John Hume And Kants Theory Of Morality

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John Hume And Kants Theory Of Morality

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Causality: 2. Causality in the Mind: Hume and Kant

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In the proposition, "God is almighty", the copula "is" does not add a new predicate; it only unites a predicate to a subject. To take God with all its predicates and say that "God is" is equivalent to "God exists" or that "There is a God" is to jump to a conclusion as no new predicate is being attached to God. The content of both subject and predicate is one and the same.

According to Kant then, existence is not really a predicate. Therefore, there is really no connection between the idea of God and God's appearance or disappearance. No statement about God whatsoever may establish God's existence. Kant makes a distinction between "in intellectus" in mind and "in re" in reality or in fact so that questions of being are a priori and questions of existence are resolved a posteriori. The cosmological proof considers the concept of an absolutely necessary Being and concludes that it has the most reality.

In this way, the cosmological proof is merely the converse of the ontological proof. Yet the cosmological proof purports to start from sense experience. It says, "If anything exists in the cosmos, then there must be an absolutely necessary Being. That is the concept of a Supreme Being who has maximum reality. Only such a supremely real being would be necessary and independently existent, but, according to Kant, this is the Ontological Proof again, which was asserted a priori without sense experience. Summarizing the cosmological argument further, it may be stated as follows: "Contingent things exist—at least I exist; and as they are not self-caused, nor capable of explanation as an infinite series, it is requisite to infer that a necessary being, on whom they depend, exists.

Seeing that all things issue from him, he is the most necessary of beings, for only a being who is self-dependent, who possesses all the conditions of reality within himself, could be the origin of contingent things. And such a being is God. Kant argues that this proof is invalid for three chief reasons. First, it makes use of a category, namely, Cause. And, as has been already pointed out, it is not possible to apply this, or any other, category except to the matter given by sense under the general conditions of space and time.

If, then, we employ it in relation to Deity, we try to force its application in a sphere where it is useless, and incapable of affording any information. Once more, we are in the now familiar difficulty of the paralogism of Rational Psychology or of the Antinomies. The category has meaning only when applied to phenomena. Yet God is a noumenon. Second, it mistakes an idea of absolute necessity—an idea that is nothing more than an ideal—for a synthesis of elements in the phenomenal world or world of experience.

This necessity is not an object of knowledge, derived from sensation and set in shape by the operation of categories. It cannot be regarded as more than an inference. Yet the cosmological argument treats it as if it were an object of knowledge exactly on the same level as perception of any thing or object in the course of experience. Thirdly, according to Kant, it presupposes the Ontological argument, already proved false. It does this, because it proceeds from the conception of the necessity of a certain being to the fact of his existence.

Yet it is possible to take this course only if idea and fact are convertible with one another, and it has just been proved that they are not so convertible. The physico-theological proof of God's existence is supposed to be based on a posteriori sensed experience of nature and not on mere a priori abstract concepts. It observes that the objects in the world have been intentionally arranged with great wisdom. The fitness of this arrangement could never have occurred randomly, without purpose. The world must have been caused by an intelligent power. The unity of the relation between all of the parts of the world leads us to infer that there is only one cause of everything. That one cause is a perfect , mighty, wise, and self-sufficient Being.

This physico-theology does not, however, prove with certainty the existence of God. For this, we need something absolutely necessary that consequently has all-embracing reality, but this is the Cosmological Proof, which concludes that an all-encompassing real Being has absolutely necessary existence. All three proofs can be reduced to the Ontological Proof , which tried to make an objective reality out of a subjective concept. In abandoning any attempt to prove the existence of God, Kant declares the three proofs of rational theology known as the ontological, the cosmological and the physico-theological as quite untenable.

Far from advocating for a rejection of religious belief, Kant rather hoped to demonstrate the impossibility of attaining the sort of substantive metaphysical knowledge either proof or disproof about God, free will, or the soul that many previous philosophers had pursued. The second book in the Critique , and by far the shorter of the two, attempts to lay out the formal conditions of the complete system of pure reason. In the Transcendental Dialectic, Kant showed how pure reason is improperly used when it is not related to experience.

In the Method of Transcendentalism, he explained the proper use of pure reason. In section I, the discipline of pure reason in the sphere of dogmatism, of chapter I, the discipline of pure reason, of Part II, transcendental discipline of method, of the Critique of Pure Reason , Kant enters into the most extensive discussion of the relationship between mathematical theory and philosophy. Discipline is the restraint, through caution and self-examination, that prevents philosophical pure reason from applying itself beyond the limits of possible sensual experience.

Philosophy cannot possess dogmatic certainty. Philosophy, unlike mathematics , cannot have definitions , axioms or demonstrations. All philosophical concepts must be ultimately based on a posteriori , experienced intuition. This is different from algebra and geometry , which use concepts that are derived from a priori intuitions, such as symbolic equations and spatial figures. Kant's basic intention in this section of the text is to describe why reason should not go beyond its already well-established limits. In section I, the discipline of pure reason in the sphere of dogmatism, Kant clearly explains why philosophy cannot do what mathematics can do in spite of their similarities.

Kant also explains that when reason goes beyond its own limits, it becomes dogmatic. For Kant, the limits of reason lie in the field of experience as, after all, all knowledge depends on experience. According to Kant, a dogmatic statement would be a statement that reason accepts as true even though it goes beyond the bounds of experience.

Restraint should be exercised in the polemical use of pure reason. Kant defined this polemical use as the defense against dogmatic negations. For example, if it is dogmatically affirmed that God exists or that the soul is immortal, a dogmatic negation could be made that God doesn't exist or that the soul is not immortal. Such dogmatic assertions can't be proved. The statements are not based on possible experience. In section II, the discipline of pure reason in polemics, Kant argues strongly against the polemical use of pure reason. The dogmatic use of reason would be the acceptance as true of a statement that goes beyond the bounds of reason while the polemic use of reason would be the defense of such statement against any attack that could be raised against it.

For Kant, then, there cannot possibly be any polemic use of pure reason. Kant argues against the polemic use of pure reason and considers it improper on the grounds that opponents cannot engage in a rational dispute based on a question that goes beyond the bounds of experience. Kant claimed that adversaries should be freely allowed to speak reason. In return, they should be opposed through reason.

Dialectical strife leads to an increase of reason's knowledge. Yet there should be no dogmatic polemical use of reason. The critique of pure reason is the tribunal for all of reason's disputes. It determines the rights of reason in general. We should be able to openly express our thoughts and doubts. This leads to improved insight. We should eliminate polemic in the form of opposed dogmatic assertions that cannot be related to possible experience. According to Kant, the censorship of reason is the examination and possible rebuke of reason. Such censorship leads to doubt and skepticism. After dogmatism produces opposing assertions, skepticism usually occurs.

The doubts of skepticism awaken reason from its dogmatism and bring about an examination of reason's rights and limits. It is necessary to take the next step after dogmatism and skepticism. This is the step to criticism. By criticism, the limits of our knowledge are proved from principles, not from mere personal experience. If criticism of reason teaches us that we can't know anything unrelated to experience, can we have hypotheses, guesses, or opinions about such matters? We can only imagine a thing that would be a possible object of experience. The hypotheses of God or a soul cannot be dogmatically affirmed or denied, but we have a practical interest in their existence.

It is therefore up to an opponent to prove that they don't exist. Such hypotheses can be used to expose the pretensions of dogmatism. Kant explicitly praises Hume on his critique of religion for being beyond the field of natural science. However, Kant goes so far and not further in praising Hume basically because of Hume's skepticism. If only Hume would be critical rather than skeptical, Kant would be all-praises. In concluding that there is no polemical use of pure reason, Kant also concludes there is no skeptical use of pure reason. In section II, the discipline of pure reason in polemics, in a special section, skepticism not a permanent state for human reason, Kant mentions Hume but denies the possibility that skepticism could possibly be the final end of reason or could possibly serve its best interests.

Proofs of transcendental propositions about pure reason God , soul , free will , causality , simplicity must first prove whether the concept is valid. Reason should be moderated and not asked to perform beyond its power. The three rules of the proofs of pure reason are: 1 consider the legitimacy of your principles, 2 each proposition can have only one proof because it is based on one concept and its general object, and 3 only direct proofs can be used, never indirect proofs e. By attempting to directly prove transcendental assertions, it will become clear that pure reason can gain no speculative knowledge and must restrict itself to practical, moral principles.

The dogmatic use of reason is called into question by the skeptical use of reason but skepticism does not present a permanent state for human reason. Kant proposes instead a critique of pure reason by means of which the limitations of reason are clearly established and the field of knowledge is circumscribed by experience. According to the rationalists and skeptics, there are analytic judgments a priori and synthetic judgments a posteriori. Analytic judgments a posteriori do not really exist. Added to all these rational judgments is Kant's great discovery of the synthetic judgment a priori. The canon of pure reason is a discipline for the limitation of pure reason.

The analytic part of logic in general is a canon for the understanding and reason in general. However, the Transcendental Analytic is a canon of the pure understanding for only the pure understanding is able to judge synthetically a priori. The speculative propositions of God, immortal soul, and free will have no cognitive use but are valuable to our moral interest. In pure philosophy, reason is morally practically concerned with what ought to be done if the will is free, if there is a God, and if there is a future world. Yet, in its actual practical employment and use, reason is only concerned with the existence of God and a future life.

Basically, the canon of pure reason deals with two questions: Is there a God? Is there a future life? These questions are translated by the canon of pure reason into two criteria: What ought I to do? The greatest advantage of the philosophy of pure reason is negative, the prevention of error. Yet moral reason can provide positive knowledge. There can't be a canon, or system of a priori principles, for the correct use of speculative reason. However, there can be a canon for the practical moral use of reason. Reason tells us that there is a God, the supreme good, who arranges a future life in a moral world. If not, moral laws would be idle fantasies. Our happiness in that intelligible world will exactly depend on how we have made ourselves worthy of being happy.

The union of speculative and practical reason occurs when we see God's reason and purpose in nature's unity of design or general system of ends. The speculative extension of reason is severely limited in the transcendental dialectics of the Critique of Pure Reason , which Kant would later fully explore in the Critique of Practical Reason. In the transcendental use of reason, there can be neither opinion nor knowledge.

Reason results in a strong belief in the unity of design and purpose in nature. This unity requires a wise God who provides a future life for the human soul. Such a strong belief rests on moral certainty, not logical certainty. Even if a person has no moral beliefs, the fear of God and a future life acts as a deterrent to evil acts, because no one can prove the non-existence of God and an afterlife. Does all of this philosophy merely lead to two articles of faith, namely, God and the immortal soul? With regard to these essential interests of human nature, the highest philosophy can achieve no more than the guidance, which belongs to the pure understanding. Some would even go so far as to interpret the Transcendental Analytic of the Critique of Pure Reason as a return to the Cartesian epistemological tradition and a search for truth through certainty.

All knowledge from pure reason is architectonic in that it is a systematic unity. The entire system of metaphysic consists of: 1. Ontology—objects in general; 2. Rational Physiology—given objects; 3. Rational cosmology—the whole world; 4. Rational Theology—God. Metaphysic supports religion and curbs the extravagant use of reason beyond possible experience. The components of metaphysic are criticism, metaphysic of nature, and metaphysic of morals. These constitute philosophy in the genuine sense of the word.

It uses science to gain wisdom. Metaphysic investigates reason, which is the foundation of science. Its censorship of reason promotes order and harmony in science and maintains metaphysic's main purpose, which is general happiness. In chapter III, the architectonic of pure reason, Kant defines metaphysics as the critique of pure reason in relation to pure a priori knowledge. Morals, analytics and dialectics for Kant constitute metaphysics, which is philosophy and the highest achievement of human reason. Kant writes that metaphysics began with the study of the belief in God and the nature of a future world , beyond this immediate world as we know it , in our common sense. It was concluded early that good conduct would result in happiness in another world as arranged by God.

The object of rational knowledge was investigated by sensualists Epicurus , and intellectualists Plato. Sensualists claimed that only the objects of the senses are real. Intellectualists asserted that true objects are known only by the understanding mind. Aristotle and Locke thought that the pure concepts of reason are derived only from experience.

Plato and Leibniz contended that they come from reason, not sense experience, which is illusory. Epicurus never speculated beyond the limits of experience. Locke, however, said that the existence of God and the immortality of the soul could be proven. Those who follow the naturalistic method of studying the problems of pure reason use their common, sound, or healthy reason, not scientific speculation.

Others, who use the scientific method, are either dogmatists Wolff] or skeptics Hume. In Kant's view, all of the above methods are faulty. The method of criticism remains as the path toward the completely satisfying answers to the metaphysical questions about God and the future life in another world. Kant distinguishes between two different fundamental types of representation : intuitions and concepts:. Kant also distinguished between a priori pure and a posteriori empirical concepts.

Kant borrowed the term categories from Aristotle, but with the concession that Aristotle's own categorizations were faulty. Aristotle's imperfection is apparent from his inclusion of "some modes of pure sensibility quando, ubi, situs, also prius, simul , also an empirical concept motus , none of which can belong to this genealogical register of the understanding. Kant's divisions, however, are guided by his search in the mind for what makes synthetic a priori judgments possible. The Critique of Pure Reason was the first of Kant's works to become famous. Beiser , it helped to discredit rationalist metaphysics of the kind associated with Leibniz and Wolff which had appeared to provide a priori knowledge of the existence of God, although Beiser notes that this school of thought was already in decline by the time the Critique of Pure Reason was published.

In his view, Kant's philosophy became successful in the early s partly because Kant's doctrine of "practical faith" seemed to provide a justification for moral, religious, and political beliefs without an a priori knowledge of God. Kant did not expect reviews from anyone qualified to appraise the work, and initially heard only complaints about its obscurity. The theologian and philosopher Johann Friedrich Schultz wrote that the public saw the work as "a sealed book" consisting in nothing but "hieroglyphics".

The review, which denied that there is any distinction between Kant's idealism and that of Berkeley, was anonymous and became notorious. Kant reformulated his views because of it, redefining his transcendental idealism in the Prolegomena to Any Future Metaphysics and the second edition of the Critique of Pure Reason. The review was denounced by Kant, but defended by Kant's empiricist critics, and the resulting controversy drew attention to the Critique of Pure Reason. Kant believed that the anonymous review was biased and deliberately misunderstood his views. He discussed it in an appendix of the Prolegomena , accusing its author of failing to understand or even address the main issue addressed in the Critique of Pure Reason , the possibility of synthetic a priori judgments, and insisting on the distinction between transcendental idealism and the idealism of Berkeley.

In a letter to Kant, the philosopher Christian Garve admitted to having written the review, which he disowned due to editorial changes outside his control. Though Garve did not inform Kant of this, the changes were made by J. Following the controversy over Garve's review, there were no more reviews of the Critique of Pure Reason in except for a brief notice. Tiedemann attacked the possibility of the synthetic a priori and defended the possibility of metaphysics. He denied the synthetic status of mathematical judgments, maintaining that they can be shown to be analytic if the subject term is analyzed in full detail, and criticized Kant's theory of the a priori nature of space, asking how it was possible to distinguish one place from another when the parts of absolute space are identical in themselves.

Kant issued a hostile reaction. He maintained that Tiedemann did not understand the problems facing the critical philosophy. Christian Gottlieb Selle, an empiricist critic of Kant influenced by Locke to whom Kant had sent one of the complimentary copies of the Critique of Pure Reason , was disappointed by the work, considering it a reversion to rationalism and scholasticism, and began a polemical campaign against Kant, arguing against the possibility of all a priori knowledge.

His writings received widespread attention and created controversy. Feder believed that Kant's fundamental error was his contempt for "empirical philosophy", which explains the faculty of knowledge according to the laws of nature. Feder's campaign against Kant was unsuccessful and the Philosophische Bibliothek ceased publication after only a few issues. Other critics of Kant continued to argue against the Critique of Pure Reason , with Gottlob August Tittel, who was influenced by Locke, publishing several polemics against Kant, who, although worried by some of Tittel's criticisms, addressed him only in a footnote in the preface to the Critique of Practical Reason.

Tittel was one of the first to make criticisms of Kant, such as those concerning Kant's table of categories, the categorical imperative, and the problem of applying the categories to experience, that have continued to be influential. The philosopher Adam Weishaupt , founder and leader of the secret society the Illuminati , and an ally of Feder, also published several polemics against Kant, which attracted controversy and generated excitement. Weishaupt charged that Kant's philosophy leads to complete subjectivism and the denial of all reality independent of passing states of consciousness, a view he considered self-refuting.

Herman Andreas Pistorius was another empiricist critic of Kant. Kant took Pistorius more seriously than his other critics and believed that he had made some of the most important objections to the Critique of Pure Reason. Beiser writes that many sections of the Critique of Practical Reason are "disguised polemics against Pistorius". Pistorius argued that, if Kant were consistent, his form of idealism would not be an improvement over that of Berkeley, and that Kant's philosophy contains internal contradictions. Though the followers of Wolff, such as J. Maass, J. Flatt, and J. Ulrich, initially ignored the Critique of Pure Reason , they began to publish polemics against Kant in The theologian Johann Augustus Eberhard began to publish the Philosophisches Magazin , which was dedicated to defending Wolff's philosophy.

The Wolffian critics argued that Kant's philosophy inevitably ends in skepticism and the impossibility of knowledge, defending the possibility of rational knowledge of the supersensible world as the only way of avoiding solipsism. They maintained that the criterion Kant proposed to distinguish between analytic and synthetic judgments had been known to Leibniz and was useless, since it was too vague to determine which judgments are analytic or synthetic in specific cases.

These arguments led to a controversy between the Wolffians and Kant's followers over the originality and adequacy of Kant's criterion. The Wolffian campaign against Kant was ultimately unsuccessful. Beiser argues that the decisive reason for Kant's victory over the Wolffians was the French Revolution , writing that, "The political revolution in France seemed to find its abstract formulation with the philosophical revolution in Germany.

The Critique of Pure Reason has exerted an enduring influence on Western philosophy. Other interpretations of the Critique by philosophers and historians of philosophy have stressed different aspects of the work. The late 19th-century neo-Kantians Hermann Cohen and Heinrich Rickert focused on its philosophical justification of science, Martin Heidegger and Heinz Heimsoeth on aspects of ontology, and Peter Strawson on the limits of reason within the boundaries of sensory experience.

Smith ,. Kant's Critique of Pure Reason is important because it threw the philosophy of the nineteenth century into a state of temporary confusion. That it failed to prove its cardinal point, the existence of a priori truths, rapidly became clear. If there were no promises the fulfillment of which was to be expected, 'lying' would indeed be a universal law of action, and by Kant's own criterion lying would now be moral, and it would be truth that would be immoral. Many titles have been used by different authors in reference or as a tribute to Kant's main Critique, or his other, less famous books using the same basic concept, Critique of Practical Reason and Critique of Judgment.

Since the 18th-century, books using "critique" in their title became common. Also, when "reason" is added after an adjective which qualifies this reason, this is usually a reference to Kant's most famous book. A few examples:. Note: The A and B designations refer to the page numbers of the first and second German editions, respectively. Martin's Press, Macmillan, From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Major works. Transcendental idealism Critical philosophy Sapere aude Thing-in-itself Schema A priori and a posteriori Analytic—synthetic distinction Noumenon Category Categorical imperative Hypothetical imperative " Kingdom of Ends " Political philosophy.

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