises, was distinctly sceptical. He appeals ironically to the rational philosophers whose numbers increase daily, and begs them to solve for him the simple question which had brought him to a halt. From this frame of mind, sprang a few years later, the ‘To no other period of Kant’s life does the expression ‘awakening from dogmatic slumbers’ apply so well as to this. He himself afterwards defined dogmatism as ‘the presumption that we may follow the time-honoured method of constructing a system of pure metaphysic out of principles that rest upon mere conceptions, without first asking in what way has reason come into possession of them, and by what right it employs them’ (“Critique of Pure reason,” 2nd edition, pg. 35) [Ibid., 45].
110 2nd Period in Kant’s development (1769-81): An inquiry into the possibility of a transition from analysis to construction. The turning point was in 1769 and it consisted of the following:“I found that many of the axioms which we have regarded as object are, as a matter of fact, subjective: that is, they express the conditions under which alone we are able to apprehend or understand the object” [Ibid., 45].
111 2nd Period in Kant’s development (1769-81): Hoffding writes:He has himself compared the discovery here made with that of Copernicus. As it is due to our position on the earth that the heavenly bodies appear to move round us, so it is owing to the nature of our senses that we perceive things in space and time. What Newton called absolute space and absolute time are only schemata or forms which we construct when we take account of how we perceive things. The laws of space and time are the laws of our sensibility. Hence everything which experience shows us must be subject to these laws (for otherwise they could not be perceived by the senses), and we now understand how it is that applied mathematics can law down a priori laws of phenomena. But since we perceive everything according to the forms of our perceptive faculty, the senses can only show us phenomena, not things in themselves (noumena) [Ibid., 46].
112 2nd Period in Kant’s development (1769-81): He became aware of some great difficulties that resulted from his conclusions (Ibid., 46-7):How can concepts of the understanding, which we form by means of the activity of our thought, be valid of things which are entirely independent of us?Since these concepts (e.g., cause, substance, possibility, reality, and necessity) are framed by us, they cannot be mere products of things.If they are only the results of experience, they cannot serve to establish axioms which claim to be valid apart from any foundation in experience.
113 2nd Period of Kant’s Philosophical Development: He came to the conclusion that we operate with concepts which express our efforts to bind together phenomena in different ways under different forms; he came to the concept of synthesis. The concept of synthesis is found in both perception and understanding.Hoffding writes:…when, and only when, phenomena admit of being united in the ways specified in our categories which express the forms of our understanding, are we able to understand. Synthetic unity is the condition of all understanding as well as of all sensuous perception. Hence we are able by means of the categories to anticipate experience. The Copernican principle has now been applied in all spheres; the impossibility of knowing noumena, things-in-themselves, is, however, the unavoidable conclusion….Kant’s idea of synthesis as the fundamental form of activity of consciousness [Ibid., 47-8].
114 Situating Kant: Galileo’s dictum: “The book of nature is written in the language of mathematics.” The Scientific Revolution pressed certain philosophical questions:For example, “Why should physical quantities, force, mass, and acceleration be related to each other according to a precise mathematical formula?”How do mathematical equations precisely capture real relations among physical quantities?Epistemologically, how could we ever know that all bodies obey Newton’s three laws of motion?
115 Situating Kant: Galileo’s dictum: “The book of nature is written in the language of mathematics.” Where do the “eternal truths”, i.e., First principles of logic” come from and why are they valid?Descartes argues that God made them true and they were implanted in each human mind.Leibniz claimed they were self-evidently true.In contrast, Hume claimed that there is no reason to accept such claims (e.g., cause and effect); they were popular opinions accepted simply because they were widely held. In fact, at the end of Inquiry Concerning Human Knowledge, Hume states that any book of metaphysics, indeed any book at all that was neither mathematics, nor based firmly on experiment and evidences-should be burned!
116 Situating Kant: Galileo’s dictum: “The book of nature is written in the language of mathematics.” Given this background, Kant addressed three central questions (Critique of Pure Reason, B  15-18):1. How is mathematics possible?2. How is natural science possible?3. How is metaphysics possible (as a science?):Kant tried to show that we are justified in accepting the claims of math, science, and metaphysics. But from Hume he recognized that universal and necessary claims in math, science, or metaphysics could not be justified by appeal to empirical evidence for sensory experience could only tell us what had been the case.But Kant also rejected the claim that claims could be justified by appealing to definitions. Since sensory evidence is not adequate to justify universal and necessary claims and rationalists assumed a “lazy hypothesis”, namely, key concepts and logical principles were innate, having been divinely implanted in the human mind to harmonize perfectly with the laws chosen by God to govern the universe, Kant describes his project this way:
117 Situating Kant: Galileo’s dictum: “The book of nature is written in the language of mathematics.” Kant writes:There is no doubt that all our cognition begins with experience… But even though all our cognition commences with experience, nevertheless, it does not for that reason all originate from experience. For it might well be that our empirical cognition itself is a composition of what we receive through impressions and of what our own cognitive faculties give up out of themselves (merely induced by sensory impressions)… (B 1).Like Copernicus was able to make sense of celestial phenomena only be changing perspective, by considering whether our knowledge conformed to objects, we should explore the possibility that the objects of our knowledge conform to our cognition (B. xvii).
118 An Embarrassing Situation by mid 18th Century: Descartes aim had been to put new physics on a firm philosophical foundation by providing ph into physical inquiry that could be carried out undisturbed by theological scruples and at the same time excluding mechanism from the realm of values (which Hobbes had fialed to do). Descartes believed that he accomplished this by dividing reality into two metaphysically distinct substances: matter and mind.Problem: It led to paradoxical solutions (you are nothing but a mind) demolishing the intellectual basis for physical theory.
119 An Embarrassing Situation by mid 18th Century: Continental Rationalists pressed Descartes’ rationalistic bias to its logical conclusion. They aimed at certainty because they had the idea that mathematical knowledge is certain. In fact, to them mathematics is the ideal of all knowledge.Problem:Hume pointed out that they failed to see that indubitable knowledge so obtained consisted of implicatory relations holding among propositions. To obtain a knowledge of matters of fact they needed perception, but they had written off perception as mere confused thinking, that is, no more than degenerate conception. Hence their theories remained only speculation, incapable of being verified or refuted [W.T. Jones, History of Philosophy, Kant, 16].
120 Kant’s View of Scientific Method: Kant believed that the Cartesian compromise had failed because Descartes had misunderstood the nature of scientific method-it involves both an empirical factor and a rational factor. Descartes’ followers had alternatively emphasized each of these factors, with the disastrous results we have seen. None understood how the two factors combine in cognition; none succeeded in giving an intelligible account of knowledge.Why not Kant asks, do what a scientists does when one of hypotheses breaks down? Why not try another hypothesis?Kant’s Hypothesis: Like Copernicus who put the sun at the center of the system, let’s look at things differently:Instead of the mind agreeing with the object, the mind’s object must agree with the mind.
121 David Hume: Wedge between Reason and Nature: David Hume also asserted that there is no necessary connection among matters of fact. In fact, Hume regarded reason was merely an instrument for detecting relations among ideas; reason can tell us nothing about the world. He believed that we do experience nature-the real world-as ordered. But there is no evidence that the order we find there is necessary: there is no rationale in nature to which the rational mind conforms. Hume drove a wedge between reason and nature. In doing so, he opened the way for a shift in beliefs and values that opened up the door for others to say (perhaps to his horror if he was alive) that “if you can’t explain anything by reasoning, the it is useless to reason.”
122 Situating Kant:Kant’s philosophy represents both the intellectual climax and transformation of the European Enlightenment:Sapere aude! Have the courage to use your own understanding! This slogan of the age is taken up by Kant and applied universally!Enlightenment was a (a) process of eliminating errors and prejudices by the decision to think independently of errors and prejudices prompted by the decision to think independently, (b) the gradual transcendence of particular interests, and (c) progressive liberation of “universal human reason.”
123 Situating Kant:For Kant the Enlightenment led him to the critique of all dogmatic philosophy and to the discovery of the ultimate foundation of reason: The principle of reason lies in autonomy: freedom as self-legislation. At the same time, Kant rejected untainted optimism which had already been shaken by Rousseau’s First Discourse and the earthquake in Lisbon (1755). Thus, proceeding from specifically philosophical problems, Kant advances not only to the origins but also the limits of pure reason, theoretical as well as practical.Key concepts of Kantian philosophy: critique, reason, and freedom, are decisive catchwords of the ‘age of the French Revolution (roughly ).
124 Situating Kant:Kant’s idea of a priori synthesis led him beyond [ASP]:atomistic psychology which underlay empiricism;spiritualistic psychology from which most idealistic systems had started.psychology of the Enlightenment (which restricted itself to that which is clearly conscious an comprehensible by the understanding). For Kant, consciousness may work blindly and instinctively, as a hidden art of our innermost nature.Kant’s idea of a priori synthesis also placed him in opposition to Empiricism:Why? Empiricists attempt to explain the unity of the mind as nothing more than the result of a “manifold of impressions.” For Kant, life cannot be explained by external influences only;Kant’s idea also led him to claim that there is a limit to science [knowledge]:Also led him to claim that there is a limit to science; our knowledge cannot lead us farther back than the fundamental form and fundamental law of intellectual life as it is appears in experience.
125 Situating Kant:The first critique should be names more exactly as the “Critique of Pure Speculative Reason.”Since “metaphysics” by definition is beyond all experience, metaphysics as a discipline has become the battlefield of intrinsic endless controversies.Rationalistic metaphysics (Descartes, Spinoza, Malebranche, and Leibniz; Wolff) predominated his time. Wolff is who Kant specifically had in mind.Wolff believed experience as a genuine source of knowledge but believes that we can discern something about reality by pure reason (thought). Kant considered rationalists like to be dogmatic and despotic because they force certain fundamental assumptions (e.g., soul is of a simple nature and immortal or that the world has a beginning and God exists without a preliminary critique of reason).
126 Situating Kant:On the other hand, we also have skeptics who in “technical… ignorance” undermine “the foundations of all knowledge” and make “short work with all metaphysics.Kant sees in John Locke and attempt to end all controversies by means of “physiology” (literally: science of nature) “of the human understanding”.Locke rejects Descartes’ doctrine of innate ideas and principles, stands for empiricism, which ultimately traces all knowledge to internal or external experience.We also have empiricism which denies that knowledge has foundations completely free from experience (Hume).
127 Situating Kant:So, in view of dogmatists, skeptics, and empiricists, Kant seeks to liberate metaphysics from its muddled situation: The Critique of Pure Reason.The Critique of Pure Reason is the self-examination and self-justification of reason independent of experience.
128 Situating Kant: Otfried Hoffe writes: Locke derived the concepts of cause and effect from experience and still ventured forth with knowledge above and beyond experience. Kant views this as ‘enthusiasm: fundamental presuppositions of experience such as the principle of causality (“All changes occur according to the principle of cause and effect”) are neither due to experience nor make knowledge above and beyond experience possible. The basic presuppositions do not stem, though, as Hume believes, from (psychological) habit… They are universally valid, so that Kant ultimately in contrast to skepticism deems objective knowledge possible. With the demonstration of conditions of experience themselves free of experience and hence universally valid, Kant shows that metaphysics is possible-but in contrast to rationalism only as a theory of experience, not as a science transcending the sphere of experience, and in distinction to empiricism not as an empirical but rather as a transcendental thoery of experience [Ibid., 34-5].
129 Situating Kant:Kant not only wants to guide metaphysics into a “secure path of science, but progress is possible only if one proceeds in accord with plans and goals and if representatives of the field are agreed regarding their procedures. Unfortunately, a universally recognized method is lacking; despite the work of 2,000 years, metaphysics hence still cannot expect progress. So, Kant wants to provide the missing method [Ibid., 35-6].
130 Situating Kant: Otfried Hoffe writes: In the course of its self-examination, reason dismisses rationalism because reality cannot be known by mere thought. But reason also rejects empiricism. Kant admits that all knowledge begins with experience, but it does not follow, as empiricisms assumes, that knowledge originates solely in experience. On the contrary, even empirical knowledge proves impossible without sources independent of experience [Immanuel Kant, 34].
131 Consequences of Kant’s Ideas: 1. Kant’s limitation of knowledge rules out virtually all traditional metaphysics, which contains two parts:a. General metaphysics or ontology (which is concerned with the universal properties of things (Aristotle’s science of being qua being), andb. Special metaphysics, which encompasses the disciplines of rational psychology (the soul), rational cosmology (the world), and rational theology (God).2. Although the limitation of knowledge to objects of possible experience suffices to rule out both branches of metaphysics, Kant devotes a large portion of the Critique, to exposing the ‘transcendental illusion’ which supposedly underlies the latter. Since this illusion is rooted in the very nature of human reason, it cannot be eliminated; through Kant contends that it is possible to avoid being deceived by it. In fact, the therapeutic function of the Critique is to provide the tool (transcendental idealism) for avoiding such deception.
132 Kant and Locke:1. Kant agrees with Locke that we have no innate knowledge, that is, no knowledge of any particular propositions implanted in us by God or nature prior to the commencement of our individual experience. But experience is the product of external objects affecting our sensibility and of the operations of our cognitive faculties in response to this affect, and Kant’s claim is that we can have “pure” a priori cognition of the contributions themselves, rather than of the effect of external objects on us in experience.
133 Kant and Leibniz:Leibniz held the view that space and time to be systems of relations, conceptual constructs based on non-relational properties inhering in the things we think of as spatiotemporally related.Kant responds by saying that space and time are not inherent in things as they are in themselves, but are rather only forms of our sensibility, hence conditions under which objects of experience can be given at all and the fundamental principle of their representation and individuation. Only in this way can we adequately account for the necessary manifestation of space and time throughout all expeirence as single but infinite magnitdues.
134 Criticisms and Reactions:, From W. T. Jones, History of Western Philosophy,Romanticism: Romanticism, a very complex phenomenon, was, in part, a reaction against the Enlightenment, in particular, against its conception of knowledge. To the romantic mind, the distinction that reason makes are artificial, imposed, and man-made; they divide, and in dividing destroy, the living whole of reality-”We murder to dissect.” How, then are we to get in touch with the real? By divesting ourselves, insofar as we can, of the whole apparatus of learning and scholarship and by becoming like children or simply, uneducated men; by attending to nature rather than the works of man; by becoming passive and letting nature work on us; by contemplation and communion, rather than by ratiocination and scientific method (e.g., Wordsworth and Keats. They were impressed by the largeness of reality, an immensity that baffled the methods of science and that made the whole human enterprise, on which the preceding age had set such store, petty, and tribal.Two cardinal theses: They rejected the idea that man is unique from all the rest of nature because he alone possesses reason. Because the romantics downgraded reason, they were disposed to think of man as part of nature, as dependent on nature not only for bodily sustenance but also for his highest thoughts and noblest aspiration.Romantics disliked sharp distinctions of any kind: They rejected the Enlightenment view of the universe as made up of large number of separate entities (selves, things) and viewed the universe as one continuous living and dynamic being (e.g., Goeth’s Faust).
135 Criticisms and Reactions: From Anthony Kenny’s, The Rise of Modern Philosophy, 3:163.Fichte argued that there was a radical inconsistency in the Critique of Pure Reason. How could it simultaneously be truth that our experience was caused by things in themselves and that the concept of cause could only be applied within the sphere of phenomena? The way to avoid this contradiction, Fichte claimed, was to abandon the idea of an unknown, mind-independent cause of phenomena, and to accept wholeheartedly the idealist position that the world of experience is the creation of a thinking subject.