Kant essay on history

Kant and Religion This article does not present a full biography of Kant. But five matters should be briefly addressed as background for discussing his philosophical theology: His parents followed the Pietist movement in German Lutheranism, as he was brought up to do. Pietism stressed studying the scriptures as a basis for personal devotion, lay governance of the church, the conscientious practice of Christian ethics, religious education emphasizing the development and exercising of values, and preaching designed to inculcate and promote piety in its adherents.

Kant essay on history

Then, when all the Rationalists, like DescartesSpinozaand Leibnizappealed to self-evidence and all came up with radically different theories, it should have become clear that this was not a good enough procedure to adjudicate the conflicting claims.

Kant does not directly pose the Problem of First Principles, and the form of his approach tends to obscure it. The "Analytic," about secure metaphysics, is divided into the "Analytic of Concepts" and the "Analytic of Principles.

Since it is not raised at all, one is left with the impression that it has somehow, along the way, actually already been dealt with. The Rationalists never worried too much about that. For Descartes, any notion that could be conceived "clearly and distinctly" could be used without hesitation or doubt, a procedure familiar and unobjectionable in mathematics.

It was the Empiricists who started demanding certificates of authenticity, since they wanted to trace all "ideas" back to experience. Thus, Kant begins, like Hume, asking about the legitimacy of concepts. However, the traditional Problem has already insensibly been brought up; for in his critique of the concept of cause and effect, Hume did question the principle of causality, a proposition, and the way in which he expressed the defect of such a principle uncovered a point to Kant, which he dealt with back in the Introduction to the Critique, not in the "Transcendental Logic" at all.

Hume had decided that the lack of certainty for cause and effect was because of the nature of the relationship of the two events, or of the subject and the predicate, in a proposition. In An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding, Hume made a distinction about how subject and predicate could be related: All the objects of human reason or enquiry may naturally be divided into two kinds, to wit, Relations of Ideas, and Matters of Fact.

Of the first kind are the sciences of Geometry, Algebra, and Arithmetic; and in short, every affirmation which is either intuitively or demonstratively certain [note: That the square of the hypothenuse is equal to the square of the two sides, is a proposition which expresses a relation between these figures.

That three times five is equal to the half of thirty, expresses a relation between these numbers. Propositions of this kind are discoverable by the mere operation of thought, without dependence on what is anywhere existent in the universe.

Though there never were a circle or triangle in nature, the truths demonstrated by Euclid would for ever retain their certainty and evidence. Matters of fact, which are the second objects of human reason, are not ascertained in the same manner; nor is our evidence of their truth, however great, of a like nature with the foregoing.

The contrary of every matter of fact is still possible; because it can never imply a contradiction, and is conceived by the mind with the same facility and distinctness, as if ever so conformable to reality. That the sun will not rise to-morrow is no less intelligible a proposition, and implies no more contradiction than the affirmation, that it will rise.

We should in vain, therefore, attempt to demonstrate its falsehood. Were it demonstratively false, it would imply a contradiction, and could never be distinctly conceived by the mind. The first now would seem properly more a matter of embarrassment than anything else.

Whatever Hume expected from intuition or demonstration, it would be hard to find a mathematician today who would agree that "the truths demonstrated by Euclid would for ever retain their certainty and evidence. The second paragraph, however, redeems the impression by giving us a logical criterion to distinguish between truths that are "relations of ideas" and those that are "matters of fact": A matter of fact can be denied without contradiction.

This was the immediate inspiration to Kant, who can have asked himself how something "demonstratively false" would "imply a contradiction. On the other hand, a proposition that cannot be denied without contradiction must contain something in the predicate that is already in the subject, so that the item does turn up posited in the subject but negated in the predicate of the denial.

This struck Kant as important enough that, like Hume, he founded a whole critique on it, and also produced some more convenient and expressive terminology. Propositions true by "relations of ideas" are now analytic "taking apart"while propositions not so founded are synthetic "putting together".

Kant essay on history

Kant did not see that the predicates of the axioms of geometry contained any meaning already expressed in the subjects. They could be denied without contradiction.

Geometry would thus not have an intuitive self-evidence or demonstrative certainty that Hume claimed for it. Kant still thought that Euclid, indeed, would have certainty, but the ground of certainty would have to located elsewhere.

Immanuel Kant, 1724-1804

Nevertheless, Kant is rarely credited, and Hume rarely faulted, for their views of the logic of the axioms of geometry. If the axioms of Euclid can be denied without contradiction, this means that systems of non-Euclidean geometry are logically possible and can be constructed without contradiction.

But it is not uncommon to see the claim that Kant actually denied this, and it is Kant, not Hume, who is typically belabored for implicitly prohibiting the development of non-Euclidean systems.

This curious and reprehensible turn is considered in detail elsewhere. Kant, as it happens, also did not see how arithmetic could be analytic.

Kant must have missed something.

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Hope for demonstrating the analytic nature of arithmetic came with the development of propositional logic, since a proposition like "P or not P" clearly cannot be denied without contradiction, but it is not in a subject-predicate form. In their Principia MathematicaRussell and Whitehead and, in the Tractatus, Wittgenstein thought that they could indeed derive arithmetic from logic.

Their demonstrations, however, were flawed, and it turned out that substantive axioms were necessary, just like in geometry.The Metaphysics of Morals is Kant's final major work in moral philosophy.

Kant essay on history

In it, he presents the basic concepts and principles of right and virtue and the system of duties of human beings as such.

Meaning and the Problem of Universals, A Kant-Friesian Approach. One of the most durable and intractable issues in the history of philosophy has been the problem of arteensevilla.comy related to this, and a major subject of debate in 20th century philosophy, has been the problem of the nature of the meaning..

The problem of universals goes back to Plato and Aristotle. Immanuel Kant, The greatest member of the idealist school of German philosophy, Immanuel Kant was born at Königsberg, where he spent his .

September In high school I decided I was going to study philosophy in college. I had several motives, some more honorable than others. One of the less honorable was to shock people.

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Summary. In this essay, Kant proposed a peace program to be implemented by arteensevilla.com "Preliminary Articles" described these steps that should be taken immediately, or with all deliberate speed: "No secret treaty of peace shall be held valid in which there is tacitly reserved matter for a future war" "No independent states, large or .

Published: Mon, 5 Dec Immanuel Kant, one of the most influential philosophers in the history of Western philosophy, in his famous work Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals discusses the idea of goodwill and how it can be attained though duty.

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