Essays on Late Modern Philosophy

Essay 1

The establishment of a synthetic priori judgment appeared as a reformation of the previous doctrines by philosophers. Immanuel Kant tried to reevaluate the philosophies that were in use by his fellow philosophers. His new philosophy described the proposition that led to the truth about the facts on objects and various matters. It was a milestone to the philosophers earlier and a correction of their skeptics (Jones, 2007).

Kant strongly rejected the empiricism of Hume and other rationalists. He opposed Hume’s belief that all knowledge is derived from the experiences of the senses. The belief of his predecessor, empiricist and rationalist, led him to raise his critique to the extent of deriving both mathematical and scientific theories. He arguably supported the priori knowledge rather than the posteriori knowledge. David Hume, among other empiricists, later came to agree with him. They had all believed that knowledge is only acquired by earlier experience. Kant had totally disagreed with his colleague’s wit. Furthermore, he raised the concept of God and soul existence. Kant’s purpose was to show that not all things are believed to exist as a result of their self-evidence, but also as the reasoning of human being. He regarded humans as creatures that have the highest capability of reasoning, either from theories or from their perceptions. Therefore, derived knowledge becomes universal (Wood, 2001).

Kant argued that synthetic reasoning surpasses the analytic one. He regarded the earlier philosophers as skeptical. He opposed his friend’s logics on cause and effect. Thus, Kant decided to get some ways in determining the cause as well as effect without depending entirely on empirical knowledge. He was in pursuit of proving that experience is not necessary in the explanation of norms (Wood, 2001). To succeed in this, in his Critique of Pure Reason Kant came up with the synthetic a priori judgment. It is a kind of scenario where there exists no connection between the predicate and the subject. To justify his claims as valid, Kant came up with a classical mathematical example to show the absence of relationship between the added items and the resultant sum. He argued that the answer could not be traceable from the added item or the logical signs. Inductively, he concluded that mathematics is synthetic a priori knowledge (Jones, 2007). It was a milestone in his work to prove the previous belief as vague and wrong. After his first mathematical ideology analysis he conclusively stated that pure mathematics is possible. He also used a the physics approach, the sense of metaphysics. Kant argued that it was quite possible to study things that are not physically perceived by the approach of theories. The main idea here was that some things, though not conceivable, could be present. That was a great hit to the empiricists like Hume, who strongly did not believe that the human mind can have the knowledge out of theory and not only experience. Kant brought the sense of human imagination of existence of various objects. Moreover, he argued that no empirical knowledge could prove their nonexistence (Wood, 2001).

In his Critique of Pure Reason, Kant emphasized the role of human ability to think and imagine. He believed the abilities were enough to help people learn about their world in which objects existing are never conceivable. Because of his transcendental idealism, Kant’s philosophy is quite similar to the Copernican Revolution in astronomy, where a man believes in the existence of objects like paths which are just imaginations. According to his points of view, objects ought to conform to human knowledge which reminds the Copernican Revolution in astronomy. Comparing the Kantian philosophy and the Copernican Revolution one may notice the common feature; knowledge does not depend so much on the object of knowledge as on the capacity of the knower (Jones, 2007). Copernican Revolution is all about the movement of celestial objects like stars among other imaginable objects; it can be categorized as pure metaphysics. In Kant’s philosophy, he talks of metaphysics, where there are no relations of cause and effect and none of them might be conceivable. It is the probable reason the synthetic a priori judgment conforms to the Copernican Revolution.

Essay 2

It can be inferred that synthetic reasoning is based on time and space. Knowledge is therefore considered to be boundless. The aspect of human reasoning gives human beings the ability to explain things that are not conceivable. In his mathematical and classical analysis, Kant tried to illustrate the ability of human reasoning. He attempted to express the power of human knowledge to go beyond what is observable and generate things out of imaginations (Wood, 2001). He generated two concepts which include mathematical and scientific ones.

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Mathematical concepts need more of experience in comparison with scientific ones. On the other hand, science is composed of theoretical knowledge that is universal. Taking an example of adding three and four will give us an answer of seven. Some of the knowledge is full of great imaginations which have no concepts like the mathematics. Such simple calculations might require the knowledge of how to derive the answer. Knowledge of mathematics is synthetic but is different from that of science. The best and most effective way to acquire such knowledge will be out of experience rather than normal human imaginations. That is where experience seems to be part of the knowledge which is quite a difference to the science (Jones, 2007). The fact that one is not able to derive the sum of the two numbers will not lead to a better conclusion that none of such rule exists. Jones (2007) highlighted that “conformity with the truths of mathematics is a precondition that we impose upon every possible object of our experience”. Therefore, it is quite evidenced the cause of a particular conclusion in mathematics is quite evidenced in comparison with that of science. Science is perceived as a general theorem or laws that are not always proven.

At most times, applying the concepts of both space and time as elements of critical intuition is a vital factor needed for any form of perception. However, the probability of scientific evidence needs an individual to have the experience of the universe. That knowledge should be both thinkable as well as perceivable. Thus, Kant assumed that the overall intelligibility of encounters is composed of the satisfaction of two extra situations. The difference in perceptions in the two conditions is evidenced in the quote, “thoughts without content are empty, intuitions without concepts are blind” (Jones, 2007). In this statement, Kant argued that useful thoughts must be based on both intuition and concepts. Moreover, they should be quite relevant to the discussed type of knowledge. Thoughts are well known to be the product of mental activity. It is abnormal to have thought that is not traceable. Thought is constructed from the experience or the intuitive knowledge (Jones, 2007). It is expected that each and every thought carries significance, otherwise it might be meaningless.

As mentioned earlier, thoughts which are useful ought to be based on both intuition and various concepts. Lack of intuitive basis makes thoughts of no or less importance to us. When there no conceptual basis, the thoughts generated are blind, meaning that they will never make human being obtain proper observation about the world he lives in. It is, therefore necessary to have both concepts and intuition in our thinking. Omission of intuition in our thoughts will lead us vague ideas about things. It brings the fact that intuition is crucial in our process of organizing knowledge. To make our abstract knowledge be substantial intuition is very essential. Intuition tries to grasp aspects of reality without trying to examine the underlying causes and concepts. In accordance with Kant’s views, ethics, for example, is not defined by moral intuition, but general laws describing how to act properly. The central moral law is called the categorical imperative. The strongest emphasis is that the inclusion of both intuition and concepts yields not only knowledge but also reasoning.

Essay 3

Kant states that the human perspective of self is not attained if there is evidence of an element of self that tends to describe a bundle as such. The bundle empiricism tends to infer that the empirical self and being drive a notion of the empirical assumption that the uniqueness of the existence of an individual differentiates between the transcendental and empirical subjects. That is achieved by regarding the first as the consciousness of the availability of the latter (Wood, 2001). Empirical self can be regarded as the material part of humans. Moreover, the transcendental reference is the fundamental situation for the probability of encounters and practices. If people regard the empirical item as another yet highly distinguishable object of experience, it can be considered that the complete apperception or transcendental union of apperception is the situation for the probability of availability of empirical subject as well (Jones, 2007). Kant trieds to argue that a person’s representation is within the union of his or her self-consciousness.

Where such collective unity can be associated with transcendental linkage of self-awareness, Kant emphasizes that the transcendental unity of apperception holds the identities of the “I”. In that case, “I” is considered to be taking an important role. Jones (2007) stated that “the empirical self, as part of the sensible world, is subject to causal laws and determinations of this world; it is not spontaneous but is developed. The transcendental self, on the contrary, is active, spontaneous, and intentionally related to its objects”. Therefore, Kant fails to establish the case in the common way. Thus, he stated that transcendental self is not the self revealed in itself or as the “I” in the same, but exists as a thought (Jones, 2007). Kant states, “I do not have another self intuition which gives the determining in me, I cannot determine my existence as that of a self-active being; all that I can do is represent to myself the spontaneity of my thought” (Jones, 2007). That way, he wished to illustrate that his empirical self is a critical factor that offers hima chance to differentiate hs uniqueness from the other subjects of the world. One side concentrates on feeling while another - on thought along with a will.

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It can, therefore, be stated that Kant realizes his own latter by self analysis of his thoughts. There is evidence that there exists the thoughtful side and the imagining corner inside of him. He tends to believe that in transcendental self-consciousness there is, literally, nothing to identify as himself. However, he is conscious that the” I” to which he refers his representations does have a numerical identity that is himself, which is the numerical identity of the agent responsible for the unity of the act of combining, comparing, and reflecting representations which he regards as his own (Wood, 2001).

Kant believes that the whole time in which he was conscious of himself, he was conscious of that time as belonging to the unity of himself. Moreover, it came to the same point whether he said that whole time is in him, as individual unity, or that he was to be found as numerically identical. That way, his consciousness proves that the personal identity is eventually met (Jones, 2007). He believes that the consciousness of the short-term content of an individual’s internal sense is that of his/her existence as an item.

Kant believes that being conscious of his position is being conscious of the position of his body. Therefore, in that case being conscious of himself is being conscious of his body as the holder of perceptual conditions. The best way to his understanding was to see him as two parts. “Subject” means the transcendental part that he believed was “I”. It is through idealism that Kant realizes his latter (Wood, 2001).

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