Books
Paul Strathern

Kant: Philosophy in an Hour

Medionhas quoted4 months ago
When we come to metaphysics, however, the opposite is true. Metaphysics has nothing to do with experience (as it is “beyond physics”). This means we cannot apply “categories” such as quantity and quality to metaphysics, because these are the framework of our knowledge of experience. Thus metaphysics excludes itself from the realm of synthetic a priori judgments and has no scientific basis. So if we take a metaphysical concept, such as God, we cannot make any scientific (or verifiable) statement about him, because any categories we might apply are relevant only to experience. Thus to talk of the existence (or nonexistence) of God is to misapply the categories.
Medionhas quoted4 months ago
Kant was searching for nothing less than the fundamental moral law. But surely it was impossible to discover such a law that would please everyone? From Christians to Buddhists, from liberals to Prussians – all believing in the same fundamental good? Kant believed it was possible to discover a basic law; but he did so by side-stepping what most would consider to be the main question. Good and evil were not his concern here. He was not seeking to discover some essence of all the different interpretations of these basic moral concepts. Kant stressed that he was seeking the grounds of morality rather than its content. As with pure reason, so with practical reason: what was needed was a set of a priori principles like the categories.
Medionhas quoted4 months ago
the other hand, Kant’s argument that we can never know the real world carries considerable weight. All the things we perceive are only phenomena. The thing-in-itself (the nuomena) which supports or gives rise to these phenomena remains forever unknowable. And there is no reason why it should resemble in any way our perceptions. The phenomena are perceived by way of our categories, which have nothing whatsoever to do with the thing-in-itself. This remains beyond quality, quantity, relation, and the like.
Medionhas quoted4 months ago
Kant explained that there are various “categories” (as he called them) which we conceive of by means of our understanding working independently of experience. These categories include such things as quality, quantity, and relation. These too are like irremovable spectacles. We cannot see the world in any other way than in terms of quality, quantity, and so forth. But through these irremovable spectacles we can see only the phenomena of the world – we can never perceive the actual nuomena, the true reality that supports or gives rise to these phenomena.
Medionhas quoted4 months ago
Kant insisted that although we cannot prove the world has a purpose, we must look upon it “as if” it has a purpose. Kant didn’t deny the evil, ugly, and apparently purposeless aspects of the world, but he thought they counted for a lot less than their more uplifting opposites. In the next century Schopenhauer was to take precisely the opposite point of view – with perhaps more justification. In the end, neither the optimistic nor the pessimistic point of view can in any way be endorsed by proof, and remain ultimately a matter of temperament.
Medionhas quoted4 months ago
We may be gratified when we perform an act of virtue, but Kant was unable to comprehend “how a mere thought containing nothing sensuous can produce a sensation of pleasure or displeasure.” Such could only have been the expression of a mind utterly withdrawn from the emotions. (Even the driest of mathematicians acknowledge their pleasure on arriving at a difficult solution.)
Medionhas quoted4 months ago
In the manner of all persnickety domestic tyrants
Medionhas quoted4 months ago
Kant’s categorical imperative states: “Act only in accord with a principle which you would at the same time will to be a universal law.”
Ana Jungichas quoted8 months ago
pace and time are subjective
Ana Jungichas quoted8 months ago
ut he denied that all knowledge was derived from experience.
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